When building a battlestation worthy of envy, most people would look at RGB fans, RGB RAM sticks, and even RGB video cards, to go with their RGB mouse and keyboards. However, what many people don’t realize is that you can pimp your PC even further by adding RGB to your motherboard.
|1||Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus WiFi||AMD X570||ATX|
|2||Asus ROG Strix Z390-E||Intel Z390||ATX|
|3||Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme||Intel Z490||Extended ATX|
|4||Asus Prime Z370-A ATX||Intel Z370||ATX|
|5||ASRock Z490 Extreme4||Intel Z490||ATX|
|6||ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9||Intel Z390||ATX|
|7||MSI MEG Z490 Ace||Intel Z490||ATX|
|8||Gigabyte Z390 Designare||Intel Z390||ATX|
And no, we’re not just talking about RGB headers that allow you to hook up RGB LED strips – we’re talking about integrated RGB on your motherboard that you can sync up with all of your other RGB peripherals, coming together to create a stunningly colorful battlestation, lit up like a lighthouse in the dark.
The Best RGB Motherboards at a Glance
What is an RGB motherboard?
An RGB motherboard is a PC motherboard with built-in LED lighting. For a lot of gamers, the current trend is to load up your rig with as much lighting as possible. With an RGB motherboard, not only do you get an RGB header for your fans and other peripherals but you also get RGB lighting natively on your motherboard, adding just a bit more pizzazz.
An RGB motherboard does not, despite what people tell you, make your PC faster and give you more frames. They do not give you a competitive edge. But it does make your PC look awesome – there’s just so much fun looking at a PC that’s bathed in what is essentially rainbow unicorn vomit.
Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus WiFi | Best Entry-Level RGB Motherboard with WiFi
Chipset: AMD X570 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 12+2 phase (doubled 7 phase, actual) Video Ports: HDMI 1.4b Display Port USB Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps): 3x Type-A, 1x Type-CUSB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps): 4x Type-A Network Jacks: 1 Gigabit Ethernet Audio Jacks: Analog + SPDIF WiFi / Bluetooth: Intel Wireless AC 9260
If you want to break into the RGB PC building scene but don’t want to break the bank, you should take a look at the Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus WiFi RGB Motherboard. This is a budget RGB motherboard that supports the AMD X570 platform. It ships out of the box with PCIe 4.0 support, two PCIe 4.0 M.2 ports, WiFi capability, and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports in the back… and of course, RGB. This is a very future-proofed RGB motherboard at a price point that isn’t too bad.
It’s a well-performing motherboard even under a stress test, whether it’s overclocked with PBO or manually. One of its best features has to be the integrated WiFi, and the well-appreciated USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port. This helps most new gadgets, such as smartphones, directly with a USB C -to – C cord.
Despite its reasonable cost of entry, the Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus WiFi is a very competent, very reliable RGB motherboard that punches way above its weight. Compared to other similar boards at the same price point, performance is stellar and looks pretty cool. If you’re in the market for an RGB motherboard to get you started, this is the one for you.
Asus ROG Strix Z390-E | RGB Motherboard for Overclocked Intel CPUs
Chipset: Intel Z390 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 10 Phases Video Ports: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 USB Ports: 10 Gbps for: 1x Type-C, 3x Type A 5GBps 4x Type A, 2x USB2.0 Network Jacks: Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi Antenna Audio Jacks: 5x Analog, 1x Digital Out WiFi / Bluetooth: Intel 9560 802.11ac 2×2 / Bluetooth 5 Combo
The Asus ROG Strix Z390-E is an Intel motherboard with RGB made for the mid-market. It was designed to work with the Intel Core i9-9900K as an over-clocking board. It still has the edgy aesthetics of pretty much every ROG-branded gear, with the integrated RGB lighting and polished software interface as well.
Many Z390 boards in the market cost so much because they were designed to handle the eight cores running on the i9-9900K. The ROG Strix Z390-E outperforms similar boards such as the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 and the Gigabyte Z390 Designare in value for money.
However, it does not give you extra features that you may find on the more expensive Z390 boards out there. This is the RGB motherboard for gamers who want a more pure overclocking experience, without the bells and whistles that come from more expensive options.
Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme | Best Z490 Board with RGB
Chipset: Intel Z490 Form Factor: Extended ATX Voltage Regulator: 10 Phases USB Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A, 1x USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 6x USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0 Type-A Audio Jacks: 5x 3.15 mm, 1 x S/PDIF WiFi / Bluetooth: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) (MU-MIMO), Bluetooth 5.1 Ethernet Controllers: Intel I225-V 2.5Gbps
We consider the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme as the most overkill Z490 motherboard to ever grace this site. Released for the new 10th Gen Comet Lake line of processors, this motherboard does not just push the boundaries of what’s needed in a gaming PC; it pushes the depths of your wallet as well.
The centerpiece of this motherboard, aside from the strikingly beautiful and fully customizable lights, is the Intel Z490 chipset inside it. The Maximus XII Extreme features the most advanced version of 400-series chipsets designed to work only with the new Comet Lake processors, which makes this the perfect partner for Intel’s high-end Core i9-10900K processor, and would look extra cool when paired with a matching RGB cooler.
This motherboard was made for people who think that money is no object. This is aimed directly at hardcore PC enthusiasts, content creators, pro gamers and streamers, and graphic designers looking to push their PCs to their absolute limit – and look good doing it.
Asus Prime Z390-A ATX | Best Budget Intel Z370 Chipset Motherboard with RGB
Chipset: Intel Z370 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 10 phases Video Ports: DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI USB Ports: 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2x USB 2.0 Audio Jacks: 5x 3.5mm audio jacks WiFi / Bluetooth: n/a Ethernet Controllers: Intel I219V Gigabit LAN Controller with ASUS Turbo LAN Utility and ASUS LAN Guard
The Asus Prime Z370-A is a single-chipset RGB motherboard for the 8th Generation Intel Core LGA1151 processors. For the majority of the PC gaming community, a lot of people choose not to overclock their CPUs, focusing instead on picking up high-quality video cards and CPUs than spend too much on the motherboard itself. This is the RGB motherboard for those types of people.
It features 5-Way Optimisation, a feature by Asus that claims to make your PC smart. One-click is all it takes to take care of tuning and optimizing essential aspects of your system to let you overclock if you want to, and create cooling profiles that fit your rig’s needs.
For those who want to light up their PC in RGB, it features Aura Sync, another Asus feature that gives you full control over the RGB with a variety of presets for both the built-in LEDs, as well as RGB LED strips connected to its onboard RGB headers. If you have Aura Sync-capable devices such as mechanical keyboards and gaming mice, you will have a lot of fun with this feature.
ASRock Z490 Extreme4 | Z490 RGB Motherboard for Overclocking on a Budget
Chipset: Intel Z490 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 10 Phases Video Ports: 1x Displayport 1.4, 1x HDMI port USB Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (10 Gbps), 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C Port Network Jacks: RJ-45 LAN Port with LED Audio Jacks: Gold plated 3.5mm Video Ports: HDMI Port, DisplayPort 1.4 WiFi / Bluetooth: M.2 WiFi Socket – Key E Ethernet Ports: 2.5 Gigabit LAN (Dragon RTL8125BG)
Many boards that support the new Comet Lake CPUs from Intel are priced almost as much as the i9-10900K, especially if people choose to overclock their CPUs. However, ASRock wanted to bring that same capability at a lower price range, while keeping the overblown RGB aesthetic for those who want their eyes to burn.
It’s not the cheapest Z490, but for its price, we were surprised by its performance. It was able to nudge the i9-10900K to 5.3GHz, which it’s meant to do – but surprisingly not what we expected at this price range. Storage is pretty well balanced as well as it does provide enough SATA and PCI-E M.2 slots.
We are pretty disappointed to see that the back panel is pretty short when it comes to available ports. There are even a couple of USB 2.0 ports that we wish should’ve been replaced with 3.0s, as they are about to be phased out in a generation or so. Still, for what it’s worth, this RGB motherboard is pretty good. After spending all that cash on your i9, you’d want to slow down a bit on everything else and leave something for a nice fan or something.
