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Best Motherboards for Intel 11th Gen Processors: New chipsets & newer options

Rocket Lake’s release has been a very conflicted one as of late, with both its budget and flagship tiers receiving reviews from both ends of the positive and negative spectrum. But, main CPUs aside, the new architecture also brought with it updated motherboards and compatible chipsets. And, there are quite a number of very specific good reasons to be excited with these newer options.

Thus, we present to you our top picks for the best 11th Gen motherboards to power up your bang-for-the-buck Rocket Lake CPU purchases.

11th Gen Intel Chipset Overview

The most exciting thing about the new Rocket Lake chipsets, is that it now unlocks memory overlocking on lower-tier motherboards. As such, Intel system owners no longer need to use expensive Z motherboards just to maximize the baseline overclocking potential of a system.

Do take note though, that boosted RAM frequencies still do not provide as much of a boost in performance for Intel compared to AMD systems, but it is still very noticeable. Think of it as an FPS bonus, your XMP-enabled RAM can finally be interchangeable across platforms.

 

Priorities, Choice Methodology, and Testing

The 11th Gen Intel motherboards for this list will be chosen primarily using collated data from various reviews. This will then be combined with our preliminary analysis of the motherboard’s base performance, and a look into every entry’s specification..

Moreover, this list will heavily prioritize stability + price-to-features ratio. Any 11th Gen Intel motherboard option should provide all necessary features without holding back CPU performance, all the while being cost-effective. As such, there will be a considerable bias towards B560 motherboards in this regard, although we would still introduce a few alternative options at more extreme ends of the spectrum.

(NOTE: specific RAM overclocking specs for each motherboard are excluded for standardization purposes. Just know and understand that your 3200+ Mhz memory kit will work with its XMP profile on all of these models so long as the CPU used is strictly 11th Gen.)

Best 11th Gen Intel Motherboards Overview

MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon Wifi (ATX)

Primary Specs:

VRM Phases16 + 1 + 1
Tier RatingMiddle High-end
Audio7.1 Channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC4080)
Connectivity1219-V, WiFi 6E AX20, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, BT 5.0+
Storagex6 SATA 6Gbps, x3 M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4
Extra Connectorsx1 Fan Pump, x6 Sys Fan, 1x USB Type-C, x2 USB 2.0, x1 USB 3.2G1
1x 4-pin RGB, 2x 3-pin RAINBOW LED, 1x 3-pin CORSAIR LED
Rear I/Ox1 HDMI, x1 DP, x4 USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2G1 T-A, x3 1 USB 3.2G2 T-A,
USB 3.2G2x2 TC, x1 RJ-45, x5 Audio, x1 S/PDIF, x1 WiFi/BT, x1 Flash BIOS
MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon WiFi Gaming Motherboard

Probably the beefiest 11th Gen motherboard in terms of specs, the Gaming Carbon WiFi once again sits comfortably at the “mid-range” of top-tier models, offering a nice balance of the price for what it can actually offer. VRM phases (and its heatsink configuration) are as what you would expect from MSI’s Z590 offering, allowing the power-hungry Rocket Lake CPUs to unleash their maximum boost frequencies for extended periods without throttling down. Perhaps obligatory for this tier range, the Gaming Carbon WiFi also has a Flash BIOS option for boot-less BIOS updating. If you don’t fancy the heftier price tag, you can always cut down to the non-WiFi version, as we’re pretty sure you won’t be running out of port headroom for an external network dongle.

