Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard

Last updated date: June 14, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2

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We looked at the top 1 Motherboards and dug through the reviews from 5 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Tech Spot, Tech Radar, PC World, Home Media Portal and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Motherboard you should buy.

Overall Take

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard is different from other motherboards in that it's designed to be used as a standalone computer. It has everything you need to work using a Linux operating system, or you can build it into your IoT applications. It has more speed than previous Raspberry Pi models, which means you'll have all the computing power you need. In our analysis of 58 expert reviews, the Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Motherboard for a detailed review of all the top motherboards.

Expert Summarized Score
9.0
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
391 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Great price, includes 64-bit quad-core ARM CPU. Offers built-in Bluetooth capability and WiFi connectivity. Includes 4 USB ports and 1 HDMI port.
- BestReviews
March 1, 2019 | Full review
WIFI and Bluetooth baked into the board. Fastest Raspberry Pi yet. 64bit quad core processor
- Tech Spot
Built-in wireless communications is a big deal for the Raspberry Pi and enables the Pi to be used as a an IoT (Internet of Things) platform for very little outlay. To use these new wireless components you'll need to update your Raspbian image to the latest version or download and flash the latest image to an 8GB or larger micro SD card.
- Tech Radar
March 15, 2016 | Full review
The card-sized Raspberry Pi 3’s newfound power lies in a trio of upgrades: A new system-on-chip (SoC) with more potent graphics and computing capabilities, onboard 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, and onboard Bluetooth 4.1/Low Energy support.
- PC World
April 19, 2016 | Full review
One of the best things about the Pi 3 and one of the highlights of the Raspberry Pi 3 review is its price. You have to remember that the Pie contains the majority of the components found within a desktop PC and for all of these components its price is tiny. It is an extremely versatile product with endless possibilities.
- Home Media Portal
April 9, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Very basic features. Setup can be tricky.
- BestReviews
March 1, 2019 | Full review
Very power hungry and 2.5A power supply needed. Setup may be imposing for some people
- Tech Spot
Very power hungry and 2.5A power supply needed. An evolution rather than a revolution. Can get rather warm when pushed
- Tech Radar
March 15, 2016 | Full review
Setup may be imposing for some people. Requires several accessories to use
- PC World
April 19, 2016 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

The Raspberry Pi is a single computer board — developed to encourage and aid the teaching of programming and computing. It is also a fantastic starting point for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) projects. The low cost and 'plug and play' nature of Pi makes for a board that is accessible to all and has numerous connectivity options. Pi is the perfect experimental tool, whether you want to use it as a desktop computer, media centre, server or monitoring/security device within your home. No limits. Linux-based operating systems run on the Pi with plenty of access to free software and downloads. What is more, there is a great Pi community out there — look at DesignSpark, the design engineer community at internet.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 5
2. MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 9
3. ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard2
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8
5. Thermaltake View 37 Motherboard
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 2
6. ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 7
7. Gigabyte AMD AM3+ Motherboard
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 1
8. MSI Performance GAMING Motherboard
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 2
9. MSI Gaming AMD Ryzen B350 Motherboard
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 5
10. ASRock H81 PRO BTC R2.0 Motherboard
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 5

