Best LGA 1151 Motherboards – 2021 Review

Austin
| Last Updated: June 8, 2021

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If your PC runs efficiently, you probably have no reason to upgrade. However, if you're into gaming or running large applications, then upgrading your PC every few years is a necessity to keep up with the demands of new software.

If you want to take advantage of the 8th and 9th gen Intel processors, then you need a motherboard that supports the LGA 1151 socket.

There are several LGA 1151 motherboards, as is the case with all sockets. In this article, we will review the best LGA 1151 motherboards for gaming and other heavy applications.

Comparison of the Best LGA 1151 Motherboards

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Featuring an ATX-form factor for more speed
  • Highlighted by a RGB lighting system of 16.8mil/colors
  • Spectacular audio quality with Nahimic 3
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  • Suitable for working with 3D printers
  • Offering an energy efficient cooling system
  • Highlighted by an attractive cyber outlook design
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  • Best LGA 1151 Motherboard for the Money
  • PCI-E steel armor for optimal hold
  • Featuring a core boost technology
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  • Best LGA 1151 Motherboard For Gaming
  • Direct touch heat pipe for efficient thermal control
  • With a reliable microphone and WIMA audio capacitors
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  • Best Asus LGA 1151 Motherboard
  • Highlighted by a 3 year limited warranty
  • Enhanced bandwidth and stability with PTP links
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Why Did These LGA 1151 Motherboards Make Our List?

All the motherboards on this list have an LGA1151 socket, however, the best LGA 1151 motherboards possess unique features that make them stand out to create a powerful gaming PC.

PCIe Lane Support

The motherboards on the list have multiple PCIe x16 slots (slots with 16 lanes). PCIe lanes are important since each PCIe device requires a minimum number of lanes. High-end graphics cards require a PCIex16. 

Overall, you want to make sure you have an available PCIe slot for every graphics card, RAID, or SSD (solid-state drive) you plan to use. Our exclusive list features motherboards with more PCIe lanes for greater customization and upgrades potential.

Photo credit: SegmentNext.com

Form Factor

The size of motherboards is also important in determining the number of expansion slots. Our list is dominated by the ATX motherboard form factor, which is the largest at 12 x 9.6 inches. We also have included a micro ATX motherboard and mini ITX, which offer less expandability.

Voltage Regulator Module (VRM)

The Voltage Regulator Module the motherboard uses and the Phase Power Design greatly differentiate their quality. Our list features motherboards with larger VRM which allows for greater voltage regulation. They are of better quality and perform well when overclocking.

Review of the Best LGA 1151 Motherboards

Let's take a look at this year's top picks.

Best Overall:
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 DDR4 HDMI DP Wi-Fi SLI CFX ATX Z390 Gaming Motherboard

PROS

  • Easy access due to front 3.1 Gen 2 Type C USB
  • Supports dual-channel DDR4 RAM up to 4400MHz
  • Intel wireless and Bluetooth for multiple connectivity options
  • 16.8 million colors/29 effects that offer a variety of aesthetic appeals
  • Built for high-performance gaming with extended heatsink and ready ATX form factor

CONS

  • Turning the RGB light off takes time
  • Does not install drivers automatically with Windows 10

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers love the fact that the BIOS is super clean and easy to navigate. It is a quality motherboard with plenty of plugins. Moreover, the Ethernet and Wi-Fi work right out of the box. Overall, the board feels sturdy while the lighting has a nice subtle feeling. It also comes with a manual that describes all plugins.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Z390 motherboard features a heatsink on top of the VRM for excellent heat dissipation. The board also offers lightning-fast system boot up, faster data transfer, and quick application load times. You can even customize it with suitable color schemes to match your style. There is a complex audio boost due to a dedicated amplifier, audio processor, and high-quality audio capacitors.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a top-notch MSI motherboard with Intel LAN, display ports, PCIe steel armor, extended heatsink, and more. It is an excellent gaming motherboard that outperforms and outsmarts most boards with a wide array of Micro-Star International, MSI GAMING tools.

