Motherboard tier list: 970 chipset

NOTE: Tiers in chipset below are quite not same as with Intel list or 990FX/ 990X list. Tier 2 boards often are not fit for FX 8, sometimes even for FX 6, and so should be avoided, unless either you’re considering FX 6 (w/ exceptions) or you don’t have better options/ budget.



970 chipset


AMD’s mainstream AM3+ chipset comes with 22 PCIe 2.0 lanes 4 PCIe x4 lanes. It is not officially SLI capable, though a couple of MoBos do have certain chips which make them SLI capable. In general, all boards have SATA3 and many have USB 3.0 as well. M.2/ SATAe/ mSATA ports are missing, SATAe should not be confused with eSATA.


The board quality in general is fine, but not great, as many boards have a hard time with FX 8 on them, overheating of VRMs being a major issue, so they have been appropriately tiered and labeled. Other than those, many boards have great OCing power with FX 8 so they’ve been placed higher. Most are basically sub $100 boards, with exceptions as well.


The tiering focuses on overall quality first, ie, if the board can sustain FX 8’s load, with OCing. Then come the features. Read individual tier description for more info.

Key:

Red: MSI
Blue: ASROCK
Green: GIGABYTE
Gold: ASUS
Black: EVGA

__________________________________________


Tier One-Class A: Very High quality. Great boards for OCing, have optional SLI capability but more importantly can OC FX 8 well, if you have to get a 970 chipset board, these will be your top choice. High quality, and no overheating issues.


No SLI capabability:

GA-970A-UD3P
M5A97 or EVO or PRO (R.2 as well)
GA-970A-UD3


SLI capable:

970 GAMING
970A SLI Krait (USB 3.1 supported)



Tier One-Class B: High quality. Good board for OCing FX 6, fine for mild OC on FX 8, don't expect extreme OC due to moderate power phases design, but is a good overall board quality wise, better than any Tier Two board.

Extreme 3 R2.0

NOTE: Regardless of SLI capability, all MoBos are fit for OCing FX 8. All MoBos from here in this chipset can only contain FX 8 on stock speeds or are good for upto FX 6.

__________________________________________

Tier Two: Good quality. These MoBos are NOT FIT to be paired with FX 8, with OCing in mind. And if a Motherboard is not good enough for OCing a particular CPU, is always good to NOT get that MoBo for that CPU. But besides that, they’re fine for FX 6 or lower. Quality is decent, a couple MoBos have some issues, so be careful and look around for labels.

Not SLI capable:

970 Extreme3
M5A97 LE R2.0
970 Pro3 (R2.0 as well, this MoBo is good for OCing FX 6)
970A-G43 (See NOTE1 below)
GA-970A-DS3P
GA-970A-DS3
GA-970A-D3 (See NOTE2 below)
GA-970A-D3P

SLI capable:

970A-G46 (See NOTE3 below)
970 EXTREME4 (See NOTE3 below)


NOTE1: G43 is known to NOT OC FX 6 well, due to no heatsinks on VRM and known overheating issues. Avoiding this board is HIGHLY recommended.


NOTE2: D3 (r1.0/1.1/1.2) do NOT have heatsinks on VRM so they should be avoided for OCing FX 6. R1.3 and 1.4 are heatsinked so they’re fine for OCing FX 6.


NOTE3: G46 and EXTREME4 are known to have overheated VRMs with 125W CPUs, so do not expect high OC with FX6 on these boards. 970 GAMING is a much better option in this regard.

__________________________________________

NOTE: This thread is a part of the article series 'Motherboard tier list'.
20 answers Last reply
More about motherboard tier list 970 chipset
  1. I've not got the time to include Biostar and ECS boards, but I'm working to include them. I'll try to add them sooner than later.
  2. Hey in the middle of buying parts for a PC. I was looking at the ASUS M5A97 EVO but it is out of stock atm on amazon so i was just going to buy the Non-evo version but it doesn't have 6+2 power phase is this a problem ?

    And what motherboard would you recommend for around £60-70. Im buying a Fx-8320
  3. That board (M5A97) is known to have good OCing results on FX 8, so it won't be an issue. Except the LE version, which doesn't have heatsinks on VRMs, all other versions are good enough for OCing FX 8.
  4. MeteorsRaining said:
    That board (M5A97) is known to have good OCing results on FX 8, so it won't be an issue. Except the LE version, which doesn't have heatsinks on VRMs, all other versions are good enough for OCing FX 8.


    So this motherboard will be fine :D : http://www.amazon.co.uk/M5A97-R2-0-Motherboard-PCI-Express-Flashback/dp/B008V9959O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417172779&sr=8-1&keywords=M5A97+R2.0

    I wont be overclocking to much maybe just around 4.2ghz~
  5. Yep, great board indeed.
  6. Does anyone know how good this board is?

    MSI 970A-G46
  7. Adversus said:
    Does anyone know how good this board is?

    MSI 970A-G46




    Not a great board by any means, I'd not get anything more than FX 6 on it. See the Note attached with it in the tier list.
  8. Any progress on adding Biostar TA970? Really good board at an ever better price.
  9. 970 gaming in on the list, hope msi can get higher AMD gaming motherboard
  10. MeteorsRaining said:
    NOTE: Tiers in chipset below are quite not same as with Intel list or 990FX/ 990X list. Tier 2 boards often are not fit for FX 8, sometimes even for FX 6, and so should be avoided, unless either you’re considering FX 6 (w/ exceptions) or you don’t have better options/ budget.



