Best DDR5 motherboard in 2022 (overclocking & budget)

The best DDR5 RAM motherboards to unlock the full potential of your DDR5 memory for gaming and creative workflows

Best DDR5 Motherboard
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DDR5 RAM is finally becoming a reality for gamers and other PC enthusiasts, but you’ll need to buy yourself a brand spanking new DDR5 motherboard to play it on, not to mention a DDR5 compatible CPU. When it comes to the all-important motherboard component, at the time of writing  Z690 motherboards are the only ones you can buy that are capable of supporting DDR5 memory, though other chipset types will soon be released. In terms of the CPU, Intel’s latest Alder Lake CPUs are currently the only processors that support DDR5, and you can pick yourself up one on our Where to buy Intel 12th gen page, as well as read more about them in our Best Intel 12th gen CPU guide.

If you still aren’t sure what all the fuss is about relating to DDR5, do have a quick scan through our DDR4 vs DDR5 page, which should shed some light on the situation. If you haven’t yet bought your new memory, check out our Where to buy DDR5 page for all the latest links from the biggest retailers.

For everyone else will be discussing the best DDR5 motherboards available depending on your budget and personal requirements, taking into account price, performance, features, and aesthetics and updating our selections accordingly as new DDR5 memory compatible motherboards become available.

DDR5 will also be available on the up and coming AM5 platform from AMD, here’s everything we know on AM5 so far .

Our Top Picks

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WePC Awards Best In Class
The best all round DDR5 motherboard
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The best high-end DDR5 RAM motherboard with the most room for overclocking
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The Best Mini-ITX DDR5 Motherboard

What budget do I need for a DDR5 motherboard?

As time goes by and more DDR5 motherboards come on the market, the minimum budget you will need for your DDR5 motherboard will reduce. At the present time, however, the only motherboard chipset currently compatible with DDR5 RAM is the Z690 series, and these are largely high-end offerings for enthusiast gamers and PC builders, coming with the most features and the only way to overclock the new Intel 12th Gen series of CPUs.  You’ll only really want to consider buying a Z690 motherboard if you’re planning on pairing it with an Intel Core i9-12900K/KF, Core i7-12700K/KF, or at a push the i5-12600K/KF.

If your budget can’t stretch to this, then we’d consider waiting until the more affordable H670, B660, and H610 motherboards arrive. That being said, we have made a budget DDR5 motherboard selection in this guide, which represents the cheapest you can currently by at this time.

DDR4 Vs DDR5

If you want a detailed breakdown of the comparison of DDR5 vs DDR4 RAM then we’d check out our dedicated DDR5 and DDR4 vs DDR5 pages, but in short, DDR5 will offer greater clock speed/data rates, lower power consumption, a greater amount of memory per stick, and greater protection against file corruption compared to its predecessor. See below for a comparative table.

FeatureDDR4DDR5DDR5 Advantage
Data rates3200Mhz4800-6400mhzIncreased performance and bandwidth
VDD/VDDQ/VPP1.21.1Lower power
Device densities16GB Max64GBLarger monolithic devices
Prefetch8n16nKeeps the internal core clock low
CRCWriteRead/WriteStrengthens system RAS by protecting read data
Burst lengthBL8BL16, BL32Allows 64B cache line fetch w/only 1 DIMM subchannel.

Motherboard form factor

Regardless of which chipset you buy, you need to consider its form factor when building out a PC. Motherboards come in a wide variety of sizes, from large E-ATX models, all the way down to the smaller Mini-ITX. Which you go for largely coincides with your choice of case, however, the vast majority of builders tend to find themselves in the mid-tower, ATX range.

atx mobo eatx

 

We generally recommend ATX, as they aren’t restricted in terms of features and you can really push your new hardware with this form factor, without overspending on an E-ATX. If you are tight on budget, you probably aren’t going to be shopping for a Z690 period, so it is worth waiting for the other chipsets and looking for an mATX form factor board.

Motherboard form factor

LGA 1700 socket

Currently, only Intel 12th Gen CPUs are compatible with DDR5, with the new AMD Zen 4 CPUs still a way off yet. As all Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake processors use the LGA 1700 socket (which replaces the previous-gen LGA 1200), all the current DDR5 motherboards will need to come with this socket.