Runner-up:
ASUS ROG Strix H370-F Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix H370-F Gaming LGA1151 (Intel 8th Gen) DDR4 DP HDMI DVI M.2 H370 ATX Motherboard with USB 3.1 Gen2

PROS

  • Improved memory stability and performance
  • Two M.2 slots for maximum storage flexibility
  • Offers a full RGB lighting control with a variety of preset functions
  • Dynamic system cooling due to Fan Xpert 4 with GPU temperature sensing
  • Integrated heatsink with a huge cooling surface for enhanced heat management

CONS

  • Does not come with SATA cables
  • A little pricey compared to competitors

What Recent Buyers Report

If you don't need the whistles and overclocking bells, most buyers label this a decent motherboard. It is extremely fast and delivers great audio. The motherboard is super easy to set up with all connectors marked and an easy-to-follow instruction manual. It is an excellent motherboard for anyone looking to build a gaming PC.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ASUS motherboard is stylish and comes with outstanding features. There is excellent internal and external connectivity. Some of the features include an HDMI port, USB 3.1 ports, two M.2 slots, six SATA 3 ports, and much more. This board is fabulous for gamers with fast speeds and connectivity. Besides, the board features a pretty simple BIOS with easy navigation. It also features 4 pin RGB headers for easy syncing to complete the case lighting.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Asus Rog Strix H370-F is a reliable system board with ample space for everything you need to build your PC. There are plenty of ports and slots and enough space for upgrades. The board also gives you a dedicated header to use with an All In One, AIO pump for water cooling.

Best LGA 1151 Motherboard for the Money:
MSI Z390-A PRO

MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 DDR4 HDMI DP CFX Dual Gigabit LAN ATX Z390 Gaming Motherboard

PROS

  • Has a versatile design that fits any PC
  • Super stable, reliable, and long-lasting top-notch performance
  • Starts programs faster and loads data faster hence saves users time
  • Nice and solid build quality that lasts users for a long time
  • Lots of overclocking features for customizations on speed

CONS

  • Poorly marked connections on the MOBO
  • Poor installation instructions that are difficult to follow

What Recent Buyers Report

Although some users note that this motherboard comes with installation instructions that are difficult to interpret and follow, most buyers observe that once you are done with the process, it works smoothly and quickly. They love that the motherboard is compatible with Windows 10 64-bit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Z390 motherboard stands out to us because of its excellent DDR4 RAM, up to 4400MHz. It is a turbo M.2 PCIe Gen 3x4 interface that maximizes performance. This is a board built for reliable operation with a core boost 8+4 CPU power connector. The operating system also supports Windows 10 64-bit. It also features Intel turbo USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller and turbo USB for stable and uninterrupted connections. Everything about this board works great with a very minimal setup once you install it successfully.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is an excellent motherboard with tons of features suitable for both experts and beginners. It is lightning-fast and features USB 3.1 ports, mystic RGB headers, and lots of headers. This is a great motherboard for the price with a solid build and exciting features.

Best LGA 1151 Motherboard For Gaming:
GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Ultra

GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS ULTRA (Intel LGA1151/Z390/ATX/3xM.2 Thermal Guard/Onboard AC Wi-Fi/RGB Fusion/Gaming Motherboard)

PROS

  • Excellent heat dissipation due to advanced thermal design with direct touch heat pipe
  • Ultra-durable materials hence long-lasting
  • Ultra-fast Wi-Fi thus enables gigabit wireless performance
  • Complete control over the LEDs due to redesigned RGB Fusion application and full RGB support
  • Stronger foundation to build gaming systems due to PCIe armor and memory armor

CONS

  • Windows 10 updates usually affect the Realtek drivers
  • Covers the RGB logo and plugs scratch easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers call this an excellent board with great aesthetics. They agree that overclocking is easy and stable while the M.2 slots are a big plus. It is a solid and well-built board with lots of features that match the price. They love the 9 USB ports, integrated heat sinks, and two USB connectors. They call it a simple yet high-end board that will meet most user needs.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Running a 9700K on this board will clock 5.0 GHz on every core, making it an extremely powerful choice. This is a reliable board with an easy and self-explanatory design. It is pretty easy to set up, with the RGB Fusion working just fine. The board has an excellent power delivery for most CPUs and thus makes overclocking fairly easy. This, coupled with M.2 slots helps reduce clutter inside your case. It also has a great heatsink and heat pipe that help keep the VRM cool.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is an outstanding motherboard with the latest VRM allowing CPUs to run cooler. It is a great choice for overclocking and meets most user needs. The board features a solid build and guarantees long-lasting use.

