Let’s see what the best thunderbolt 3 motherboards available in the market in 2020 are. We have reviewed good motherboards with thunderbolt 3 to help you choose the best.
Finding a compatible thunderbolt 3 motherboard is the most important process when you are building your dream PC computer.
The cheapest motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 will be determined by its number of ports, RAM, graphics card, storage (SSD, internal or external), and compatible processor you can easily install on your build PC.
With a lot of options to choose from, specially with the latest addition of Intel 10th Gen motherboards, it can be quite challenging to select the best thunderbolt motherboard as per your needs. In this buying guide, we have shortlisted the best motherboards with Thunderbolt 3 support, which will help you boost the throughput of your PC.
Currently there are the top names in thunderbolt 3 market, AMD, ASUS, Intel, Hackintosh, MSI.
The release of Thunderbolt 3 motherboards is a significant aid to the users who love super fast pcs. In general a motherboard doesn’t change much in regard to the performance of your PC. However, having a high-quality thunderbolt 3 motherboard may provide some extra speed and performance increase, which may help you in future needs.
“We might see Thunderbolt 4 motherboards very soon”
Best Thunderbolt 3 Motherboards
Below are he best motherboards with thunderbolt 3 support, including asus, mini itx, amd, gigabyte, intel, matx and more.
|Thunderbolt 3 Motherboards||Specifications||Price|
|GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGNARE||Specs: ATX, LGA 1151, 2x M.2, 12+1 VRM, 4x DDR4 DIMM, 3x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x1, 6x SATA 6Gb/s, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 |
TB3 Ports: 2
|ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II||Specs: ATX, LGA2066, 3x M.2, 12+2 VRM, 8x DIMM, 3x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x1, 8x SATA 6Gb/s, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0|
TB3 Ports: 2
|Best AMD Ryzen TB3 Motherboard|
ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming
|Specs: Mini ITX, AMD AM4, 2x Hyper M.2, 8 x SATA 6Gb/s, 8+2 VRM, 4x DIMM, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x1, Wi-Fi|
TB3 Ports: 1
|Best Value Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard|
ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30
|Specs: ATX, LGA 2066, 3x M.2, 8x SATA 6Gb/s, 16 VRM, 8x DIMM, 3x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x1, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0|
TB3 Ports: 2
|Cheapest TB3 Motherboard|
ASUS ProArt Z490 Creator 10G
|Specs: ATX, LGA 1151, 2x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 4x DIMM, 3x PCIe x16, 4x PCIex1|
TB3 Ports: 1
|Best Gaming TB3 Motherboard|
MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard
|Specs: ATX, LGA 2066, 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s, 8x DIMM, 5x PCIe x16, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2|
TB3 Ports: 2
|Best MSI Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard|
MSI Motherboards MEG X299 Creation
|Specs: E-ATX, LGA 2066, 3x M.2, 8x SATA3, 8x DIMM, 4x PCIe x16, 1x PCIe x1, 13+1 VRM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
TB3 Ports: 2
- Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel Core processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- 12+1 Phases digital VRM solution with DrMOS
- Advanced thermal design with direct touch heat pipe
- Intel Thunderbolt 3 – the USB-C that does it all.Bluetooth 5
- Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface with Thermal Guards
- Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
- Front USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C Header
The content creators and gamers have provided some positive reviews about Z390 DESIGNARE as it is the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboard with decent specifications.
The Z390 DESIGNARE motherboard is ranked top compared to its competitors in thunderbolt 3 motherboards. A high quality ATX case protects this ATX motherboard, it also has an I/O shield for its protection. Our experts have marked it as the best pc motherboards with thunderbolt 3.
GIGABYTE X299 DESIGNARE has been designed with keeping future in mind, so the design you are seeing is just just the beginning. To increase the performance and keep the board cool, they have built top of the class cooling armor.
When we look at its ports, it has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, which supports USB Type-C, and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Header at front. As we are discussing thunderbolt 3 supportive boards, it has 2 thunderbolt 3 connectors, which also supports DisplayPort and output for Thunderbolt Video. You can get the fastest 40Gb/s speed on a single-wire connection.
GIGABYTE X299 DESIGNARE supports Smart Fan 5 technology, so users get maximum performance from their gaming PC while staying cool. Smart Fan 5 makes it possible to interchange the fan headers, which can reflect different thermal sensors at different locations on the motherboard. On the other hand, with Smart Fan 5 you can add more hybrid fan headers that support PWM and Voltage mode fans. This special technology is used to make sure that your motherboard remains more liquid cooling friendly.
“GIGABYTE Motherboards are among the top choices for many when they start to build their PC.”
This motherboard is a total package with its effective cooling system, builtin Wi-Fi 6 support makes it the best TB3 motherboard in the market.