    970 chipset


    AMD’s mainstream AM3+ chipset comes with 22 PCIe 2.0 lanes 4 PCIe x4 lanes. It is not officially SLI capable, though a couple of MoBos do have certain chips which make them SLI capable. In general, all boards have SATA3 and many have USB 3.0 as well. M.2/ SATAe/ mSATA ports are missing, SATAe should not be confused with eSATA.


    The board quality in general is fine, but not great, as many boards have a hard time with FX 8 on them, overheating of VRMs being a major issue, so they have been appropriately tiered and labeled. Other than those, many boards have great OCing power with FX 8 so they’ve been placed higher. Most are basically sub $100 boards, with exceptions as well.


    The tiering focuses on overall quality first, ie, if the board can sustain FX 8’s load, with OCing. Then come the features. Read individual tier description for more info.

    Key:

    Red: MSI
    Blue: ASROCK
    Green: GIGABYTE
    Gold: ASUS
    Black: EVGA

    __________________________________________


    Tier One-Class A: Very High quality. Great boards for OCing, have optional SLI capability but more importantly can OC FX 8 well, if you have to get a 970 chipset board, these will be your top choice. High quality, and no overheating issues.


    No SLI capabability:

    GA-970A-UD3P
    M5A97 or EVO or PRO (R.2 as well)
    GA-970A-UD3


    SLI capable:

    970 GAMING
    970A SLI Krait (USB 3.1 supported)



    Tier One-Class B: High quality. Good board for OCing FX 6, fine for mild OC on FX 8, don't expect extreme OC due to moderate power phases design, but is a good overall board quality wise, better than any Tier Two board.

    Extreme 3 R2.0

    NOTE: Regardless of SLI capability, all MoBos are fit for OCing FX 8. All MoBos from here in this chipset can only contain FX 8 on stock speeds or are good for upto FX 6.

    __________________________________________

    Tier Two: Good quality. These MoBos are NOT FIT to be paired with FX 8, with OCing in mind. And if a Motherboard is not good enough for OCing a particular CPU, is always good to NOT get that MoBo for that CPU. But besides that, they’re fine for FX 6 or lower. Quality is decent, a couple MoBos have some issues, so be careful and look around for labels.

    Not SLI capable:

    970 Extreme3
    M5A97 LE R2.0
    970 Pro3 (R2.0 as well, this MoBo is good for OCing FX 6)
    970A-G43 (See NOTE1 below)
    GA-970A-DS3P
    GA-970A-DS3
    GA-970A-D3 (See NOTE2 below)
    GA-970A-D3P

    SLI capable:

    970A-G46 (See NOTE3 below)
    970 EXTREME4 (See NOTE3 below)


    NOTE1: G43 is known to NOT OC FX 6 well, due to no heatsinks on VRM and known overheating issues. Avoiding this board is HIGHLY recommended.


    NOTE2: D3 (r1.0/1.1/1.2) do NOT have heatsinks on VRM so they should be avoided for OCing FX 6. R1.3 and 1.4 are heatsinked so they’re fine for OCing FX 6.


    NOTE3: G46 and EXTREME4 are known to have overheated VRMs with 125W CPUs, so do not expect high OC with FX6 on these boards. 970 GAMING is a much better option in this regard.

    __________________________________________

    NOTE: This thread is a part of the article series 'Motherboard tier list'.


    Are the Tier Two:Good Wuality good for my FX 8320? I WILL NOT BE OVERCLOCKING. Not even planning to in my life.
  11. AdrianJaden said:

    Are the Tier Two:Good Wuality good for my FX 8320? I WILL NOT BE OVERCLOCKING. Not even planning to in my life.


    No need to quote the whole thing to respond :)

    Tier 2 ones I wouldn't pair.

    I would try for 990FX for any FX83xx but if you can't justify. The GA-970A-D3P is a really good options for a low price.

    I don't completely agree with how these 970 chipset Tiers are structured. There should be a third tier .:)
  12. Greetings,

    I have had a MSI 970-G46 for almost 2 years now, paired with a 6300. I just upgraded to a 8320e last night. Since the "E" runs at 95w, this board should be fine, right?
  13. Benjiwenji said:
    Greetings,

    I have had a MSI 970-G46 for almost 2 years now, paired with a 6300. I just upgraded to a 8320e last night. Since the "E" runs at 95w, this board should be fine, right?


    Since it's the same Wattage, then yes :)
  14. Sweet!

    I also have the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P. It only has 1 pci-e x16 and the other is x4. If I decide to CF on it, how much performance hit will result from the x4?
  15. MeteorsRaining said:
    That board (M5A97) is known to have good OCing results on FX 8, so it won't be an issue. Except the LE version, which doesn't have heatsinks on VRMs, all other versions are good enough for OCing FX 8.


    So if you have the LE R2.0 m5a97, overclocking is not a good idea? Oh....... everything makes sense now
  16. What about the M5A97 PLUS?
  17. i think krait shouldnt be placed alongside with gaming as it has infirior power design.(thermal looks good though) and what about Asrock 970 fatality performance?

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/Fatal1ty%20970%20Performance/
  18. MeteorsRaining said:
    That board (M5A97) is known to have good OCing results on FX 8, so it won't be an issue. Except the LE version, which doesn't have heatsinks on VRMs, all other versions are good enough for OCing FX 8.


    So just to clarify, this board:

    https://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/aw/d/B008RPZ5SC/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1455828426&sr=8-1&pi=SL75_QL70&keywords=m5a97

    Is not the LE version right? So i will get good results if i decide to OC my FX 8320e
  19. Tier 1: Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura

    Is SLI capable, not only capable, but also certified.
    It is the most beautiful motherboard in the 970 chipset list.
  20. Yes, it is. However, it is a relatively new mobo, and this list hasn't been update in age because of the AM3+'s age.
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