An Overview On Motherboards

  • The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard can serve as its own mini-computer, with a 64-bit quad-core ARM CPU. It’s mostly popular for helping students learn computer science, but it can be used as a standalone computer. It will support the latest Linux distributions, as well as Windows 10 IoT. If you’re developing an IoT application, this will be the board for you.
  • The first item on your motherboard shopping checklist should be compatibility. The MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard supports 6th and 7th generation Intel Core, Pentium and Celeron LGA 1151 socket processors. The ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard supports Intel processors, including Celeron, Core i5, Core i3, Core i7, Core i9 and Pentium Gold using an LGA 1151 socket. The Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard is also an LGA 1151 socket motherboard, supporting 6th and 7th generation Intel Core processors.
  • Once you’ve squared away compatibility, it’s time to look at the number of ports. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard has one HDMI port and 4 USB ports, while the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard has four memory slots. With the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard, you get a front-panel USB 3.1 slot, as well as two CPU slots, one PCH slot, and three PCIe slots. The Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard gives you six USB ports on the rear I/O. You can also hook up three drive configurations via SATA Xpress, which would give you a total of six drives.
  • The Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard has four memory slots with up to 64 GB of DDR4 dual channel system memory.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard offers unprecedented speed in the Raspberry Pi line of boards. This is due to a stronger processor and improved onboard connectivity.
  • Gamers will want to take a serious look at the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard, which builds in one-click processor overclocking. You’ll also get support for NVIDIA 2-way SLI and AMD 3-way CrossFireX graphics, providing stunningly realistic visuals with your games. The MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard is also built for gaming, with Multi-GPU SLI/CFX support. Its build also maximizes response time, which comes in especially handy when you’re gaming.
  • The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard supports graphics with a new system-on-chip that improves its video capabilities.
  • Even if you’re fairly tech-advanced, you likely don’t want to dedicate a large chunk of your week to setting up your motherboard. The MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard excels at being easy to set up. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard and ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard can be much trickier. The software suite that comes with the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard suffers from bloat, so you’ll need to set aside room on your computer to handle it.
  • With the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard, you’ll need several accessories before you can use it, but considering it operates independently from other components, it still may be an easier investment.
  • Each motherboard has its own power requirements, so you’ll want to check that out before you buy. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard requires a 2.5A power supply. It also can tend to get extremely warm when you’re working it too hard. The MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard has a 10-phase PWM supply that uses two large heatsinks to keep it cool. You’ll also get a dedicated water pump header with this model. The ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard keeps overheating at bay using a combination of real-time dynamic system monitoring, a flow-rate heater feed and a dual-water temperature header.
  • You should also look at the storage array. With the Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard, you get support for the NVMe storage format, as well as two M.2 slots. That means you can add two speedy SSDs, dramatically boosting your speed.
  • One benefit of the MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard is the improved audio codec, which becomes especially important if you’re using your PC for gaming. You’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with your system, though, as there can tend to be conflicts. With the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard, the company has done a great job at setting up the onboard audio. The Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard features AMP-UP audio technology that provides impressive sound.
  • Today’s consumers need compatibility with the devices they use every day. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard has Bluetooth compatibility incorporated into the board, offering Bluetooth 4.1/Low Energy support. The ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard has also enhanced its Bluetooth compatibility to address the needs of gamers.
  • You’ll need Wi-Fi compatibility with the motherboard you choose, as well. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard and ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard both have Wi-Fi built in, letting you connect with minimal effort. Neither the MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard nor the Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard includes Wi-Fi, so you’ll need to buy a separate Wi-Fi adaptor.
  • Price will likely factor into your decision, especially if you have a fixed budget for your entire PC. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard has the best price, retailing for less than $50, but it has a very specialized use. The MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard and MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard are on the high end, selling for between $200 and $300 each, while you can find the Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard in the $100-$200 price range.
  • One weakness of the MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard is that its onboard LEDs are monochromatic. But you can shut off the LEDs if you’d prefer.
  • Build can also come into play, especially if you want your motherboard to last for a while. The ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Motherboard is built with a ROG Armor steel covering to keep your board functioning through years of wear. The Gigabyte ATX DDR4 Motherboard’s PCIe slots are shielded with metal for next-level protection.
  • If you think you’ll occasionally need customer support, the MSI Pro Series Intel Z270 Motherboard has prompt support available to work with you on any issues you’re having.

DYWM Fun Fact

It may seem hard to believe now, but in the early days of the internet, it was common for enterprising consumers to put a PC together themselves rather than buying one from a store. You could often save money and get better results by just doing it yourself. But you don’t have to be Bill Gates to put a computer together on your own. Desktop PCs are so cheap now, it may end up being much more expensive, though, making it an option for people like gamers who need extreme computing power. You’ll need a tower, as well as the various parts, but often it can be far more affordable to simply buy a reasonably-priced PC and change out the parts you want to improve.

The Motherboard Buying Guide

The motherboard is the heart and soul of a computer, helping all of its various parts communicate with each other. If you buy a computer, the motherboard will be included, eliminating your need to even think about it. But if you want to build your own computer or upgrade the one you have, you’ll need to know what features to look for in a motherboard.

Before you can start shopping for a motherboard, you’ll need to know exactly what your computer will hold. That determines the form factor you choose. If this seems intimidating, don’t worry. There are standards for motherboards, and manufacturers design them to fit in the most popular types of computers on the market. Still, you’ll need to know the socket, CPU and chipset of your computer if you’re retrofitting your motherboard to an existing PC. If not, you’ll still be looking at matching all of your components to your motherboard, so it’s best to go with something as standard and up-to-date as possible.

In addition to fitting it into your computer, it’s also important to look at the number of expansion slots it has, as this will be what you use to connect components like your graphics card, sound card and storage devices. Today’s motherboards do most of their connecting through PCIe ports, which come in four different sizes. The most commonly used today is PCIe 3.0, but you’ll need to look specifically at what you’ll be connecting and base your purchasing decision on that.

Another important factor in your choice of motherboard is the graphics output. This determines the quality of the images you see on the screen. Although this is important for everyone, gamers usually need to prioritize this feature, as do those who work in graphics-intensive fields like video editing. If you fall into that category, you’ll want to look for a standalone GPU, rather than one built into the CPU. In that case, opt for a motherboard that has enough ports for that additional connection.

If you’re new to working with motherboards, it can help to specifically look for one that’s easy to set up. Some boards also come with customer support, allowing you to reach out for help if something doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Looking at these factors on the front end can help save you time once you get started installing your board.