PCIe slots, or peripheral component interconnect express, are used to integrate components such as graphics cards and Wi-Fi cards into the PC. Different components require different bands to run on, with graphics cards needing more resources and Wi-Fi cards much less..
PCIe 4.0 are latest generation, but they are only compatible with AMD X570 and B550. Despite implementing the PCIe 4.0 infrastructure on motherboards, Intel will only implement it on future Rocket Lake processors. Between AMD X570 motherboards and the B550, the X570 is much better for PCIe performance.
The B550 has fewer PCIe queues available on the processor, resulting in fewer PCIe slots. Most B550 motherboards have a mix of PCIe 3.0 and 4.0, but all are 4.0 compatible..
PCIe 4.0 offers double the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, but the difference is only noticeable if you have an NVMe SSD or graphics cards capable of supporting the compatible speed. Most of the components are compatible with both standards, so it is possible to use older components on PCIe 4.0 slots and newer components on 3.0 slots.
Here is a list of the best PCIe 4.0 motherboards available. The selection is limited to X570 motherboards, as they offer the best PCIe 4.0 performance.
GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS Xtreme
The Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Xtreme motherboard has four PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots with thermal guards, so you'll never run out of space for NVMe SSDs. There are also 4 other PCIe 4.0 slots for graphics cards or other components. Up to 8 bars of 32 GB of RAM can be added, with a maximum memory of 245 GB. This motherboard has built-in Wi-Fi, but its flagship is the 10 Gbe LAN adapter for a connection as fast as possible..
Other features include RGB lights, an AMP 1220-VB audio codec, and a front USB-C port. The motherboard is 10.8 inches wide, so make sure it's not too big. The Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Xtreme has its price tag, but it won't need to be upgraded for a long time.
MSI MEG X570 Godlike
The MEG X570 Godlike is MSI's flagship motherboard with 19 power phases, which makes it perfect for overclocking. 4 PCIe 4.0 slots for add-on cards and 3 PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots. There are unfortunately only 4 RAM slots for 128 GB of maximum space, compared to its price. But that should be enough for the classic gamer, although it is less than the TRX40 and ROG Zenith II which reached 256 GB of space.
The motherboard is sold with dedicated audio codecs for the front and rear, with an 8-channel digital ESS Saber and a 6.3mm analog converter (DAC) jack. The 2.5 Gbps can be improved, with the capacity of the network, by using the 10 Gbe LAN card or by using the built-in Wi-Fi 6.
RGB lights are everywhere, including the infinity mirrored display and the dragon logo. It looks very nice, and the Mystic Light software can be used to sync it to other devices like mouse, keyboard, or headset. Another fun addition is the monochrome OLED screen which can show animations or system information.
ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme
The Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme is another motherboard 16 with expensive power phases. It is less expensive than the MSI MEG and TRX40, but can match or even surpass many of their features. It also has 8 memory slots that can go up to 256 GB and DDR4 RAM. There are also 5 PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots and 4 conventional PCIe 4.0 slots. One of the M.2 slots is on the back of the card, so it can only be accessed if it is not attached to the box.
Just like the MEG X570 Godlike, there is an OLED screen, but in this motherboard it is 1.77 inch and has a colorful display. It can be used to view useful information such as processor temperature and voltage, or to diagnose the board. Unsurprisingly, it contains a Wi-Fi 6 adapter, two Ethernet ports and Bluetooth 5.0.
Like many modern motherboards, it has a USB BIOS FlashBack feature which can repair errors with the component. As with most ROG products, there are all possible RGB lights and a massive logo.
Gigabyte X570 AORUS Master
The Gigabyte X570 AORUS Master is half the price of other motherboards with 14-phase VRM. It is sold with 4 DDR4 RAM slots and a maximum memory of 128 GB. There are also 3 PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots and 3 conventional PCIe slots. The downside to this setup is that 2 of the 6 SATA ports are disabled when the third M.2 slot is in use.
There is built-in Wi-Fi 6 and two Ethernet ports, one of which has 2.5 GbE compatibility. Sound is handled by the ALC1220 codec and an ESS Saber 9118 DAC. There are also USB-C ports in front and behind, along with the classic RGB lights.
The steel tray attached to the back can strengthen it, but it also makes it heavy, at 3.3 pounds. The Gigabyte X570 AORUS Master offers very good value for money and can be worth it if you don't want to put the whole budget into it.
Asus AM4 TUF Gaming X570
The Asus AM4 TUF Gaming X570 is a lower budget alternative to the other motherboards on the list. It only has a 12 + 2 VRM phase and like other TUF products, uses military-grade components. It equals the Gigabyte X570 AORUS Master and the MSI MEG X570 Godlike in terms of memory with a capacity of 128 GB of RAM.
There are also two PCIe 4.0 slots for graphics cards and two smaller x1 slots for Wi-Fi adapters. Compared to the other motherboards on the list, the AM4 TUF Gaming X570 only has two PCIe 4.0 slots. M.2, but this should be sufficient for most users.
Asus had to take away some features to bring the price down, and it shows. There is no built-in Wi-Fi and the RGB lights are kept to a minimum. There is also no USB-C port in front. But none of these factors are critical if you are looking for an affordable budget.