Best Motherboards for Audio Production – A good motherboard can facilitate your audio production rig, however, before you delve into getting one, you have to study how one motherboard is differentiated from the other.
In this article, we briefly had a look at some of the important consideration when choosing the best motherboard for Audio production as well as looked at the motherboards that are highly reviewed for this matter.
The point to note here is that the choice of the components, including the motherboard, entirely depends upon your budget and what you wish to achieve.
If you are a beginner, we would recommend you keep things simple. Alternatively, if you are a pro then you can look into some of the more advanced models DEPENDING LARGELY upon what processor you invest in.back to menu ↑
1.ASUS Prime Z490-A
- Intel LGA 1200 Socket: Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors
- Enhanced Power Solution: 12+2 DrMOS power stages, 6-layer PCB, ProCool sockets, alloy chokes and durable capacitors for stable power delivery
The Prime Z490-A features a black PCB with white strips running across it. The rear I/O shield, as well as the chipset heatsink on this board, are also colored white. The bright, contrasting color on this otherwise dark component is eye-catching and draws your attention to these two areas on the board.
Other than that, the board isn’t particularly decorative. The rear I/O panel and chipset heatsink are plainly adorned and not much to look at. This changes when you power up the system and RGB LEDs embedded in these two items illuminate, but even then the Z490-A has to be one of the least flashy premium boards I’ve reviewed lately.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Some people don’t want any extra flair inside their PCs, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more boards like this tastefully reserved platform in the high-end market.back to menu ↑
2.ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E
- Intel LGA 1200 socket: Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors
- Robust Power Solution: 14+2 power stages with ProCool II power connector, high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors to provide reliable power even when push the CPU performance to the limit
The Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming is priced at , making it the most expensive Z490 ROG Strix motherboard in the lineup. For this price, it includes the latest in connectivity, including Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201, 2.5 GbE LAN, front and rear USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connectors, and a premium audio codec. All of what we expect to see at this price on this platform is here.
Asus currently has twenty — yes, 20 — different Z490 boards, with the ROG Maximus boards sitting above the Z490 ROG Strix series in the stack. Asus also carries the TUF, Prime, Creator, and ProArt lines, each with their own styling, features and price points. From Mini-ITX to E-ATX, for overclockers or professionals, Asus offers a suitable Z490 motherboard for pretty much every type of builder or build.back to menu ↑
3.ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula
- Intel LGA 1200 socket: Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors
- Extreme Power Solution: features 16 infineon power stages, each rated to handle 70 amps, high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors to provide reliable power even when push the CPU performance to the limit
In today’s review let’s check out the Asus ROG Maximus XII Formula Z490 motherboard; built for the latest Intel 10th gen Core processors. If you’re familiar with Asus’ lineup, a “Maximus Formula” motherboard is one of the company’s high-end motherboards.
Maximus Formulas are designed with the water-cooling enthusiasts in mind. It has been that way starting with the Maximus V, released many years ago. If you’re in the market for such a motherboard, let’s continue below and find out what features the Maximus XII Formula offers and how it performs.
In this review let’s explore the features of the Maximus XII Formula motherboard, as well as its specifications. We are also going to take a closer look and see what components are hidden under those “armor”. And finally, let’s check out how this motherboard performs compared to other Z490 motherboards.back to menu ↑
- Supports 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen with Radeon graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics desktop processors for socket AM4
- Supports DDR4 memory, up to 4133(OC) MHz
Based on AMD B450 chipset, this board supports up to 2nd generation AMD Ryzen processors of up to eight cores. It’s built with thermals and speed in mind, allowing you to take full advantage of your high-end components and the latest technology, like high-frequency RAMs, NVMe SSDs and USB 3.1 Gen2 devices.
It’s also built using premium materials, ensuring unbeatable quality and reliability even in the most torturous environments. Moreover, with onboard LED lighting and the RGB LED header, you have the ability to create and customize mesmerizing lighting effects, which make your rig look just as good as it performs.back to menu ↑
5.Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Elite
- Supports 9th and 8th Intel Core processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
The Pro variant costs about more coming in at $180. They are pretty much the same board, with the Pro adding a few extra features such as two thermal guards on both M.2 slots, PCIe armor on both slots, and USB type-C on the I/O panel.
We’ve tested out both boards in-house and the VRM thermal performance is exceptional, beating $300+ models from Asus.
Today we take at our second GIGABYTE Z390 motherboard, and while the first one had an excellent VRM, this model is more cost effective, so we aren’t expecting the same quality VRM, but still a good one.back to menu ↑
6GIGABYTE Z490 Vision
- Supports 10th Gen Intel Core processors
- Direct 12 Phases Digital VRM with 50A Smart Power Stage
Gigabyte states its Vision line offers “…a no-compromise platform that excels in performance, functionality, and stability… paving the way for creators to work faster and efficiently…” The Vision D is higher up the product stack than the Vision G, bringing more features to the table including integrated Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and RGB lighting.
The Vision G, on the other hand, is priced about $90 less and doesn’t include the features mentioned in the previous sentence. Outside of that, both motherboards offer users solid power delivery, premium integrated audio, and more.
