Motherboards are easily one of the most important components of a gaming PC because they house both the CPU and the GPU, but they’re also one of the most confusing parts of a PC. Not only is it confusing for a beginner to try and figure out what motherboard will work with their CPU, but it’s also hard to tell whether a motherboard is good or not.
What makes this even more critical would have to be the fact that getting a bad motherboard can damage your other components wasting hundreds of dollars. Rather than have you go through all that, I’ve decided to put together a list of the best cheap gaming motherboards that will allow you to game on a budget.
Just so you know, all of the motherboards on this list are under 100 dollars. If you’re trying to make a budget gaming PC build then you really can’t go wrong with checking out my $350 cheap gaming pc build.
Some of you may not know, but depending on your CPU, you might need a certain type of motherboard either Intel or AMD. This list takes that into account by dividing them into two parts. If this at all confusing, please leave a comment below and I’ll get right to you.
BEST CHEAP INTEL GAMING MOTHERBOARDS
Important! Make sure that your CPU and RAM are compatible with the motherboard before buying. I’ve included all the details you’ll need, but if you’re still confused feel free to leave a comment below.
Intel motherboards are all pretty expensive, so if you do go this route be prepared to go with a micro ATX motherboard. In general, they are fine and can do most things a full motherboard can do, but they do limit upgrade options in the future. If you want to go dual graphics cards in the future, check out the AMD section.
Gigabyte LGA 1150 Intel H81 GA-H81M-HD3Check The Intel H81 GA-H81M-HD3’s Price On Amazon
CPU Socket Type: LGA1150
Motherboard Type: Micro
If you’re looking for a motherboard that does it all for an affordable price, then the Gigabyte GA-H81M-HD3 can’t be beaten. This motherboard supports up to 16 GB’s of DDR3 RAM (more than enough for any game out there) with two slots available. You also get two SATA 2 and SATA 3 ports which is something to think about.
On top of all of those features, this CPU is also USB 3.0 compatible which is ideal for anyone who uses their desktop as a central hub for all their other devices. This will allow you to more efficiently use USB 3.0 device and allow for a snappier experience. You end up getting 6 3.0’s and 6 2.0’s allowing for more than enough USB Ports.
Even though I love this motherboard, I do have a few issues with it. My first issue with this motherboard would have to be the fact that it doesn’t support SLI (Two Cards), but considering the price and the size of this motherboard that’s something you’re going to have to accept. The other issue would be the fact that if that this motherboard has few options that will help improve someone’s experience when trying to overclock their CPU.
So if you’re looking for a motherboard for overclocking or SLI, then stay away from this, but for the rest of us, this motherboard will do just fine for gaming
Overall, there is little to complain about when it comes to the GA-H81M-HD3, as you will be getting a very affordable motherboard that also brings with it features that are unseen with any other motherboards in its price range. If you’re looking for a gaming motherboard for around $50, then this would be my go-to pick.
MSI LGA 1151 Micro ATX Motherboard H110MCheck The MSI H110M’s Price On Amazon
CPU Socket Type: LGA1151
Motherboard Type: Micro
If you’re looking for a motherboard that’s made for gaming at a decent price, then this MSI motherboard is a good choice. If you don’t know, MSI makes some of the best gaming computer components that you can get and at this price range, this motherboard is my top pick for anyone who needs an LGA 1151 motherboard.
With the MSI H110 gaming motherboard, you’ll be getting a lot of features, but to save time I’ll just list the most important ones. You get 4 SATA 3 cables (Amazing!) and also two RAM slots with a maximum of up to 32 GB’s (Way overkill). For a micro ATX motherboard, you get fantastic features, especially when you consider the very affordable price which alone would qualify it for this list, but that’s not even my main reason for including the H110.
One of the main reasons why I love MSI motherboards is because of their BIOS. Unlike other BIOS’s which are very general, MSI specifically tailors their BIOS for gamers. This allows you to customize your gaming experience with ease and check how hot your PC is running.
If you’re going to be doing any overclocking, then this motherboard is downright essential. With the amazing BIOS, you will be able to overclock with ease. Turning a confusing process into something that can be done in a matter of seconds.
My only issue H110 is that there are no USB 3.0s, but considering all the other features and the excellent BIOS it’s something that I can easily ignore. There’s also no SLI, but considering that this is a micro motherboard that’s to be expected.
So if you’re looking for an LGA 1151 motherboard specifically tailored to maximize your gaming experience, then the MSI H110 is an excellent choice.
ASUS H110M-A D3 DDR3 Micro Atx MotherboardCheck The Asus H110M-A’s Price On Amazon
CPU Socket Type: LGA1151
Motherboard Type: Micro
If you’re looking for an LGA1151 motherboard that won’t break the bank, but will get the job done, then the ASUS H110M-A is something that you should check out.
While the MSI Motherboard focuses on gaming features such as overclocking, I would say that the Asus H110M-A is a more well-rounded motherboard for general use.
One thing the ASUS H110M-A gets right would have to be the amazing fan technology that allows for cooling and a silent gaming experience.
