Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 5600x (2022)

The 5600X is more than eighteen months old and has to compete with excellent Alder Lake chips like the 12600X. Still, it remains a compelling buy for gamers that are putting together a competent and futureproof mid-range gaming rig. It’s backed by an established platform, has low entry costs, and generates less heat than Intel’s rivals. The competition for the best motherboard for Ryzen 5 5600X is stiff, so read on to get a more informed perspective.

Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 5600X

  1. MSI MAG X570S Tomahawk WiFi – MSI’s redemption, improved
  2. ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus – Perfectly balanced X570 on a budget
  3. ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming – Pushing B550 to its limits
  4. Gigabyte B550 AORUS Elite V2 – A B550 board that punches above its weight class
  5. ASRock B550 Steel Legend – Outstanding value for barely any cash
  6. ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming – Looks like a kitten; performs like a lion
  7. MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk – A slightly stilted version of our overall winner

AM4 is at the end of its duty cycle, and manufacturers have worked out most kinks they have yet to tackle for LGA 1700 boards. The resulting lower prices and high standards are a boon for prospective users. Best of all, you don’t have to choose between well-rounded features and low prices since both X570 and B550 boards are accessible.


MSI MAG X570S Tomahawk WiFi

MSI MAG X570S Tomahawk WiFi

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 4600MHz | Max RAM: 128GB

  • Improved sound and wireless connectivity
  • Excellent VRM
  • Supports two PCIe 4.0 M.2 drives
  • Still has PS/2

The original X570 Tomahawk was lauded as one of the best mid-range boards of its time. MSI took to heart numerous complaints users had about their launch-day X570 offerings, going above & beyond to make things right. The X570S builds upon the Tomahawk’s success, adding contemporary luxuries like the latest ALC codec and fixing the original’s few remaining defects.

As this is a refined version of an existing board, MSI didn’t have to do much to its styling. The grey heatsinks, busy PCB, and white accents are mostly intact. The chipset area underwent the most significant changes since MSI ditched the fan. A large heatsink provides enough heat mitigation to substitute the fan, not to mention the board’s only source of pleasant RGB underglow.

The VRM setup remains untouched, which is fine as there was nothing to improve upon at this price point anyway. Fourteen phases in a 12+2 configuration receive power from two EPS connectors and deliver 720A to the CPU. That’s more than adequate for Ryzen 9 5950X, let alone the 5600X’s comparatively modest requirements.

Small Yet Welcome Improvements

Storage-wise, you get two M.2 drives with generous padding and six SATA ports for legacy drives. The slots for speedier disks share PCIe 4.0 compatibility with two full-length x16 GPU slots. You can use two more x1 connections running at PCIe 3.0 speeds for various expansion cards.

The maximum RAM frequency received a bump to 5100MHz. It’s a marketing bulletin point more than anything as you’re best off with 3600MHz sticks, but the innovation is a welcome one even so.

There’s nothing new to report on the internal connections front. Two headers handle CPU cooling and water pumps, with four more dedicated to case fans. Pairs of ordinary and addressable RGB headers can bring more color into your case, while a 10Gbps USB-C header ensures its I/O receives the fastest possible connectivity. While we can hope you’ll never need it, a four-LED debugger is there if you do.

Most of the X570S Tomahawk Max’s innovations are concentrated on the I/O. It has a 5+1 stack that taps into the new Realtek ALC4080 codec for improved sound quality. The HDMI port is up to the latest standard, and so are the WiFi 6E antennas. The PS/2 port, BIOS flash button, and 2.5G Ethernet make a comeback. That leaves eight USB ports spanning three generations that culminate in USB-C.



ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus

ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 5100MHz | Max RAM: 128GB

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Plenty of storage potential
  • Stable overclocking
  • Only one M.2 heatsink

ASUS makes some of the world’s finest high-end hardware. Still, the TUF Gaming X570-Plus is proof that the company also knows how to knock a budget board out of the park. It’s the best motherboard for Ryzen 5 5600X if you’re looking for an accessible yet feature-rich X570 model. There’s lots of room for storage expansion, the VRM is decent, and its port offerings, both internal and I/O-based, are balanced.

Owners of older TUF gear might be surprised by the board’s appearance. It still has a few telltale signs of the branding, like several yellow accents clearly visible in the sea of black & gray. However, the board lacks the excessive armoring associated with earlier models. It looks all the better for it if you ask us. A cool diagonal pattern runs along much of the PCB, and a cover on the bottom right gives the single strip of RGB lighting a unique glow.

The TUF Gaming X570-Plus is perfect for users who need to keep terabytes of games and media handy. The two M.2 slots both use PCIe 4.0, so getting the quickest boot times & access to scores of essential programs is easy. Keep in mind that the slot adjacent to the GPU doesn’t have a heatsink, so you’ll want to populate it with a drive that does. Need more room for files you access less often? Eight SATA plugs ensure you never run out of it.