- Efficient cooling
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Multi-graphics cards support
- 8 DIMMs for expansion
- VRM Heatsinks
- Superior overclocking and optimization
Asrock’s Taichi motherboards usually impress us. They’re not promoted as the solution for a particular sub-market, but instead focus on key features while sticking to a more subtle design aesthetic that should appeal to all kinds of buyers. Can the Z490 Taichi offer the sweet spot value we’ve come to expect from the brand? At $689 though, it’s now a premium level board, and it has to be judged as such.
The Z490 Taichi doesn’t deviate too much looks-wise from its recent siblings. Why would you though with its lovely retro, almost analogue theme. It looks terrific. You get a nice splash of RGB lighting too of course.
The Taichi has a beefed up 15-phase VRM system fed by dual 8-pin power connectors designed to cope with the demands of 10th Gen processors. Each choke is rated for 60A, less than the 90A the MSI and Gigabyte offer. The Taichi incorporates no less than three small fans into the heatsink, though thankfully they are all but silent and couldn’t be heard above the sound of our AIO CPU cooler and pump. When the board is presented with a light load, they don’t spin at all.
You get eight SATA connectors and three M.2 slots. Asrock is also touting its PCIe 4.0 readiness, though perhaps that’s jumping the gun a bit with Intel not commenting on future compatibility or support at this time. It has a solid backplate and Asrock has redesigned the audio solution with an ESS DAC and WIMA capacitors all aimed at improving the SNR and performance with headphones.
High-end Z490 boards impress with their strong networking capabilities. The Z490 Taichi features Realtek 2.5G and Intel 1G LAN along with WiFi 6 to provide excellent networking flexibility. There’s plenty of USB ports along with a PS/2 port and welcome HDMI and a DisplayPort. Though you probably won’t use Integrated graphics on a $700 motherboard, it’s good to have options.
The performance of the Taichi was interesting. It scored very well in bandwidth-sensitive applications, indicating that it sets aggressive memory sub timings. Our DDR4-4000 C16 test required a voltage bump in order to achieve stability too. The board easily pushed our 10900K to 5.2GHz on all cores, 5.3 is possible, though the heat from the CPU prevents stability, not the board itself.
At $689 it ticks almost all the boxes. It’s got an intuitive, easy to navigate BIOS and a typically strong Taichi feature set. Its VRM isn’t as strong as the other boards in the test and it’s perhaps a BIOS update away from feeling really polished. Saying that is being tough on it, though. The Taichi is a strong offering.
It continues to offer good value and at $689 it’s over a hundred dollars cheaper than the other boards in the test. That kind of pricing does erode a little of the Taichi’s reputation as a mainstream value for money offering. Its competition isn’t so much from above, as it is from below. When compared to strong contenders in the $500 to $600 range, the Taichi faces a different battle.
The Z490 Taichi is a very good motherboard, but it doesn’t offer the killer value we’ve been spoiled with.
- Use Thunderbolt 3 with AMD processors
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Robust and solid design
- Next-generation PCI Express 4.0
- Polychrome Sync RGB lighting
- VR ready
Here we have the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming, a quality ASRock motherboard with thunderbolt 3, which is the budget X570. So, if you need a budget m4 motherboard, you can pick up the X570 motherboard.
The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard will work with Ryzen 5 3600 CPU up to Ryzen M9 3900X. So, don’t worry if you’re planning on building a Ryzen 3000 series.
We recommend using the B350 motherboard, AX370 motherboard, B450 motherboard, X47 AM motherboard, and even a 320M motherboard.
The ASRock X570 motherboard supports up to 128GB of RAM, and you can also run ECC RAM. The ASRock X570 Phantom is the top-rated gaming motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 support.
The ASRock X570 comes with PCI Gen 4, and you can install a sound card, wi-fi adapter, or ethernet card as well. There are also 2 M.2’s SD slot, wi-fi 6 slots if you want it at stable wi-fi speed.
We have two USB 3.0 Gen 1 type A, HDMI output ports, and then we have USB 3.2 Gen 2.
This X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard features the next-gen ports, including PCI Express 4.0. PCIe 4.0. These ports are promised to provide much faster speeds up to double that of PCIe 3.0.
It’s the high-quality AMD mini-ITX Motherboard, and compatible with the newest Ryzen 3K. It also includes wi-fi 6 card support, so you don’t need one to connect to wireless internet if that’s what you’re planning to do.
Look no further if you need an AMD motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 and intel coolers support. The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming Thunderbolt 3 motherboard supports AMD Ryzen 2000 and 3000 series processors.
This is a reliable device for power delivery and excellent cooling options to make your PC cool and stop it from overheating. Despite being small, you get two M.2 and for DIMM slots to get you going.
4. ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 Best Value Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard
- Great value
- Triple M.2 slots
- Many expansion slots
- Reliable and fast networking with Wi-Fi 6 and 5G LAN port
- Fast storage access with Intel Optane technology
- Robust cooling mechanism and power design
- AI overclocking
Meet the new Asus Prime X299 Edition 30 ATX Motherboard, it’s the 30th anniversary version of this solid motherboard. The X299 is a feature-rich motherboard, and you have a lot of options to configure it.
Prime X299 motherboard will support 256GB of memory. It’s a quad channel configuration, we’ve got one M.2 socket. We have PCI Express ports, SATA 6GB per second. It also has the Intel Wi-Fi 6ax, with Bluetooth 5.0 and 4 slot other uses like a capture card. Thunderbolt 3 support is icing on the cake.
It has one of the best VRM designs, which is designed for 18 Core CPUs. Prime X299 has 16 power stages, which are cooled enough to bear up to 544W output. Well, honestly this is enough to overclock 18 Core UPUs easily.
It comes equipped with an active VRM heatsink, onboard M.2 heatsinks, an array of fan headers, the Fan Extension Card II with six headers that are controllable via FanXpert 4, a reinforced back plate, options for water pump and AIO headers.
New Wifi 6 standard is also introduced in this motherboard, it also comes with Aquantia 5G Ethernet, which offers high speed internet.
- Cheap and affordable
- Excellent specs for an inexpensive motherboard
- Superior cooling and optimization capabilities
- Supports multi-way graphics
- Best immersive audio
Asus has not only updated its range of motherboards but also added a pretty unique board into the lineup, the ASUS ProArt Z490 Creator 10G. It is the first motherboard to make it under the Asus ProArt series.
As the name suggests the Asus ProArt Z490 is targeted at creators such as digital artist content creators and post-production houses. The Asus ProArt Z490 motherboard is built to remove barriers and deliver optimal performance to content creators who work in 3d modeling and rendering animation or media production.
And yes, we do see some features packed into this board that will come in handy for creators. Features such as built-in Thunderbolt 3 type C port, which will make the jump from Mac to PC more seamless. If you’ve got tons of Thunderbolt devices and the inclusion of 2.5 and 10 Gigabit LAN.
The most useful feature for creators is actually by Intel equipping most of the 10 generation CPUs with hyperthreading. This means more cores and threads for rendering heavy workloads or any tasks that can take advantage of the newly launched multi-threaded CPUs.
Asus ProArt Z490 comes in sleek all-black fin design, that would look perfect in any workspace. There are also VRMs chipset and two heatsinks, all sporting that nice minimalist design with no RGB.
It’s a full size ATX board but not EATX or SSI EEB, so will fit nicely into all ATX cases easily. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a backplate, which we’ve seen on other motherboards in this price range, and it also doesn’t come with an IO shield cover exposing the connectors detracting from the minimalist look.
It has a single 8 pin for CPU power and the traditional 24 pins the secondary, also it doesn’t come with an aluminum heatsink. Asus ProArt Z490 has a USB type-c front connector, which is 6 SATA ports and USB 3.0 gen 1 front header. For audio issues, has included a crystal sound series audio chipset. Which means, you won’t be getting the high-end sound that is found in the high-end gaming boards.
It also has 1 HDMI and 2display ports for CPUs with integrated graphics even though 10th gen is brand new, it still uses the same. There are 2 Thunderbolt 3 type C ports for USB 3.2, 2 type A ports, 2 USB 3.0 gen 1.
- Stunning RGB lighting
- Multi-graphics support
- Great value
- Triple M.2 slots
- High-speed LAN and Wi-Fi
- Robust cooling features
If you need a 10th gen motherboard with thunderbolt 3, here is the quality addition to the list. It’s the all new MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard. Right now, this is the only ITX z490 board with thunderbolt 3, HDMI and Displayport, that also has a USB-C internal connector. It also has a 10-layer PCB which is superb for a mini-ITX motherboard.
It’s the gaming addition of MSI Z490 Motherboards series, which supports Intel’s 10th Generation Pentium Gold Celeron Processors with LGA 1200 socket.
Its thunderbolt 3 type c port with ITX Unify delivers up to 40Gbp data transfer speed, and can be connected with upto 6 devices. Also, it has a built in DisplayPort, which allows you to connected compatible devices.
There is no doubt that gamers need high speed bandwidth to play lag free games, MEG Z490I Unify comes with builtin 2.5Gbps Ethernet Lan. To make sure you get the maximum of your internet speed, it supports Wifi 6 802.11AX standards to deliver high speed wireless internet.
To prevent SSD from thermal throttling, it has built in support for M.2 Shield Frozr, with heatsink to make sure you get the maximum of your M.2.
Don’t fear the dislocation of your PCI slots with MSI PCI express steel armor. To make the PCI slot more secure they have put some extra solder points, which make sure to bear the weight of heavy graphic cards.
