If you are going to build a powerful SFF gaming PC, finding a competitive mATX motherboard is critical. A motherboard is a central hub that connects all your PC components; therefore, it is crucial to find one that can easily interface and connect all your PC components. While looking for a small form factor motherboard like mATX, you need to be extra investigative since they lack some critical features as a trade-off of their small form factor.
In addition to aesthetics, build quality, and value, you need to consider other features like thermal performance, the number of SATA connectors, and RAM support. We have got you covered if you are looking for the best Micro ATX motherboard for gaming. After testing various options available on the market, we have reviewed the four best that stood out for quality and performance.
Four Best Micro ATX Motherboards For Gaming
1. MSI B450M Gaming Plus – Best Micro ATX Gaming Motherboard
MSI B450M Gaming Plus is an attractive choice for PC builders for its competitive price and powerful price. It is a simple Micro ATX Motherboard formed on the standard MSI black and Red theme. You won’t get any LEDs or design additions, but it offers a decent look overall. B450M gaming Plus comes with a single full-length PCIe 3.0×16 slot and two PCIe 2.0×1 slots. Since it can run a full-length PCIe interface, you can expect improved gaming performance and faster data transfer.
Although MSI used some outdated cards to make it affordable, they have managed its overclocking potential by adding A4 sockets. The A4 sockets make the motherboard exceptionally versatile, allowing you to add all your favorite gaming expansion to the motherboard. Additionally, it comes with DDR4-3466 memory slots with total support of 32 GB.
Additionally, it comes with a 24-Pin ATX power connection providing a total supply of around 8X 12V input supply for the CPU. Also, it has a dedicated heat sink coverage for CPU, which is lacking since its other version, B450, offers a wider heatsink coverage. Moreover, it has a three-fan set from which one is dedicated for CPU, and the other two are specified as case fans.
Remember, these case coolers require a lot of space, and many users complained about the after-purchase space constraints. Therefore, it is advised to ensure it easily fits with all other internal components. Another flaw of MSI B459 Gaming Plus is its lacking network capabilities. It only supports WiFi 802.11ac, limiting its network connections.
- Excellent build quality
- A4 sockets for impressive overclocking
- Support PCIe 3.0 interface
- 24-pin ATX power connector
- Affordable price
- Serious space constraints
- Limiting network connectivity
If you are looking to build a powerful gaming PC under a competitive budget, consider this option by MSI. It is a fully-featured, high-performance motherboard with excellent overclocking capabilities making it an excellent gaming motherboard in Micro ATX form factor.
2. ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS – Best Budget Micro ATX Motherboard
ASUS is one of the top picks of the small form factor PC builders for many good reasons. ASUS Micro ATX motherboards are known for their high-performance features and attractive designs, and TUF B550M-Plus is no exception. The most standout part of this ASUS gaming motherboard is its impressive power consumption.
It comes with 8+2 power lines comprising only 10 phases. The efficient power consumption results in less heat production and less energy wastage for cooling mechanisms—Additionally, it uses the industry’s premium Aluminum VRM and chipset heatsinks. Moreover, it boasts one of the most advanced network capabilities and comes with an interface WiFi 6, eliminating the need to add WiFi expansion cards. For an unmatched gaming experience, this motherboard comes packed with a SupremeFX S1220A codec.
The high quality and noise-free audio output enhance the user’s experience in high-end gaming. Plus, if you are interested in FPS gaming, this motherboard has the best solution for you. It has a 2.5 LAN Port with LAN Guard, making it an excellent choice for web browsing and FPS gaming. Additionally, it has plenty of port availability and doesn’t limit your options in any way. You will get HDMI 2.1 support, PCIe 4.0×4, M.2 slots interface for SSD NVMe, USB 3.2 Gen 1, and Gen2 USB Type-C connectors.
It’s one of the finest gaming motherboards in Micro ATX form factor, except for some minor issues. It has some serious overclocking issues that may lead to overvoltage and high thermal issues resulting in the burning of internal components. Additionally, Bluetooth doesn’t work with the outdated Windows 10 version and requires regular updates for proper functionality.
- SupremeFX 1220A codec
- Plenty of ports and slots
- Impressive power consumption
- Aluminum VRM and Chipset Heatsinks
- WiFi 6 right out of the box
- Minor overclocking issues
- Issues with Bluetooth connectivity
ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus combines excellent build quality with efficient power consumption and premium heatsinks, making it an excellent choice for high-end gamers. If you want to build a high-performance gaming PC at a competitive price, this is one of the best Micro ATX motherboards for gaming.
3. Gigabyte B550M DS3H – Best Micro ATX Motherboard For Gaming
Gigabyte B550M DS3H is another budget-friendly gaming motherboard in Micro ATX form factor. It is an excellent option for mid-range CPU and comes with 5+3 power lines with 8 phases in total. This power supply easily supports some medium-grade PCs with efficient power consumption and a moderate level of overclocking. It comes with an AM4 CPU socket making it a versatile option and allowing you to add a maximum of your gaming accessories to the board.
Plus, you would get an impressive memory with DDR4 slots supporting upto 128 GB. With a memory speed of 3600 MHz, it guarantees fast data transfer for light to medium duty gaming and other computation tasks. Additionally, we loved its smooth and soothing audio output. The motherboard is equipped with Realtek 7.1 Audio Codec that delivers high-end audio output making the motherboard ideal for gaming.
Despite being an affordable option, this motherboard has an impressive set of ports and slots. You will get PCIe 4.0 Ready x16 slots, six USB 3.2 ports, and one 1G ethernet port making it one of the most versatile options in this price range. If we talk about its downsides, there are few to mention. The biggest flaw we faced right out of the box was missing WiFi connectivity. Also, it doesn’t come with RGB lighting, which might be a serious concern for gaming enthusiasts.