While the MSI’s BIOS is miles ahead of this ASUS motherboard, I still have to give them props for having a good BIOS that provides many options. Even if you do end up going with the H110M, you will still be getting solid software that’s more than worth the money.
One of the most surprising things that the H110M brings to the table would have to be its incredible sound. This high-quality sound is due to its onboard sound card being vastly superior to its competition.
My only issue with this motherboard would have to be that it’s just very small. I mean sure, it’s a Micro ATX, but even among other Micro motherboards this thing is small and fitting a big GPU on it will make this CPU feel cramped. This motherboard also doesn’t allow SLI, but considering the price and type of motherboard that’s to be expected.
When it comes down to it, the H110 is a very solid motherboard that is worth a good deal more than it’s currently selling for in 2016. If you are looking for a good motherboard with a lot of unique features for an affordable price, then It’s very easy for me to recommend the ASUS H110M-A.
BEST CHEAP AMD GAMING MOTHERBOARDS
When it comes to AMD, I’d say that in general their motherboards are much more affordable than their intel counterparts. Due to that, you’ll see a lot more Full AMD ATX motherboards that support crossfire (Dual AMD graphics cards). So if you’re trying to stay on a budget but would like to the ability to upgrade in the future you should definitely consider going AMD.
Gigabyte AMD FM2+ GA-F2A68HM-H MotherboardCheck The Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H’s Price On Amazon
CPU Socket Type: FM2+
Motherboard Type: Micro
If you’re looking for an FM2+ motherboard, I’d suggest getting the Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-H. Not only is it very affordable, but it also comes with so many features at such a reasonable price that I can’t but recommend it.
You get two RAM slots which are more than enough for this type of motherboard. You also get 4 SATA 3 cables which are a great value considering the incredible performance they offer and 2 USB 3.0’s and 8 USB 2.0’s! When you add all of this up, you get a lot for your dollar making this my go to just on specs alone.
I can’t think of any major cons considering that this is an FM2+ motherboard so you really shouldn’t be expecting crossfire or anything like that.
When making a cheap gaming PC build, this FM2+ motherboard is an excellent edition. It provides many features for a very affordable price. Honestly, this is the only FM2+ that you’ll ever need and if that doesn’t make you want to pick up this motherboard; then I don’t know what will.
If you’re planning on getting an FM2+ motherboard, but don’t know what APU you are going with just yet, check out my best AMD APU for gaming post. It will help you find a good APU to make use of this great FM2+ motherboard.
Gigabyte AM3+ AMD GA-78LMT-S2 MotherboardCheck The Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2’s Price On Amazon
CPU Socket Type: AM3+
Motherboard Type: Micro
If you’re looking for a cheap, but good micro AMD AM3+ motherboard you really can’t go wrong with the Gigabyte GA-78LMT. At first glance, this motherboard might not seem like the best buy considering that it’s a Micro ATX AMD motherboard, but there are a good amount of things this motherboard does right.
One of the major pros of this Gigabyte motherboard would have to be its 6 SATA cables. This is as much as most full sized motherboards which will allow you to have a vast amount of space that most other micro MOBO’s can only dream of.
You also get two RAM slots going up to 16 GB’s in total. This might seem like it’s not enough, but 16 GB’s is overkill for anything that’s out right now and appears to be more than sufficient for anything that is going to come out in the future for years to come.
The only major con is the fact that this Gigabyte motherboard does not have any USB 3.0s. While this might be minor to some, I know it can also be a deal breaker for others.
While there’s nothing spectacular about this motherboard, it does everything pretty well, and unless you’re expecting Crossfire USB 3.0s, you’ll be just fine with it.
ASUS M5A97 AMD ATX MotherboardCheck The Asus M5A97’s Price On Amazon
CPU Socket Type: AMD AM3+
Motherboard Type: Full ATX Motherboard
If you’re looking for an AMD Full ATX Motherboard for around $70 (This is a steal!), then I would recommend the ASUS M5A97.
Another boon for a full motherboard is the fact that instead of just having two RAM slots you can have four slots. This will give you much more freedom and can allow you to have more RAM sticks which in turn means more efficient performance.
You also get two USB 3.0’s which is not bad considering all the other things that come with this motherboard. Even though the number of USB 3.0s is small, they boot insanely fast up to 150% due to better transmissions. The thing that makes up for the low USB 3.0 Count is the fact that this motherboard offers SIX SATA Cables! This will allow you to plug up hard drives all the way to SSD’s. That’s another reason I feel this motherboard is perfect for someone who plans on upgrading in the future.
One neat feature that I like about this motherboard is the bandwidth tools that it has. If you’re on a budget like me, a tool like this can be invaluable and help you manage how much data you’re using.
The only con of this motherboard would be the fact that it only has 2 USB 3.0 ports, but you will still be getting 6 2.0 ports. For most people (me as well) this isn’t that bit of a deal, but I can see how this could be a con for others.
The biggest pro of this motherboard is the fact that it’s a full motherboard that will grant you a much better upgrade path than going with a smaller more compact micro motherboard. If you plan on using two graphics cards or want to have much more RAM space and SATA ports, this is worth the asking price.
If you do have any questions about these motherboards and whether or not they’re compatible with your other PC components, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to them as soon as I have the chance.
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