There are a lot of motherboard manufacturers out there, but four of them are the most prominent names in terms of production and popularity. They are ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte and ASRock. In today’s article, we are going to find out how these brands stack up against each other and if there’s really one best motherboard manufacturer that stands out among the bunch.
All these companies have tons of products at pretty much any price you can ask for. While this is a great thing for buyers, it can certainly be confusing especially when you hear both good and bad things about the manufacturers from their customer reviews. We will provide you with some of the positives and negatives about each of these brands to help you decide what might be the best motherboard company out of them.
ASUS vs Gigabyte vs MSI vs ASRock
A few years ago, ASUS was single-handedly the top choice for a lot of gaming and productivity PCs. The market has changed a lot now and while other manufacturers are pretty much on point with their deliverables, ASUS has kept its pace and still is one of the top quality companies out there. ASUS motherboards can be on the expensive side of products, but there is a lot going for them in terms of style, premium components and features. Luckily, ASUS offers some solid options even at their affordable segments of products.
They seem to put a lot of effort into their design, with sleek and subtle aesthetics, well-implemented RGB and the high-quality build and construction. Their ROG Strix and TUF line of motherboards are not unfamiliar to any PC builder thanks to the consistency in performance, hardware and value for money. Whereas TUF focuses on the practicality and essential aspects of the motherboards, ROG is geared more towards style and flashiness. Regardless of what the model is called, you generally get excellent build quality and solid VRMs, even on the cheaper models.
ASUS offers a wide range of products for all budgets, be it entry-level multimedia PCs or high-end gaming desktops, and you are almost always expected to get powerful VRMs and robust performance with the added bonus of great looks. The quality reputation is reflected in the great customer service that ASUS provides. ASUS boards feature probably the most user-friendly interface we have seen, which makes them great for overclocking and tweaking your rig. The only thing we hope ASUS improves on is their updates on the lower-end models and of course, the price.
- Great aesthetics and RGB in general.
- Probably the most premium build quality from top-to-bottom.
- Make the most out of CPU clock speeds.
- Fewer features per dollar than other brands.
In our opinion, Gigabyte motherboards are some of the best looking and most stable pieces of hardware in the market. As with any other manufacturer on this list, you are bound to see both positive and negative reviews for Gigabyte as well. Based on our experiences, they are consistently a top tier company and produce some of the most well-built products in the market. While they do provide high-quality components and decent performance across their extensive range of products, much of the premium you pay is for the aesthetics.
Gigabyte is known to excel at both affordable as well as premium hardware. A good example will be their AORUS series. AORUS motherboards are ubiquitous in the market, ranging from some solid value for money options to the most high-end ones with the latest and greatest hardware. While some other products from them tend to stick to the basics offering essential quality and features at great prices.
On comparing ASUS vs Gigabyte motherboard, the BIOS on Gigabyte is nothing exceptional but is pretty functional and intuitive enough for overclocking and tinkering. Though they have greatly improved on the software control and user friendliness with their recent BIOS improvements. We believe that Gigabyte boards are too much focussed on being ‘balanced’ such that they don’t excel at any single category. Turns out that this might be the reason why they are often overlooked in favor of ASUS or MSI.
- Reliable and Stable hardware in general.
- Their mid to high-end boards look gorgeous.
- Good customer support.
- Decent value for money.
- Don’t stand out at anything in particular.
- Their software is mediocre.
MSI is most known for their gaming components and hardware which includes everything from GPUs, motherboards to gaming laptops and PC cases. Most MSI boards are aggressively geared towards gamers with their signature red and black aesthetics and great performance on a budget. The amazing value sometimes leads to corner cuts or cheaper workarounds, but that hasn’t stopped MSI from becoming the best motherboard company for budget gamers. On the other hand, this raises the doubt are MSI motherboards good for other environments, say content creation or workstations. Turns out the answer is yes.
MSI’s aesthetics are more distinctive, or we should say less expensive than ASUS, which is a hit-or-miss when it comes to the reception by the masses. We don’t worry too much about the looks on our motherboards, but some of you might do. Nevertheless, some of the more premium X570 motherboards from MSI look gorgeous. They are also shifting from long in the tooth red-black design to a sleeker all-black styling with their newer models.
You’ll find a wide range of MSI products at all budget levels, but they have received a lot of criticism for their newer models, especially the most recent X570 line of motherboards. Many users have complained about BIOS issues or the VRMs running too hot when using these newer chipset motherboards with Ryzen 3000. We can definitely understand the case with that but the problems are specific to a few motherboards only.
On the flipside, their more affordable chipset models, particularly the B450 and X470 motherboards have been huge success, with the MSI B450 Tomahawk widely accepted as the single most recommended motherboard for the entire B450 inventory across all brands. MSI has always been quick to deliver BIOS updates and will be one of the leading brands as long as they keep making products like their B450 motherboards.
- Great range of products for all budgets.
- Highly competitive prices in the entry level market.
- Very well suited for gaming centric rigs.
- MSI did break the BIOS and VRM on some of their newer chipset motherboards.
- Not the most ‘expensive’ looks.
ASRock offers some of the cheapest products among these brands, but that doesn’t translate the same way to the quality they offer at those prices. ASRock offers the most bang for the buck as far as motherboards go. We keep hearing from the numerous customer feedbacks about ASRock being extremely good in terms of build quality and fairly quick with their BIOS updates. Some of their most popular series like the Taichi and Fatal1ty motherboards seem to offer a lot more than they are worth, outclassing many other manufacturers when it comes to value for money.
Unlike the big brands like ASUS, ASRock is not mainly about their customer support, which seems to have a lot of mixed experiences. You’ll find users exceptionally pleased with their RMA service and customer support with pertinent responses from the company. On the other hand, you might come across builders who have had underwhelming experiences when it comes to prompt customer service or parts failed, but that is the case with most companies these days.
ASRock motherboards might not look the best or have the coolest RGB onboard, but they more than make up for that with their impressive feature-set and performance per dollar. Some of their most popular products – the X470 Taichi, and its successor X570 Taichi are well-received by PC builders as one of the best value products for the respective chipsets. Although they have managed to include some nice RGB LEDs in the motherboards, their proprietary Polychrome RGB lighting system is very unintuitive and weak when compared to other manufacturers.
What’s best about this company is that even their lowest-end products do not seem to cut corners on essential features. ASRock should always be on your bucket list if you’re in the market for super low-end PC builds, and that goes all the way up to enthusiast-grade desktops with premium motherboards like the X570 Phantom Gaming and X399 Professional which is one of the best X399 motherboard for threadripper.
- Excellent value for money motherboards.
- Fast and stable BIOS updates.
- Build quality is usually great for the price.
- Their Polychrome RGB software is trash.
We hope you liked our comparison of ASUS vs Gigabyte vs MSI vs ASRock and gained some knowledge about these companies when it comes to motherboards. In general, ASUS has the most premium hardware but also is the most expensive, whereas ASRock is the cheapest but very respectable when it comes to hardware. MSI and Gigabyte are widespread in the hardware market and offer great value for money.
In the end, we would strongly suggest you look at the reviews and opinions for a specific motherboard rather than judging with a low-level idea of the brands. All of the ‘big four’ manufacturers have a wide spectrum of products with substantial amounts of overlap when it comes to similar price ranges. We would like to know which one of these companies is your favourite. Leave us a comment sharing some of your experiences with any of them!