Everyone person has a different opinion about what motherboard to buy for their custom PC build.
While the choice mostly revolves around the expandability you are looking, but for specialized computers that deal specifically with graphics designing, it is usually the opinion that a high end motherboard does not matter much.
Of course, graphic designing is a relative term. If you are talking about game levels designing or large scale app GUI design, then that is another story.
However, for casual graphic designing including web page design, banner designs etc, a simple motherboard that supports the latest processor would do just fine.
Here we will look at some of the best motherboards for graphic design. We will also look at the things that you can keep in consideration when looking for a suitable MOBO.
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What to Look for in a Motherboard for Graphic Design?
Basically, any simple motherboard would do just fine. But lets look a bit deeper into what we mean.
You don’t need a high end motherboard for graphic designing. In fact, you don’t even need to go for mid range option since any entry level motherboard would work just fine.
For starters, a motherboard price is defined by a few things like its size, amount of PCIe expansion slot and SATA slots, its phase power design as well as the quality of the components.
Higher quality motherboards have better Voltage Regulator Modules (VRMs) with powerful chokes and better heat sinks. Higher end models offer support for extreme processors with a high amount PCIe lanes. They also have plenty of expansion slots.
As a graphic designer, you don’t need to worry much about any of these. For starters, better VRMs matters only for overclockers. Secondly, even a single PCIe X16 expansion slot would be quite sufficient if the most you want to do install a single graphics card.
Furthermore, if you are not a hardcore video editor or a 3D animator as well, you will hardly need a motherboard that support for more than 32 GB of RAM.
Focus on Other Components
The key to building a PC for graphic designing is to focus on a good processor, a decent graphics card and an ample amount of RAM instead of solely on motherboards.
A good processor and a high amount of RAM will give you far better results as compared to a high end motherboard.
Small Form Factors are Preferable
Motherboards come in many different sizes commonly known as form factors.
An average PC usually features an ATX motherboard which has the dimensions of 12″ x 9.6″.
For graphic designing PC, you can instead go for an mATX motherboard instead. This has the dimensions of 9.6 x 9.6 inches.
Not only would your PC be more compact and occupy less space, the chassis will be cheaper to procure.
If you want even smaller builds, you can go for mini ITX boards. These have a dimension of only 6.7 x 6.7 inches
List of Best Motherboards for Graphic Design in 2020
We have selected the following as the best graphic designing motherboards from Intel and AMD.
- Gigabyte B365M DS3H – mATX – Ultra Budget Motherboard – 4 x RAM Slots
- ASRock B365M-ITX – Mini ITX – Compact Motherboard – 2 x RAM Slots
- ASRock B365M-HDV – mATX – Dual M.2 Slots
- Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H – mATX – Ultra Budget Motherboard – 2 x RAM Slots
- ASRock B450M PRO4 – mATX – 4 x RAM Slots – 2 x M.2 Slots
Best Intel Motherboards for Photo Editing (LGA1151)
1. Gigabyte B365M DS3H – mATX – Ultra Budget Motherboard – 4 x RAM Slots
One of the most affordable mATX motherboard for the Intel LGA 1151 socket. Perfect for graphic designers looking for a budget build.
If you are a fan of Intel builds and want to go for one of the cheapest motherboards there is, then we highly recommend this.
This is as bear minimum as it gets for an Intel build. It features an Intel B365 chipset. The B series chipset are regarded as midrange chiset – with Z series being premium and H series offering even cheaper configuration.
The benefit of this motherboard is that it offers the midrange B365 chipset at the price of a cheaper H series motherboards. Hence the value it offers is simply phenomenal.
As far as expansion goes, it offers decent number of ports including a single PCIe X16 slot for a graphics card, one PCIe X4 slot and a single PCIe X1 slot. The la chipset offers 20 PCIe lanes in total. Therefore compared to the older B360 chipset that offers only 12 PCIe lanes, there is a lot more expansion you can do with this.
The motherboard also offers supports for 6 SATA 3 slots, 1 x M.2 slot and 4 DIMM slots for supporting upto 64 GB of RAM.
All in all, for a budget Intel setup with a fairly respectable model, we highly recommend this as the best motherboard for graphic design.
2. ASRock B365M-ITX – Mini ITX – Compact Motherboard – 2 x RAM Slots
A mini ITX motherboard for a small and compact build. It is among the least expensive motherboards of its kind. It also has a built-in WiFi.
Next up we have an option that is suitable for those who want to build a PC as compact as possible.
This motherboard features a mini ITX form factor. As explained earlier, this has a mere 6.7 x 6.7 inches dimension and is considered among the smallest motherboards that you can build a PC with.
It is a bit epxensive than the rest, but that is because it also includes a built in WiFi. Plus, smaller form factor motherboards charge a small premium for their compact design.
The only issue with this motherboard is that the expansion on this is very limited. For starters, it offers only a single PCIe X16 slot. This will most probably be reserved for the graphics card.
