Ryzen 5 3000 series offer tremendous value for anyone looking for an affordable chip for gaming and productivity.
The difference between the 3600 and 3600x is in the clock speeds. There’s about a 5% performance increase for the 3600x. The 3600x also comes with a better cooler out of the box. Otherwise, the two CPUs are identical. To get the best out of these CPUs, you need a stable platform with great features.
Fortunately, Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600x can work with cheap B450 and X450 motherboards. For a few more features like StoreMI, an X470 motherboard will suffice. If you are looking to jump on the PCIe 4.0 platform as early as now, you will want to pair it with an X570 motherboard.
What to look for in a Motherboard for Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600x
You don't need much to run Ryzen 5, but fast memory is a must. 3600MHz will get you working the CPU to its full potential. Any quality motherboard should support fast memory. More so if you are going to go ahead and get into high stakes gaming with Ryzen 5.
Motherboards with the AM4 socket are compatible with Ryzen 3000 CPUs. For the Ryzen 5, you'll want to steer away from A320 motherboards. These are not overclocked and do not offer any frills, such as additional PCIe lanes for high-end SSDs.
We recommend starting with B350 and B450 motherboards. These boards unlock CPU overclocking. However, you can use only one PCIe 3.0 bandwidth GPU. For gamers, you will want to aim at X370 and X470 boards. They offer more features, including a pair of PCIe 3.0 x8 slots to support multi-GPU setups.
And, StoreMI technology offered in X370, X470, and X450 motherboards. This technology allows you to combine two or more storage sources into a bigger virtual drive (micro-tiering) and speed up hard drives using the help of an SSD.
For superfast transfer speeds at 5GB/s and support for PCIe 4.0 standard, you will want to consider the X570 chipset.
Most people find themselves searching for free ports on the back panel of a motherboard. As such, it is critical that you choose a brand that suits your needs.
What Makes a good motherboard for Ryzen 5?
Quality motherboards receive BIOS updates faster than cheap ones. This feature protects them from security vulnerabilities that exist in modern CPU hardware.
Some motherboards support only one 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 port. These boards are quite basic. You are looking at motherboards that can handle more high-speed USB ports. It's also better if you have more SATA III connectors and PCIe lanes. This way, you are not limited to a single GPU if you want to expand the possibilities of your build in the future.
Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600x
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero X470
4x DDR4 up to 64GB
2x PCIe 3.0 x16, x4
2x PCIe 2.0 x1
MSI B450 Tomahawk
4x Dual Channel DIMM 64GB Max
1x PCIe 3.0 x16
1x PCIe 2.0 x4
2x PCIe 2.0 x1
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x Dual Channel DIMM 64GB Max
2x PCIe 3.0 x16, PCIe 2.0 x4
3x PCIe 2.0 x1
Asus TUF B450-Pro Gaming
4x DDR4 up to 218Gb
2x PCIe 3.0 x16
3x PCIe 2.0 x1
MSI X470 Gaming Plus
4x DDR4 up to 64GB
2x PCIe 3.0 x16
1x PCIe 2.0 x4
3x PCIe 2.0 x1
ASRock B450M Pro 4
4x DDR4 up to 64Gb
1x PCIe 3.0 x16
1x PCIe 2.0 x16
1x PCIe 2.0 x1
Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600x
1. ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero – Best for Overclocking
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is a top-end model for serious overclockers. It is an easy pick for Ryzen 3600 and 3600x thanks to its impressive VRM design. This motherboard is available with or without Wi-Fi for a few bucks more if you opt for the Wi-Fi model.
Overclocking and so much more
Introducing this motherboard is a beautiful red and black themed PCB. The PCB has shielding alongside smart patterns kept on the subtle side. The LED lights stretch on and under the board. You can control lighting thanks to ASUS AURA LED software.
Apart from controlled LED lighting, it has RGB strip connectors to extend RGB onboard capabilities. More RGB is also available on the two main heatsinks.
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero comes with a 10+2 phase VRM with doublers. The doublers make it more than sufficient for overclocking. We like that it has metallic heatsinks on the right and left sides. A metal cover goes over the rear I/O panel which is ideal for cooling the audio circuit.
This motherboard supports fast memory. It gives you four slots of memory that support 64GB of 3600MHz memory. You get two full-speed M.2 SSD six SATA slots. A massive heatsink covers both M.2 slots. While the second M.2 slot does not interfere with anything, the first slot when populated limits speed for the two primary PCI Express slots.
Supports Multiple GPUs
An impressive feature about ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is its support of multiple graphics cards on the second PCIe slot. It supports two-way SLI and CrossFireX configurations. But the second slot runs at x8 speed. Another PCIe x16 slot runs at x4 speed while two other PCIe slots run at x1 speed.
