Best micro-ATX Motherboard in 2021

A lot of people are after compact builds recently. This means that things like the best micro-ATX motherboard models are in demand, more than you’d think. These motherboards offer a compact layout without compromising on things like DIMM slots, M.2 slots, or even additional extras, which makes them a perfect fit for many people.

The main benefit of a micro-ATX motherboard, of course, is the fact that you can go for a more compact case. We’ve got a few options you can pick from. Of course, these are far from the only choices you have.

On the other hand, the main issue is the fact that you don’t really have too many options to pick from. That’s true for both Intel and AMD builds, so you can’t really get away from it. But we’ve got a few options for you, so here are the best micro-ATX motherboard options for you.

Choosing the best micro-ATX motherboard

When you’re trying to choose the best micro-ATX motherboard, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

The first one is to pick your platform and chipset. If you’re in the Intel camp, you can either go for a Z490 motherboard, or the newer, Z590. However, there aren’t really any tried-and-true Z590 motherboards, so all the options we have for you are Z490. In the AMD camp, there aren’t even too many X570 motherboards. Your choice is to get one of the few that exist, or go for a B550 motherboard. We’ve got both options for you to choose from. You will get more features with X570, but they’re more expensive.

The second thing you should keep in mind is storage expansion. This is one area where you sometimes have to compromise because there’s not enough physical room for M.2 slots. You will more than likely be well covered with SATA ports, though, so that’s not something you should be worrying about. Just make sure you get a motherboard that has enough M.2 slots for all your storage needs.

Last but not least, you should check out whether or not you’re getting any extra features. We’re talking about things like RGB lights, gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or anything else that you might think you’ll need. While more expensive than ATX motherboards, micro-ATX boards often have fewer features. Make sure you’re getting all the ones you actually need, no compromises.

The best micro-ATX motherboard models

Intel (Z490)

MSI MPG Z490M GAMING EDGE

MSI MPG Z490M GAMING EDGE WIFI Gaming Motherboard (LGA 1200, Intel 10th...
  • Supports 10th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors for LGA 1200 socket
  • Supports dual channel DDR4 memory
  • 2.5G Network Solution: Featuring premium 2.5G LAN and LAN manager delivers better network performance.

MSI’s MPG Z490M GAMING EDGE is, for many, the perfect Intel micro-ATX motherboard. It checks all the boxes in terms of features and functionality, and it also manages to come with a neat design and Mystic Light RGB lights, too.

You do get four DIMM slots, which is great, as well as two M.2 slots – one of which has a heatsink. The VRM section is passively cooled, and so is the PCH, which means MSI didn’t compromise on performance. The 12+1+1 power system ensures stable performance even when overclocking.

In terms of extras, you’ve got 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth. You’re more than covered for networking and connectivity. There are RGB lights near the PCH, but you could also add your own if you want. Pair this with things like USB 3.2 Gen 2 and a preinstalled I/O shield, and this is probably the best micro-ATX motherboard for Intel builds.

Gigabyte Z490M Gaming X

GIGABYTE Z490M Gaming X (Intel LGA1200/Z490/Micro ATX/M.2/Realtek...
  • Supports 10th Gen Intel Core processors
  • Direct 11+1 Phase Digital VRMs with DrMOS Stages
  • Extended MOS Heatsink VRM Cooling

While certainly not cheap, Gigabyte’s Z490M Gaming X is an excellent choice for the best micro-ATX motherboard if you aren’t a big fan of color – it’s made for stealthy builds. The black, white, and silver design looks stunning, and it checks all boxes in terms of functionality, too.

You get the standard four DIMM slots, as well as two M.2 slots. The bottom one has a heatsink, so if using a high-performance drive, that’s the one you should be aiming for. The PCH does have passive cooling, and Gigabyte has added a beefy heatsink on the VRM section.

What we love is the Gigabit LAN port, as well as the ALC1200 audio DAC. This means you’ll get high-quality audio from the ports at the back. You do also get a USB Type-C port in the rear, which makes it an even nicer choice.

