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Selecting the best motherboard is an essential part when looking to build the best PC for your needs.

A motherboard will determine the type of RAM, graphics card, storage, and processor you can install in your PC.

With plenty of options in the market, it can be quite overwhelming selecting the best motherboard idea for you. In this article, we have handpicked the best motherboards with Thunderbolt 3 support to help you maximize the performance of your PC.

Thunderbolt 3 motherboard is a considerable relief to power users. A motherboard in itself cannot affect the performance of your fps game or video editing application. However, there a lot of advantages and flexibility that, in the long run, benefit your gameplay and other productivity needs.

The benefits of having a Thunderbolt 3 motherboard over the other motherboards include:

  • Fastest transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps
  • Support for DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.1 Type C
  • Dual 4K monitor support at 60Hz or one display in 5K resolution
  • Daisy chain up to 6 devices
  • Support for Thunderbolt 3 eGPUs, docking stations, and monitors.

What to Look for When Buying a Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard

There are several factors to consider when choosing a motherboard. It is vital to determine your specific needs, most important what you intend to do with the PC. A gaming motherboard will have different specs than a regular motherboard for office use.

The most important thing to note is to avoid paying for what you don’t need.

Here is what you should look for in a motherboard:

Form factor

The first step in your motherboard’s buying process. The form factor is simply the size of the motherboard. Motherboard comes in different sizes, each with its own set of supported components.

ATX motherboards are the best. They are spacious with more expansion slots to connect different components.

If you’re, however, looking to build a medium PC with less features, consider going for Mini-ITX and MicroATX motherboards.

Processor Socket

Which processor do you intend to use with your motherboard? If you’ve already figured out which CPU to choose, it will be easier for you to select the right socket.

For instance, the 7th and 8th generation processors use the LGA 1151 socket while high-end intel processors use the LGA 2066 socket. AMD uses AM4 for all its mainstream current-generation chips.

Dual In-Line Memory Module (DIMM) slots

The DIMM slot is where you will plug in your RAM. The number of DIMM slots in your motherboard will determine the amount of RAM your PC will handle.

DIMM slots will vary from two to eight slots. It is vital choosing a motherboard with more slots as you’ll add in more RAM as you need it.

PCIe Slots (Expansion Slots)

A PCIe slot is a standard connection for add-in cards such as SATA/M.2 drives, GPUs, or sound cards. PCIe slots are available in different sizes; x16, x8, x4, and x1. ATX boards provide more PCIe expansion slots than the smaller boards.

If you’re a power gamer or a professional designer, you need at least one full-speed PCIe x16. A board with multiple PCIe x16 will allow you to connect various GPUs via SLI by Nvidia or Crossfire by AMD.

Features

Some motherboards come with inbuilt features that reduce the stress of buying expansion cards. Some of the features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and immersive audio. Advanced cooling is a must especially when you’ll be using the PC for longer hours.

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XtremeTB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: E-ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 3x M.2
Memory: 4x DDR4 DIMM (128GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
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MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming MotherboardTB3 Ports: 1
Form Factor: Mini-ITX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Storage: 4x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x M.2
Memory: 2x DDR4 DIMM (64GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
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GIGABYTE Z490 Vision DTB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 3x M.2
Memory: 4x DDR4 DIMM (128GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
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ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10GTB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1200, Intel Z490
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x M.2
Memory: 4x DDR4 DIMM (128GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: N/A
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GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARETB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1151, Intel Z390
CPU: 9th and 8th Gen Intel Core
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x M.2
Memory: 4x DDR4 DIMM (128GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
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ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe IITB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 2066, Intel X299
CPU: Intel Core X-Series
Storage: 8x SATA 6Gb/s, 3x M.2
Memory: 8x DDR4 DIMM (256GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
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ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming -ITXTB3 Ports: 1
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket, Chipset: AMD AM4, AMD X570
CPU: 3rd and 2nd Gen Ryzen
Storage: 4x SATA 6Gb/s, 1x M.2
Memory: 2x DDR4 DIMM (64GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 1 PCIe 4.0 x16
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
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ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30TB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 2066, Intel X299
CPU: Intel Core X-Series
Storage: 8x SATA 6Gb/s, 3x M.2
Memory: 8x DDR4 DIMM (256GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
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ASUS Prime Z370-A IITB3 Ports: 1
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 1151, Intel Z370
CPU: 9th and 8th Gen Intel Core
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x M.2
Memory: 4x DDR4 DIMM (64GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: N/A
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GIGABYTE X299 DESIGNARE EXTB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 2066, Intel X299
CPU: Intel Core X-Series
Storage: 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 3x M.2
Memory: 8x DDR4 DIMM (128GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 5x PCIe 3.0 x16
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
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MSI MEG X299 CreationTB3 Ports: 2
Form Factor: E-ATX
Socket, Chipset: LGA 2066, Intel X299
CPU: Intel Core X-Series
Storage: 8x SATA 6Gb/s, 3x M.2
Memory: 8x DDR4 DIMM (256GB Max)
Expansion Slots: 4x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
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1. GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme – Best Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard 2020

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme is the best Z490 motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 you can buy in 2020. It’s an E-ATX board that supports the latest 10th gen Intel processors, 10GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6, and plenty of expansion slots. You can build a powerful PC for gaming, streaming, content creation, and more demanding tasks. Just make sure to pair it with the right components.

