ATX motherboards are perhaps the most popular category of motherboards among high performance PC builders. These motherboards offer vast expandability as well as all the right tools to cater to performance based gaming or workstation rigs.
Unfortunately, ATX motherboards can be expensive. Hence in this article, we have chosen and reviewed some of the best budget ATX motherboards in the market.
You will notice that despite being budget motherboards, these are still well suited for a performance based system. If you are looking to build a simple PC for word processing, home use or office use, then micro ATX motherboards would suit your better.
You will also notice that most of the ATX motherboards in the budget range flaunt their gaming-centric features. Therefore, you can tell the primary customers of this form factor.
List of Best Budget ATX Motherboards in 2021
The following ATX motherboards are the cheapest in the market yet offer highly functional features.
- MSI B360 Gaming Plus – LGA 1151 – Recommended Budget ATX Motherboard for Gaming
- GIGABYTE Z490 – Features LGA 1200 Socket
- MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC – LGA 1151 – For SLI Setup
- ASRock B450 PRO4 – AM4 – Recommended AMD Option
- ASUS ROG Strix B450-F – AM4 – Recommended AMD Option for Gamers
Best Budget Intel ATX Motherboards
1. MSI B360 Gaming Plus – LGA 1151 – Recommended Budget ATX Motherboard for Gaming
A highly affordable gaming motherboard for Intel based systems. Features beautiful red color accents.
First up we have one of the most popular budget ATX motherboard out there. This motherboard is excellent for those who are budget conscious but want to built an Intel based gaming rig.
The motherboard features a single PCIe X16 slot, PCIe X4 slot and 4 x PCIe X1 slots.
Note with a configuration like this, while this motherboard can support 2-way AMD crossfire setup, it cannot support an NVIDIA SLI setup should you wish to install two graphics cards.
It is worth noting that the huge array of X1 slots that it offers can be used for installing smaller components like a WiFi card or a dedicated sound card etc.
Catering specifically to the gamers, this motherboard comes with Fnatic team endorsement, RGB lights, color accents as well as comes VR-Ready from the get-go.
This motherboard is compatible with the processors that utilize the LGA 1151 socket. Hence it is suitable for 9th and 8th generation Intel processors. If you are looking for a motherboard that supports 10th gen Intel processors, then look at our next motherboard review.
All in all, if you came here looking for cheapest Intel based option, then this is the best budget ATX motherboard in our opinion.
2. GIGABYTE Z490 – Features LGA 1200 Socket
One of the latest motherboard built with the latest LGA 1200 socket for the 10th generation Intel processors.
This motherboard is more expensive as compared to the previous motherboard, however, it is one of few out there that features the latest LGA 1200 socket for supporting the Intel 10th generation processors.
But besides that, the value in terms of performance and configuration it offers is second to none. For starters this is a high quality board. If you cant tell that by the size of heat sinks installed than you should be able to tell by the number of VRMs this motherboard features.
If you are not aware, VRMs regulate the voltage across the motherboard. The higher the number of VRMs the better voltage control it’ll offer. The better the voltage control, the better would be its overclocking ability. Of course, the capacitors, chokes and mosfet used in the VRM also matter, but this features a phase power design 11+1.
In other words, it has 11 VRMs for the processors and 1 for the RAM. Normal motherboard cap out at 8 VRMs for the processor.
Another important consideration here is that this motherboard features 2 x M.2 slots. Which means you would be able to add dual SSDs on this.
Unfortunately though, this one still does not add support for NVIDIA SLI configuration yet it does offer support for AMD Crossfire setup.
It features a single PCIe X16 slot, one PCIe X4 slot and 3 x PCIe X1 slots which is more or less like the MSI B360 Gaming Plus above.
All in all, if you came here looking for a motherboard with support for LGA 1200 socket, then this is the best budget ATX motherboard in our opinion.
3. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC – LGA 1151 – For SLI Setup
An essential motherboard for enthusiasts who seek to build a gaming rig with dual NVIDIA Graphics card.
This is not the most affordable motherboard out there, but if you are SPECIFICALLY looking to build a gaming PC with 2 x NVIDIA card on an ATX board, then you may find this to be the most affordable and value-rich.
Again, let us reiterate that this is not cheapest motherboard, but it caters to a specific set of gamers. The reason why we have chosen this motherboard is that because it offers an exceptional value for SLI gamers.
For starters, it offers 3 x PCIe X16 slots with the following mode of operation x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4. What this basically tells you is that it can either support NVIDIA 2 – way SLI with an X4 slot to spare, or support 3-way AMD Crossfire.
Besides the X16 size slots, this motherboard also features 3 x PCIe X1 slots for adding smaller add-in card. It also offers dual M.2 slots for adding two SSD drives.
Another attractive feature we found on this motherboard is that it comes with a built-in WiFi modem.
Besides that, this motherboard offers a ton of gaming-centric features from powerful and large heatsink to high quality capacitors and chokes for the VRMs. The gaming centric-features are also evident from its software as well as the looks.
