Best Motherboards for VR

Best Motherboards for VR – In this article we talked about some of the best motherboards for VR. We looked at motherboards for an AMD as well as an Intel setup.

Along with that we talked extensively about what it means to be a good motherboard for VR, the requirements for a typical VR headset as well as how to make sure that your system stays future proof with latest high res VR headsets out there.

The point to note here is that in order to support high end gaming on a high end VR headset, you need a powerful overall PC. In that sense a good motherboard for VR is typically a good motherboard for gaming.

ROUND UP

There you have it, the best motherboards for gaming. Which motherboard will you choose? The X570 and Z490 Godlike are easily the best motherboards you can get for the respective AMD and Intel chipsets. The top four boards on this list would make any build go to the next level and give you plenty of opportunity for overclocking.

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1.MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen

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OUR TAKE

Boasting a 12.00 x 9.60 x 2.00 inches in design and weighing 2.65 pounds, this Motherboard is one of the MSI top designs. It is efficient, high performing, and compatible with the latest AMD Ryzen processors. It is built for high performance, stability, and longevity. It is compatible with any PC and is optimized for media and professional use.

Enjoy its usability across multiple Ryzen 3000 series processors, scalable graphic performance, and a core boost. This board will work perfectly with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors. It also has a flash BIOS button making it so much easier to flash any bios without installing a graphic card, CPU, or Memor

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2.MSI B450M

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OUR TAKE

Today we are reviewing an ideal AMD gaming solution motherboard for a value mATX gaming PC build from MSI, the MSI B450M MORTAR motherboard based on new AMD B450 Chipset. Since a AMD B350 motherboard will still allows to run the new 2nd Generation Ryzen Processors with a simple BIOS update, so many are left wondering what AMD B450 Chipset offers.

Following shows what new AMD’s 400-series chipsets come bundled with. An array of extremely attractive features combined with MSI’s own improvements on the newest MSI B450 motherboard.

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3.ASUS Prime B550M-A

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OUR TAKE

In our testing, the B550M-A Wi-Fi performed admirably, its results mixing in well with all of the other B550 motherboards we’ve tested so far. About the only benchmark where this board seemed off was application startup, and video testing was a bit lower than the rest. Outside of that, gaming results were spot on, and power use was average among all B550 motherboards.

The biggest concern with this model is how hot the VRMs got during testing with our Ryzen 9 3900X. While they were running within the board’s operating parameters, they ran well over 80 degrees Celsius at stock, almost a full 30 degrees Celsius over the other boards.

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4.ASUS AM4 TUF

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OUR TAKE

These changes have made the Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus Wi-Fi the second-least-expensive board in the Asus X570 product stack just missing the mark to be  our best motherboards pick in the budget X570 category.

The TUF Gaming X570-Plus Wi-Fi’s $200 price will help buyers who want to purchase the flagship chipset and all that it offers, while leaving room in their budget for other important parts. Asus accomplishes this by not using ‘value adds’ like an integrated rear IO  plate or loads of RGB lighting.

The X570-Plus Wi-Fi handled overclocking our Ryzen 7 3700X without a complaint and performed well in our benchmarks at stock speeds, making it a good base to build a new AMD Ryzen 3000 series system.

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5.MSI Z490-A

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OUR TAKE

A performance- and feature-packed motherboard constructed with premium components, advanced circuit design and extensive heatsink, offering a solid foundation for your new powerhouse based on the 10th generation Intel Core processors.

This ATX motherboard boasts a plethora of ports with ultra-fast transmission to meet your current build and future upgrade. And the support for Mystic Light Sync lets you customize and sync gorgeous lighting across your rig, so you can create a game machine that looks as great as it performs.

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6.GIGABYTE X570 AORUS

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OUR TAKE

Gigabyte’s Aorus boards are the company’s gaming and enthusiast lineup, usually including features such as RGB LEDs, metal “armor” on the DIMM and/or PCIe slots, electrostatic discharge (ESD) guards, along with more of a focus on styling.

The Aorus Ultra fits that mold, while offering a wide array of functionality at a reasonable price point. Gigabyte’s X570 lineup includes common board sizes and a wide range of price points, from the entry-level X570 UD to the flagship X570 Aorus Xtreme offering a bit of something for everyone, even a Mini-ITX board in the X570-I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi.