Inside the Z490 AORUS Xtreme is an LGA 1200 socket and Z490 Chipset, supporting up to 10th gen Core i9 processors, Intel Pentium, and Celeron chips.

GIGABYTE includes an innovative audio adapter, ESSential USB DAC, that allows you to access premium sound quality from the front panel. It has a USB-C port for connecting to the motherboard and 3.5mm audio output for headsets. What’s exciting is that you can use this portable DAC with USB-C other enabled media devices such as phones and laptops.

Design

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme comes with an Extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor, measuring 12 x 10.7 inches (30.5cm x 27.1cm). It provides a lot of space and clearance for proper airflow and circulation. There is a pre-installed I/O shield that provides protection and an easy installation process.

The monitor uses a 16-phase digital power design for a cleaner and stable power delivery to the CPU and other critical motherboard components. More phases ensure the processor can draw more power to achieve higher clock rates, providing the maximum overclocking performance from the 10th gen processors.

Onboard you get a robust thermal design to prevent overheating and reduce throttling. GIGABYTE upgraded the direct touch and fin array technology for efficient heat dissipation and to keep operating temperatures as low as possible. The Z490 AORUS Xtreme has a larger Heatpipe to increase contact to the heatsink and more holes in each fin on the thermal module for increased thermal efficiency. There are three thermal guards on the M.2 slots prevent throttling, ensuring the best performance from the PCIe solid-state drives.

Features

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme has three PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slots reinforced with stainless steel for durability and strength to support the massive GPUs. The expansion slots run at x6, x8/x8, and x8/x8/x4. The PCIEX8 shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot, while the PCIEX4 shares with one of the M.2 slots. It has four DDR4 DIMM sockets that support up to 128GB of system memory.

In terms of storage, you get six SATA connectors capable of RAID 10 and three M.2 connectors for PCIe SSDs up to 22110 sizes.

Connectivity is another feature that makes the GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme the best overengineered Z490 motherboard. First, you get full support for Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C 10Gbps via the internal header. It supports 10GbE wired networking, providing a 10x performance boost over Gigabit Ethernet. It’s future proof with support for next-generation Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 2 x RJ-45 ports (10GbE and 2.5GbE)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x Audio jacks
OUR TAKE
GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme is an outstanding motherboard with next-gen connectivity and a robust design that makes it the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboard of 2020. It has excellent thermal and power design, ideal for overclockers and multitaskers. While it may cost more than other Thunderbolt 3 motherboards, it is worth every penny.
PROS

  • Stable and precise power design
  • Reliable cooling
  • Incredibly fast 10GbE port
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1 with antenna included
  • More expansion slots and storage
  • ESSential USB DAC for high-quality sound
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
CONS

  • Heavy
  • No PCIe x1 Slots
  • Cost
 

2. MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard – Best Mini-ITX Motherboard with Thunderbolt 3

MSI MEG Z490I Unify is a Mini-ITX motherboard that supports the latest 10th generation Intel processors. MSI markets it as a gaming motherboard because of its extreme overclocking capabilities. You can still use it to build PCs for different uses, such as content creation and everyday use.

MSI MEG Z490I Unify motherboard comes with Intel Z490 Chipset and LGA 1200 socket supporting the new 10th generation Comet Lake processors, up to Intel Core i9. It uses the Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 Controller to fully support Thunderbolt 3 with 40Gbps speeds, 4K60 video support, and 15W power charging.

Design

MSI MEG Z490I Unify has a Mini-ITX form-factor measuring 6.7 x 6.7 inches. It’s a small board with fewer expansion slots, so don’t expect to use like dual GPUs. The motherboard has a pre-installed I/O shield, making the installation process straightforward and offering reliable protection against EMI interference.

The motherboard features a robust digital power design to provide accurate and reliable current to the CPU. It’s an 8-phase VRM with INTERSIL digital PWM and 90A Smart Power Stage. The digital, precise power design lets you overclock your PC during gaming to get more FPS and performance without creating stability issues.

In terms of cooling, there is an active heatsink, an aluminum cover with a thermal pad, and heat-pipe to conduct heat away. You can select different fan speeds from the MSI Dragon Center for the best performance for your needs, such as gaming or everyday use. Like most boards, it also has a heatsink on the dual M.2 slots to prevent thermal throttling and achieve the desired SSD performance.

