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ASUS vs. MSI Motherboards: Which Is Better?

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ASUS vs. MSI Motherboards: Which Is Better?

Which company makes better motherboards: ASUS or MSI? Both have a long history of developing PC hardware. MSI has been known as the motherboard company of choice when it comes to gaming and performance.

While ASUS’s name doesn’t have the same gravitas in the gaming sphere, it makes well-designed motherboards that suit a variety of purposes. Building your next PC usually means you’re looking at motherboards. Before you buy, make sure you read this guide to see which one wins.

ASUS vs. MSI Motherboards: Side-by-Side Comparison

ASUS MotherboardsMSI Motherboards
Sockets SupportedIntel and AMDIntel and AMD
Known forSolid performance and affordable pricingGreat performance geared towards PC gaming
Design PhilosophyClean and understated linesMore gamer-oriented with RGB support and bolder designs
Software SupportASUS AI Suite IIIMSI Command Center
PricingMid-range pricingHigher pricing generally
WarrantyA five-year warranty for any purchased motherboardA three-year warranty is the standard offered
Product Lines AvailableROG, TUF, and PRIME are among some of the offered modelsMEG, MPG, and Pro Series are among the more popular offerings from MSI

In all honesty, you could be perfectly served by either of these companies when choosing a motherboard. It comes down more to the features you want out of a motherboard.

ASUS vs. MSI Motherboards: What’s the Difference?

Now that the broader overview of these two companies has been handled, it is time for a deeper dive into some of the more popular models to see how these companies directly compare.

Performance

Our Pick
ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming ATX Motherboard
$349.99
  • ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting
  • Supports PCIe 4.0, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and features dual M.2 and USB 3.0
  • 128 GB RAM
  • Socket AM4
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03/11/2024 08:51 am GMT

When it comes down to raw performance, MSI typically has the edge. This could come down to a few differing factors. The distance between the PCI-E lanes and the proximity of the traces on a motherboard can lead to better results.

Both the MSI MEG X570 Unify and ASUS ROG Strix X570-E are geared towards gaming. They support the same socket and have shockingly similar feature sets.

When it comes to gaming performance, when using the same CPU, RAM, and GPU, the ASUS came out ahead. However, this is a minimal edge in performance. Really, your choice of components beyond the motherboard is going to have a bigger impact on the overall performance of your desktop.

Features

ASUS motherboards seem to pack more features while still remaining fairly affordable. This is where you really start to see a divergence between these two brands. Now, features in this instance will refer to the likes of connectivity, support for additional hardware, and other additions.

When looking at the likes of the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus and the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F, you can see a fair divergence between the two. On paper, the MPG X570 should have the edge. However, it supports an older version of HDMI and has zero DisplayPort outputs.

You also have considerably more room on the B550-F for overclocking both your RAM and your CPU. Overclocking certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, but gamers looking to eke out every last ounce of performance might find MSI’s offering lacking.

Firmware Support

Our Pick
MSI MPG X570S Edge MAX Wi-Fi Gaming Motherboard
$210.10
  • Supports DDR4 memory, up to 5300+ (OC) MHz
  • 16.8 million colors 
  • 3200 GHz memory clock speed
  • Socket AM4
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03/11/2024 08:57 am GMT

Motherboards are prone to the same sorts of bugs and glitches you’ll find with any piece of computer hardware. These issues are typically addressed in the form of BIOS and chipset updates. MSI and ASUS both routinely support products from their respective lines.

As such, you’re not really going to be left in a lurch when it comes to choosing a motherboard. You’ll get at least two to three years of support for a given motherboard, which is fantastic if you’re sticking with the likes of an AM4 socket.

AMD has stuck with the same CPU socket for years, meaning upgrading your CPU is as easy as swapping it out on the motherboard. Usually, you’ll need some form of BIOS update so the motherboard can actually see the CPU. Intel sockets aren’t afforded the same luxury; you’re likely going to be upgrading the motherboard while upgrading the CPU.

Software Support

The BIOS of a motherboard isn’t the only way to maintain a degree of control over your computer’s operation. Typically, motherboard manufacturers will have the means to control the likes of RGB lighting, fans, and other accessories with the bundled software.

ASUS gets another edge here, as both the ASUS AI Suite and EZ Update make maintaining your motherboard a cinch. AI Suite handles the likes of controlling the motherboard, while EZ Update takes some of the guesswork out of keeping your BIOS up to date.

MSI’s Command Center is usable but doesn’t offer quite as much granular control. That said, it is perfectly serviceable and gives access to the key functions of your motherboard.

Warranty

asus vs. msi motherboards
MSI motherboards come with decent warranty coverage, but you’ll get an extra two years if you choose an ASUS.

The final point of contention with these two manufacturers comes down to warranty support. You want your purchase to have a degree of protection, especially in the event of unforeseen manufacturer defects.

MSI has a solid warranty, offering up to three years of coverage for a given motherboard. This is limited coverage, meant only for handling the likes of defects. It’s decent, especially if you’re more prone to upgrading PC components frequently.

ASUS has a longer warranty period for the same sort of coverage. You can expect up to five years of limited warranty support on any given motherboard. This is a huge amount of time for a motherboard, especially if you’re more keen to wait on upgrading components.

As such, ASUS has the edge yet again in this comparison.

ASUS vs. MSI Motherboards: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. MSI has a slew of motherboards aimed expressly at providing top performance for gaming.
  2. MSI will typically forego adding more ports to a motherboard’s built-in chipset.
  3. MSI’s pricing structure tends to aim more for the high-end market.
  4. ASUS typically manufactures motherboards for all use cases.
  5. ASUS isn’t shy about adding ports and the latest tech, like HDMI 2.1, to its motherboards.
  6. ASUS’s pricing structure targets mid-range to high-end pricing, but there are cheaper boards available.

ASUS vs. MSI Motherboards: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

So, which of these manufacturers is the winner? ASUS honestly takes this competition and runs with it. You’re getting high-grade motherboards with a slew of modern features. The pricing is competitive and you can readily get components to fit Intel and AMD CPUs.

MSI is still a great choice, and certainly won’t do you any wrong for your next build. However, when looking at comparable motherboards, you’re losing out on vital features like additional ports, modern HDMI support, and more PCI-E lanes.

As such, you’ll want to research motherboards quite extensively before choosing one for your next build. You very well may end up with an ASUS to tie your whole rig together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do MSI motherboards only support AMD chipsets?

No, you’ll find MSI motherboards with AMD and Intel socket support. Given today’s market it doesn’t make sense to specialize in only one type of CPU.

Do motherboards have GPUs built in?

No, motherboards don’t have GPUs built-in. Typically, you’ll need either a CPU with built-in video support or an additional GPU to actually produce an image on your monitor. The motherboard only allows the means for these components to communicate with each other.

Can motherboards affect performance?

They absolutely can. However, you’ll find the results are generally negligible. Barring some extreme flaws with a given motherboard, it’ll be an incremental difference at best. As such, it is better to choose strong components rather than opting for the extra 1 to 2% increase you might get from a motherboard.

Is ASUS a reputable manufacturer?

Absolutely. In addition to motherboards, ASUS makes phones, laptops, and desktops. The company has a fairly strong brand, with the Republic of Gamer imprint being well-regarded for pre-built gaming hardware.

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a motherboard?

You want a motherboard to have support for your components and any additional hardware you might want to include. Having additional PCI-E slots is a great option, especially given how much cheaper NVMe drives are these days. Of course, you’ll want to make sure the motherboard fits your chosen CPU as well.

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