We like that ASUS has included tons of ports and buttons. The integrated back panel has eight USB 3.0, a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, and a Type-C port. That's not all because you can connect legacy devices on a PS/2 or two USB 2.0 ports. It also features two Wi-Fi antennas with support for up to AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The board has an abundance of audio jacks. Its audio is clean and vibrant owing to Realtek 1220 codec to improve input quality. And with Intel's Gigabit Ethernet controller, we believe you will have an easy time streaming.
Lastly, there are lots of buttons, including start, clear CMOS, reset, and safe boot.
- Comes with Nvidia SLI Bridge
- Ten connectors for fans, pumps, & water cooling
- 8-channel audio solution
- Massive heatsinks for M.2 slots
- Reinforced DDR4 and PCIe
- A bit pricey
- Isolated complaint concerning ASUS slow support
2. MSI B450 Tomahawk Arsenal Gaming ATX – Best Value
AMD's B450 chipset is perhaps the most attractive proposition in terms of price to feature value. The chipset supports overclocking, making it an excellent option for Ryzen 5. On MSI B450 Tomahawk, you have everything you could ask for without going over to the premium X470 boards.
Just Enough Features
MSI B450 Tomahawk is all about quality components. Starting with M.2 32GBs, it offers one slot on PCIe 3.0 standard. Apart from customizable RGB lighting, this board also provides a pair of Gen2 USB 3.1.
You not only connect NVMe SSDs but also enjoy superfast data transfer on the boards I/O panel. We would have liked to see a thermal cover on the M.2 slot. However, the primary PCIe slot comes with a metal shielding, so no worries about long-term reliability.
We particularly like that MSI B450 Tomahawk has excellent storage capacity. Six SATA ports can handle RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. Not to mention you get four DIMM slots that support up to 64GB of dual-channel memory.
As we said, fast memory is essential on a motherboard for Ryzen 5 3000. In that case, MSI B450 Tomahawk does not disappoint. It can handle speeds in the range of 1866-3466MHz. It means you can overclock Ryzen 5 3600 for more productivity.
For expandability, the motherboard offers five PCIe slots. The primary socket is a PCIe 3.0 x16 full-length slot. There's also a full-length PCIe 2.0 x4 slot, and two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots.
Power Delivery and Connectivity
When it comes to Ryzen 5 3600, and 3600x, you don't have to worry about VRM because these processors have only eight cores. MSI B450 Tomahawk comes with a 4+2 VRM. It is just enough for everyday tasks. The CPU VRM is paired with an extended heatsink. It comes in handy to put to rest any heat concerns over the VRM.
With double the number of MOSFETs per phase, MSI's VRM can keep overall temperatures down. It has one of the lowest power-draws we have seen on a motherboard.
The back carries a BIOS Flashback button. It also has one Type-C USB port and one USB Gen2 Type-A port. There are two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and six USB headers.
It's also here, where you will find an HDMI 1.4 and DVI-D port. For networking, there's a single LAN port. And six 3.5mm audio jacks to meet your audio needs.
- Low power consumption
- Two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
- BIOS Flashback button
- Supports fast memory
- Heavy-duty heatsinks
- M.2 slot lacks an integrated heatsink
3. MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC – Most Affordable with Premium Features
Once again, MSI goes beyond the norm by offering premium features while keeping the price relatively low for a B450 motherboard. The MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC may go without a few connectivity options but is easy to pair with a 3rd generation Ryzen processor.
This motherboard is a real powerhouse. It comes with a robust 8+2 phase CPU power socket design. The black PCB goes well with the oversized carbon-fiber textured heatsinks. The heatsinks provide great overclocking as they allow extra current.
The risk of thermal throttling is reduced significantly with the help of the full-length M.2 heatshield. You can expect better NVMe performance than on motherboards that go without an M.2 heatsink.
For durability, there's a steel armor to protect the top PCIe slot. It's a thoughtful addition because if you drop your tower, a large graphics card will not shear off or bend.
Memory is facilitated by four dual-channel DIMM slots of DDR4 3466MHz memory. Its RAM slots can support up to 64GB of memory. We like that under the DIMM slots, there's subtle RGB. You'll also find two M.2 slots. These slots can take any NVMe SSD that does not come with a heatsink.
Also, there are six 6Gbps SATA slots for SATA SSDs and hard drives. The board is not complete without five PCIe expansion slots. It can support two graphics cards on two slots x16 and x4 standard. Although it supports AMD Crossfire, two cards cannot run at x16 speed.