While inexpensive, this is still an X570 board with corresponding overclocking chops. Its VRM adopts a design that uses doublers that bypass the PWM chip’s 4+2 power stage limitations to feed the chip power through 12 of them. A 4-pin EPS connector helps with this, while two large heatsinks keep the resulting heat generation under wraps. The VRM isn’t as robust as the Tomahawks, but you could easily run an overclocked 5900X with no issues.

A TUF Nut to Crack

Examining the PCB’s nooks uncovers several other exciting features, like the isolated gold Chemicon capacitors responsible for audio signal filtration. Six fan headers expand your air- and water-based system cooling options, and a four-light debugger aids boot-up error detection. You get a 5Gbps USB-A header and front panel connector, but USB-C for the case I/O is absent.

ASUS compensates for this with one of the better I/O implementations we’ve seen on a Ryzen 5 5600X motherboard. Sure, there’s a PS/2 port for old-school peripheral enthusiasts. The rest of us may plug our mice and keyboards into one of eight USB ports, all USB 3.2 Gen 1 and up. There’s HDMI & DisplayPort for APU users, and the 5+1 audio stack uses ASUS’s take on the ALC1200 codec. Gigabit LAN from Realtek and Intel’s WiFi 6 chip handle networking.


ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WiFi

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming WiFi

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 4600MHz | Max RAM: 128GB

Outstanding feature set
Great for mid-tier CPU overclocking
Has WiFi
No USB-C case I/O header

You don’t need to spend top dollar on an X570 motherboard to use the 5600X fully. The ROG Strix F-gaming from ASUS spearheads our B550 segment, bringing staples like great VRM, versatile connectivity, and futureproofing at a reasonable price. There’s even a version that lacks WiFi you can get for $20 – $30 less, further solidifying the board’s appeal.

B550 allows manufacturers to implement more liberal designs, as we’ll see with the Steel Legend. ASUS had none of it for this mode, firmly sticking with an all-black look associated with more expensive offerings. Some playfulness does shine through in the corny gaming slogans stenciled diagonally on the PCB. Even so, the board is stealthy enough to stand as the centerpiece of any gaming PC.

B550 has its limitations, but they may not apply to you. Chief among them is the reduction in PCIe 4.0 lanes, as these come from the chip. That means you can only use the upper M.2 slot for the fastest drives today, while the lower one maxes out at PCIe 3.0 speeds. Both slots support 110mm-long disks and have excellent padding on the plus side.

Six SATA ports complete the storage selection. Unlike on X570 mobos, two of them get disabled if you connect two M.2 disks. The lower half of the PCB is open, save for the M.2 and chipset heatsinks. It features an armored PCIe 4.0 slot with shearing protection and its less endowed PCIe 3.0 counterpart. You may also attach capture cards and similar expansion accessories through three PCIe 3.0 x1 connections.

B550 Gaming in Style

ASUS’s board is a capable overclocker. Its VRM is similar to the Tomahawk’s. Fourteen power stages are divided into groups of 12 for the CPU and two for the SoC. Their output is slightly smaller at 50A apiece, so pairing the board with a high-end chip would result in higher temperatures. Since you’re dealing with a 5600X, tinkering with clock speeds won’t generate undue heat.

The B550-F Gaming is not shy about displaying the various capacitors and op-amps that went into engineering its SupremeFX S1220A audio solution. Other intriguing bits on the PCB include Q-LEDs for debugging, a Thunderbolt header, six cooling headers, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 for your case. You get only three lighting-related headers and no USB-C, though.

We’re fans of the board’s organized and clean I/O. There’s no PS/2, forcing users to embrace 21st century peripherals. Having WiFi is nice, as is 2.5G Ethernet. One of the eight USB ports supports BIOS flashback in tandem with a button, and another is 10Gbps USB-C. That leaves sound & video handled by a 5+1 audio stack and a couple of DisplayPort & HDMI outs.


Gigabyte B550 AORUS Elite V2

Gigabyte B550 AORUS Elite V2

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 4733MHz | Max RAM: 128GB

  • Outstanding VRM for the price
  • Great cooling & associated hybrid headers
  • 2.5G Ethernet
  • No USB-C on back I/O, no debugging tools

While X570 features are nice to have, a B550 board will likely satisfy most 5600X users. The AORUS Elite V2 is the best motherboard for Ryzen 5 5600X if B550 is your jam. It ought to be, as the mobo is affordable, packs an awesome VRM, and pays more attention to audio quality than many expensive alternatives. It’s not as developed in terms of storage, which most people won’t notice anyway.