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 | RGB Motherboard for 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
Chipset: Intel Z390 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 12 Phases Video Ports: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 USB Ports: 1x 10 Gbps Type-C, 2x 10 Gbps Type A, 4x 5 Gbps Type A Network Jacks: 1x 2.5GbE, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x WiFi Antenna Audio Jacks: 5x Analog, 1x Digital Out WiFi / Bluetooth: Intel 9560 802.11ac 2×2 (1.73 Gbps) with Bluetooth 5.1 Ethernet Controllers: RTL8125AG PCIe, WGI211AT PCIe, WGI219V PHY
We imagine the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 motherboard as a boy scout, but for connectivity. The main pull for this motherboard is not its RGB but its multiple options for connecting to the internet. While it’s certainly not as fast as 10GbE internet, it’s still a lot of speed from a single cable.
This is the best RGB motherboard for streamers as it allows for multiple network inputs as well: three ethernet ports, as well as two wifi antennas just in case. And while it’s not a motherboard capable of overclocking, it’s still a solid board for any application. If you need better performance you might want to consider this board as a secondary streaming PC.
Overall this is a good RGB motherboard if you find yourself needing a bit of a boost from Gigabit ethernet. It has enough slots for any accessory you may want as well as dedicated RGB headers that give it that extra snazz.
MSI MEG Z490 Ace | RGB Motherboard for Intel WiFi 6 AX201
Chipset: Intel Z490 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 17 Phase (16+1) Video Ports: None USB Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (20 Gbps), 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A (10 Gbps), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A (5 Gbps), 2x USB 2.0 Type A Network Jacks: 2x 2.5 GbE / 1 GbE Audio Jacks: 5x Analog + SPDIF WiFi / Bluetooth: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 / Bluetooth 5.1 Ethernet Controllers: Intel 1219-V (1 GbE), Realtek 8125B (2.5 GbE)
The MSI MEG Z490 Ace is an RGB motherboard designed to provide high power delivery and modern connectivity to PCs. The inclusion of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (20 Gbps) ports and Intel WiFi 6 AX201 makes this RGB board a joy to have, especially for people who move a lot of data around on the internet or their local network.
While it is, on release, one of the most expensive Z490 boards with RGB out there, it is a tad bit slower than its other brothers in the MEG Ace line, and other less expensive competitors as well. However, it does include additional features such as 90A power stages, DDR4 4800+ RAM support, multiple SATA3 ports, a premium Realtek ALC1220 codec, and 2.5 GbE LAN capability.
It can overclock but an i9-10900k as much as it can but not as quickly. As far as looks go it is kind of average, ostentatiously so. Its saving grace is the Intel WiFi 6 AX201 which, when paired with the correct WiFi router, allows you to game at quick speeds without slowing down your game. If that’s not enough you still have the 2.5 GbE LAN option.
Gigabyte Z390 Designare | Best RGB PC Motherboard for Thunderbolt 3
Chipset: Intel Z390 Form Factor: ATX Voltage Regulator: 13 Phases Video Ports: 1x HDMI 1.4, 2x Thunderbolt (DP 1.4, 1.2) USB Ports: 2x Type-C 10 Gbps (Thunderbolt), 2x Type-A 10 GBps Network Jacks: 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PCIe share, 2x WiFi Antenna Audio Jacks: 5x Analog, 1x Digital Out WiFi / Bluetooth: Intel 9560 802.11ac 2×2 (1.73 Gbps) / Bluetooth 5.1 Combo Ethernet Controllers: WGI211AT PCIe, WGI219V PHY
Apple has pretty much cornered a huge part of the creative industry into using their products. However, the great thing about PCs is that they’re so customizable you can pretty much put any input on it and it will work as intended. That’s what the Gigabyte Z390 Designare was designed for: an RGB motherboard for creative types that don’t want to be boxed into Macs.
The main draw for most people who choose this is not its compatibility with Intel chipsets but with the inclusion of full-spec Thunderbolt 3 ports, a godsend for many creatives who create mainly within the Apple ecosystem. It also supports 8K passthrough from DisplayPort 1.4 compatible graphics cards, for people who shoot with 8K cameras.
