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Top 7 Best Motherboards for i3

The core i3-10100 is Intel’s entry-level CPU for its latest Comet Lake series of processors. 10th gen i3 chips offer a massive improvement over the previous 9th gen Core i3 processors. The clock speeds remain … Read More

The core i3-10100 is Intel’s entry-level CPU for its latest Comet Lake series of processors. 10th gen i3 chips offer a massive improvement over the previous 9th gen Core i3 processors. The clock speeds remain at 3.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz, but the new chips come with Hyper-Threading. The new CPUs require LGA1200 socket motherboards and are not compatible with earlier Z370/Z390 boards, which use the LGA1151 socket. Hence it becomes important to choose a motherboard that is compatible with 10th gen CPUs.

 

Today, we will talk about the best motherboard for i3 10100, and we will be showing you the best options from all the available chipsets, these include B460, Z490 and H410 chipsets. Anything other than Z490 has a hard limit on memory speeds, which you can’t bypass even with XMP. That said since overclocking is not available on i3-10100, the choice of chipset doesn’t matter for an average user, and you can’t go wrong with either.

 

Whether you want basic PC functionality:

 

Whether you want basic PC functionality or want to squeeze some high-fps gaming juice, we have got you covered. So, let’s find out what the best Intel i3 motherboard is!

 

 

Let us start with the best motherboards of the bunch in the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero. This is a high-end Z490 motherboard, and with a massive 14-phase, VRM is designed for extreme performance and enthusiast-class control. Although it is overkill for anyone looking for just a ‘basic’ setup, we seriously recommend this if you are planning to upgrade your CPU in the near future and demand overclocking with the more premium processors.

 

This mobo brings a wide range of connectivity options, and you get triple M.2 and PCIe x16 slots, a 20Gbps Gen2 Type-C port, 5GbE LAN and support for up to 128GB 4800MHz DDR4 memory. The BIOS on this one has extremely detailed controls for fans, RGB and other system components. Speaking of RGB, the Maximus Hero has plenty of RGB headers with Aura Sync lighting, and there is a nice onboard RGB implantation as well.

If you are looking for a premium mobo :

If you are looking for a premium mobo with best-in-class features and sleek aesthetics, the ROG Maximus XII Hero is the best  motherboard for i3 10100. You might not be able to enjoy the serious OC potential it offers due to limitations of the i3-10100 chip. Still, you get lots of advantages over other competitors like 5G LAN, rich USB and M.2 slot selection and more.

 

 

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge WiFi:

 

If you are looking for something cheaper but as good as the Maximus Hero, we’ve got you covered. The MPG Z490 Gaming EDGE Wi-Fi is an excellent performer in the entry-level Z490 segment and comes with high-quality components and plenty of features for gamers and creators. This mobo has a powerful VRM which is more than enough for any 10th Intel chip and comes with dual PCIe x4 slots and six SATA connectors. It supports DDR4-128GB with XMP mode and speeds reaching up to 5000MHz.

 

Networking support is excellent with built-in Wi-Fi 6 and Realtek 2.5G LAN controller, along with Bluetooth 5.1 support. You also get a USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C port and up to eight USB3.1 Type-A ports, and we do appreciate the shielding on the rear I/O panel as well. MSI’s BIOS comes with advanced system control and software add-ons to enhance the gaming experience. This board has got plenty of fan/pump headers and Mystic Sync RGB headers although the lack of some hardware buttons like power and reset buttons is evident. Coming at such a reasonable price, the MSI MPG Gaming Edge is the best i3 10100 motherboard for budget gamers.

 

Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming:

 

The Gigabyte Vision line is a Creator-focused motherboard series with the emphasis on connectivity, durability, performance and aesthetics. At first glance itself, you will notice the gorgeous black and metallic-silver design with large white heatsinks. The Vision G features a 12+1 phase VRM design with a direct touch heat pipe for better cooling, as well as a nice implementation of PCIe and USB connectivity. You get six SATA ports and two M.2 slots with thermal guards to keep them from becoming hot.

 

The Vision G is the best i3 10100 motherboard in terms of RGB implementation, with LED strips surrounding the board and additional RGB and ARGB headers supporting RGB Fusion 2.0 technology. It’s nice to see a pre-installed I/O shield as well, and the rear panel sports 10 USB ports in a similar fashion to the Strix Z490-E. Gigabyte has however chosen to skip onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on this one. If that’s something you don’t care about, the Z490 Vision G is a very capable mobo and fulfils everything expected from it.

 

 

 

MSI MAG B460 Tomahawk:

Socket: LGA 1200 | Chipset: B460 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 2933 MHz, Up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek ALC1200 | Multi GPU Support: NVIDIA 2-Way SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology | Form Factor: ATX

 

With the high-end Z490 boards out of our way, let’s now shift our focus to the mainstream B460 chipset, where the more pocket-friendly i3 10100 motherboards reside. The MAG B460 Tomahawk is our first recommendation for the best motherboard for i3 10100. It has all the essentials you will ever need for an entry-level build and delivers fast and stable performance with any non-K chip.

 

MSI claims it to have an 8+1+1 VRM setup, providing excellent power delivery and the only bottleneck if ever is going to be the limited RAM speeds at 2933MHz. Even at such an affordable price, it comes with 2.5G LAN, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C port as well as metal-reinforced primary PCIe slot. You also get M.2 Frozr heatsink on the primary SSD slot. BIOS is pretty much like any other MSI board, and the addition of RGB headers is a welcome feature as well. The B460 Tomahawk is the best motherboard for i3 10100 whether you want a basic office setup or a budget gaming PC.

 

MSI MAG B460M Mortar WiFi:

 

Another extremely affordable and solid-performing B460 option is the MSI MAG Mortar Wi-Fi. If you don’t care about tinkering your system and overclocking, the Mortar is the kind of board that ticks all the necessary boxes and then some. Firstly, this is a micro ATX mobo, which means you can have a compact build without sacrificing too much on features. The best part is the networking solution, with the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 along with 2.5G Ethernet, this has some of the best wired and wireless connectivity at this price.

 

You also get a front USB-C header, dual M.2 slots, six SATA ports and ALC1200 audio, all of which make it compete even with many ATX-sized offerings. MSI has managed to include a very strong VRM as well, with a 12+1+1 Duet Rail design and some solid metal heatsinks to pair with that. On top of all that, you get support for RGB and ARGB headers to add some color to your rig. There is no reason why you shouldn’t consider the MAG B460 Mortar if you need a compact mobo with solid gaming performance.

 

Asus Prime H410M E:

 

The H410 is the lowest end chipset that can support 10th gen Intel and is recommended if you do not plan to upgrade your CPU anytime soon. We chose ASUS Prime H410M-E because the VRM on this one is better than other H410 boards, and it also offers an M.2 NVMe slot. It comes with two DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB DDR4 RAM which also can support XMP profile, although RAM speeds are limited due to chipset restrictions. You also get a single PCIe x16 slot along with four SATA connectors for adding storage devices.

 

The rear I/O shows two USB3.1 Gen1 ports as well as a couple USB2.0 ports, with additional USB via internal headers. It also features a very respectable 7.1 Channel ALC887 audio which provides great sound quality for gaming. We would have liked to see more than 1 fan header though, and there is also no RGB support, but that’s expected given such low price. The Prime H410-E is one of the best i3 10100 motherboards for budget PCs, and basic gaming builds and will provide easy setup having out of the box support for 10th gen i3 chips.

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