MSI MEG Z490I Unify is ready for water cooling with a dedicated water pump PIN header and keep-out zones for safe and straightforward installation.

Features

Onboard there is a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot with reinforced steel armor for your add-in cards. It has dual DDR4 memory slots that support dual-channel mode and up to 64GB max. Unless you have multiple add-in cards, this Mini-ITX is enough to build a powerful gaming rig to tear apart demanding games.

MSI MEG Z490I Unify provides four SATA 6Gbps ports for storage and two M.2 slots for the blazingly-fast PCIe and NVMe solid-state drives. With four SATA SSDs, you can implement up to RAID 10 for even faster read/writes speeds and reliable security against data loss. The M.2 slots only support RAID 0 and RAID 1.

The motherboard provides many connectivity options besides Thunderbolt 3. It supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard that offers high capacity for improved performance in dense environments, and 2.5G LAN for high-speed wired networking. It also has the newest Bluetooth 5.1 standard and a USB-C front panel header.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps)
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x 2.5G LAN
  • 5 x HD Audio Connectors
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 5Gbps
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 10Gbps
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out
OUR TAKE
While it’s only a Mini-ITX, this MSI MEG Z490I Unify motherboard can build the PC of your dreams. It has all the essential specs with robust power and cooling design that ensures you can push your rig to the limits to get extra performance. This mobo keeps you up to date with the latest standards and trends, including water cooling, appealing to PC enthusiasts and gamers. It’s the best Mini-ITX motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 if you can sacrifice some expansion cards.
PROS

  • Robust power design for overclocking
  • Supports water cooling
  • USB-C front header
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 with antenna included
CONS

  • Fewer expansion slots
 

3. GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D – Best ATX Motherboard Thunderbolt 3

GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D is the best budget alternative to the ultimate Z490 AORUS Xtreme if you want to keep Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6, and support for Comet Lake processors on a lower budget. It’s an outstanding Z490 motherboard with an excellent selection of expansion slots and connectors targeted to creators.

The Z490 Vision D is among the motherboards released by GIGABYTE in 2020 that supports the latest Intel Z490 Chipset for the Comet Lake processors. It comes with the LGA 1200 socket, which accepts up to Core i9 chips, Pentium, and Intel Celeron.

Design

The motherboard has an ATX form factor and measures 12 x 9.6 inches (30.5cm x 24.4cm) in size. It’s a little smaller than the Z490 AORUS Xtreme but does provide a lot of clearance and more PCIe expansion slots. There is a pre-installed I/O shield, so you don’t have to mess with the connector and ports.

GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D implements a direct 12 phase digital VRM to provide current with pinpoint precision to the CPU. Each DrMOS stage provides 50A for a total of 600 Amps enough for overclocking 10th gen processors, allowing to render 3D models and 8K videos with no issues.

Z490 Vision D combines a massive heatsink and larger, direct touch Heatpipe to conduct heat away from the MOSFET. It has a thick thermal pad for efficient and quicker conductivity. Like most boards, the Z490 Vision D includes heat sinks to the three M.2 slots to prevent throttling and bottlenecks.

Features

Onboard three PCIe x16 slots, running at x6, x8/x8, and x8/x8/x4, lets you connect add-in cards to extend your PC’s performance. Z490 Vision D includes an additional PCIe x1 slot for smaller cards. Four DDR4 DIMM sockets support up to 128GB of memory, 32GB each slot.

GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D has a dedicated M.2 socket for Intel CNVi wireless modules such as the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 CRF for adding the next-gen Wii-Fi 6 standard to your motherboard.

The motherboard provides six SATA 6Gbps connectors for storage and triple M.2 connectors for PCIe drives. You can setup up RAID 10 with four SATA drives for redundancy and fast storage access.

Z490 Vision D provides two Thunderbolt 3 ports, supporting 40Gbps and 4K60 video output. Other connectivity options include 2.5GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and USB-C support through a front-panel internal header.

The lack of 10GbE Ethernet is a dealbreaker for content creatives working with high-definition 4K and 8K content and transferring massive raw photos.

