The Best LGA 1151 Motherboard for Gaming 2016

Are you searching for the best LGA 1151 motherboard for gaming? With this new socket and the newest Intel CPUs from the 6th generation, like the i3 6100, i5 6600k and others, you can expect some great changes.

These processors performance and efficiency have been improved, and they are well worth your money. Aside from getting the best gaming GPU for your custom build, you shouldn’t ignore the motherboard that is the most important component to perform a stable overclock.

The new generation of Intel is the Skylake. The Skylake processors can only be used on an Intel LGA 1151 socket motherboard. Luckily, there are many models in the market for all kind of budget. If you are planning to build a build with a Skylake processor, you will find these motherboards price from $70 to more than $300.

In the list below, there are different models for all types of needs, even if you are on a tight budget. If you currently have a build with the previous generation, you have to upgrade your memory from DDR3 to DDR4, since they don’t support DDR3 anymore. However, this can be considered an advantage because the DDR4 memories are faster and require less power.

The different Chipsets

Before proceeding to the list, I want you to understand the basic concepts of the chipsets of Intel LGA 1151 motherboards. You will find a total of six chipsets: H110, B150, Q150, H170, Q170, and Z170.

The first four chipsets mentioned above have a limited overclock capacity, this means that these motherboards aren’t designed to support overclock. So, even if you have an unlocked processor, an overclock won’t be possible. The only motherboard that has this feature is the Z170 chipset.

The motherboards with the chipset Z170 are the best for a mid or high-end gaming computer which has an overclockable CPU like the i5 6600k or the i7 6700k. The other chipsets are suitable for a no overclockable CPU like the i3 6100 or the i5 6500.

Each chipset also has different features. The H110 chipset motherboards are basic motherboards, which are great for low budget builds. They are very affordable, but they only have a few ports and slots. They have 2 Dimm slots and 6 to 4 USB 2.0 and only one USB 3.0.

The chipsets, B150, Q150, H170, and Q170, have more ports and slots. They also have more DIMM and PCI slots. The B150, Q150, and Q170 are designated for business, and those with H and Z are more fitting for gaming computers.

The chipset Z170 motherboards have the most amount of SATA 3 and PCI-E slots which are used for graphic, sound, and wifi cards. These also have different price ranges, depending on your needs. Logically, the motherboards with four PCI-E x16 slots cost more than the ones with only two.

Best LGA 1151 Motherboard List

Best LGA 1151 Motherboard n°1

Gigabyte Micro ATX H110M-S2H GSM

best lga 1151 motherboard

 

This motherboard with an H110 chipset is the most affordable of all. It has two DIMM slots and supports up to 32GB of memory, this is a basic motherboard, so you’ll only get four SATA ports, some USB ports and one PCI-E x16 slot for a graphic card. However, let’s not forget this is the cheapest motherboard for the new Skylake processors.

Now, let’s look at the memory compatibility.

It supports DDR4 memories clocked up to 2133 Mhz, which is the starting point for DDR4 memory, this is all you need for gaming since a higher frequency won’t give you additional performance. So, don’t go for memories with a superior clock.

Since this is a very cheap motherboard, it is perfect for a custom gaming build of around $400 to $600. Even if this is the most affordable motherboard, it doesn’t mean you can’t combine it with a high-end CPU.

It has a single four-pin system fan port for powering a single case fan and one CPU fan port for the CPU cooler. There aren’t additional ports for powering additional fans. You are limited to a limited number of fans.

Some useful features are present in this motherboard. It can support eight pin CPU power connector to overclock unlocked processor by supplying more power. Sure, the overclock will be very limited on this motherboard, but it is always an advantage.

Another useful feature is the presence of two USB front header ports and a USB 3.0 front header port. The second USB header can be used if you have a case with a front panel USB 3.0 port.

Concluding, this is an affordable small motherboard that has all the necessary features you need to build a budget gaming PC.

Characteristics:

  • CPU: LGA1151; Chipset: Intel H110 Express
  • Memory: 2x DDR4-2133 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, ECC, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 32GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slots
  • SATA: 4x SATA3 Ports
  • Ports: 4x USB 3.0/2.0 Ports (2 rear, 2 via header), 8x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports (4 rear, 4 via headers), 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port, 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI-D Port, 1x HDMI Port, 1x
  • RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks
  • Form Factor: MicroATX

Manufacturer Site


Best LGA 1151 Motherboard n°2

Gigabyte ATX GA-Z170XP-SLI

best lga 1151 motherboard

 

For a budget under $80, you will find motherboards composed of chipset H170 and Z170. I haven’t included the B170 and the Q170 chipset since they aren’t designed for gaming.