Natural Audio, Better Networking
With MSI, nothing mediocre goes on their boards. Such can be said about the isolated audio region on this board. Powered by AudioBoost4, audio experience is nothing but fantastic. It's wonderful to find that it has RGB connections and USB 3.0 and 2.0 on the front.
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi. On top of which, you get an antenna for Wi-Fi and an Intel Gigabit LAN port. For high-speed USB connectivity, there are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB ports. One is a Type-C while the other is a Type-A.
There are USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. A PS/2 port is present as well as a DisplayPort and HDMI for connecting monitors. Finally, there's a BIOS Flashback button, and digital audio support via an S/PDIF out port.
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is an excellent choice for builders. It presents affordability while giving you a chance to invest in high-end components for your rig.
- Mystic Light Sync Software support
- Dual M.2 slots
- 3466MHz memory
- Isolated audio region
- Offers StoreMI
- Second M.2 slot supports PCIe-type drives only
- Lacks clear CMOS and power buttons
4. Asus TUF B450-Pro Gaming – Best for Gaming
Asus TUF B450-Pro Gaming is often known as the "beast" when it comes to gaming. But first things first. You will need a BIOS update when pairing this motherboard with Ryzen 3600. If your model does not come with an updated BIOS, you can perform the update over the internet. Or you can use an older Ryzen 2000 series CPU to update the BIOS.
Impressive VRM and Cooling
The TUF line is for robust builds. This particular motherboard features military-grade components. We are talking high-end TUF chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs for the 4+2 circuit design. There are two chunky heatsinks for the VRM, while a massive aluminum heatsink cools the chipset.
The VRM's alloy chokes deliver undeniable stability for long gaming sessions. It can provide high power conversion while at the same time, dissipating heat. The board remains cool and your system works at incredible speeds.
Since this is a gaming motherboard, it's good that ASUS includes full RGB lighting. It's easy to control light effects with functional presets for the onboard RGB LEDs and strips connected to built-in RGB headers. Aura Sync Software comes in handy to manage RGB on the board.
This board can be overclocked to 4400MHz. It comes with four DDR4 DIMM slots for up to 128GB of RAM. A single M.2 slot operating at PCIe 3.0 x4 can reach 32GB/s speeds when paired with a decent drive. Apart from M.2, there are six 6GB/s SATA ports.
The graphics card slot is the designated SafeSlot. It is reinforced and anchored to the board to prevent graphics card shearing if you drop the tower. As the primary PCIe slot, it operates at PCIe 3.0 x16.
The board also has a second PCIe 3.0 x 16 slot but is not reinforced. You'll also find three PCIe 2.0 x1 to store Wi-Fi and sound cards.
Networking, Audio, and Connectivity
This gaming motherboard offers impressive audio quality. It utilizes the Realtek ALCS1200A audio chip to deliver clear sound quality. It supports 8-channel HD audio and comes with three 3.5mm audio jacks.
On the rear panel, there's a USB Type-C and a Type A USB 3.1 Gen2. There are also two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, a PS/2 port, and a Gigabit LAN port. The board is complete with an HDMI and DisplayPort to connect to various devices with no hassle.
Asus TUF B450-Pro Gaming is a reasonably priced board that gets it right for gamers.
- Fan Xpert 2+ for fans control
- Overclocks to 4400MHz
- Full RGB lighting
- All high-end components
- Decent signal-to-noise ratio
- Manual lacks some crucial details
- Does not have a BIOS Flashback button
5. MSI X470 Gaming Plus – Best Entry-Level X470 Motherboard
MSI X470 Gaming Plus is a budget-friendly option for gamers looking for a good value X470 motherboard. For the price, it has all the basic features anyone would look for in a motherboard.
Power Delivery and Storage
Although MSI has termed this model's VRM as having an 11-phase design, a closer look reveals it runs in a 4+2 configuration. However, the board supports overclocking and comes with two power connectors. One is an 8-pin 12V ATX input, and the other is a 4-pin input to support overclocking.
For onboard cooling, it has a heatsink for the VRM but does not include any for the two M.2 slots. You can have more cooling with the help of six 4-pin headers. These are split between the CPU, water cooling, and four for dedicated case fans.
When it comes to storage, there are six SATA and two M.2 slots. One M.2 slot runs at PCIe 3.0 x4 while the other runs at PCIe 2.0 x4. There are six PCIe expansion slots in total. Three are full-length sockets where two operate at PCIe 3.0 x16 and the other at PCIe 2.0 x4.
For sound and RAID cards, you get three PCIe 2.0 x1 slots to populate.