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming (WiFi 6) Z490 LGA 1200 (Intel 10th Gen) SFF...
  • Intel LGA 1200 socket: Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors
  • Robust Power Solution: 12+2 power stages with ProCool II power connector, high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors to provide reliable power...
  • Optimized Thermal Design: VRM heatsink, PCH fanless heatsink, M. 2 heatsink, hybrid fan headers and Fan Xpert 4 utility

If you’re ready to pay a hefty amount of money for a motherboard, few choices beat the ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming by ASUS. This motherboard is an all-black beauty with RGB lights and plenty of expandability, too.

The one thing we absolutely love is the cooling on the VRM section, as well as the 12+2 power stages. If you’re going to be overclocking, this motherboard is an excellent choice. Connectivity-wise, you have four DIMM slots, two M.2 slots (one with a heatsink), and 2.5GbE LAN. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, so you’re more than covered.

Design-wise, you get RGB lights on top of the ports, but otherwise, it’s all black. If you’re going for a high-performance, stealthy build, this is the motherboard to do it with. If it fits your budget, that is.

ASRock Z490M PRO4

ASRock Z490M PRO4 Supports 10 th Gen Intel Core Processors (Socket 1200)...
  • Supports 10 th Gen Intel Core processors (Socket 1200)
  • 10 Power Phase Design
  • Supports DDR4 4500MHz+ (OC)

With more and more people going for white builds, ASRock’s Z490M PRO4 is a great choice in the micro-ATX camp. It comes with a black and white design which has a bit of RGB, as well as all the performance you’d need.

This is a slightly more wallet-oriented motherboard, which is why you only have a single M.2 slot, with a heatsink. Below it, though, you do have a second one, but it’s made for a Wi-Fi card. The VRM does have passive cooling, but we’ve definitely seen better. You do have CrossFireX support, though, which might come in handy.

A thing that ASRock did pay attention to is RAM support – you can run up to 4500MHz RAM in the four DIMM slots. So, if performance is something you want to go for, but don’t need extra features like Wi-Fi or dual M.2 slots, this might be a good choice.

ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS

ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS LGA 1200 (Intel 10th Gen) Z490 Micro ATX Motherboard...
  • Intel LGA 1200 Socket: Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors
  • Enhanced Power Solution: 8+1 DrMOS power stages, ProCool connector, alloy chokes and durable capacitors for stable power delivery
  • Comprehensive Cooling: VRM heatsink, PCH heatsink, hybrid fan headers and Fan Xpert 4 utility

Our last pick in the Intel camp is another black-and-white motherboard, the ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS. This is a rather wallet-friendly motherboard that still manages to get you good performance, but it’s not one we’d recommend for overclocking – there are better choices for that in our list.

The four DIMM slots can support RAM at up to 4600MHz, and you get two M.2 slots. Neither of them has a heatsink, though, which means you should be careful with the drives you pick. There are VRM heatsinks and thermal pads, but they’re far from the beefiest we’ve seen, which is why we wouldn’t recommend this for overclocking.

However, if you want the best micro-ATX motherboard for a black and white theme, and you don’t need things like Wi-Fi or the latest Bluetooth version, it’s a great choice. And you get Thunderbolt 3 support, too.

AMD (X570/B550)

ASRock X570M Pro4

ASRock’s X570M Pro4 has been one of the brand’s bestselling micro-ATX motherboards ever since it was announced. And not just that, but it’s one of the best micro-ATX motherboards for the AMD X570 chipset overall.

It comes with things like a 10 power phase design, as well as support for DDR4 RAM at up to 4200MHz. A thing you won’t see elsewhere is active cooling on the PCH. Oh, and incredibly beefy cooling on the VRM. That cooling on the PCH does extend over one of the M.2 slots, so you get one with a heatsink, and one without. There’s also an M.2 Wi-Fi card slot, too.

ASRock thought of everything here, which is why you have a 7.1 channel audio codec, as well as Gigabit LAN and support for ASRock’s Polychrome SYNC for adding RGB lights. Overall pricy, but the best micro-ATX motherboard for X570.