Its aggressive VRM design helps in getting consistent performance with its 8 direct digital power phases.
To make the handling of the motherboard process more secure and easier, they provide pre-installed IO Shielding, which saves the motherboard from external environment.
- Form Factor: Mini-ITX
- Chipset / Socket: Intel Z490 / LGA 1200
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 6 & Bluetooth
- DDR4 Memory Support: 2 x DIMM; Max. 64GB; 5000 MHz
- Audio: Audio Boost 4
- PCIe x16 Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot
- Display Output: 1x Thunderbolt 3, DP, HDMI
7. MSI Motherboards MEG X299 Creation Best MSI Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard
- Support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Reliable power design
- Multi-GPU support
- Stunning RGB lighting
- Triple M.2 slots with M.2 shields
Next in our line is the premium X299 motherboard from MSI, the MSI MEG X299 Creation. The MSI motherboards are divided into four different series and categories. One is known as MEG series, 2nd is MPG series, at third we have MAG series, and PRO series. MEG is actually short name of MSI Enthusiast Gaming motherboard.
X299 is the most stylish motherboard, packed with eye catching features. It has LED effects, WIFI 6 support, for broadband it has 2.5Gbps Ethernet Card. It comes with multiple M.2 SSD options, quad-channel memory, and an improved and rather beefy VRM based setup in a 13+1 phase fashion with no less than three 8 pin power connectors available.
The MEG X299 CREATION supports Intel’s latest and more intricate multiple-core processors to create stable and reliable conditions. This is compatible with anything Kabylake-X and Skylake-X offers pretty much anything you can think of, and then some. An M.2 SHIELD FROZR with Metal Shields integrated on the heatsink enlarges the thermal surface and prevents 3 x M.2 devices from throttling down from maximum SSD speeds and an extra M.2 daughterboard will allow you to install up to 7 x Turbo M.2 devices.
You will spot proper dual-band AC WIFI, but also a 2.5G LAN Ethernet jack as well as an Intel Gigabit LAN. The MEG Creation also offers MSI Thunderbolt M3; an included add-on card offering two Thunderbolt 3 ports and display ports. This motherboard is intended for Intel Skylake-X processors, including the latest refreshment on the 9000 series that are released based on Socket LGA2066.
We got our grubby little paws on a 16-core Skylake-X processor (7960X) to test the board with a loaner that Intel did not supply.
The board, as shown, is an exclusive segmented product and certainly is a decent motherboard alright with proper dark and subtle looks and feel. On the next page, a word or two on the processors and architecture, after which we’ll dive into a full photo-shoot with the MSI MEG X299 Creation.
Benefits Of Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard
You can’t debate on this that, there are a lot of benefits of having Thunderbolt 3 motherboard. Motherboards with thunderbolt 3 support offers a lot more features compared to the regular ones. We have listed some of them below.
- Games run swiftly and smoothly with high performance, prioritized bandwidth and vivid sound.
- Fans stay whisper-quiet for everyday computing, and ensure extreme cooling efficiency when gaming.
- Stutter is eliminated for smooth-running apps, even under heavy loading.
- Energy waste is reduced so you’ll save money.
- Upto 40Gbps fast transfer speeds
- Thunderbolt 3 motherboards supports 2 4K monitor support at 60Hz or one in 5K resolution
- You can Daisy chain up to 6 compatible devices
- Support for Thunderbolt 3 eGPUs, tb3 docking stations, and thunderbolt 3 monitors.
Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard Buying Guide
When you are looking for a motherboard with Thunderbolt 3, you need to look for different factor, before taking the final decision. It is essential to know what you are actually looking, most important, for what purpose you are building your PC. A gaming motherboard will offer some unique features, when compared to regular motherboard for other use.
Here is the breakdown of some essential features of a quality thunderbolt 3 motherboard.
When we compared thunderbolt boards with the regular ATX motherboards, you may like ATX boards.
Here is one cool suggestion: If you want to build a medium range PC with some little less features, why not go for Mini-ITX or MicroATX motherboards?.
PCIe Slots (Expansion Slots)
A PCIe slots are used for add-on to add some extra features and hardware to your PC. However, the ATX boards provides more PCIe expansion slots, when compared to other motherboards.
A board with multiple PCIe x16 will allow you to connect various GPUs via SLI by Nvidia or Crossfire by AMD.
After discussing with different professionals, some motherboard manufacturers add some necessary features as a builtin option. So that buyer grab the product without worrying of buying extra expansion cards. One of the necessary features is advanced cooling, its the must have, if you use your PC for most of the day.
DIMM Slots Dual In-Line Memory Module
The DIMM slots are used to plug in the RAM. The more DIMM slots mean your motherboard can handle more RAM for your PC.
DIMM slots will count can from two to eight in total. It is necessary to choose a motherboard with more slots as if you want to increase the quantity of your RAM as you grow.