September 25, 2022
United Kingdom
Buyers Guides CPUs Motherboards

The Best CPU & Motherboard Combos to Buy in 2022!

MSI MAG B660M Mortar - Feature Image

Introduction

A CPU is the central hub of any PC build. This is one of the most important (and most expensive) components that you will need to get your new Gaming PC Build to function. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy a CPU and install it into any board. With a CPU you need a whole set of components – with the major one being a compatible motherboard.

A motherboard is the lowest layer of a PC build, and connects all of your other parts together. Your CPU will slot into a socket towards the top-middle of any compatible motherboard. The motherboard will also supply power to your components along with having data traces on the board so that the parts can send and receive data from one another.

Trying to buy a CPU with a motherboard that not only works, but also matches your chips performance levels well, is a choice mired in complications.

Below we’ve supplied a list of our favourite combinations of CPUs and Motherboards so that you can get the best performance and features, for the best price!

Suggested Article: PC Building Checklist – How to Build a Gaming PC in 2022

Best CPU & Motherboard Combos

Best Budget Pairings

Core i3 12100F
i3 12100F Budget Build

Key Facts:

Boost Clock Speed: 4.3GHz

Core Count: 4

Thread Count: 8

Buy the Core i3 12100F on:


B660 Prime DDR4
Lian Li Airflow Build - ASUS Prime B660M-A D4

Key Facts:

Form Factor: mATX

Build-in IO Shield: No

Max Memory Speed: 5333MHz

Buy the B660 Prime DDR4 on:


Intel Core i3 12100F & ASUS B660 Prime DDR4

The Core i3 12100F is a very powerful chip built for budget systems that want great performance, but are price conscious. We recommend pairing this with the ASUS Prime B660M-A D4. This motherboard supports some of the newest features like PCI-E Gen4 M.2 drives, of which this board features up-to two running at once. You also have access to very high speed memory overclocking at 5333MHz, which will support the power of CPU we’ve chosen.

ASUS Prime B660M-A D4 - Rear IO
ASUS Prime B660M-A D4 Rear IO

The ASUS B660 Prime DDR4 comes with plenty of Rear IO choices, including a mini audio suite, legacy PS/2 port, and a wide range of USB choices.

Ryzen 3 3100
Jake's Build 6650XT - AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Key Facts:

Boost Clock Speed: 3.9GHz

Core Count: 4

Thread Count: 8

Buy the Ryzen 3 3100 on:


B550M Pro VDH
Best CPU & Motherboards 2022 - MSI B550M Pro VDH

Key Facts:

Form Factor: mATX

Build-in IO Shield: No

Max Memory Speed: 4400MHz

Buy the B550M Pro VDH on:


AMD Ryzen 3 3100 & MSI B550M Pro VDH

AMD‘s Ryzen CPUs pack loads of performance and boast backwards compatibility with older motherboards. Although a slightly older CPU, the processor will provide great gaming performance. The motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 3 3100 is one of our favourite boards in the office- the MSI B550M Pro VDH. This board sports the PCI-E Gen 4.0 standard for M.2 drives, which will compliment our CPU well. With plenty of rear IO, you can’t go wrong!

Suggest Add On:

A GPU we’d recommend with these components is the RTX 3050. Bringing incredible performance for budget builds, combined with Nvidia’s DLSS, will give you a smooth gaming experience.

3050 + TD300 Mesh MSI RTX 3050
MSI Gaming X RTX 3050

Best Mid-Range Pairings

Core i5 12400F
Lian Li Airflow Build - i5 12400F

Key Facts:

Boost Clock Speed: 4.4GHz

Core Count: 6

Thread Count: 12

Buy the Core i5 12400F on:


B660 DS3H AX
B660 DS3H AX - Whole Motherboard

Key Facts:

Form Factor: ATX

Built-in IO Shield: No

Max Memory Speed: 5333MHz

Buy the B660 DS3H AX on:


Intel Core i5 12400F & Gigabyte B660 DS3H AX

The Core i5 12400F is an incredible mid-range CPU that offers a very high clock speed, and of course support for the newest 12th Gen features. A motherboard that pairs perfectly with this CPU is the Gigabyte B660 DS3H AX. This board is another one of our favourites – bringing affordable gaming and high performance in one, affordable package. This comes with integrated WiFi which is a rarity seen among less expensive boards. The motherboard also sports up to 5333MHz memory speed which will synergise very well with the i5.