However, thanks to Thunderbolt 3, you can add 10G Ethernet support to the motherboard using a Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE adapter.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 1 x DisplayPort In
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x RJ-45
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x Audio jacks
OUR TAKE
GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D is an outstanding Thunderbolt 3 motherboard targeted to creators and designers. It has impressive specs at an affordable price compared to the GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Xtreme. You still get support for next-gen Wi-Fi 6 and BT 5.1. With support for NVIDIA QUADRO Professional Graphics, this motherboard meets creators’ needs without breaking the bank.
PROS

  • Great features for the money
  • Decent cooling and precise power design
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 with antenna included
  • More expansion slots and storage
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Supports NVIDIA QUADRO Professional Graphics
  • Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips
CONS

  • No 10Gb Ethernet support
 

4. ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G – Best Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard for Creators

ASUS targets professionals and content creators in their new ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G motherboard. It’s an ATX board with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and blazing-fast 10G Ethernet for transferring and manipulating large 4K and 8K footages in seconds. It’s a premium motherboard in the same price range as GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D, but it falls short of a few features.

The motherboard comes with LGA 1200 socket for the 10th gen Intel Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors.

Design

ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G is an ATX motherboard, measuring 12 x 9.2 inches. It does not have a pre-installed I/O shield, but ASUS provides one with the accessories. Overall, it has a simple design with its black theme and silver accents.

The motherboard uses 12+2 DrMOS power stages to provide precise power to the CPU and critical motherboard components. It can handle demanding 10th gen chips, supporting overclocking to give you extra performance for rendering 3D models and 8K videos.

On the cooling side, the motherboard features an accented chipset heatsink and L-shaped heatsink to conduct heat from the MOSFET. Two additional straight-angled ridged heatsinks improve the cooling efficiency, with one on the M.2 slot. However, the other M.2 slot doesn’t have a heatsink, which can cause bottleneck and throttling.

Features

ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G has three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots running at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/x4, and two additional PCIe x1 for small adapter cards. The motherboard supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX for multiple graphics. Four DDR4 DIMM slots support up to 128GB of system memory.

For storage, six SATA 6Gbps connectors support up to RAID 10 array and dual M.2 slots for SATA/PCIe M.2 solid-state drives. If you’re building a powerful editing rig, pairing Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe NVMe SSDs provide fast and latency-free performance to streamline your workflow.

ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G falls short compared to the other motherboards in terms of connectivity. There is no support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth.

However, ASUS includes its HYPER 10G LAN card to add faster 10Gbps wired networking to your PC, perfect for professional creatives. The motherboard also has an integrated 2.5GbE LAN. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports provide 40Gbps speeds, 4K60 video output, and daisy-chaining capabilities.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x DisplayPort IN
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (2.5G)
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen2
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jacks
OUR TAKE
ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G is a great Thunderbolt 3 motherboard for professional content creation with a few caveats. It doesn’t feature Wi-Fi support, but it provides high-speed 10G Ethernet to benefit creative pros. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, ample expansion slots, and storage connectors for pro users. It is a suitable ATX motherboard if you’re looking for high-speed connectivity and premium features.
PROS

  • Robust power design
  • Multiple PCIe slots and storage connectors
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Included 10Gb Ethernet card
  • Addressable RGB Header
CONS

  • o Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • No heatsink on one M.2 slot
 

5. GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARE – Best TB3 Intel Motherboard

The Z390 DESIGNARE is the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboard with excellent specs for content creators and gamers.

The Z390 DESIGNARE supports 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors. You can get the best from this powerful processor which overclocking for extra power as you need it.

The design of this motherboard is among the best in its class. This ATX motherboard comes with an ultra-durable chassis with an integrated I/O shield. The frame houses the components in a robust and durable design that can give your PC an extended lifespan.

One of the exciting features in the design of the Z390 DESIGNARE is the ultra-durable memory armor.

The design includes song stainless steel shields that protect your RAM modules from PCB distortion and plate bending. RGB lighting completes this stunning and robust design of the Z390 DESIGNARE. You can select different RGB modes to display a range of colors to liven our workspace.

You can use this motherboard for hours without experiencing any thermal problems thanks to its advanced thermal design. GIGABYTE combines a massive heat sink, thick thermal pad, Direct Touch Heatpipe, and smart fan regulation technology to provide efficient cooling capabilities.

Features

Z390 DESIGNARE comes with excellent features that fit the bill of a high-end Thunderbolt 3 board.

Onboard you get 12+1 phase digital power design with DrMOS and PWM Controller to provide power to the most demanding and energy-sensitive components efficiently. Running the power-intensive 9th gen Intel processors isn’t an issue in this motherboard.

The motherboard provides flexible PCIe expansion slots to connect your several components. The selection of the PCI Express slots includes one PCIe x16 running at x16 (PCIEX16), one PCIe x16 at x8 (PCIEX8), one PCIe x16 at x4 (PCIEX4), and two PCIe x1 slots. The board supports Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire for a multi-graphics setup.

In terms of storage, Z390 DESIGNARE offers dual M.2 PCIe x4 to connect high-speed SSDs. The solid-state drives connect directly to your CPU via PCIe, which to high-speed transfers and no bottlenecks. Onboard, you also get 4 DIMM sockets that support up to 128GB to connect your memory modules.

The GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARE is an excellent choice for gamers, content creators, and users who are looking for maximum performance for their productivity tasks. With support for the Nvidia QUADRO GPUs, the board provides a one-stop solution for all your graphics needs.

Other features that make this motherboard the right option include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, dual GbE LAN, and dual Thunderbolt 3 slots.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  • 1 x DisplayPort IN
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 4 x USB 3.1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x RJ-45 ports
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x audio jacks
OUR TAKE
The GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARE is a great Thunderbolt 3 board that provides excellent specs for designers and gamers. It comes with many expansion slots for your add-in cards, memory, and high-speed storage options.

This motherboard provides absolute value to your investments. The efficient cooling mechanism, onboard Wi-Fi, multi-way graphics support makes this the best TB3 motherboard in the market.

PROS

  • Excellent value for your money
  • A wide range of connectivity options
  • Onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Efficient cooling capabilities
  • Supports overclocking
CONS

  • Does not support Wi-Fi 6
  • Only a single ‘full’ PCIe x16 slot

6. ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II – Best TB3 Intel Motherboard Runner Up

The ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II X299 ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II X299 is an ATX motherboard that comes with excellent optimization options and specs to rival the GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARE.

The Asus Prime X299 Deluxe II is a perfect Thunderbolt 3 motherboard that supports Intel Core X series processors thanks to its LGA 2066 CPU socket. It is the right choice for professional content creators, power users, and gamers who are looking to get the best from their PCs.

The best-selling point of this motherboard is its 5-way optimization. With just a single click, you can overclock and optimize your system to achieve the highest performance possible.

Asus uses five different modes to achieve the best overclocking and cooling capabilities: TurboV Processing Unit (TPU), Energy Processing Unit (EPU), Fan Expert 4, Digi+ Power Control, and Turbo Core App. All these features allow your high-end processor to work at its full potential giving you the juice to run demanding applications.

Design

ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II comes in an ATX form factor that provides enough space to connect several components. There are 12+2 power stages along the CPU socket that gives power to the demanding latest Core X processors. The motherboard also features dual robust eight-pin connectors, based on the Asus ProCool design, to provide power directly to the CPU.

The design of the motherboard features efficient cooling mechanisms that allow you to work in a quiet environment. The robust heatsink provides optimal cooling capabilities to prevent thermal throttling.

The ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II is a powerful monster that can take on any high-end processor without cases of dip in performance or throttling issues.

Features

The motherboard comes with a total of 44 PCIe lanes that you can use to connect your GPU and other expansion cards. You can use all the three PCIe x16 slots in an x16/x16/x8 configuration or use two PCIe x16 slots depending on your needs.

The board supports up to Nvidia 3-Way SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX technologies, which lets you connect multiple graphics cards. With this, you get more graphical power to run your video editing applications, financial modeling, playing AAA games, and other demanding tasks.

As opposed to the GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARE motherboard, this one comes with 8-DIMM slots that support up to 256GB and triple M.2 for your storage options.

Other features aboard this Thunderbolt 3 motherboard include Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi, RGB lighting, Gigabit LAN, Asus SafeSlot to protect your GPUs.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x DisplayPort IN
  • 1 x RJ45 slot
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack(s)
  • 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module

Asus provides a simple BIOS update utility that allows you to flash its own BIOS from a USB drive. After completing the installation of the drivers, you can enjoy the unlimited benefits of Thunderbolt 3.

OUR TAKE
The ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II is a feature-rich Thunderbolt 3 motherboard that appeals to professional users and power gamers. It combines excellent features with Thunderbolt 3 to bring you a complete board for all your needs.

Overclocking capabilities are on point, efficient cooling, and more expansion slots. X299-Deluxe II is an excellent addition to your workplace.

PROS

  • Efficient cooling
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Multi-graphics cards support
  • 8 DIMMs for expansion
  • VRM Heatsinks
  • Superior overclocking and optimization
CONS

  • Does not support Wi-Fi 6
  • One of the 3 NVME slots is vertical and hard to operate

7. ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming – Best AMD Ryzen TB3 Motherboard

The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming is the only AMD motherboard to feature Thunderbolt 3.

While Thunderbolt 3 is an exclusive technology by Intel, ASRock has defied all odds to bring the technology in a board that supports AMD AM4 socket. It is compatible with AMD Ryzen 2000 and 3000 processors.

The only downside with this board is that it comes in a Mini ITX form factor. You get minimal space and expansion slots to connect your components.

Design

The design of the motherboard features a superalloy chassis that houses the internal components. Onboard you also get a massive aluminum alloy heat sink that provides efficient cooling capabilities to make your PC stable at all times.

ASRock uses an 8+2 power phase design to provide precise voltage to your CPU, and RAM. 8 phases are dedicated to your CPU while the other two to the onboard RAM. The power phases lead to more stability when attempting higher overclocking.