If that is so, then there is nothing else that you will be able to add to this motherboard. No RAID controller cards, no SSD Add in Cards etc.
Furthermore, the motherboard only has 2 x DIMM RAM slots with a maxmimum support of 32 GB DDR 4.
In all reality, for an average graphic desinging PC, this is quite sufficient. You won’t be needing more than 32 GB of RAM in most professional scenarios anyways.
Fortuntely it does have 4 x SATA slots as well as an M.2 Slot. Therefore, storage expansion should not be an issue.
In short, for a highly compact build, we recommend this as the best motherboard for graphic design.
3. ASRock B365M-HDV – mATX – Dual M.2 Slots
An affordable mATX Intel LGA1151 motherboard that features dual M.2 slots. Great for those requiring ample high speed storage.
We have chosen this motherboard for one main reason: it offers dual M.2 slots.
This would definitely appeal to those who need a lot of high speed storage for their work or entertainment.
No other motherboard offers dual M.2 slots at this price tag for an Intel setup.
It should be noted, however, that out of the 2 x M.2 Slots only one supports the high speed PCIe NVME SSD, the other supports the slower SATA SSDs.
However, “slower” here is a relative term. Since even the slow SATA SSD is lightspeed faster than conventional HDD.
A conventional HDD that operates at 7200 RPM has a speed of 800 Mb/s. A SATA SSD operates nominally at 4.8 Gb/s.
Other that that, this also offers the mid range Intel B365 chipset like the motherboards above. It also offers 6 x SATA slots, 1 x PCIe X16 slot, and 2 x PCIe X1 slots.
The only issue with this motherboard is that despite having an mATX form factor, it only supports a maximum of 32 GB of RAM across its 2 x DIMM RAM slots.
In the end, if you want a higher number of fast M.2 storage slots at a budget, then this is the best motherboard for graphic design.
Best AMD Motherboards for Photo Editing (AM4)
1. Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H – mATX – Ultra Budget Motherboard – 2 x RAM Slots
One of the cheapest motherboards in the market with an AMD AM4 socket. Great for budget graphic designing builds with Ryzen processors.
This is by far the cheapest motherboard in this list. This is a highly recommended motherboard with an AM4 slot and thus excellent if you are going for an all AMD build.
As is generally the case, if you want to build affordable setup, AMD is generally the way to go. This motherboard is the testatment to that fact.
While the motherboard offers minimal expansion capability with only 32 GB of RAM support, 1 x PCIe X16 slots and 2 x PCIe X1 Slot, it is still quite sufficient for any graphic designer.
After all, if you aren’t going to game you will hardly need more than a single PCIe X16 slot, unless you are a professional gamer. Plus, unless you want to render or simulate videaos, you would’t quite need more than 32 GB of RAM either.
Plus, the motherboard gives you 2 x PCIe X1 slots that can be used to install a WiFi LAN or a high performance sound card should you wish to.
All in all, for a budget AMD build, or for a budget build overall, this is the best motherboard for graphic design in our opinion.
2. ASRock B450M PRO4 – mATX – 4 x RAM Slots – 2 x M.2 Slots
This is a low grade professional motherboard that features multiple M.2 slots and a decent expansion capability. Has served grade feaures like support for ECC RAM.
Next we have a budget professional motherboard for an AMD setup.
I know you must be thinking, “budget” and “professional” are two completely contradicting terms.
However, the reason this is a professional motherboard is because this is something that you can use for server grade computers. For starters, it supports ECC RAM (error-correcting RAM) that are more stable, but also more expensive.
Of course, you don’t have to go for ECC RAM if you don’t want to, you can also use conventional DDR 4 RAM as well. But it is just good to have that premium option.
Furthermore, it has a much better phase power design with a higher number of VRMs as well as chokes that can withstand 42A of current. The better the phase power design, the more stable the volage across the motherboard.
Therefore, if it is stability that you are after, then this is a certainly a professional motherboard for you.
The reason it is “budget” is because it costs almost as much as any budget mATX motherboard.
On top of that, this motherboard also offers dual M.2 slots with one support a PCIe NVME SSD while the other supporting a SATA SSD.
Finally, this is the only motherboard in this list that supports a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port built in.
In short, if you want a high grade motherboard at an exceptional value for your AMD build, then this is the best motherboard for graphic design in our opinion.
Here we looked at some of the best motherboards for graphic design. As you may have noticed, motherboards for graphic design do not have to be expensive.
You just need a decent motherbord that is capable of supporting the latest processor and has support for sufficient amount of RAM.
The choice usually boils down to how many PCIe slots you need and what kind of form factor you prefer. We recommend you ditch ATX and go for mATX whenever possible. And if you want an even compact build, go for mini ITX, albeit at a premium.
Finally, you don’t need a lot of expnsion capability anyways. Most motherboards have 32 GB of RAM support which is more than enough for most professionals. As for the PCIe slots, a single X16 suffices for installing a low to mid range graphics card.