Ever since AMDs introduction of the new AM4 socket and its new Ryzen processors, they have been met with much applause from the computing industry. They have made the mainstream move on from the quad core CPU, the 1600 and 1700 CPUs have really put Intel on the back foot. This shows with the rumours of their latest CPUs abandoning the usual quad core.
This is fantastic news, not just for gamers, but for professionals who really need all of the processing power they can get, at as low a price as possible.
The AM4 socket launched with three different chipsets, the X370 is the one aimed at the high end and as such houses all of the features you need. At launch the Ryzen processors were having issues with higher speed RAM, but thankfully the majority of the problems have been fixed with BIOS and microcode updates.
That isn’t to say that all issues have been cleared up, RAM support for Ryzen has been lacklustre and it is still in need of improvement if they want to match the ease of getting your RAM to run correctly like it is on Intel.
The AM4 chipset has been aging well though, and it is great to see AMD really doing something great in the CPU space after such a long time of being in no-man’s land.
With that, here are the best X370 motherboards available today in 2017:
Coming in at just $110 the Gaming Plus from MSI is an absolute beast of a motherboard for the price.
The Gaming Plus comes in the ATX form factor with support of up to 64GBs of DDR4 RAM at speeds of over 3200Mhz. It can support up to 6 SATA devices which is enough for the majority of people, it even comes with an M.2 slot.
The board itself doesn’t come with any fancy lights, other than the trace LED that can be found down the side on all of the AM4 motherboards.
The design itself is really nice, with a black and red colour scheme, with a vein looking design found across the PCB and chipset heatsinks. That may not sound great on paper, but in person it looks interesting, different to a lot of other boards currently available.
The board can support three-way Crossfire or SLI, with three PCIe 16x slots, and three 1x PCIe slots. The top two PCIe lanes have a metal shroud that not only looks great, but helps make the PCIe slots just that more sturdy. A great addition for heavier cards.
This board is great for overclockers as well, it has a total of 10 power phases, along with six fan headers, that is a fantastic amount for a board of this price.
The rear I/O features two USB 2.0 ports, mouse/keyboard PS2 Port, 5 USB 3.0 ports and a Type C port as well. The audio is a little disappointing though, as it is missing an optical out. The Gaming Plus also features a single gigabit LAN port, no Wi-fi though it shouldn’t be expected at this price.
Overall the MSI X370 Gaming Plus is a fantastic AM4 board for those that don’t want to spend too much but still have access to all of the features of the X370 chipset. At just $110, the Gaming Plus is a great investment for your new build.
At just $200 the Gaming K7 from the experts at Gigabyte is one of the most feature packed boards currently available on the AM4 socket. At 100 dollars, less than the most expensive boards too!
What immediately stands out about the Gaming K7 is the way it looks. Gigabyte has packed many different RGB lighting zones into this ATX board, and for those that love their bling, the Gaming K7 sure has you covered. The rest of the design is black with some metallic accents, it is sure to complement any colour scheme you want.
The board supports DDR4 RAM rated at speeds up to 3600Mhz, which is the fastest any AM4 board currently supports. If you are super-fast RAM, the Gaming K7 is the one for you. With the way that RAM speed drastically affects framerates on the Ryzen chips, this is a great boon for the board.
The Gaming K7 can support up to three-way SLI or Crossfire, each PCIe 16x lane is plated in metal to really add some sturdiness to the lanes. They look fantastic too. There are eight SATA ports, plenty enough for all your devices. In addition to that there are even connectors for a U.2 Port and M.2 device.
This is a great board for overclockers, due to the ten power phases. The board is powered by a single 24pin connector, and the CPU by a single 8pin, a second additional one would have been nice to really get the best out of your CPU.
The rear I/O is just as feature packed as the rest of the board. It has the usual suspects PS2 Port, and 8 channel audio with optical out but from there on it really stands out.
It has two USB 3.0 fast charging ports, four USB 3.0 ports and four 3.1 ports with one being Type C. The Gaming K7 also has dual gigabit LAN, something that isn’t very common on the AM4 platform yet. The rear I/O is covered in a plastic shroud as well, something that has been common on the latest intel motherboards.
For the money, the X370 Gaming K7 from Gigabyte is a fantastic motherboard that is sure to stay relevant for a very long time. The supported max RAM speed for example really helps put this board above the rest, even those that are way above this price range.
There is only one Mini ITX board that is currently available for the X370 chipset (others reside in the B350 chipset), this is due to the form factor not allowing for anything that X370 chipset has to offer over the B350, but if you want a X370 Mini ITX board, this is the one for you (the only one).
The board only supports up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM off the two DIMMs. The max speed rated for this board is 3200Mhz, a bit standard for the majority of AM4 boards.
The X370GTN doesn’t look fantastic but the nice carbon fibre with yellow accents (that light up!) really nails that racing theme it is going for. It even manages to fit in the Trace LED, with a nice yellow colour.
The board only comes with two SATA ports, which is a bit of a disappointment, other B350 boards feature more for less money. It manages to fit 4 SATA ports in, though they aren’t placed in the easiest of places to reach.
The CPU is powered by just a 4pin connector, would have liked to have seen an 8pin to really get the most from the CPU. The X370GTN features 7 power phases, which isn’t too bad for a mini ITX board. You won’t be getting any monster clocks out of it though.
There is just a single PCIe 16x lane slot, as is common with most mini ITX boards.
On the rear I/O there isn’t anything that special. You have access to six USB 3.0 ports (one Type C), PS2 port, a single gigabit LAN port and 8 channel audio connectors, including an optical out. Strangely, the HDMI out is upside down for some reason, though this doesn’t matter if you have any of the current Ryzen CPUs, as there are no onboard graphics.
Whilst the X370GTN leaves a lot to be desired but does to a lot of things right as well. Biostar do deserve props for being the first to market with a mini ITX board but maybe a little more work could have resulted in the mini ITX board for AM4. For those that really want an X370 Mini-ITX board the Biostar X370GTN is really your only option.
AM4 is still very much a platform that is going through teething pain but the motherboards that have been created for the first round of Ryzen processors has really impressed. They may not be quite as feature packed as the Intel boards, but with time I am sure that AM4 will really catch up to its rival.
With the Ryzen 2 CPUs coming as well, that are rumoured to be using the same AM4 socket, we are sure to see many improvements and support for AM4 for a very long time. Intel have been moving from socket to socket almost every year so for those more budget conscience, the AM4 platform is a great place to invest your money into.