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7.Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme AM4

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OUR TAKE

GIGABYTE’s exclusive 2X Copper PCBs design provides sufficient power trace paths between components to handle greater than normal power loads and to remove heat from the critical CPU power delivery area. This is essential to ensure the motherboard is able to handle the increased power loading that is necessary when overclocking.

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8.ASRock X570 Taichi

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OUR TAKE

Total I/O panel USB count is eight, but only two of those (a Type A and a Type-C) support 10Gbps transfers while the remainder have only 5Gbps. This, it turns out, is a matter of cost rather than platform capability, as both the CPU and PCH support both standards.

The single PS/2, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and S/PDIF ports remain, and the Ethernet and Audio connections are still fed from the same i211AT controller and ALC1220 codec, so that the extra buttons and newer Wi-Fi appear to be the only I/O updates.

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9.ASRock B550

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OUR TAKE

Asrock’s new B550 Taichi  is no exception. A full-ATX board built around AMD’s second-best Ryzen chipset (one step down from the top-shelf X570), this Taichi’s build quality ranks with higher-end motherboards that we’ve reviewed, and its price initially feels like good deal given the feature set.

However, some significant issues with this board’s RAM support and a few other things keep it from the high marks usually earned by Taichi-branded motherboards.

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10.ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G

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OUR TAKE

While we don’t currently have information about what’s on the rear panel, we know the board has support for a maximum of 15 USB ports when combining the rear panel and what the boards support through front panel headers. The networking of the Wi-Fi enabled board consists of an AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface with support for BT 5.1 devices, while both versions include a single Intel I225-V 2.5 G Ethernet port.

From the above, we can see that there is at least four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, with an HDMI and DisplayPort 1.4 pair of video outputs. The five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are controlled by a SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec.

ASUS hasn’t announced when the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming or the Wi-Fi enabled model will be launched, and as of yet, ASUS hasn’t set pricing.

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Best Motherboards for VR – BUYER’S GUIDE

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Form Factor

The physical footprint may be something you need to consider when choosing your motherboard. If you’re tight on space, you may want to consider a smaller-sized computer case. If you’ve got plenty of room and want to build an impressive system, then going for a larger form factor could be beneficial.

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Socket

Every motherboard is going to have a specific socket type. This is the physical slot on the motherboard that holds your CPU in place. You’re going to have to match up the socket type of your motherboard to your CPU making sure they are compatible.

Trying to fit the wrong processor into the wrong socket type can cause fatal damage to your components, and no one wants that.

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Chipsets

A large factor when determining which motherboard is right for you and your needs is the chipset. Your chipset is a key factor in determining which features your motherboard comes with. This ranges from PCIe lanes to SATA ports, and even overclocking support. Even if your processor allows overclocking, if the motherboard’s chipset doesn’t support it, then you won’t be able to do it.

With AMD & Intel having non-compatible sockets and chipsets, it’s always worth making sure that your latest hardware components are compatible. Especially when new RAM, motherboards, and CPUs are being released on an all too regular basis.

Memory

When it comes to checking memory compatibility, you need to pay attention to four things: Max supported memory, memory speed, multi-channel support, and how many memory slots are on the board.

Check the specs against the motherboard, this will let you know precisely what the motherboard will support when it comes to speed and how many

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PCI slots

Peripheral Component Interconnect, or PCI, is the physical slot in which you can expand the capabilities of your basic system.

This includes, but not limited to things like:

  • Wi-Fi card
  • Video card
  • Extra USB ports
  • NVMe expansion cards

There are two types of PCI slots: PCI and PCI Express (PCIe). The PCIe slot is a larger, faster version of the PCI slot.

Basic expansion cards such as a wifi adapter only require the much smaller PCI slot, while larger, more powerful cards such as your graphics card, require the larger and more powerful PCIe slot.

Making sure you have enough PCI slots for all of your components is important. If you’re running multiple GPUs and want to add in say a network and a sound card or an NVMe expansion card, you might have to check to make sure your motherboard has enough slots to accommodate.

