If you are custom building a computer, getting your hands on a good motherboard is paramount. You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a motherboard. A decent motherboard can cost between $40 and $100. You don’t really need to spend over $200 unless you are going for really speedy specs. The best budget motherboard I found, was the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0, cost me only $60. Read ahead to find out more about excellent low-cost motherboards. All the products on this list cost $100 or less (There may be an exception, or two):
10 Best Budget Motherboard – 2017
This is the best budget motherboard that delivers just the right bank for the buck. This motherboard has an energy processing unit and a TurboV processing unit so it’s generally faster than motherboards with the same specs. It has a feature giving users real-time bandwidth allocation. There’s DirectKey Easy Access to BIOS as well. BIOS is very easy to use and mouse is enabled when navigating. Also, the motherboard has USB 3.0 ports so it’s pretty futureproofed. This motherboard is designed to support Windows 8 machines, but I run Windows 7 on it and there are no issues. Of course, you will only get the best if you buy a good 8GB RAM card plus a compatible processor.
This is definitely one of the most cost-effective motherboards for custom made gaming PCs that you can buy. It comes with futureproof features like USB 3.1 ports. The CPU socket is LGA 1151, and it supports 6th generation Intel Core, Pentium and Celeron processors. You can equip AMD Crossfire processors as well. It supports DDR4-2133 and ECC unbuffered memory. There were extra features l liked like Audio Boost 3 and Nahimic Audio Enhancer that improves the sound quality when gaming. It comes with OBS streaming software and hotkeys ready for any game. The best part is the multiple GPU with VGA Armor to manage heat. This is a great motherboard if you’re seeking the best motherboards under $100.
This is a microATX keyboard that is most suited for building smaller or more compact keyboards. You can put it in 7th or 6th gen Intel Core processors. Additional features include audio noise guard, top notch audio capacitors, HDMI 1.4 port, Realtek GbE LAN with cFos internet accelerator software, and access to Gigabyte apps. Don’t expect superb performance but it delivers as it promises.
If you want an AMD processor, this motherboard is specially equipped for that. It performs incredibly well considering the price. It has energy saving features, including an anti-surge power guard that hardcore gamers can definitely benefit from. This works well with a 6 core processor, but I highly recommend an 8 core processor to get the best performance. It can handle it without an issue. It was also very easy to set up for me. A potential downside is that the board does not support Windows 10, if you really want it.
This one is definitely one of the more cost-efficient ones. I was surprised by how durable this board is. It does not bend easily. You can change components several times or move the motherboard between cases multiple times without worry of wear and tear. You get all the standard ports like VGA, HDMI, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports and DVI. It has an intuitive BIOS as well. And it displays the temp too. Plus, it has power failure, humidity and electrostatic protection. There are a host of other utilities, especially for health monitoring, which makes this board worth every penny.
This is a full ATX board that will perform like no other. It’s great for gaming and has features like temp checks that gamers may need. Pair this with an SSD to get performance like a higher-end gaming computer. I experienced some temperature issues, so I got a Coolermaster cooling fan and since the board has worked just fine. The only con I experienced is the Wi-Fi driver. It’s Qualcomm but can conflict with Intel drivers. I was told to get a Netgear USB adapter to fix the problem so that should be an extra hardware you need to get when you buy this board.
This is a low profile motherboard. Performance wise, I did not encounter any issues. You can use almost any Intel processor with this one and it comes with two RAM bays. I wouldn’t really recommend this for hardcore gaming, but it’s suitable for moderate gaming needs. Also, this motherboard is well suited for custom building a PC. The only issue I encountered with getting an interior fan for the board. You will need a fan with 3 specific female connectors, which can be a hassle to find.
This costs over $100, but we had to include it in the list. This is the most expensive motherboard on this list. However, I would say that it is one of the best budget motherboards for hardcore gaming needs. Typically you can expect to pay about a $100 more for motherboards with similar capabilities. For me, it worked great with zero issues. IT has a UEFI BIOS, so it works seamlessly with overclock. I highly recommend this to people who plan on running speedier processors.
This is one of the lesser known Gigabyte boards. It’s well suited for entry level computing. Combine this with a GIGABYTE Radeon RX 460 video card and you will be able to run games with 3D graphics even. The BIOS is okay but could be more intuitive. Memory did have some trouble meeting a 20% Passmark ranking. But overall performance is decent.
This is medium grade motherboard that you can get. It’s very easy to install, and may only take about 30 minutes for the whole thing. I used 16GB RAM, a FX-6300 processor, GeForce GT 710 2GB graphics card, and a PNY 240GB SSD. Everything worked perfectly. Performance is truly well worth the price.
Tips for Buying a Cheap Motherboard
When you are on the hunt for the best budget motherboard, keep the following in mind:
Support for USB 3.0 is a great bonus. In fact, it may be a necessity as computers of the future are switching to USB 3.0.
Try to buy a motherboard with 6-GBps SATA ports that support faster data transfer on hard drives, including SSD drives. SATA ports are also very compact so you will have more room for attaching other devices.
RAM is cheaper now more than ever. So, don’t settle for less. Get as much RAM as possible. 8GB is decent enough and you won’t have to pay a lot like you would for 16GB max RAM.
If you plan on equipped your PC with a new generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, you will need to buy a motherboard with an 1155 socket.
Keep in mind that the processor is the most important component your motherboard will have. You will need to buy the motherboard after you decide which processor you want. When buying, make sure the motherboard has a CPU socket that can actually hold the processor you want.
Modern motherboards have two main form factors: ATX and microATX. ATX motherboards usually have larger number of slots for expansion (about 7 typically), four to eight RAM bays and data connectors. MicroATX motherboards typically only have four expansion slots and fewer RAM bays. However, you will find microATX motherboards more commonly because they support smaller, minimalist PCs. If you are a gamer, you will need a full-size ATX motherboard.