Colorful X570M Gaming PRO V14

Colorful X570M Gaming PRO V14 Gaming Motherboard AMD AM4 SATA 6Gb/s M.2 USB...
  • AMD X570 Chipset
  • CPU:AMD AM4 Ryzen 2000/3000
  • Memory: Dual Channel DDR4;

We get it – Colorful is probably not the first brand that springs to mind when looking at motherboards. But their X570M Gaming PRO V14 should change your mind. It checks a surprising amount of boxes, even though it’s priced rather high.

To begin with, you have four DIMM slots for up to 64GB of memory, as well as dual M.2 slots with support for both PCIe Gen4, and SATA drives. One of those slots is under a heatsink, which is neat. Speaking of heatsinks, you get one above the PCH, with active cooling and a small fan, too.

In terms of additional extras, you get Gigabit LAN and a USB Type-C port, but that’s about it. There is no Wi-Fi, there is no Bluetooth, no RGB lights, or anything similar. But considering just how rare micro-ATX X570 boards are, we’d still recommend this one.

GIGABYTE B550M DS3H

GIGABYTE B550M DS3H (AM4 AMD/B550/Micro ATX/Dual M.2/SATA 6Gb/s/USB 3.2 Gen...
  • Supports 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • 5+3 Phases Pure Digital VRM Solution with Low RDS(on) MOSFETs

Moving on to a few B550 options, GIGABYTE’s B550M DS3H is a great budget choice. It’s an all-black motherboard with gold accents, and geometric shapes all over the motherboard to make it look a bit more attractive.

When it comes to functionality, you’re looking at four DIMM slots, as well as two M.2 slots. Heatsinks would’ve been nice on those, but it’s a budget motherboard so we aren’t complaining too much. They’re both PCIe 4.0, which is nice.

The VRM section gets decent cooling, and so does the PCH, and paired with the 5+3 phases power delivery, you’re looking at a rather reliable motherboard, even when pushed hard. We also liked the Gigabit LAN, as well as the audio noise guard which ensures good audio quality. Overall, this is very likely the best micro-ATX motherboard for users on a budget in the AMD camp.

ASRock B550M Steel Legend

Sale
ASRock B550M Steel Legend Supports 3rd Gen AMD AM4 Ryzen/Future AMD Ryzen...
  • Supports 3rd Gen AMD AM4 Ryzen / Future AMD Ryzen Processors
  • 10 Power Phase Design, Dr. MOS
  • Supports DDR4 4733+ (OC)

Another budget motherboard, this time from the folks at ASRock, the B550M Steel Legend is an excellent choice for a black and white build. It comes with a neat design and plenty of passive cooling all around, and all of that at an affordable price.

Memory support is great, with four DIMM slots that take up to 4733MHz RAM, something you don’t really see on other budget motherboards. The PCH gets a heatsink that extends above one of the M.2 slots, which means your M.2 drive will be kept cool as well. There is also another M.2 drive, which is only PCIe Gen3.

Another nice thing is the 2.5GbE LAN you get, which is another thing you don’t see often. Unfortunately, ASRock claims that the B550M Steel Legend isn’t compatible with the Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G, so if you’ve got one of those, you should look elsewhere.

MSI MAG B550M Mortar Wi-Fi

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MSI MAG B550M Mortar WiFi Gaming Motherboard (AMD AM4, DDR4, PCIe 4.0, SATA...
  • Support for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and future AMD Ryzen processors with BIOS update
  • Supports dual channel DDR4 memory up to 128 GB (4400 MHz)
  • 2.5G LAN with LAN Manager and Wi-Fi 6 AX Solution

We’re wrapping things up with another MSI motherboard, the MAG B550M Mortar. This is a slightly more expensive B550 option, but one that checks a lot of boxes in terms of performance and extras. Oh, and it looks really nice, too, which a lot of people will love.

Performance-wise, you have support for up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM, at up to 4400MHz. This is impressive, and by itself, explains the higher price. But you also have two M.2 slots, one of which has a heatsink, and beefy cooling solutions on the PCH and the VRM section.

Last but not least, there’s Wi-Fi 6 with external antennas, 2.5GbE LAN, as well as AUDIO BOOST to take care of your audio. The preinstalled I/O shield and Type-C connectors for the front and rear only sweeten the pot and make this the best micro-ATX motherboard for the B550 chipset.

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