The other thing to look for is plenty of spacing. If you’re planning on running multiple GPUs that are large, you may need PCIe slots that are further apart to allow for adequate space.

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Fan Headers

The last thing you need to make sure of is that you have enough fan headers for everything you plan on running. If you’re running a lot of fans, or maybe RGB controllers, you’re going to have to make sure you have enough headers on the motherboard to support this.

If you’re interested in learning more about motherboards, then you can read all about how motherboards are made, as well as what all of the main components do.

memory slots there are.

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Memory Location

Also, some motherboards will have their memory slots a little closer to the CPU than others. Once in a while, this can cause an issue with the CPU heatsink. If you have a larger than normal heatsink for your CPU, you might want to make sure it won’t barge into your memory slot area.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a VR Ready Motherboard?

The term “VR Ready” was used a few years back as a buzz and a marketing term for highlighting the fact that the motherboard has enough USB ports and the HDMI ports to support VR headsets.

VR headsets, from brands like Oculus, have a number of USB ports that they require to operate. An Oculus Rift, for example, requires 3 x USB 3.0 ports, or better, for its three sensors and one USB 2.0 ports for the headset itself.

While the sensors can be connected to USB 2.0 ports, they would not work optimally as the USB 2.0 has a slower transfer speed as compared to a USB 3.0.

The sensors basically are the critical components that track your movement and adjust the displayed screen. Failing to provide enough transfer speed to these sensors can result in a less satisfying experience.

Hence, the motherboards that previously listed themselves as “VR” ready basically addressed the fact they have enough USB ports as well as a single HDMI port in order to operate the Virtual Reality headsets.

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Is Motherboard a Critical Component for VR?

Newer VR headsets have a very high resolution and thus would require a powerful overall system. Source: HP Reverb G2

While not directly, since any motherboard so long as it has the aforementioned ports would be able to support most VR headsets, it is the overall system that you want to build that makes a motherboard highly relevant.

Playing games on a Virtual Reality headset requires that your GPU support very high resolution. Take Oculus Rift as an example. It has a resolution of 1280 x 1440 per eye totaling 2560×1440 on both.

As such, in order to game on this large display while maintaining a very high frame rate, you would require a fairly power gaming PC.

Now in order to do so, you would need a PC that has support for the required CPU socket as well as runs cool even during heavy load thanks to better quality VRMs.

In that sense, a good motherboard becomes highly relevant.

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What is the Most Important Component for a Good Virtual Reality Experience?

A powerful graphics card is by the most critical component for any VR based gaming PC.

That depends upon what you want to achieve from the VR headset. If you simply want to watch movies, then even a PC with an integrated graphics card would work.

However, that is obviously not the reason why most would choose to go for a VR headset. The primary audience of a VR headset are gamers.

Hence, the most critical component here is naturally the graphics card. The recommended graphics card for a VR headset like OCULUS Rift is an NVIDIA GTX 1060. However, note that this recommendation is based on the fact that the Oculus rift has the resolution of 2560×1440 in total or 1280×1440 per eye.

Newer headsets like HP Reverb G2 and Pimax 8k have a resolution of 4k and whopping 8k respectively. This is multiple folds higher than the resolution on an Oculus Rift.

Now to support this resolution while maintaining a high frame an NVIDIA 1060 would definitely not be enough.

You would have to invest in a much more powerful graphics card and may even need better ports like USB 3.2, HDMI 2.0. You may even be tempted to build a dual graphics card rig in order to maintain the frame rates at ultra high resolution and ultra high graphics.

Hence, a good future proof motherboard with overclocking capability and good phase power design to maintain cool temperatures would become all the more relevant.

In short, a good motherboard is the building block of a good gaming PC. If you want to build an ultimate gaming PC to support the high end and high res VR headsets, it is recommended that you invest in a good quality motherboard for VR as well.

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WRAP UP

Best Motherboards for VR –  While CPUs and video cards are essential for any good gaming PC, they don’t represent the whole picture. Motherboards are the unsung heroes of PC gaming, and no rig is complete without them. Obviously, the primary reason they’re important is that they house your components — anybody could tell you that.

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