The LGA 1700 features an additional 500 contact points compared to its predecessor, and a size increase from a square 37.5mm x 37.5mm (LGA 1200) to 45mm x 37.5mm.

ROG Press Kit 42

This means that your current cooler will not fit with your new setup unless you get yourself an LGA 1700 mounting bracket from the manufacturer. Luckily, as long as you can show proof of purchase, most manufacturers are giving away the supporting bracket for free on compatible coolers.

ROG Press Kit 14

For those who may have lost their receipt or cannot be bothered waiting don’t worry, the LGA 1700 mounting bracket kits are now largely on sale. They can cost anywhere between 1 cent and $5.

Is a DDR5 motherboard worth it?

If you’re planning on picking up an Intel 12th gen CPU as soon as they release, namely the 12900K, 12700K, or 12600K, then most of the compatible Z690 motherboards will be DDR5 enabled anyway. Unless you’re really keen on saving money in the short term then we’d avoid going with the few DDR4 Z690 options as these will limit your future upgrading capacity, and pick up a DDR5 motherboard. If you’re planning on waiting for the non-K Intel Alder Lake CPUs to be released in 2022, or for the lower-powered Intel 12400, then sticking to a DDR4 motherboard could be worth it (we’d wait and see until closer to the release of these CPUs), but if you’re holding out for an AMD Zen 4 Ryzen CPU then DDR5 is likely the way to go, as AMD processors tend to be strongly bottlenecked by the RAM they use.

The best DDR5 motherboards

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In-depth Review

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The best all round DDR5 motherboard
WePC Awards Best In Class
Asus Logo

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero WiFi

Editor's Rating
5/5
Pros

6400+ (OC) MHz max memory speed

4X 32GB DDR55 DIMM slots (128GB total)

20+1 power stages (90A)

PCIe Slot Q-Release

Dual Thunderbolt 4 USB-C

Cons

No 10GB Ethernet

Less power stages than the most premium models

The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is undoubtedly one of the best DDR5 compatible motherboards that money can buy. Though more premium ASUS options like the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z690 EXTREME and ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z690 EXTREME GLACIAL claim to bring with them additional OptiMem III DDR5 technology, this seems to be largely a marketing gimmick and the actual difference this will make to your RAM timings seems negligible. Of greater difference is the slightly higher 24+1 power stages of these two high-end options, which will enable enthusiasts to overclock both their CPU and their RAM that bit further, however, the 20+1 power stages of the ROG Maximus Hero will be more than enough for the majority of gaming enthusiasts, and whilst not cheap it doesn’t come with the ridiculously eye-watering price tags of these other two boards (the GLacial being three times the price), which put them out of reach of anyone without the deepest of pockets.

This motherboard comes with 4x DIMM slots for your DDR5 memory, up to a maximum of 128GB (more than most people could reasonably need), and a 6400+ MHz max memory speed.

ASUS’ Intelligent Control technology (essentially AI overclocking), ROG water cooling zone, chunky VRM heatsink, and integrated aluminum I/O cover with conductive thermal pad give great support for overclocking enthusiasts, not to mention the 3x M.2 heatsinks, 2x M.2 backplates. Two-way noise cancellation tools are also included, as are Dual Thunderbolt 4 USB-C and a ROG Hyper M.2 card with Gen 5 M.2 support.

In terms of RGB you get the Aura Sync RGB lighting system, which includes ‘one RGB header and three addressable Gen 2 RGB headers’. Though we would have liked to have seen 10GB Ethernet support, the 2.5GB will do for most users.

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The best high-end DDR5 RAM motherboard with the most room for overclocking

GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Master

Editor's Rating
5/5
Pros

6600 (OC) MHz max memory speed

4X 32GB DDR55 DIMM slots (128GB total)

20+1+2 Direct Digital VRM Design

AQUANTIA 10 GbE BASE-T LAN

2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C

Cons

Very expensive

The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Xtreme isn’t the most powerful DDR5 compatible motherboard out there, but it definitely represents the most we could recommend anyone spend on a motherboard and certainly isn’t cheap. Indeed the only real drawback of this motherboard is the high cost, which means only those going for the most premium builds should consider it.

