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KITGURU SHORTLISTS: THE BEST MOTHERBOARD OF 2019

From Mini ITX and Micro ATX through to full sized ATX and even over-sized ETX, motherboards come in many configurations – both for Intel and AMD chipsets. Do you need something special? Focusing on memory speeds, PCi slots or power modulation maybe?

ASRock X299E-ITX/ac - The Mini-ITX King

ASRock has good pedigree when it comes to producing Mini-ITX motherboards for Intel's X-series CPUs, and it is safe to say the X299E-ITX/ac does not disappoint. It still manages to squeeze in support for four memory modules, six SATA III ports and up to three M.2 drives, while there's also dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and integrated WiFi. What's more, it performs well and we had no issues overclocking our i9-7900X to 4.6GHz. It's simply a fantastic board in every department.

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MSI MEG X399 Creation

AMD's 2990WX Threadripper CPU is an extreme piece of kit, and MSI has designed its MEG X399 Creation to match. It's got a gargantuan 16-phase VRM solution that still runs very cool, while there's even seven M.2 slots on the board. Perhaps most impressively, the X399 Creation let our 2990WX run at 3.8GHz just by unlocking the power limit - and that was before we got to any manual overclocking. It's a serious motherboard for a serious platform.

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Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi

The X470 chipset is what we'd associate with the best AM4 motherboards, and Gigabyte's X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi is up there as the best we've tested. It's barely priced over £200, yet it offers a dual-BIOS, plenty of RGB lighting and a bucket-load of fan headers. The VRM configuration is stellar, too, with a 10+2 design capable of delivering all the power you could need for an excellent overclock, with our Ryzen 7 2700X happily running at 4.25GHz.

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Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master

Gigabyte has another entry in our top 5, with the Z390 Aorus Master. It's biggest selling-point is undoubtedly the VRM, as Gigabyte has used an IR35201 controller in 6+2 mode with six doublers and 12 Digital VRMs. It may be overkill for a 9th Gen CPU, but you can run a 9900K at 5GHz and the VRM is hardly stressed. Matters are only helped by the fact the VRM heatsinks are the best we have ever seen. If you want a Z390 motherboard for some serious overclocking, this is what you need.

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MSI MEG Z390 ACE

What makes this a great motherboard is its excellent balance of features for the asking price. Not only is it build around a high-quality 12-phase VCore VRM, but you get three M.2 connectors, tonnes of I/O and plenty of RGB lighting. For a high-quality Z390 solution, this really is among the best.

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