AMD’s high-end Zen 2 processor, the Ryzen 9 3950X, is the most powerful desktop processor currently available in the market. With its 16 cores and 32 threads, this processor is optimized for workstations, but can handle gaming and desktop tasks with ease. Especially for streaming, and content production, this processor is second to none. But a processor is only as good as the motherboard it lays in, for this is the component which gives the CPU the necessary supply power it will need in order to function to its full capacity.
Therefore, to make the most out of the $700+ Ryzen 9 3950X, an X570 motherboard is certainly a must, as anything less would be selling the processor short. Depending on your intended use, there are different key elements to look for when purchasing a motherboard. Firstly, you will want to purchase a motherboard with a VRM solution that covers your overclocking needs, especially if you intend to overclock your CPU often and for extended periods of time.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that the motherboard has enough memory slots for both RAM and ROM, as capacity for RAM, M.2, and SATA SSDs are increasingly important; depending, of course, on your occupation. A great element inherent in X570 motherboards is that they are PCIe 4.0 compatible, meaning you can make use of the newer, blazingly-fast, M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSDs, such as the Sabrent Rocket 4.0. In terms of RAM, if you’re looking to use your computer for production, then you will want upwards of 32 GB of RAM, while if you’re looking to game, stream, and perhaps do some light editing on the side, 16 to 32 GB of RAM will suffice.
Finally, you will want to make sure that the motherboard fits your case, as there are different options out there for EATX, ATX, mATX, and ITX sized motherboards.
To help you choose your future X570 motherboard, we will present you with the best options depending on intended functionality. Our first choice will be the motherboard best optimized for a gaming setup, next, a motherboard best for workstations, and finally the best motherboard for a small form factor build (mITX); all of which will meet criteria chosen to best maximize the processing power of the strongest AMD CPU: the Ryzen 9 3950X.
Best Motherboards for Ryzen 9 3950X – My Recommendations
Best Gaming Motherboard for Ryzen 9 3950X
If you’re looking to make a beast of a gaming machine using the Ryzen 9 3950X, then the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is the best motherboard for you. It has a 14+2 International Rectifier 3555 PowlRstages, each handling 60 amps of current, accompanied by high-permeability alloy chokes designed to handle up to 45 amps. These VRMs are situated onto a heatsink which itself connects to an IO via an embedded heatpipe, further increasing the surface area, translating to better heat dispersion. What does all this mean in terms of practicality? It can take high amounts of overclocking, for extended periods of time, giving you the freedom to overclock your CPU as you see fit.
In terms of memory, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero can support up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM in four slots, with supported speeds of up to 4600 MHz. That being said, you wouldn’t need more than 16-32 GBs of RAM – and speeds of 3000-3200 MHz will suffice for gaming – though it’s still good to have the option to upgrade later down the line. In terms of ROM, it comes with two M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots, one up to 22110, the other 2280 – both equipped with aluminum heatsinks. Furthermore, it has eight SATA 6 GB/s SSD slots, so it can hold plenty of storage units.
In regards to audio, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero comes equipped with a SupremeFX S1220 codec, an ESS ES9023P converter, and a TI RC4580 OP AMP, delivery 113dB of signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in connection. This all brings forth a neutral sound signature that is detailed enough for you to hear footsteps from max distance, or listen to the smallest of details for enhanced VR emersion.
Finally, if you’re going to be spending $700 for a processor of a gaming setup, you’re going to want this gaming setup to look stunning. For this intended purpose, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero comes equipped with Aura Sync, and two customizable RGB displays on the faceplate, as well as support for two addressable lighting strips. In terms of software, the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero also comes with Gamefirst, software built for optimizing network traffic in order to enhance gaming internet bandwidth, Sonic Studio III, for finding an ideal audio equalizer or preset, RAMCache, which automatically caches your storage devices in order to minimize in-game load times, and finally the Armory Crate, made as a control center for all products ASUS.
All this will, of course, does come at a price: $359 to be exact, which isn’t cheap, but for a high-end gaming setup, and with all the connectivity and features it provides, it is well worth the investment for the perfect gaming motherboard to holster AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X.
Best Workstation Motherboard for Ryzen 3950X
If you’re looking to build a workstation, then what you really want is functionality. RGB lighting and any related nonessential fluff must be replaced with enhanced performance, in order to fully take advantage of the 16 cores and 32 threads the Ryzen 9 3950X provides – which may currently be overkill for gaming, but is extremely useful for editing videos, images, and other production related workloads. For this intended purpose, the MSI Meg X570 Unify is the perfect match (especially for its price).