Liven your gaming workspace with Polychrome RGB. You can connect compatible LED components to the RGB headers and enjoy your games with synchronized RGB lighting.

Features

This X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard features the next-gen PCI Express 4.0. PCIe 4.0 provides faster speeds up to double that of PCIe 3.0.

With its mini-ITX form factor, the motherboard comes with only one PCIe x16 expansion slot and an M.2 slot for faster NVMe solid-state drives. However, four SATA ports provide more storage options with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. For memory, you get dual DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of system memory.

ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 supports modern connectivity standards, including Thunderbolt 3, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi 6 for improved capacity and better performance on dense environments. With Thunderbolt 3 port, you can do more with external accessories such as docking stations and adapters.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 1 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x Antenna Ports (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth)
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • 1 x RJ-45 LAN
  • 1 x Clear CMOS Button
  • 5 x HD Audio Jacks
OUR TAKE
If you’re looking for an AMD motherboard supporting Thunderbolt 3 and intel coolers, there is only certified option, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3. It supports AMD Ryzen 2000 and 3000 processors with the revolutionary Thunderbolt 3 technology.

There are limited expansion slots onboard, but there is no much you can ask from a small form factor motherboard. Still, the motherboard meets the needs of enthusiasts with next-gen connectivity standards, reliable cooling, and stable power delivery, ideal for gamers and creators.

PROS

  • Use Thunderbolt 3 with AMD processors
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Robust and solid design
  • Next-generation PCI Express 4.0
  • Polychrome Sync RGB lighting
  • VR ready
CONS

  • Inefficient cooling mechanisms
  • Fewer expansion slots

8. ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 – Best Value Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard

The Asus Prime X299 Edition 30 is a real definition of quality over money with Wi-Fi 6, triple M.2, AI overclocking, and 16 power stages.

Prime X299 Edition 30 is a premium Thunderbolt 3 motherboard from Asus with a plethora of features compared to the other options on our list. It comes with an LGA 2066 socket, which makes it a viable option for Intel Core X-series processors.

The only downside with this mobo is that it is costly than all the featured TB3 motherboards.

The latest Intel Core X processors are very power-hungry. Asus addresses this by including 16 IR3555 power stages that provide up to 544W output. With the robust cooling mechanism, you can overclock the processor and push it to the limits to provide more power as you need.

Design

The Prime X299 Edition 30 motherboard comes in an ATX form factor with a sturdy design protect critical components such as RAM, storage, and the processor. There are several Aura RGB Strip headers and addressable Strip headers that allow you to connect LED capable components and liven your working station.

ASUS deserves a nod for its excellent and reliable cooling mechanism that allows you to push your PC to the limits without experiencing thermal throttling.

The motherboard features an actively cooled heatsink that absorbs excess heat from the processor while its 40mm fan turns on automatically after 60 degrees Celsius. Asus supplements the heat sink with 2oz-copper plates, which protect critical devices such as RAM by removing excess heat.

Features

The motherboard supports up to 256 GM of DDR4 RAM thanks to its 8 DIMM slots. With excellent tuning and optimizations, you can achieve over 4266MHz memory speeds.

The dominance of the X299 Edition 30 extends to the storage capabilities with three M.2 slots. Connect your high-speed NVMe SSDs and enjoy lightning transfer speeds with Intel Optane technology. Optane technology makes your system responsive and fast by reducing the boot and load times.

If you want to play high-end triple-A games, video editing, 3D rendering, or any other graphics-intensive task, this motherboard fits the bill.

X299 Edition 30 provides two full-speed PCIe x16 slots, which you can use to connect your GPUs. Alternatively, you can use all the three PCIe x16 slots in an x16/x16/x8 configuration.

The motherboard supports multi-way graphics if you want more graphical power. It can power up to four Nvidia or AMD GPUs using Nvidia SLI or CrossFireX for AMD.

Other excellent features in this motherboard include the new high-speed Wi-Fi 6 and Aquantia 5G Ethernet that provides five times the speeds of standard gigabit Ethernet.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 2 x DisplayPort IN
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jacks
  • 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
  • 1 x 5G LAN port

Thunderbolt 3 is accessible after updating the BIOS. The board provides a hotkey to flash the BIOS using USB drive easily.

OUR TAKE
The Asus Prime X299 Edition 30 is one of the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboards we have reviewed. While it may be pricey, it delivers value for your investment. You can use this motherboard for every need out there, from gaming to professional content creation, and other production needs.

It is a future proof board that allows you to swap and add more components as you need them. The X299 Edition 30 provides everything you may need from a high-end motherboard.