The Z690 Aorus Xtreme comes with the highest maximum ceiling for RAM clock speeds on this page, meaning that if you want to push your DDR5 as far as you reasonably can, the Aorus Xtreme is the pick for you. Besides this, the 20+1+2 VRM design gives the most power stages of any of our picks, so for those looking to get themselves an Intel Core i9-12900K and overclock it to the max this would be ideal. The thermal reactive ‘armor’ gives you the most overclocking runway to play with in terms of cooling, coming with a patented NanoCarbon fins-array III, ‘direct touch heat pipe II’, M.2 sink and NanoCarbon baseplate.

Aside from this the motherboard comes with tantalum polymer capacitors, 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, and AQUANTIA 10 GbE BASE-T LAN. Lovely stuff.

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The Best Mini-ITX DDR5 Motherboard
Asus Logo

ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi

Editor's Rating
4.5/5
Pros

6400+ (OC) MHz max memory speed

2X 32GB DDR55 DIMM slots (64GB total)

2x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C

Cons

Only 10+1 Power stages

Less features than ATX models similarly priced

The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I is easily one of the best Mini-ITX motherboards for this chipset, it’s feature-packed, designed to perfection, and incredibly reliable. The DDR5 features of this motherboard are barely limited by its smaller size: 64GB will be more than enough for any gamer for years to come, and the 6400+ OC MHz max RAM speed is up there with the majority of full-sized options. The size obviously does bring limitations in terms of the number of PCIe lanes, which is limited to 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16. Additionally, the power stages are limited to 10+1 which means that limitations will be put on any overclocking of both the CPU and memory, fortunately, the thermal design has been well optimized, with an Integrated I/O cover and VRM heatsinks that feature high-conductivity thermal pads.

Besides the PCIe 5.0 support the board comes with two Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C ports, a ProCool II power connector, and durable capacitors to support multi-core CPUs.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I board also supports HDMI 2.1 and industry-leading gaming audio, which is a delightful feature.

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The best budget DDR5 motherboard
Asus Logo

ASUS Prime Z690-P

Editor's Rating
4.5/5
Pros

4X 32GB DDR55 DIMM slots (128GB total)

Relatively cheap for a Z690 motherboard

2.5GB Ethernet

1x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C

Good build quality for a cheaper motherboard

Cons

Only supports DDR5 RAM up to 6000MHz

Only 14+1 Power Stages

The closest thing to a budget DDR5 memory-compatible motherboard that’s currently available is another piece of classic ASUS design. The ASUS Prime Z690-P is the updated, Alder Lake compatible version of the Rocket Lake ASUS Prime Z590-P, which was one of our favorites of the previous generation, primarily for its build quality.

The ASUS Prime Z690-P has Thunderbolt 4 support, though this is only limited to one port. It has 2.5GB LAN Ethernet support, which is the same as our more expensive top pick, as well as Wi-Fi6 which is a nice feature for the money.

The features 14+1 Power Stages will limit your ability to overclock your 12th Gen Intel CPU, but it’s still respectable and not the lowest of the selections here today. The 6000MHz max RAM speed is limited, but again will be fine for many users trying to save money. The max 128GB RAM capacity is above what any gamer will reasonably need for years to come.

Final Word

This has been our guide to the best DDR5 motherboard. We hope that it has proved useful in helping you decide which of the DDR5 motherboards on offer is the right one for your needs, and that your PC build is coming along beautifully. Don’t forget to read our Where to buy Intel 12th gen CPU page if you’re looking to pick up an Alder Lake CPU for your DDR5 build, and of course, our Where to Buy DDR5 page to pick up your precious RAM sticks themselves. Do also let us know in the comments below if you’ve got any DDR5-related motherboard questions.

 

 

The Author Who Worked On This Article

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WePC
Jack has been interested in computers and tech since 10 years old when he decided to dismantle his PC to see how it worked. Ever since Jack has had a passion for IT and gaming beyond any other. He loves the data and testing process and allowing himself to take an analytical and technical approach to PC hardware. He’s even gone as far as getting educated in cyber security.

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