There are more motherboards with the H110 chipset. However, these are more expensive and have similar features to the motherboard stated above. Because of this, I won’t talk about them.

The chipset H170 has an excellent overclocking capability but getting a Z170 chipset for the same price with better overall characteristics is a better choice.

For a price range of above $100, you can find various motherboards with some useful features. For a big budget, you have access to the chipset Z170 like the Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI. It has all the features of a standard Z170 motherboard plus three PCI-E x16 slots for graphic cards that support SLI or CrossfireX (for a dual-GPU or triple-GPU setup).

For a similar but slightly inferior budget, you can have the ASRock Z170 PRO4S which is a more affordable motherboard. It supports an AMD dual-GPU setup (CrossfireX) but not a Nvidia dual-setup (SLI), this is the reason why it is necessary to look carefully at the characteristics before choosing.

This motherboard has a high overclock capability. I highly recommend you to buy an unlocked i5 or i7 processor. For overclocking the best processors are the i5 6600k and the i7 6700k.

This motherboard has an eight pin CPU power port which allows you to draw power up to 91 watts. This motherboard supports liquid CPU cooler to take full advantage of the power it provides. It also has three system fans ports.

Looking more closely, we see a significant number of PCI slots. These slots permit you to have a larger number of cards (GPU, sound or wifi). You can even use a PCI-E SSD; it is expensive but very fast compared to the traditional SATA SSD.

Along with these slots, the motherboard also comes with SATA Express that is a better interface than the standard SATA. It provides faster speeds for SSDs. However, there aren’t many SSD compatible with this technology yet.

The SATA and SATA Express ports are placed at 90 degrees for an easier connection. Be sure to have to have sufficient space to put the cables through the grommets. It will give your build a cleaner look and a better airflow.

This motherboard also comes with the presence of USB 3.1 Ports and all the display ports (HDMI, VGA, and DVI).

To conclude, this is currently one of the best LGA 1151 motherboards on the market.

Characteristics:

  • LGA1151
  • CPU: Support for Intel Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/Intel Core i3 processors/Intel Pentium processors/Intel Celeron processors in the LGA1151 package
  • Memory: 4x DDR4, Dual Channel, Non-ECC, Max Capacity of 64GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots, 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x8, 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x4, 2x PCI-Express 3.0 x1, 2x PCI Slots
  • SATA: 6x SATA3 Ports
  • USB: 1 USB 3.1 (A+C) ports; 7 USB 3.0 ports; 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • Onboard Graphics: 1 x D-Sub port,1 x DVI-D port, 1 x HDMI port
  • ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 22.5cm

Manufacturer Site


Best LGA 1151 Motherboard n°3

ASUS Z170-A

best lga 1151 motherboard

 

Now, let’s talk about what separates ASUS Z170-A from the previous chipset Z170 motherboard.

This motherboard comes with some very useful onboard features, like the two-phase TPU switch. This feature helps you overclock you CPU without going directly into the bios.

To do this, you simply have to open the Ai Suite 3 utility software when the PC boots up completely. After this, you can choose how many cores you want to overclock by moving the slider and clicking apply. This process is incredibly easy; you just have to save the profile to not have to do it every time.

Another good characteristic about this motherboard is the presence of several system fan ports. There are four system ports as well as two additional ports for the radiator fan and one for the pump. It is entirely compatible with a custom cooler or AIO cooler. Combining all these features, this is the best LGA 1151 motherboard for your system cooling.

The AZUS Z170-A neutral colors match with any colored themed build especially, white/black.

This model also has an additional M.2 slot for SSD, compared to the Gigabyte GA-Z170XP SLI. Making a total of two M.2 slots. For more $10-$20 you are getting some nice premium features. That’s why I choose this motherboard.

Characteristics:

  • 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/ Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
  • Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
  • Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology, Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
  • Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology, Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
  • 1 x SATA Express port, , Compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
  • 5-Way Optimization: One click to optimize your entire system; plus a dedicated onboard water-pump header

Manufacturer Site


Best LGA 1151 Motherboard n°4

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO Z170

best lga 1151 motherboard

 

The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO Z170 is a high-end enthusiast motherboard. It is made with high-quality materials, like the 10k Black Metallic capacitors for higher reliability. It is a premium motherboard and has almost everything you can desire.

