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5 Best Gaming Motherboards for i5-6500: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Jone -  Last Updated On 9th August 2021

Over the last few years, gaming has become the most popular form of entertainment in the world, and the gaming industry has an annual revenue of over $120 billion.

This popularity has only increased after a year of everyone being locked in their homes, with very little to do and almost no live entertainment available in the real world. Another reason why it’s so popular is the variety of formats that it encompasses.

There are the more traditional games consoles, like the PS4 and the XBox One X, then there are portable gaming options, like the Nintendo Switch, plus the increasingly popular VR and AR games. But the most popular gaming platform among developers is the PC. So it’s no wonder that gamers themselves are increasingly turning to the PC for gaming too.

Building your own PC allows you to customize every aspect, so you can have the exact computer that works for your style of gaming. The important thing is to think it all through before you start building. Is the audio set-up really important for you, or do you need extra expansion capabilities, ability to overclock, or do you rely on a bigger memory?

On the flip-side, maybe you normally have lots of slots and ports that aren’t in use, or could do with a smaller mobo?In this article, we are going to be exploring the five best motherboards out there for anyone with, or looking to have, the i5-6500 microprocessor.

This means that they are part of Intel’s Skylake processor microarchitecture and require the LGA 1151 socket. It is a great CPU for any moderate gamers out there who are on a bit of a budget but still want a great performance. But as you probably know, you can only get the most out of your CPU if you also get the best motherboard possible.

It is the motherboard that determines the expansion capabilities and that works as the communications centre for the whole PC. But with so many options out there, which one should you go for? We’ve set out our five favorite motherboards for the i5-6500 here below, so that you don’t have to trawl through the internet, working out which one has what you need.

Take a look through this list and you should be able to find the right one for you. Plus we have some key points for you to consider at the end, in case you’re still not sure.

Best Motherboard for i5-6500 2021

1. ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E

ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming LGA1151 (Intel 8th Gen) DDR4 DP HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard with...

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We are going to start our list with the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E. This motherboard is the standard setter for what you can get for the i5-6500. It has 64GB max RAM with four memory slots, and it has loads of expansion capabilities. It comes with six SATA3 ports, as well as four USB ports.

Plus it has addressable RGB headers and 3-D printing mounts. Add to that the 5-way optimization and the one-click overclocking, and it is easy to see why this is such a popular motherboard, although it does come with a more expensive price tag too.

Key Features:

  • LGA 1151 Socket
  • Z370 Chipset
  • ATX Form Factor
  • DDR4 RAM
  • 4 x Memory Slots
  • 64GB Max RaM
  • 3 x PCI-Express x 16 Slots
  • 6 x SATA3 Ports
  • 4 x USB Ports
  • Dual M.2
  • HDMI Port
  • 5-way Optimization
  • Addressable RGB Header
  • 12.0 x 1.0 x 8.6 inches
  • 3.5 lbs

Pros:

  • One-Click Overclocking
  • Addressable RGB Header
  • In-built WiFi

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

2. MSI Performance Z370 Gaming Plus

MSI Performance GAMING Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 D-Sub DVI DP USB 3.0 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX...

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Our second motherboard for the i5-6500 is the MSI Performance Z370 Gaming Plus. This mobo is super customizable. You can use a mobile device or the Mystic Light App to personalize the PC and accessories. Plus they have made sure to put in enough fan headers that you can overclock at 5.0Ghz with sufficient cooling.

MSI have also put in golden audio capacitors, so that you can get a high fidelity sound, which makes such a difference for getting the most out of the game. If you’re looking for something a bit more futuristic, you can also use this mobo with VR.

Key Features:

  • LGA 1151 Socket
  • Z370 Chipset
  • ATX Form Factor
  • DDR4 RAM
  • 4 x Memory Slots
  • 64 GB Max RAM
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1
  • Turbo M.2
  • Studio grade sound quality
  • 13.7 x 10.6 x 3.1 inches
  • 2.7 lbs

Pros:

  • Decent cooling system
  • Golden audio capacitors for studio grade sound quality

Cons:

  • No in-built WiFi

3. ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero Alpha

Asus ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO ALPHA ATX DDR4 3000 LGA 1151 Motherboards

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The ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero Alpha stands between the Gene and the Extreme in ASUS ROG’s line of products, making it a solid mid-level choice with a great balance between its features and quality.