Best ASUS LGA 1151 Motherboard:
ASUS STRIX Z390-E Gaming

ASUS 90MB0YF0-M0EAY1 Motherboard, ASUS STRIX Z390-E Gaming, Intel Z390, RoG - Sockel 115 Black

PROS

  • 64GB dual DDR4-SDRAM for plenty of memory and space
  • Large ATX form factor that accommodates more ports
  • Utilizes point-to-point links hence improved performances
  • Easy to install and setup so you won't waste your time
  • Excellent connectivity due to multiple port choices for easier access to peripheral connections

CONS

  • A little overpriced and unsuitable for users on a budget
  • Requires BIOS update for the latest version

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers have a lot of positives to report on this motherboard. They love the presence of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 and two M.2 slots. It is a high-quality motherboard with a simple and easy setup. However, they suggest that you check the minimum required BIOS for your CPU already installed. The motherboard overclocks easily and offers excellent DDR4 storage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This motherboard is outstanding in so many ways. First, it features the latest Intel Z390 chipset and the ATX form factor. It is a top-notch quality system board with a 64GB dual DDR4-SDRAM to meet most of your gaming needs. It ensures faster data transfer speeds and enough storage even for large files. There is an enhanced built-in Artificial Intelligence overclocking software that makes overclocking much quicker.

Bottom Line

The ASUS STRIX meets most gaming user needs with moderate power consumption. The motherboard comes with Wi-Fi and supports overclocking pretty fast. It remains extremely stable at high overclock settings.

What Does a Motherboard Do?

In simple terms, a motherboard is the spine of your PC. The motherboard links the different components in your computer. Below are some of the top uses of a motherboard:

Contains the Socket

This is where one or more processors are attached.

Slots for Peripheral Cards

The motherboard provides PCIe slots to attach various peripheral cards like sound cards, networking cards, and video cards. These slots allow for more connectivity options with external devices.

Holds Read-Only Memory (ROM)

The motherboard holds ROM, which is the permanent memory used by BIOS. The bit of memory in ROM does not get erased even when the computer shuts down. The ROM contains instructions that tell the computer what to do when turned on.

Photo credit: RockPaperShotgun.com

Holds Active Memory

It also holds RAM that the machine uses to run various software.

Features a Clock Generator

Lastly, the motherboard has a clock generator, which is an electronic metronome. The computer uses the generator to synchronize various operations.

Perks of Getting a New Motherboard

Are you getting confused about whether or not you should upgrade to a new motherboard? Below, we discuss some top benefits of investing in a new and quality motherboard.

Faster CPU

Just upgrading your CPU to a better model in the same series will bring minimal changes. However, there are massive gains when you install a next-gen processor. To do this, you need a motherboard that supports the new processor socket.

Faster Data Transfer

When you upgrade to a new motherboard, you also get the latest USB and SATA port upgrades. This automatically leads to faster data transfer speeds. If your motherboard has USB 3.0, then you can enjoy faster data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps.

Faster RAM

Making a jump from DDR3 RAM to DDR4 RAM is possible with an upgrade on your motherboard and CPU.

Better Graphics Cards

A new motherboard of higher quality will bring you better graphics. You will enjoy faster running games with minimal lag. Gamers can also enjoy increased in-game settings.

Photo credit: DashTech.org

Are All LGA 1151 Sockets The Same?

An LGA 1151 socket is also called socket H4. There are two different versions of the LGA 1151 sockets. The first version supports Kaby Lake and Skylake CPUs, while the second supports Coffee Lake CPUs. There is no official Intel naming of the chipsets. 

LGA 1151 V1 is the socket for the 6th and 7th generation chips of 100 and 200 series chipsets.

LGA 1151 V2 works with the 300 series chipsets in the 8th and 9th generation. This works for B360, Z390, Z370, and H310 chipsets.

Although the sockets are the same, these two versions are not cross-compatible. You cannot run 6th and 7th generation chips on a 300 series.

Photo credit: WccfTech.com

How to Install a LGA 1151 Core Into a Motherboard

Now that you've bought your Intel LGA 1151 core, it is time to install it on a motherboard. The following are the steps to follow to install the socket.

Lift the Processor Cage

All Intel processors feature a cage covering which must be lifted. The same applies to the new motherboard with a plastic cover. The cover should unclip easily and be removed out of the way to expose the socket. Make sure you don't touch any pins inside the socket or bend them.

Install the Processor

The processor features two cut-out notches on the sides that should match with the ridges in the socket. The cut-outs ensure the processor is installed the right way. Go ahead and line up the processor, sitting it gently in place. The processor should fit tightly without forcing. If it doesn't, then you've lined it up incorrectly.