B660 DS3H AX - Integrated WiFi Antennae
The Gigabyte B660 DS3H AX has plenty of rear IO choices, including USB 3.2 Gen2, but as you can see, it also includes integrated WiFi making cable management much easier!
Ryzen 5 5600X
Best CPU & Motherboards 2022 - Ryzen 5 5600X

Key Facts:

Boost Clock Speed: 4.6GHz

Core Count: 6

Thread Count: 12

Buy the Ryzen 5 5600X on:


B550 TOMAHAWK
Best CPU & Motherboards 2022 - MSI B550 Tomahawk

Key Facts:

Form Factor: ATX

Built-in IO Shield: Yes

Max Memory Speed: 5100MHz

Buy the B550 TOMAHAWK on:


AMD Ryzen 5 5600X & MSI B550 TOMAHAWK

The Ryzen 5 5600X is the overclockable variant of AMD’s newest CPUs. For those really wanting to push the performance, you can do this with the motherboard we’ve paired with this awesome processor. MSI’s B550 TOMAHAWK is great motherboard with an apt amount of VRM cooling and a Dual Rail power system ideal to sustain heavy loads with plenty of stability. You also have access to lightning fast Gen4 M.2 storage which compliments the power of the Ryzen chip very well.

Suggested Add On:

With the release of AMD’s 6650XT, we thought this would be an excellent card to pair with the Ryzen 5 5600X. You can also see both of these components together in a PC build we did.

Jake's Build 6650XT - MSI Gaming X RX 6650XT
AMD Radeon RX 6650XT

Best High-End Pairings

Core i7 12700K
3070 Suprim Build - i7 12700K

Key Facts:

Boost Clock Speed: 5GHz

Core Count: 12

Thread Count: 20

Buy the Core i7 12700K on:


Z690 Prime D4
Best CPU & Motherboards 2022 - ASUS Z690 Prime D4

Key Facts:

Form Factor: ATX

Built-in IO Shield: No

Max Memory Speed: 5333MHz

Buy the Z690 Prime D4 on:


Intel Core i7 12700K & ASUS Z690 Prime D4

For the Core i7 12700K we’ve stuck to DDR4 memory, but this board has plenty of support for overclocking your RAM with a high speed of 5333MHz. The ASUS Z690 Prime D4 will also be perfect to overclock your CPU as the ‘K’ variant is unlocked, so you can get an extra boost out of your system. The Z690 Prime D4 also comes with a PCI-E 5.0 slot, so for those of you listening to the whispers of RTX 4000 series, this motherboard will be for you!

Suggested Add On:

For a high-end build, a powerful graphics card will compliment the power of your CPU well. Our recommendation here is a 3070Ti, a card which we’ve featured in a Stunning All-White build!

3070 Suprim Build - Gallery 3
MSI Suprim 3070Ti
Core i9 12900K

Key Facts:

Boost Clock Speed: 5.2GHz

Core Count: 16

Thread Count: 24

Buy the Core i9 12900K on:


Maximus Z690 Hero:
Best CPU & Motherboards 2022 - ASUS ROG Maximus Hero

Key Facts:

Form Factor: ATX

Built-in IO Shield: Yes

Max Memory Speed: 6400MHz

Buy the Maximus Z690 Hero on:


Intel Core i9 12900K & ASUS Maximus Z690 Hero

The Core i9 12900K is the highest performing of the consumer desktop chips that Intel provides. And for the best of the best, we need the highest-end components to couple it up with. The Maximus Z690 Hero comes fully equipped with DDR5 memory support. This board is ideal for those wanting to get the best performance out of their builds, with great amounts of included overclocking support.

Best CPU & Motherboards 2022 - ASUS ROG Maximus Hero Rear IO
This motherboard has pretty much anything you can imagine in terms of connections including 25 Gigabit LAN Type C USB 32 Gen 22152 ports with quick charge and more

Alternative High-End Motherboard

Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master

It wouldn’t be fair to pick only one motherboard for the best performing CPUs, so we’ve given you an alternative- Gigabyte’s Z690 AORUS Master. Similar to the Maximus Hero, this motherboard also supports high speed DDR5, Gen4 PCI-E M.2, PCI-E 5.0 and more. This board has pretty much anything you can ask for, and will pair incredibly well with Intel’s Core i9 12900K and other high performance parts, like the RTX 3090Ti.

Buy the Z690 AORUS Master on:


Aorus Master 700

Video

editor
Jay joined Geeka Media in April of 2022, bringing with him a wealth of technical knowledge and a background in Computer Science. Jay is an avid gamer, keyboard-builder and tech wizz with years of PC-building passion under his belt.