Again this motherboard has 5-way optimization, as well as heaps of other gaming-oriented aspects, such as gaming audio and gaming protection. Plus it has great expansion capabilities with six PCI Express slots, six USB ports and 8 SATA 6 GB/ s. It is a great choice for overclocking, but some of the overclocking settings can be a little tricky to master.

Key Features:

  • LGA 1151 Socket
  • Z170 Chipset
  • ATX Form Factor
  • DDR4 RAM
  • 4 x Memory Slots
  • 64 GB Max RAM
  • 6 x PCI Slots
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports
  • 8 SATA 6 GB/ s
  • Dual U.2 + M.2 + SATA
  • 13.1 x 11.1 x 2.9 inches
  • 4.93 lbs

Pros:

  • Gaming protection
  • 5-way optimization

Cons:

  • Overclocking can be difficult

4. Gigabyte B365M DS3H

GIGABYTE B365M DS3H (LGA1151/Intel/Micro ATX/USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB3.0) Type A/DDR4/Motherboard), 10.43...

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By far the most affordable motherboard on our list, the Gigabyte B356M DS3H is a cheap and cheerful option for anyone on a tight budget. It has high-quality audio capacitors, as well as seven colors of RGB LED strips. With two system fan headers and one CPU fan header, it should be capable of cooling when you are busy overclocking.

It can even do VR too, although you will need to get the right graphics card. As it is smaller with a Micro ATX form factor, it has fewer expansion capabilities than our other options, and it might be a bit of a tighter fit for a sound card. However, it has an excellent memory for its size, and is a brilliant choice given how little it costs.

Key Features:

  • LGA 1151 Socket
  • B365 Chipset
  • Micro ATX Form Factor
  • DDR4 RAM
  • 4 x Memory Slots
  • 64 GB Max RAM
  • 4 x PCI- Express Gen3
  • M.2
  • 7 Colors of RGB LED Strips
  • 10.4 x 10.4 x 2.1 Inches
  • 1.5 lbs

Pros:

  • Very cheap

Cons:

  • Sound card may struggle to fit

5. ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming

ASUS Z170-PRO ATX DDR4 NA Motherboards Z170-PRO

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Our final motherboard for the i5-6500 is the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard. This is a motherboard that is really geared towards overclocking, and it provides everything you need in that regard. It has 5-way optimization that needs just one click to optimize the entire system.

Plus the Pro Clock Technology extends the base clocks and improves stability for extreme overclocking. It has loads of expansion capabilities too, plus a great audio system. So if you’re into gaming and overclocking, it’s hard to find a better motherboard than this for the i5-6500.

Key Features:

  • LGA 1151 Socket
  • Z170 Chipset
  • ATX Form Factor
  • DDR4 RAM
  • 4 x Memory Slots
  • 64 GB Max RAM
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports
  • 4 x SATA3 Ports
  • 1 x SATA Express Port
  • 5- Way Optimization
  • 10.4 x 2.7 x 12.9 Inches
  • 2.65 lbs

Pros:

  • 5-way optimization
  • Great expansion capabilities

Cons:

  • It can be difficult to install

What to Consider When Buying

Chipset

These motherboards are all compatible with the i5-6500, which is part of the Skylake family. Within that, it is important to make sure that they are compatible with your chipset. In this case, most of them are either Z170 or Z370.

Form factor

Four of our motherboards had the ATX form factor, and only one had the Micro ATX form factor. This is the part that determines the size of the motherboard, as well as the expansion capabilities. So before you choose one, make sure to check that it will fit.

Expansion Capabilities

We mentioned at the start that the motherboard is the communications centre of your computer. It is the motherboard that determines how many input and output ports your PC will have, and therefore how many devices you can connect.

If you know that you will be overclocking, that you will need extra fans, and that you want various video outputs, then you need to make sure that the motherboard that you choose can handle everything.

Conclusion

Now that we have been through everything, you should have a clearer idea of what it is that you are looking from a motherboard, and you should have an idea about which of these motherboards will work best for you.

Remember that there is no point in spending extra money on one that does everything under the sun, if you’re only going to be using three USB ports and nothing else. Get the motherboard that is right for you, and then you’ll be able to have the best experience possible.

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