Close the Cover

Once the processor is installed, close the cover and latch it tightly with a little force. You can attach the plastic cover or store it somewhere safe. The plastic cover is needed by manufacturers just in case you ever send it in for repair. You can fix the cover or store it in the motherboard box for future use.

Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview.

LGA 1151 Motherboard Types

There are different variations of the LGA 1151 motherboards. The different LGA 1151 motherboard types refer to the number of pins found on the socket and the CPU. Below are the different LGA 1151 motherboard types:

LGA 1151 Revision 1 100 and 200 Series

The first variation is revision 1, which includes series 100 and 200. Under this category, we have the following motherboards for 100 series: H110, B150, Q150, H170, C236, Q170, and Z170.

For the 200 series, we have the B250, Q250, H270, Q270, and Z270.

LGA Revision 2 C240 Series and 300 Series

LGA 1151 Revision 2 300 Series and C240 Series for the Coffee Lake CPUs which are the 8th and 9th generation processors. They include the H310, B365, B360, H370, C246, Q370, Z370, and Z390.

While the physical dimensions in the 300 series remain unchanged from the 100 and 200 series, new sockets feature some reserved pins. The extra pins add more power and ground line supporting 6 and 8 core CPUs.

How Do LGA 1151 Motherboards Compare?

The major difference between LGA motherboards is the number of pins. Let's compare and contrast the various motherboards below.

1155 vs 1151

The major differences and similarities between these two sockets can be described under the following categories:

Photo credit: MiniTipsX.com

Number of Pins: LGA 1151 socket offers 1151 pins for creating contact while LGA 1155 offers 1155 pins.

Memory Support: LGA 1151 socket supports DDR4, DDR3, and DDR3L while LGA 1155 supports only DDR3.

Processor: LGA 1151 supports SkyLake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake Processors. The LGA 1155 supports Broadwell, Haswell, and Haswell-WS.

Chipset Compatibility: LGA 1151 supports the 100, 200, and 300 series while the LGA 1155 supports the 8 and 9 series of Intel chipsets.

LGA 2066 vs 1151

The LGA 2066 has 2066 pins for creating contact while the LGA 1151 has 1151 pins. The socket was designed for high-end desktop users and workstation platforms. LGA 2066 replaced the LGA 2011 and offers memory support of 2 x DDR4-2666 up to 64 GB. The LGA 2066 socket is based on the X299 and C422 chipsets.

Photo credit: WccfTech.com

LGA 1151 vs 300 Series

The LGA 1151 sockets support the 6th and 7th generation of the SkyLake and Kaby Lake processors respectively. The LGA 1151 300 series on the other hand supports the 8th generation. 

The LGA 1151 and the 300 series have no forward or backward compatibility. While these sockets have the same height and width, they are not interchangeable and will not physically fit on each other's processors.

FCLGA 1151 vs LGA 1151

FCLGA 1151 is short for Flip-Chip Land Grid Array while the LGA is the short form. These two are the same with just the three-letter acronym looking and sounding better for consumers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing a suitable motherboard for your PC is a lot easier when you know and understand the top different motherboards. Getting a new motherboard is always recommended as it greatly improves your PC's performance in memory and speed. Consider your PC specs keenly so that you choose a suitable and matching motherboard that best suits your needs.

People Also Ask

This section covers the common and frequently asked questions about LGA 1151 and motherboards in general. It covers important questions that most people ask when choosing a new motherboard.

Does LGA 1151 Support DDR4?

Computer memory is usually divided into DDR3 and DDR4, with the former being the older one. The newer type hit the market in 2014 with Intel's X99. While the DDR3 is compatible with almost all sockets and motherboards out there, the DDR4 is only compatible with a limited number of motherboards such as the LGA 1151 and Intel's X99 chipset.

What Processors Can I Use With LGA 1151 Motherboard?

The LGA 1151 is compatible with SkyLake processors and server processors. However, due to motherboard limitations, some motherboards might not be compatible with these processors. It is always important to check the chipset type, BIOS version, and maximum thermal design power (TDP) limit. Most LGA 1151 motherboards can easily accommodate all three Intel chips.

How Long Do Motherboards Last?

Most people replace motherboards with every major upgrade because they might not be compatible with new CPUs or connections. If you don't have to change your PC, the motherboard can stay for as long as your PC stays. There are no records from Intel for backward compatibility. Different processors like SkyLake, Haswell, and Sandy all have different motherboard requirements.

You can also change the motherboard due to hardware failures caused by extreme temperatures, power supply issues, physical damage, and water damage caused by too much humidity in the air.



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.