- Realtek 7.1 Audio Codec
- Packed with multiple ports
- DDR4 with support of upto 128 GB
- Best for light to medium end gaming
- Impressive price to performance ratio
- No WiFi connectivity
- No RGB headers
Gigabyte B550M DS3H is packed with plenty of high-performance features and gives you the best value for money. If you want to build a highly competitive SFF PC for light gaming and regular use without breaking the bank, this Micro ATX motherboard by Gigabyte is the ultimate choice.
4. ASRock B450M Steel Legend – Top Micro Atx Motherboard
Next on our list is the ASROCK B450M steel legend that is an excellent choice if you are going to build a PC with Ryzen CPU. The feature that stands out most about this motherboard is its build quality. It features a high-density glass fabric PCB with a 2oZ copper plate, making it one of the most rugged mATX motherboards on the market. It offers Electric spike protection for USB, Audio, and ethernet ports to make it even more reliable.
Additionally, it comes with an AM4 socket for CPU capable of supporting all your gaming and everyday needs. It boasts four DDR4 slots with total memory support of upto 64 GB. This RAM capacity is sufficient for light to medium duty gaming and everyday use. However, if you are interested in SSF gaming or web development, it may not be a perfect fit for you. The memory speed is 3200 MHz making it highly capable for low to medium duty gaming.
The motherboard has 4+2 power lines giving you a 6 phase power design that may not be attractive for some high-end users but is a perfect choice if you want to build a PC with medium-range Ryzen CPUs. Additionally, it comes with a 1G ethernet port as the only network connectivity option and lacks WiFi connectivity, probably its biggest downside.
Another impressive feature of ASRock B550M is the Realtek ALC892 codec. It delivers an immersive sound experience taking your gaming experience to a whole new level. Like all other ASRock motherboards, this one also comes with comprehensive software support like Polychrome and App shop, making it even more valuable.
- Impressive build quality
- Electric Spike Protection
- Immerisve sound with Realtek ALC892
- Comprehensive ASRock software support
- Competitive price
- No WiFi support
- Limited Power
ASRock B450M Steel Legend, with the unmatched build quality and best brand name value, is one of the best Micro ATX motherboards for gaming. If you want to build an SFF gaming PC with a mid-range Ryzen CPU, this motherboard by ASRock is an excellent choice.
Finding a small form factor motherboard with maximum features is quite challenging. It is because many motherboard manufacturers subtract some key features while manufacturing small form factor motherboards due to their smaller size. In such a case, it is essential to know some key motherboard features that you cannot overlook in any situation. If you wonder how to choose the best Micro ATX motherboard for gaming, give a read to this buying guide.
RAM capacity is one of the critical factors every gamer should consider while buying a small form factor motherboard. To build a competitive gaming PC for contemporary environments, you must look for a motherboard with at least four DIMM slots. A high-end gamer requires memory support of at least 132 GB.
However, some of the microATX motherboards come with 64 GB support, which works well for casual gaming and everyday use. Frequency or memory speed is another major concern. DDR5 or compatible DIMM slots are the most advanced option offering the fastest data speed. However, if you are on a budget, you may stick to the DDR4 or DDR3.
The number of SATA ports and connectors is essential for any motherboard. However, you can not expect more SATA connections on the micro ATX form factor. You must look for at least four of them for average gaming performance. However, depending upon your budget, you can have motherboards offering 6-8 SATA connectors for maximum functionality and versatility. Additionally, it is advised to look for SATA 3 connectors since they are more reliable and faster than outdated SATA 2 connectors.
Heatsinks And VRMs
Thermal performance and power consumption are crucial factors that directly impact your PC’s performance. Voltage Regulating Modules are responsible for power consumption efficiency and better thermal performance. This automatically leads to improved overclocking and a performance boost. Also, reliable and high-quality heat sinks dissipate the heat well and create favorable conditions for overclocking, giving you an impressive performance boost.
If you have a sufficient number of heatsink and VRMs present on the motherboard, you can expect reliable performance for light to medium-duty use. If you don’t have any budget constraints, you may look for premium options like temperature readout panels and onboard chipset fans.
Finally, it is recommended to see if a motherboard has sufficient ports for your input and output peripherals. Regardless of your budget, you must look for a motherboard with an adequate number of internal and external ports to accommodate all your peripherals. USB-C type support is another critical feature, and you must look for it since it supports fast data transfers and helps you compete in contemporary gaming environments.
Is a micro ATX motherboard good for gaming?
Yes, Micro ATX motherboards are good for gaming since they let you build a competitive gaming PC under a limited budget. While buying an mATX motherboard for gaming, it is advised to check if it interfaces all your PC components or not.
Is B450M micro ATX?
Yes, MSI B450M Gaming Plus is a micro ATX motherboard. It comes with an AM4 socket, plenty of ports, and boasts a reliable thermal performance making it an excellent option for gaming PC. Also, it is a competitively priced option allowing you to build your SFF gaming PC under a tight budget.
We are hopeful that this review and buying guide will help you choose the best Micro ATX motherboard for gaming. In order to make a safe and future-proof investment, it is advised to calculate your needs first and prioritize the features accordingly. Our favorite Micro ATX motherboard on the list is:
- ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS for its premium build quality, AlluminiumVRM and chipset heatsinks, plenty of ports, and WiFi 6 connectivity.
Since ATX motherboards are too standard in PCs these days, it is pretty challenging to find an mATX form factor motherboard that supports all your PC needs and delivers reliable performance. To make a future-proof investment, it is advised to look for maximum RAM support, the maximum number of SATA 3 connectors, sufficient I/O support, and reliable thermal performance.