Best AMD AM4 B550 and X570 PCIe 4.0 Motherboards 2021

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ULTRA
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ULTRA (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Features like PCIe 4.0 are reserved for some of the best motherboards around. We've rounded up some of the top picks for you to choose for an Intel or AMD PC build, depending on which processor you plan to use. All of these recommendations come rocking PCIe 4.0.

ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming

Best Overall

While not rocking all the more advanced features found on the most premium motherboards, ASUS did cram plenty of high-quality components on the ROG Strix X570-E, making it a fantastic motherboard for any Ryzen 3000 series CPU. You can install plenty of RAM and take advantage of the excellent stability and build quality with passive cooling for the VRMs and more.

ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570

ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570

Enthusiast Platform

ASUS has the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570, which is an absolute monster of a motherboard. Not only does it rock the high-end AMD chipset, but also some other highlight features. You've got one excellent VRM setup that allows for some serious overclocking, PCIe 4.0 support, all the USB 3.2 ports and M.2 slots you need, and even 2.5Gb LAN. It's for high-end, capable PC builds.

What makes PCIe 4.0 so special?

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PCIe stands for peripheral component interconnect express. It's a standard that allows your PC to communicate with various expansion cards, be it your GPU, sound card, wi-fi or ethernet adapters, and even M.2 SSD storage. Coming in at x1, x4, x8, or x16 lanes, the higher the number essentially means the more bandwidth available.

Depending on what you need to install onto the motherboard, you'll need to match up the PCIe lane numbers. For graphics cards, you need to use x16. A Wi-Fi or ethernet hub may only require x1 or x4. The more lanes, the larger the slot is on the motherboard. Most modern motherboards come with a mixture of slots. The largest ones (usually between one and three) are x16.

Like the number of lanes available, PCIe 4.0, compared to PCIe 3.0, is basically more bandwidth. The good news is everything is backward compatible, so you could use a PCIe 4.0 GPU on a PCIe 3.0 motherboard, or vice-versa though you won't get all the benefits from a PCIe 4.0 component.

NVIDIA's latest GPUs are PCIe 4.0 certified and, as such, will run a little better on motherboards that also support the standard. These motherboards will be a good fit for a modern gaming PC build.

Choosing the best AMD AM4 motherboard with PCIe 4.0

Choosing the best motherboard for your build primarily comes down to what you need. If you're only after PCIe 4.0 support and don't mind about any other feature, the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming is an excellent choice that doesn't cost too much either. It's a newer model of the older ASUS ROG Strix X470-F we reviewed positively.

If you want to build a more compact system, something like the GIGABYTE X570 I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi would be a better match, being able to be installed inside smaller mini-ITX cases. It only comes with a single x16 PCIe 4.0 slot but does allow you to throw on your favorite GPU.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.