Data Transfer and Networking
With a cheap board, there's not much going on the rear. The rear panel is not integrated, and it's missing a Type-C USB port. But it comes with two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports.
The bulk of USB ports goes to four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports. It can connect to keyboards, mice, and mics on two USB 2.0 ports. It even has a PS/2 combo port if you plan on using an older mouse/keyboard.
Again, this board is on a budget level, and so is the audio. It utilizes Realtek ALC892 onboard audio. It's lower quality than Realtek 1220 so you can expect middling sound quality with a bit of interference. You will like that it has five audio jacks plus an S/PDIF optical out.
When it comes to networking, the board comes with RTL8111H Gigabit LAN port. It also features an HDMI 1.4 and DVI-D ports for monitors and TVs.
- Customizable RGB backlighting
- Unlocked overclocking
- Plenty of RGB and fan headers
- Two Type-A USB ports
- Lacks heatsinks for M.2 slots
6. ASRock B450M Pro 4 – Best Micro-ATX AMD Motherboard
It's a bit difficult to find high-value M-ATX motherboards for Ryzen 3000. But ASRock seems to nail it. The ASRock B450M Pro 4 offers every feature you want with lots of connectors and slots at your disposal.
ASRock B450M Pro 4 is one of those boards that you don't screw around as much. It's BIOS updates without a hitch while its memory works as rated out of the box. You can see why it's a wise investment.
Looking at the VRM, the 9-phase power design is complemented by premium 42A power chokes. Although the power design is not large, it connects directly to the top. Here, it offers lots of surface area to cool the power chokes.
There are no heatsinks for the M.2 slots. It, however, includes lots of connectors for more cooling. These include a 4-pin CPU fan connector, three, 4-pin chassis/water pump fan headers, and one water/fan connector.
For a Micro-ATX motherboard, we are happy to see twin M.2 slots and four 6Gbps SATA ports. The first M.2 slot operates at PCIe 3.0 x4 and supports both NVMe and SATA drives. The second M.2 slot only supports SATA SSDs.
Because of the Micro ATX form factor, the second M.2 slot shares lanes with the SATA port number 3. When one is loaded, the other is disabled. There are three PCIe slots operating at PCIe 3.0 x 16, PCIe 2.0 x16, and PCIe 2.0 x1.
As we said, memory speed is great out of the box. With four DIMM slots, this board supports 64Gb of 3200MHz memory.
The rear I/O cover hosts two 10GB/s ports. One is a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, while the other is a Type-C. It includes four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, two USB 2.0, and a PS/2 port. There's also an HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub, and three HD audio jacks.
The board supports 7.1 channel HD audio plus Blu-ray audio. Although it features ALC892 audio codec, its sound is much clearer. All thanks to the use of ELNA audio Caps rated at 3A leakage current.
For Ethernet, the board comes with one Gigabit LAN port. It supports energy-efficient Ethernet 802.3az and Wake-on-LAN, which is nice to see on a midrange board for builders.
- Surge-protected LAN, USB, and audio ports
- Logical UEFI BIOS
- Polychrome RGB manager
- Easy-to-access ASRock software
- Lacks DisplayPort and an Optical output
- M.2 operates at PCIe 3.0 x4
1. Is Ryzen 5 3600 compatible with B450 motherboards?
Most B450 motherboards are compatible with Ryzen 5. Manufacturers usually ship out their boards with an updated BIOS. These boards have the "Ryzen 3000 Compatible" sticker on the bottom-left corner of the box.
If the motherboard is not supported, but it has a BIOS Flashback feature, you will be able to update it without a CPU. If not, you will need to install an older generation CPU and hook up before updating the BIOS.
2. Is VRM important when choosing a motherboard for Ryzen 5?
Ryzen 3600has a 65W TDP rating, while the 3600x has a 95W TDP rating. As such, any decent motherboard can handle the power requirements for these CPUs. A 6-phase VRM is as excellent as a 10-phase VRM in this case.
3. Is X570 better than X470 chipset for Ryzen 5 3000?
Performance-wise, both X570 and X470 motherboards rank the same. We are talking single and multithreaded performance, processor speed, and daily activities. The two motherboards have a 1-3% performance difference.
Buying the X570 chipset makes sense if you want a future-proof PC. And, if you are looking forward to using NVMe SSDs and PCIe 4.0 GPUs like AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT.
Picking the best motherboard for Ryzen 3600 or 3600x will have an impact on your PC build. If you plan on overclocking, ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is the best-selling option for our choice of processors.
Entry-level builders will marvel at the MSI B450 Tomahawk or MSI X470 Gaming Plus. These boards come together clean and easy, but bring lots of value to any build.