Stealthy is how we’d describe the AORUS Elite V2’s all-black look. The PCB is relatively open, with several gray streaks running diagonally across it to form a pattern. The contrast of finely sanded matte black M.2 covers with the VRM heatsinks’ brushed look might go unnoticed in the confines of a case. We appreciate it nevertheless. The RGB is subtle as LEDs inside the I/O shroud and under the PCB on the right glow faintly.

Gigabyte’s VRM implementation here is excellent and rivals considerably more expensive motherboards. The power stages are arranged in a 12+2 configuration where the chip itself gets 600A with 100A left over for the SOC. The power delivery is stable despite there not being an optional EPS connector. This setup would effortlessly handle an overclocked 5800X, so your 5600X will hardly be a problem.

Comprehensive cooling is another of the AORUS Elite V2’s positive traits. Gigabyte took a two-pronged approach, ensuring that both the board itself and the system surrounding it don’t get toasty. You’ll see the former in its thick & angular VRM heatsinks as well as the padded M.2 covers and chipset heatsink. Six hybrid connectors take care of the latter, meaning you can connect anything from mundane case fans to various components needed for a custom water loop.

Staying Cool Under Pressure

B550 limitations start to show once you look at the board’s assortment of storage connections. You only get four SATA plugs, which are unaffected by populating the M.2 slots. The top M.2 slot accepts PCIe 4.0 drives. The bottom one and the two bottom x16 slots are all still stuck at PCIe 3.0. This will not matter much for your GPU since the armored top slot is a fully functional x16 PCIe 4.0 compliant one.

The AORUS Elite V2’s internal connections are sound. One of them is the board’s only source of USB-C connectivity. The rest are familiar and less remarkable, like a front-panel connector and four headers for more RGB. The lack of an EZ debugger is an unpleasant surprise, however. It means you have no way to tell what component is responsible for a boot-up failure, which can make resolving the issue quite frustrating.

The I/O is similar in that it’s mostly great with one significant omission. It comes with an integrated backplate and even has 2.5G Ethernet on top of WiFi. Two video-out ports are present, and the audio stack comes with optical S/PDIF out. Seven USB ports are adequate for the price, but USB-C is not among them. Ironically, the Q-flash button we’d expect not to make an appearance is accounted for.


ASRock B550 Steel Legend

ASRock B550 Steel Legend

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 4733MHz | Max RAM: 128GB

  • Affordable
  • 2.5G Ethernet
  • USB-C for the I/O and case
  • No WiFi

Our penultimate ATX entry is a B550 board from ASRock and a worthy alternative to our other price-conscious picks. You might find it the best motherboard for Ryzen 5 5600X if you’re on a budget and don’t need WiFi. In return, you get premium audio, 2.5Gb LAN, and two USB-C ports. We’d make the trade in a heartbeat – will you?

The B550 Steel Legend’s design is sure to cause a stir. It breaks away from the norm, offering white digital patterns and gleaming silver aluminum heatsinks as welcome diversions. The board will look fantastic inside a white case but doesn’t clash with conventional builds. LEDs on the chipset heatsink and I/O shrouds add color to the design, making for an even more unique look.

While it’s the cheapest Ryzen 5 5600X motherboard on the list, the Steel Legend holds its own in the overclocking department. It uses 12+2 50A Dr. MOS power stages and even comes with an extra 4-pin EPS connector to stabilize power delivery. The aluminum heatsinks in charge of cooling the assembly are chunky and feature multiple horizontal fins. This improves their already efficient heat dispersal by increasing surface area.

The board’s storage potential is in line with other B550 offerings. It has two more SATA plugs than Gigabyte’s model, but the M.2 slot count and PCIe distribution remain the same. You get two x16 slots for GPUs and two more versatile x1 connections for things like add-in cards. The board’s DIMM slots accept 128GB of DDR4 RAM and can theoretically bring it to speeds of up to 4733MHz if you use one stick only.

An Epic Board at an Epic Price

Kudos to ASRock for outfitting the B550 Steel Legend with heaps of beneficial internal connections. It’s strong on the USB front, offering headers for six USB-A devices and one more for the case’s USB-C port. Four headers handle additional RGB, while seven more stand ready if you need to augment the system’s cooling with other fans. You even get a Dr. Debug two-digit LED error code display! That’s pure luxury at this price point and an addition that will potentially save you a lot of headaches.

The I/O is another aspect that has us wondering how ASRock manages to sell the B550 Steel legend as cheaply as it does. There are eight USB ports, including 10Gbps USB-C. WiFi isn’t native to the board, but you do get 2.5G LAN and cutouts for antennas if you decide to go wireless eventually. The audio stack uses ALC1220 and has an optical S/PDIF out. PS/2 and two video-out ports won’t be as interesting to 5600X users but are nice to have for older hardware & APUs


ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: Mini-ITX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 5100MHz | Max RAM: 64GB

  • Great VRM and heatsinks for its size
  • Four fan headers
  • Second M.2 drive in the back
  • A bit expensive for a B550 board

The 5600X barely gets hot despite its remarkable performance. That makes it the ideal chip for SFF computers, and the ROG Strix B550-I Gaming is more than suitable as its throne. The board gives almost nothing up compared to normal-sized ones, apart from a few usual concessions. It has enough passive cooling elements and headers to keep even the stuffiest SFF cases thermally efficient. Add two M.2 slots, WiFi, and a great I/O, and you’ve got a tiny yet feature-rich board we wholeheartedly recommend.