Gigabyte uses Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 controllers so DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough can allow 8K integration from discrete graphics cards They also added PCIe switches so PC builders can choose whether SLI or a single card with dual NVMe connected to their CPU is more important for them. The only downside for this RGB motherboard is that it’s not capable of overclocking, so it’s mainly for editing and rendering videos than anything.
What is RGB and what does RGB do?
RGB stands for red, green, and blue. It’s officially defined by Wikipedia as an “additive color model” that when combined can create the full range of color. In the context of PC building, RGB means LED lights with the RGB profile built into the PC’s parts. Among the most common peripherals that come with RGB are RGB RAM, RGB video cards, RGB fans, RGB coolers, RGB keyboards, and RGB mice. Some gamers go as far as having their PC cases have built-in RGB lighting.
Besides aesthetics, RGB does nothing but help consume more power. If you use RGB peripherals and completely deck your PC out in it, you will need to have a good power supply to keep everything running. Having RGB does not make you better at video games, make your PC run faster, or get you more frames on your 144Hz monitor. They just make the PC look ballin’.
What is an RGB-ready motherboard?
“RGB-ready” is the term used by Gigabyte to market their RGB Fusion line of gaming PC parts, from RGB pc cases to RGB motherboards, fans, and KBMs. RGB Fusion is a function from Gigabyte that allows users to fine-tune and synchronize the RGB lighting of their rig, giving them full customizability over its glow.
What is a motherboard RGB header?
An RGB header is a part of your motherboard that is used to connect RGB LED lights and other RGB-enabled or RGB-ready peripherals to your PC. RGB headers (which are usually 12-volt 4-pin connectors) can only control colors on strips in a very limited number of settings.
Why is my motherboard RGB on when the PC is off?
Sometimes, you may find your RGB motherboard still flashing even when you shut down the PC. This does not mean you broke your RGB motherboard and all your lights will suddenly start bleeding out.
Even during a shutdown, 5-volt electricity still runs through your PC as long as it is plugged in. Those 5 volts are enough for some of the lights to function, especially your RGB motherboard since the electricity runs directly to it. To solve this, either turn off the PC with its rear switch or unplug your PSU completely. This not only stops the lights from shining but also helps conserve energy.
How do I control my motherboard’s RGB?
Currently, there is no one way to control your motherboard’s RGB. Controlling your lights on your motherboard requires that you use the built-in software to control it. There are however options for programs such as RGB Fusion, iCue, and others that work for particular brands of RGB gaming gear, that allow you to customize your lighting schemes, colors, and more.
Can iCue control motherboard RGB?
iCue is software from corsair that allows full customizability of RGB lighting across compatible Corsair and ASUS RGB PC parts. This great software allows you to easily integrate RGB lights and allows you to set lighting modes, colors, and more with your RGB setup. You can even sync your keyboard, mouse, and RGB headphones if you have them.
Do I need an RGB motherboard for gaming?
With the amount of RGB enthusiasts in our site, we can safely confirm that you do not need an RGB motherboard for gaming. The RGB enthusiasts in our team have not gotten any better at video games, even when they were equipped with full RGB lighting and one of the best monitors for Valorant. All the unicorn vomit in the world couldn’t up to our collective game.
However, we do get to flex our sparkling PCs a lot to the PCMR, so we consider that a win as well.
And that wraps up the list of the best RGB motherboards you can get right now for your 2020 PC build. As you may have seen, the answer isn’t always a solid one; you have to factor in things like your budget, prioritize overclocking over additional features, and more. To keep it simple, here are some quick recommendations:
If you need an RGB motherboard for video editing, choose the Gigabyte Z390 Designare for its Thunderbolt 3 functionality. If you require the very best connectivity, go for the ASRock Z390 or the MSI MEG Z490 Ace. And, if you’re looking for the absolute best RGB motherboard you could buy, the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme is the one for you.
Whatever you choose, make sure you pick up the one that best fits your needs. Let us know in the comments what your favorites are!