Asus TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi (ATX)

Primary Specs:

VRM Phases14 + 2
Tier RatingBasic High-end
Audio7.1 Channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC1200A)
ConnectivityI225-V, Intel WiFi 6, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, BT 5.0+
Storagex6 SATA 6Gbps, x3 M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4
Extra Connectorsx1 Fan Pump, 4x Sys Fan, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.2G1, 1x USB Type-C
2x AURA ARGB, 2x AURA RGB, 1x Thunderbolt
Rear I/Ox1 PS/2, x1 HDMI, x1 DP, x2 USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2G1 T-A, x2 1 USB 3.2G2 T-A
1x USB 3.2G2x2 T-C, x1 RJ-45, x1 WiFi, x5 Audio, x1 S/PDIF
Asus TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi

ROG Strix entries have always been the premium, uber-quality choice for most PC setups. But, that is also precisely why we could never include it on our lists. Surprisingly, at least, the Asus TUF Gaming Z590-Plus lives up this time to its (relatively) “cost-effective” reputation that separates it from its premium bigger brother. As shown by its features, it is a mid-range system that balances specs and price, making sure that you actually optimize many of the things you pay each dollar for it.

Asrock B560M Steel Legend (mATX)

Primary Specs:

VRM Phases10
Tier RatingUpper Mid-tier
Audio7.1 Channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC897)
ConnectivityI219-V, RTL8125BG, 802.3 az
Storagex6 SATA 6Gbps, x2 M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4
Extra Connectorsx1 Fan Pump, x3 Sys Fan, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.2G1, x1 USB 3.2G2x2 T-C
x2 RGB LED, 2x ARGB LED
Rear I/Ox1 PS/2, x1 HDMI, x1 DP, x2 USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.2G1, x1 RJ-45, x3 Audio,
x3 WiFi, x1 S/PDIF
Asrock B560M Steel Legend

Asrock’s Steel Legend series has been a hit and miss most of the time whenever it pops up on either Intel or AMD chipsets. But this time, it’s a complete turnaround compared to its Phantom Gaming 4. The Z590 Phantom Gaming 4 is burning with its bad heat management, while the Steel Legend basks in the glow of its (aggressive) price-to-stability goodness. And while being a B560 does mean some features are cut-off, the most important ones for either visual appeal or performance design were never taken away, further complementing its current price.

MSI MAG B560 Torpedo (ATX)

Primary Specs:

VRM Phases12 + 1 + 1
Tier RatingUpper Mid-tier
Audio7.1 Channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC897)
ConnectivityI219-V, RTL8125B, 802.3 az
Storagex6 SATA 6Gbps, x3 M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4
Extra Connectorsx1 Fan Pump, x5 Sys Fan, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.2G1, x1 USB 3.2G2 T-C
x2 RGB LED, 2x RAINBOW LED
Rear I/Ox1 HDMI, x1 DP, x4 USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.2G1 T-A, x1 USB 3.2G2x2 T-C
x1 RJ-45 (1Gbit), x1 RJ-45 (2.5Gbit), x5 Audio, x1 S/PDIF
MSI MAG B560 Torpedo

Obligatory “ordinance” drop from MSI’s mid-tier offerings. The MAG B560 Torpedo continues its role as the middle ground mid-range chipset variant, having features that elevate it a few steps up, but falls just short below the most expensive version. Sure, this means that we now have a price premium to worry about. But, RAM overclocking is unlocked anyway, and the investment is definitely worth it for the long-term performance stability (hint: burst boost) that it provides while still being less expensive than a Tomahawk.

 

Asrock B560 Pro4 (ATX)

Primary Specs:

VRM Phases8
Tier RatingStandard Mid-tier
Audio7.1 Channel HD Audio (Realtek ALC897)
ConnectivityI219-V, 802.3 az
Storagex6 SATA 6Gbps, x2 M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4
Extra Connectorsx6 Sys Fan, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2G1, x1 USB 3.2G2x2 T-C x2 RGB LED
2x ARGB LED
Rear I/Ox1 PS/2, x1 HDMI, x1 DP, x2 USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.2G1, x1 RJ-45, x3 Audio
Asrock B560 Pro4

Barebones, without having to sacrifice too much. Ah well, what else would you expect with the 11th Gen Asrock Pro4 ultra-budget entry? Do take note, though, that this motherboard’s VRM and mobo heatsink configuration is specifically recommended for mid-tier Core i5-11400(F) builds. If you intend to use a Core i7-11700(F) on it, be sure that you are not going to use the system for very long sustained periods on maximum load (for example, when rendering videos).

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