Today we're talking B350 motherboards, or more precisely what we think the best AMD B350 motherboards are across multiple categories and budgets. As usual, we're not just picking products and ordering them one through five but nominating categories which include affordable (and very affordable) options, best overclocker and the all-important best looking -- that last one is a bit of a fun bonus round. So let's get into it...
- Best Ultra Cheap B350 Motherboard
- Best Value ATX B350 Motherboard
- Best Mini-ITX B350 Motherboard
- Best Overclocking B350 Motherboard
- Best Looking B350 Motherboard
Best Ultra Cheap B350 Motherboard
For $60, the Asrock AB350M can't be beat as the best entry-level B350 board. Apart from the fact that there aren't any cheaper B350 boards available, it wins for the simple fact that it beats everything priced between $60 and $75. In fact, the next best board would be the Pro4 version which packs two extra DIMM slots.
The Asrock AB350M might only offer two DIMM slots but you get a real 3-phase vcore VRM with extra chokes, and M.2 support. The rest of the board is pretty basic but there's nothing inherently bad about the design or feature set and you get a great motherboard for the price.
Those seeking USB Type-C will want the Pro4 version of the AB350M for $75, which also offers display connectivity including DVI, VGA and HDMI for folks who plan to buy an APU.
The plain non-Pro4 AB350M features a healthy amount of USB ports (two 2.0 ports and six 3.1 Gen 1 ports), its onboard audio is decent and you get a basic but tried and true Realtek Gigabit ethernet controller.
All in all, the Asrock AB350M is the best choice for builders who want to spend as little as possible but still want a board that can safely overclock a Ryzen 5 1600 for example.
Best Value ATX B350 Motherboard
This pick was a toss up between the Asus Prime B350-Plus and Gigabyte's AB350-Gaming 3. We have both boards and like each of them very much so picking between the two was difficult. User reviews seem to lean towards the Gigabyte board, but considering the boards in their current form with the latest BIOS we prefer the Asus model so that's what we're going with. It's a great overclocker and we've used it to extract the most performance possible out of all our Ryzen CPUs.
The Asus Prime B350-Plus was also the first board we ever tested the Ryzen 5 series on and it remains one of the best B350 boards we've used to date. Although there are arguably better standard ATX boards available (and certainly more expensive ones), the Prime B350-Plus packs a lot of punch at $100, particularly for those looking to spend as little as possible while still receiving a great motherboard.
Like the Asrock AB350M that we looked at a moment ago, we feel the Asus Prime B350-Plus is a leader at its price point and this, coupled with the excellent overclocking, is a key reason for why we have picked it. Compared to similar priced boards the VRM of the Prime is also much better and you get four real phases.
Best Mini-ITX B350 Motherboard
There isn't a huge amount of competition for the best B350 Mini-ITX motherboard. I believe there are only about four of them to choose from. The standouts for me are the Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming WiFi and Asrock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac, both cost the same amount at around $115. Asus also offers a nice looking ROG Strix B350-I Mini-ITX board but it's hard to come by at the moment and it seems quite pricey.
Asrock wins this battle in our opinion and therefore our money would go to the AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac. Although I'm not 100% sure which board ultimately offers the best VRM design, they are both adequate when paired with a Ryzen 7 CPU, so that's the main thing. That said, the VRM of the Gigabyte board does seem to run quite a bit hotter than that of the Asrock board.
Other reasons why I prefer Asrock's board include its superior UEFI experience, Intel Gigabit LAN, higher quality implementation of the Realtek ALC1220 codec, USB Type-C support and the fact that it has three fan headers, not just two. That last one is a small detail I know, but damn it, we like our fan headers.
Best AMD B350 Motherboard for Overclocking
If you're after an affordable B350 motherboard that can land you those big overclocks with a Ryzen 7 1700 for example, then the MSI B350 Krait Gaming is the board you're after. Despite its very reasonable $110 asking price it packs the same 4+4 VRM design as the more expensive and higher-end X370 boards such as the $150 MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon for example.
For a B350 motherboard at this price, the Krait Gaming's VRM is exceptional and it's not a total lightweight on features elsewhere either. Granted, it's not as nice as the as the little Asrock board we just looked at, with the Krait's audio and networking solutions being inferior but similar to that of the $100 Asus Prime B350-Plus, which we chose as our best value ATX motherboard.
That said, if you want a strong overclocker that packs better audio and networking then the slightly more expensive $120 MSI B350 Gaming Pro Carbon might be the way to go. It packs the same 4+4 VRM but offers a better Realtek audio codec and Intel Gigabit networking.
For whatever it's worth, the Gaming Pro Carbon is also a more sedate looking board, though I think the Krait's aggressive design is also cool.
Best Looking B350 Motherboard
There are a few unique looking B350 boards but our favorite right now is the shiny MSI B350M Mortar Arctic. The board might only pack a 4 phase VRM but even so it won't have any trouble when paired with a Ryzen 7 CPU. It will get along fine with a six-core Ryzen 5 processor and if you get a capable chip, running it 24/7 at 4GHz won't be an issue either.
I get that looks aren't or shouldn't be of great importance, but I also get why those who are passionate about their PC enjoy the bling. The great thing about the Mortar Arctic is that it costs just $95 and for that you get a reasonably well equipped motherboard, so it's not all just for show.
There you have it, our top B350 motherboard picks. Before wrapping things up please note that almost all B350 motherboards are designed and capable of safely powering an 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 CPU such as the 1800X. In fact, the only board we know of that can't is the Asrock AB350M-HDV, which is listed as being compatible with 65W Ryzen CPUs, so while you could install a Ryzen 7 1700, you certainly shouldn't overclock it on that particular board. It's an interesting choice Asrock made with the AB350M-HDV as the plainer sounding AB350M is so much better.
When buying a more premium B350 board be aware that good quality X370 boards start at around $130, so you're generally going to spend at least $20 to $30 more on an X370 board of comparable quality.
The X370 chipset provides four extra USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and two extra SATA 6 Gbps ports thanks to the inclusion of two extra PCIe 2.0 lanes. It also supports multiple GPUs using a dual x8 configuration. For most users, the X370 boards offer very little over the B350-based models, which is why B350 motherboards are so popular.
Those of you who simply want a cheap AM4 motherboard and don't care about overclocking but do care about display connectivity, just get an A320 board for $50. We think that about covers everything so we'll leave it there, although we'd love to hear from you in the comments section whether you agree or disagree with the picks.