How do you spice up a motherboard that’s completely black and a bit larger than one’s palm? By adding numerous small details, if you take the ASUS design approach. The board is brimming with textures to feel and text to uncover, most of it even blacker than the PCB. A silver ROG sticker is the only element that adds color to the board if you shine a light on it from the right angle. There’s no onboard RGB, but a regular and an addressable RGB header let you change that.

We’re impressed with the board’s ability to keep cool, even in small cramped cases. It’s not uncommon for Mini-ITX to have just two fan headers, but the B550-I Gaming comes with four! That means you can easily add some more case fans for better ventilation or use an AIO for the chip if you feel that the stock Wraith Stealth can’t cut it in a confined space.

You’d think that overclocking on a Mini-ITX board would be risky business, but ASUS made sure that it’s feasible and safe. That’s mainly due to the excellent VRM, where 8+2 50A twinned power stages feed more than enough power to the CPU without undue heat generation. All of them are on the left, under the protection of a large metal heatsink.

Keeping Pace with the Big Boys

Impressive feats continue when reviewing the mobo’s storage options. It rivals our best motherboard for Ryzen 5 5600X in that respect, albeit with a creative twist. There’s no room next to the x16 PCIe 4.0 GPU slot for more than one M.2 drive. That’s why a second PCIe 3.0 compliant SSD goes on the board’s back next to a small backplate around the CPU socket. ASUS managed to fit four more SATA plugs onto the PCB for good measure.

The heatsink covering the PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot also hides the audio solution consisting of several capacitors supported by ALC1220. Apart from the headers mentioned above, there are also five more for USB access, one of which brings USB-C capability to the case. Max RAM is understandably limited to 64GB, but the mobo supports XMP profiles that allow select sticks to soar to 5100MHz.

Even if you consider size, the I/O could have been more substantial. There’s no integrated backplate, and you get only three 3.5mm audio jacks. Two of the six USB ports are USB-C, one of them being reserved for audio. Networking is robust thanks to WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps LAN. You also get the two standard video outs and a BIOS flashback button.


MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk

MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk

Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory Type: DDR4 | Memory Speed: 5100MHz | Max RAM: 128GB

  • Almost as thermally efficient as the X570 version
  • Good value at MSRP
  • Has an abundance of fan headers
  • Questionable I/O choices

We’ll end this list almost like it began, with an AM4 Tomahawk board from MSI. It’s the B550’s time to shine, and it undoubtedly does so if gaming is all you care about. Compared to MSI’s finest mid-range mobo, you’re giving up WiFi, some PCIe 4.0 functionality, and two USB plugs in the back. However, many of its core features remain largely untouched.

There’s little to report on the B550’s appearance since it resembles the X570 Tomahawk so closely. The chipset needs only 6A of current, so its reduced heatsink is the main visual difference. That’s also where the board’s single RGB strip resides. The PCB’s bottom is home to four related headers, so putting on a brighter light show is more than possible.

Even if other aspects of the board were sub-par, the VRM alone would have been worth the modest investment. It’s similar to the 570X version’s, two fewer power stages and the absence of a 4-pin EPS connector notwithstanding. That still leaves 600A of power for the 5600X, which is far more than its power requirements.

The hefty heatsinks we praised in the X570’s review make a comeback. Additionally, the B550 has eight cooling-related headers. It’s unlikely that you’ll need as many, but that’s no reason to complain. Similarities continue with the two M.2 heatsinks. This time, the bottom one houses a PCIe 3.0 SSD due to chipset limitations.

A Smaller Axe to Grind

Maximum RAM frequency is an area where the cheaper board actually outclassed the X570 Tomahawk original. That’s not saying much since reaching 5100MHz instead of 4600 yields no real gains. However, it does mean that you can comfortably push multiple sticks into 4000MHz territory.

MSI’s I/O layout choices aren’t as bad as they are confusing. Does a B550 motherboard really need two Ethernet jacks? Ditching the gigabit one and the PS/2 port would have left you with a fixed 2.5Gbps internet connection and more room for USB ports.

As it stands, you get six of those compared to the X570’s eight. There’s no WiFi, but you do get the BIOS flash button that makes updating to newer versions easier. Finally, the audio stack consists of five analog jacks and an optical S/PDIF out. Best Motherboards for Ryzen 5 5600x (2022)

Lindsay Lowe

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