PROS

  • Great value
  • Triple M.2 slots
  • Many expansion slots
  • Reliable and fast networking with Wi-Fi 6 and 5G LAN port
  • Fast storage access with Intel Optane technology
  • Robust cooling mechanism and power design
  • AI overclocking
CONS

  • With all these features, the price is a bit high

9. ASUS Prime Z370-A II – Cheapest TB3 Motherboard

The ASUS Prime Z370-A II is the cheapest motherboard to support Thunderbolt 3.

Asus combines excellent specs, including dual M.2, a full PCIe x16 slot, immersive audio, robust cooling, and Thunderbolt 3 in an affordable price tag.

While this motherboard is Thunderbolt 3 ready, you can only access TB3 after you install a ThunderboltEX 3 Card and update the BIOS.

ASUS Prime Z370-A II ships with an LGA 1151 socket, which supports 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors. Asus use Dr. MOS and ProCool power connectors in the PSU to provide efficient power to the demanding Intel processors.

Design

Working for extended hours isn’t an issue anymore, thanks to the onboard cooling mechanisms and auto-tuning.

The Prime Z370-A II allows you to adjust your preferred cooling settings via Fan Xpert 4 or UEFI BIOS. The 5-way optimization feature provides overclocking and cooling capabilities with just a single click.

Just like the other Asus motherboards, the Prime Z370-A II boasts of excellent Aura Sync RGB lighting. You can sync the RGB lighting across Aura-Sync capable devices to light up your workspace.

Features

Prime Z370-A II ships with dual M.2 slots, which provides high transfer speeds of up to 32Gbps. The included M.2 heatsink ensures your SSD is cooler and stable at all times. With Intel Optane Memory, the PC becomes even faster and responsive.

Onboard you also get four DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 64GB memory. It is slightly lower compared to the high-end motherboards, which can support up to 256GB.

The motherboard includes three PCIe x16 expansion slots with only one capable of running at full x16 mode. Other expansion slots include four PCIe x1. The PCI Express can support up to three AMD GPUs via CrossFireX and 2-way Nvidia SLI.

Despite its lower price range, the board provides immersive audio with Crystal Sound 3. You can achieve excellent 3D surround sound with DTS Headphone.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 1 x DVI-D
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN slot
  • 1 x USB 3.1
  • 1 x USB-C
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack(s)
OUR TAKE
Buying a Thunderbolt 3 motherboard doesn’t have to be expensive. The ASUS Prime Z370-A II provides excellent specs at a considerably lower price range.

When equipped with the right components, this motherboard can take on every task you throw at it. The Prime Z370-A II may carry a lower price tag, but it provides excellent specs and features on par with the premium high-end motherboards.

PROS

  • Cheap and affordable
  • Excellent specs for an inexpensive motherboard
  • Superior cooling and optimization capabilities
  • Supports multi-way graphics
  • Best immersive audio
CONS

  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
  • Buying an external Thunderbolt 3 add-in card could be expensive
  • Only one full-speed PCIe x16

10. GIGABYTE X299 DESIGNARE EX – Best Gaming TB3 Motherboard

The X299 DESIGNARE E is the perfect Thunderbolt 3 motherboard for gaming enthusiasts.

This Thunderbolt 3 gaming motherboard features RGB Fusion, triple M.2, ultra-durable build quality, Dual Intel GbE LAN gaming network, and 3-way graphics support.

This motherboard features the LGA 2066 socket, which supports the latest Intel Core X processors. Core X-series consume a lot of power but provide the best performance, and can take on any AAA game when paired with a powerful GPU.

To provide robust power to the motherboard, the X299 DESIGNARE EX uses a digital power design with smart power stage controllers. This digital power technology results in precise power allocation to the CPU and the other components within the motherboard.

Design

Cooling is a must-have feature when planning to play demanding games for more extended periods. X299 DESIGNARE EX comes with a Smart Fan 5 utility app that lets you optimize different cooling controls to keep the system at optimal temperatures. You can even disable some fans when temperatures fall below a certain threshold using Fan Stop.

The motherboard is made from robust and study materials to protect the internal components. Onboard you’ll get a strong I/O shield armor, a rigid base plate, and strong armor to protect the RAM modules and storage.

X299 DESIGNARE EX takes RGB lighting to another level with RGB Fusion featuring digital LEDs.

You can set each LED to display the color of your choosing or select from the inbuilt lighting modes. The motherboard has multiple RGB LEDs ranging from the CPU to the memory armor, PCIe, and audio. Your imagination will decide how this gaming motherboard will look.

Features

There are three NVMe PCIe x4 M.2 slots to connect multiple high-speed SSDs. You can configure RAID arrays easily when using more than one SSD. The M.2 slots feature a reliable thermal guard to prevent overheating problems.