All in all, this is the best budget ATX motherboard if you are adamant on building an ATX PC with an NVIDIA SLI configuration.
Best Budget AMD ATX Motherboards
1. ASRock B450 PRO4 – AM4 – Recommended AMD Option
One of the most affordable AM4 motherboard with an ATX form factor. Excellent for budget gaming or performance builds.
When it comes to ATX motherboards, this is certainly among the cheapest out there and also the cheapest in this list.
Therefore, if you came here looking for a quality option that would cost you the least, then this is the best budget gaming motherboard in our opinion.
This motherboard is compatible with the AMD processors that utilize the AM4 socket. This includes all the latest Ryzen processors from 1, 2 and 3rd generation.
As far as expandability goes, this motherboard features a decent array of PCIe slots. It has a single PCIe X16 slot, one PCIe X4 slot and four PCIe x1 slots.
Hence this motherboard is suitable for AMD Crossfire but not for an SLI setup.
Besides that, not only does it offers 6 x SATA 3 ports for connecting your hard disk and optical drives, it also offers 2 x M.2 Slots for connecting 2 SSDs – which is very rare for a budget motherboard.
It should be noted, however, that one of the M.2 slots supports a SATA SSD while the other supports the much faster NVME PCIe SSD.
All in all, this is is by far the best budget ATX motherboard as far as the price tag and overall value goes.
While it is minimal and offers no color accents, lights or large heatsinks for enhancing looks, it is simply a functional model.
2. ASUS ROG Strix B450-F – AM4 – Recommended AMD Option for Gamers
A very popular ATX motherboard that offers vast expandability. A recommended budget AMD gaming motherboard.
This is our personal favorite especially if you are planning on a building the ultimate AMD based system at the most economical cost as possible.
This motherboard does not support 2, but 3-Way AMD Crossfire. In other words, you can add three AMD graphics card to this for the ultimate gaming rig.
How? Well that is due to the fact that this motherboard offers one PCIe X16 slot along with 2 x PCIe X4 slots. As we know an AMD GPU requires a minimum of X4 to operate, hence 3-Way Crossfire is possible here.
Of course, if you are planning on building an economical PC, it will be difficult to procure 3 AMD GPUs, but the fact of the matter remains that this is an affordable ATX motherboard.
On top of that, it features high quality components like large heatsinks, ASUS proprietary 5-way optimization for overclockers, and also breathing RGB lights for the gaming ambiance.
Besides, ASUS ROG needs no introduction. This one of the oldest, most respected and established brand for gamers. Any gamer worth his/her salt would have heard of Asus ROG one way or another.
In short, if you are looking to build a beautiful gaming build with an AMD system, then this is the best budget ATX motherboard to accompany you.
What To Expect?
So what makes these motherboards unique and why should you go for these? Let us reviews some of the common aspects of ATX motherboards.
ATX motherboards are available in a vast range of price. You can find them at budget category as well as in premium price category.
Within the budget category, they are cheaper than mini ITX motherboards generally, but more expensive than Micro ATX.
Therefore, if you are looking for the most economical option perhaps for office or home use, then you are better off with the Micro ATX form factor.
On the other hand, if you want to build a very compact PC, then go for the Mini ITX form factor.
Anything in between like gaming or high performance builds for professionals, ATX would be better suited.
A very important factor to note when it comes to motherboard sizes is the amount of expandability they offers. In other words, this refers to the amount of PCIe slots and SATA slots they offer.
An ATX motherboard at an average offers a lot more PCIe Slots as well as SATA slots as compared to the micro ATX or mini ITX motherboards.
You can easily find a good combination of X16, X8, X4 and multiple X1 ports on these motherboards.
An ATX motherboard offers you a lot of room to insert your peripherals and add-in cards.
Since graphics cards are becoming bigger and bigger, sometimes it becomes a hassle to position them as they tend to block the access to the rest of the PCIe slots on board.
On a larger ATX motherboard, you can easily install your graphics cards with plenty of room to spare for other components.
An ATX motherboard has a higher number of USB ports as well as headers. They also offer a higher number of SATA ports so that you can connect multiple hard disk to your system.
As mentioned earlier, an ATX motherboard is generally used for a high performance build. A simple PC would hardly find the use for multiple PCIe slots, a large number of SATA slots etc
Therefore, this motherboard only caters to those who understand the need of having a high expandability.
Most of the gaming motherboards conform to the ATX form factor. It is for this reason that finding a simple ATX motherboard for home or office use is almost impossible.
You will largely see ATX motherboards being advertised and catered to the need of the gamers with gaming centric features and overclocking abilities.
For some, it is simply the large look of the motherboard that appeals the most.
If you have a large PC chassis and you want to occupy it with a large motherboard for the sake of promoting better looks, then you can certainly find fantastic models.
So in short, if you want to build a gaming rig of your dream or a workstation for professional levels of editing and rendering jobs, then ATX is the size to go for.
In this article we learned about what distinguishes an ATX motherboard from the rest and also looked in the best budget ATX motherboards out there in the market.
While they cost more as compared to a micro ATX motherboard, they offer better port and slot configuration.