Performance between these two boards in our tests was nearly indistinguishable, as we would expect. Both have the same power delivery and utilize the same behavior for Intel boostback to menu ↑
7.ASUS TUF X570-PRO
- AMD AM4 Socket and PCIe 4. 0: The perfect pairing for Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 & 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs
- Robust Power Design: 12+2 DrMOS power stages with high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors to provide reliable power for the last AMD high-count-core CPUs
In our testing suite, the board performed OK, on average running slightly slower than the other boards, though there were few significant outliers on either side of average
At the time of publishing, the matured Asus X570 lineup includes options from the TUF, Prime, Strix, WS (Workstation), and ROG lines, a total of 14 boards. Since we last checked, Asus added a Mini-ITX option, which was the only form-factor missing.
Today, the product stack consists of a wide variety of motherboards in varying sizes, feature sets, and price points. There is likely something for everyone in the company’s X570 lineup.back to menu ↑
8.Asus ROG X570
- AMD AM4 socket: ready for 2nd, and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and up to two M. 2 drives, USB 3. 2 Gen2, and AMD StoreMI to maximize connectivity and speed.
- Comprehensive thermal design: active PCH heatsink, M. 2 aluminum heatsink and ROG cooling zone.
Offering support for both the Ryzen 5000 and 3000 series processors, X570 is still AMD’s flagship consumer chipset with plenty of PCIe 4.0 support through its full-length PCIe slots and M.2 slots. For users considering B550, chipset-based PCIe 4.0 is the major benefit here.
One of the models launched back when X570 was announced is the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming, so even though it has been out a while, it has been a popular option and we wanted to test it. Representing the ROG Strix series that caters to the mid-range, it focuses on blending modern aesthetics with RGB, premium controller sets and features.
The X570-E follows a similar design to the vast majority of its Strix branded models, with futuristic graffiti across the heatsinks, with RGB LEDs integrated into the rear panel cover and chipset heatsinks.back to menu ↑
9.ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII
- AMD AM4 socket: Ready for 2nd, 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors
- Comprehensive thermal design: Passive chipset heatsink, M.2 aluminum heatsinks and ROG Water Cooling Zone.
The Asus X570 motherboard lineup includes options from the TUF, Prime, Strix, WS (Workstation), and ROG lines in ATX form-factor only (currently). If you are looking for an ITX board, it will have to be from Gigabyte or ASRock for now, while Micro-ATX boards can be found in Asus, MSI, ASRock, and Gigabyte lineups.
The OG Crosshair VIII Formula leads the pack, followed by the Hero and WS, with the Strix, Prime and TUF lines mixed in on the way down the product stack. With a total of 10 motherboards in its lineup, Asus has enough options to suit most builds.
The Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi’s price point lands it in the upper mid-range of all X570 boardsback to menu ↑
10.Gigabyte B550M AORUS PRO-P
- Supports AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen and 3rd Gen Ryzen with Radeon Graphics Processors
- Dual Channel ECC/ Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
Previously, we reviewed the least-expensive B550 MicroATX motherboards we could find using the Ryzen 9 3900X CPU. Though some couldn’t handle overclocking, we found that most of these boards had no issues dealing with the then-flagship Ryzen 9 3900X. So what if you want to use the newer Ryzen 9 5950X? For the most part, these boards can handle the new CPU at stock settings, but not PBO or overclocking.
For that, you will need to step up a tier. To that end, we’re looking over the Gigabyte B550M Aorus Pro, which has better power delivery, more features, and a slightly higher price tag than entry-level B550 boards. Will it make our best B550 motherboards list?back to menu ↑
Best Motherboards for Audio Production – BUYER’S GUIDE
We’ve essentially covered everything we needed to. With your motherboard, CPU, RAM and hard drive… You’ll be capable of moving onto the next step; assembly.
The first thing you’ll need is a computer case!
I’ll be recommending one at the bottom, but one of the joys of building your own PC is to choose your own. I encourage you to find your own, but you can get inspired from the one I chose!
Another important component you’ll need is the power supply. The power rating you’ll need will depend on what you put into your build. I’ll be recommending one that’ll work based on my recommendations, but keep that in mind if you venture out.
What about GPUs?
If you’re solely working on music production, the integrated graphics will be fine.
However, you may eventually want your own dedicated graphics card for video production, gaming and so on. Other than that, you’ll be good to go if you follow my instructions!
I won’t actually be showing you how to assemble everything, but you can always reach out to me personally if you need help. I’ll be sharing some videos that could potentially help you assemble your machine since it’s beyond the scope of this post.
So there you have it… The best computer components for music production (according to me).back to menu ↑
Frequently Asked Questionsback to menu ↑
Do You Plan to Use the Built in Motherboard Sound Card or Have an Audio Interface?
If you are a beginner without a dedicated studio, audio production equipment or an audio interface, you may choose to get started with just the built-in motherboard sound card.
If you choose to go this route, then there are few drawbacks to note:
Many professionals find that the built-in motherboard sound card is prone to noise generation and hence they resort to separate standalone audio interface instead.
On top of that, sound cards, be it built in or dedicated ones installed on the PCIe slots, have minimal I/O ports for a typical recording studio.
Other important consideration are high quality preamps and latency. Dedicated Audio Interfaces tend to solve all these issues but they can get expensive particularly for beginners.back to menu ↑
Best Motherboards for Audio Production – If you want to build a custom PC for audio production, then choosing the right motherboard that complements the rest of your system well is an essential factor to consider.
The issue here is that there are a ton of choices ranging from affordable motherboards all the way to premium models. So which one do you choose? The one you choose depends rather on your budget as well as your level of production/expertise.
There are many levels of PCs that you can build. Do you want to build a mid range, high performance or perhaps a workstation build for your audio production? All these are important considerations when choosing the right motherboard.