If you’re serious about gaming or doing high-resolution video editing, this is the right board for you. There are two full-speed PCIe x16 slots you can use to connect your high-end GPUs and remain with one PCIe x16 running at x8 and two PCIe x16 running at x4.

The motherboard supports multi-graphics technology for both Nvidia and AMD GPUs. You can connect up to four GPUs using Nvidia SLI or AMD CrossFire.

X299 DESIGNARE EX provides eight DDR4 DIMM sockets, which support up to 128GB of memory when using s 6-core processor and above. Other processors with four cores can only use four DIMM slots with a maximum of 64GB of memory.

Onboard, you also get dual Intel GbE LAN featuring cFosSpeed, which provides higher bandwidth and faster network connections. Alternatively, you can use the inbuilt Wi-Fi to connect to the internet.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x DisplayPort IN
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3
  • 4 x USB 3.1
  • 2 x RJ-45 ports
  • 2 x MMCX antenna connectors (2T2R)
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x audio jacks

The Gigabyte’s BIOS isn’t that useful compared to the ASUS BIOS. However, it recommended to update the BIOS with the latest version to unlock the full power of this motherboard.

OUR TAKE
A real gaming motherboard. With Thunderbolt 3 support, the board provides unlimited capabilities for gamers and content creators. This Thunderbolt motherboard is the best gaming picks.

With attractive RGB lighting, two PCIe x16 slots, support for up to four GPUs, triple M.2, and superb cooling features, you cannot as more from a gaming system. While it may be pricey, you get the value you deserve.

PROS

  • Stunning RGB lighting
  • Multi-graphics support
  • Great value
  • Triple M.2 slots
  • High-speed LAN and Wi-Fi
  • Robust cooling features
CONS

  • A lot of bloatware
  • Not the best BIOS

11. MSI MEG X299 Creation – MSI Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard

MSI is one of the companies that manufacture high-end motherboards. The MEG X299 Creation motherboard is one of the MSI motherboards to feature Thunderbolt 3 technology.

The board doesn’t come with inbuilt Thunderbolt 3. However, MSI uses a ThunderboltM3 add-in card to provide Tb3 features. You need to update the BIOS to access the full Thunderbolt 3 features.

It is a good board that comes with an LGA 2066 socket which accepts the latest Intel Core X-series processors. There are 13+1 phases of digital power to provide precise voltage to the processor and other power-hungry components, including the DDR4.

The digital power design supports multiple cores and overclocking capabilities. A triple 8 Pin PSU provides an adequate power supply to run the multi-core processor. In terms of performance, this motherboard is on a par with the other premium Thunderbolt 3 motherboards.

Design

MSI uses a sturdy steel armor and shields to protect the DDR4, PCI Express slots, and I/O input shield. The motherboard can withstand intense usage without a dip in performance resulting from overheating or throttling.

Onboard there is a Mystic Light Extension that supports RGB and Rainbow LED strip to liven your games. Choose from16.8 million colors or 29 effects to light up your system with stunning colors.

Features

MEG X299 Creation ships with four PCIe x16 and a single PCIe x1 for all your expansion cards. The motherboard supports multi-GPU set up. You connect up to four GPUs with 4-way Nvidia SLI or 4-way AMD Crossfire.

You can use this board for every graphics-intensive tasks, including professional content creation, 3D rendering, VR, and playing high-end games when using the right GPU.

MSI meets your storage needs with triple M.2 slots with an M.2 shield to protect your SSDs from throttling and overheating. The eight DIMM slots provide enough expansion slots to connect your RAM modules.

The motherboard provides immersive audio and robust connectivity with Gigabit Ethernet. You can copy large video files using the high-speed LAN or use the onboard Wi-Fi.

External Connectivity Slots

  • 7 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 1 x PS/2 port
  • 1 x Intel Gigabit LAN
  • 5 x Audio slot(s)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Antenna
OUR TAKE
MEG X299 Creation is an excellent Thunderbolt 3 motherboard with excellent specs for gamers, designers, and professional video editors.

The board provides a robust power supply with a cooling mechanism to sustain the power-hungry processors and other components. MSI delivers a Thunderbolt 3 add-in card to bring the revolutionary tech into this motherboard. The board provides excellent value for your money.

PROS

  • Support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Reliable power design
  • Multi-GPU support
  • Stunning RGB lighting
  • Triple M.2 slots with M.2 shields
CONS

  • Must use a Thunderbolt 3 add-in card to utilize the functionality

Bottom Line

Selecting the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboard depends on your specific needs. Which CPU do you intend to use? Do you want to utilize a multi-GPU set up? Such questions will help you select the ideal motherboard for you.

All the featured motherboards support Thunderbolt 3. We have tried to include every pick for different situations, from budget to premium high-end motherboards. Select the best option and build the best PC that meets your needs.

Categories: Reviews