The MSI Meg Unify features a 12+2+1 VRM design, with an Infineon IR35201 Digital PWM Controller (6x IR3599, 12x IR3555), and 60-amp power stages on a Dr. MOS design with 12 titanium chokes; ultimately designed for high-power delivery and sustained overclocking. It has a large, all-metal, aluminum extended heatsink cover, which enlarges the surface area and allows for better heat dispersion. In terms of cooling, it also has MSI’s M.2 shield FROZR, for the three M.2 slots it contains, and a FROZR heatsink thermal solution with a built-in fan and AI tuning technology for auto-adjusted fan speeds, all in accordance with the chipset’s temperature fluctuations. It also has a server-grade PCB and a pre-installed I/O cover shield.
In terms of memory, it can hold up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM with up to 5000 (overclocked) MHz speeds. It has three M.2 slots, 2 of which are 2280s, and the other being 22110, and four SATA 6 Gb/s slots.
It uses a 7.1 channel Realtek ALC1220 audio, and an ESS audio DAC, with separated audio layers for left and right channels. What’s really great about this motherboard, in terms of audio, is the dedicated headphone amplifier which auto-detects impedance. This means you can use headphones with up to 600 Ohms of impedance without having to purchase an amplifier.
In terms of other connectivity, is has three PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, two 3.2 Gen 1 (can support up to four) and one 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C USB ports, as well as two USB 2.0 connectors, though it can support up to four.
Considering its $299 price tag, the MSI Meg X570 Unify is an amazingly powerful motherboard with a myriad of features, software options, and convenient work-oriented designs, making it the perfect choice to house the Ryzen 9 3950X at an affordable price.
Best ITX Motherboard for Ryzen 9 3950X
If you, too, have jumped on the SFF bandwagon, we can’t blame you. It’s great to have such a powerful PC with only a fraction of the footprint, providing you with additional options in regards to displaying your build. The fact that a CPU as powerful as the Ryzen 9 3950X can fit in such a small case, and not lack the ability to overclock to the standards of larger desktop-builds, is a marvel to behold.
For the X570 chipset, two are the mITX motherboards that are in contention: the Gigabyte X570I AORUS Pro WIFI, and the ASUS ROG Strix X570I. Both motherboards have similar VRM performance, similar memory slots, and similar audio output. The ASUS X570I does have a couple of extra USB slots, and an added fan header, though it is questionable whether these are worth the $30-$40 increase in price – hence our choice of Gigabyte’s X570I AORUS Pro WIFI.
This motherboard uses a Direct, all-true, 8-Phase IR35201 PWM controller, with IR3553 40A PowlRstage and Infineon TDA21472, 70-amp, MOSFETs, with no added use of doublers or parallels. This translates to better precision in delivering power to the CPU, in-turn creating better overclocking power and sustainability conditions. Despite its small size, it uses a multilayered extended heatsink, with a LAIRD 1.5mm thick, and 5W/mK thermal conductivity pads – using Fins-Array and direct touch heatpipes to dissipate the heat. It also has an active thermal guard for the M.2 slots; heatsink and fan included in the multilayer deisgn.
In terms of RAM, it can hold up to 64 GBs, separated into two RAM slots, which is standard for its size. It has two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, and can hold up to four SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs (all at 90-degree angles).
It uses a Realtek ALC1220-VB codec for 7.1-channel audio, with DSD audio support in the back-panel line out-jack. Similar to the MSI Meg Unify, it can also detect the impedance of your headset to prevent low volumes or distortions in higher impedance headsets.
If you enjoy RGB pizzazz, it does have RGB Fusion 2.0 Software, which you can also use via an app you can install on your phone. It also has Smart Fan 5 software, which limits the use of your fans when the computer is not under heavy loads, a Gigabyte App Center, a portal from where you can choose different utilities such as VTuner, Smart Backup, or SIV, and System Information Viewer, a central location which gives you access to your system’s status. It also has in-Windows apps for fine-tuning your setup, such as EasyTune, allowing you to tweak memory clocks and one-click overclocking, and @BIOS, a tool for updating your BIOS through your operating system.
You can currently find this mITX motherboard for only $219.99, and considering its plethora of features, software, and VRM capabilities, it is certainly a great price to pay for a motherboard that is small in size, but big in performance.