Supports DDR4 memories overclocked up to a high 3733Ghz.

The cooling and energy efficiency of this LGA 1151 motherboard is better than the previous motherboards. It has the supreme FX technology for a superior sound quality.

One of the most impressive things is the presence of eight SATA 3.0 ports. From these eight, four of them can be used for SATA Express connections; this makes you able to store a massive capacity of data through these SATA ports.

There are also, three M.3 NVME SSD slots below the SATA Express ports.

The heatsink and the design of this motherboard are far better than any of the previous motherboard. It includes an RGB LED lit Asus logo. The heatsink covers the CPU fan, Radiator fans, CPU power and Water pump power ports. It also gives a better overall look at the build.

For cooling, it has several fan connectors including the 6(2+4) pin connector above the PCI-E x1 slot and a fan extension header for more custom fans. All this can be controlled using a software and Bios.

It has a reset button at the bottom, to use in case of troubleshooting. At the right side, there is a CLR-CMOS button which makes troubleshooting even easier. You can quickly clean your custom set up Bios if your system doesn’t show any display after changing the bios tweaks.

Looking at the Bios, we see that there are a vast number of options to tweak everything. From the XMP overclocking to the Fan Xpert for defining your fans speed. It gives you the capability to create a custom fan profile for your CPU fans.

There are four profiles: Silent, Standard, Turbo and Full speed depending on what you want to do.

There are more features in the list below, but I have covered the most important ones.

Characteristics:

  • LGA1151 socket for 6th-gen Intel® Core™ desktop processors.
  • Dual DDR4 3733 (OC) support.
  • Best gaming performance – 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning, 2nd-generation T-Topology, and OC design
  • Best gaming audio – reinvented SupremeFX 2015 with intuitive Sonic Studio II.
  • Best gaming networking – best-in-class Intel® Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst technology.
  • Best gaming protection – carefully-selected premium components to ensure maximum durability.
  • ROG gives you more – more gaming-oriented utilities, all free!

Manufacturer Site


Best LGA 1151 Motherboard n°5

MSI Enthuastic Gaming Intel Z170A Xpower Titanium Edition

best lga 1151 motherboard

 

Another enthusiast high-end motherboard. Its gorgeous silver color covers the whole PCB with some subtle black accents the slots and heatsinks. It has an overwhelming number of additional features for an easier operation. Although this feature won’t give you an extra FPS boost, it has an excellent overclocking capability.

First, this motherboard supports a Dual-GPU Nvidia setup (SLI) and an AMD Quad-GPU build(CrossfireX). Nonetheless, the quad-GPU setup is extremely expensive and usually not worth the money.

MSI made an outstanding XMP Led circuit between the memory slots and the CPU socket. These lines glow red and inform you how much the memory has been overclocked and its stability. It’s a welcome characteristic; however, I don’t consider this a practical feature.

It has a power/reset button and a RED dial for overclocking. Along with these essential features. This motherboard also has a overclock dashboard; it can be used for advanced overclocking. This dashboard has an Easy button 3, Multi-bios II, Direct OC, V-check Points Two for decreasing clock speeds, overclocking, switching bios, monitoring and maintaining stable clock speeds.

It features an 8+2 pin power port that is enough for powering a high-end unlocked CPU like the i7 6700K which requires a 4+4 pin power connector for overclocking. It has four M.2 slots and two SATA Express. Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to add an NVME SSD after installing a graphic card.

I would consider this motherboard a high-end gaming PC or a workstation with a budget superior to $1500, this is the real best LGA 1151 motherboard on 2016.

Characteristics:

    • LGA1151, Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Trade i7/ i5/ i3/ Pentium/ Celeron Processors
    • Chipset: Intel Z170 Express
    • Memory: 4x DDR4-3600(OC)/ 3200(OC)/ 3000(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2600(OC)/ 2400/ 2133 MHz DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, ECC, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 64GB
    • Slots: 4x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slots (run at x16/x0/x0/x4 or x8/x0/x8/x4 or x8/x4/x4/x4), 3x PCI-Express 3.0 x1 Slots
    • Multi-Graphics: Supports AMD 4-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology
    • SATA: 8x SATA3 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 2x SATA Express Ports (PCI-Express 3.0 x2)
    • Audio: Realtek ALC1150 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC, Supports S/PDIF Output

Manufacturer Site

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