MSI and ASUS are two of the biggest names in motherboards, and each offers multiple models designed to suit the needs of different users. However, only one provides the best possible motherboard for you.
Consider things like build quality, available features, price, and support before you decide which motherboard will serve as the foundation of your newest build.
How to Choose the Best Motherboard?
To choose the best motherboard and narrow the gap between ASUS and MSI, understand what features motherboards and manufacturers offer. Some items will be the same for both companies; we’ll go over those points, too, because it will help you understand that the choice between these two brands doesn’t have to be a compromise.
- Always check out what ports it offers on the back panel, especially if you’re using older or niche equipment. You want to be able to hook up every device that needs a connection with the motherboard. However, don’t forget that most of your screens will be hooked up via the GPU, not the motherboard.
- Make sure the motherboard you choose is compatible with any parts you want to put in it, notably the RAM and the CPU. For example, you can’t use a motherboard made for an Intel CPU with an AMD CPU or DDR4 RAM in DDR5 slots.
- Decide how you want to use it. If you’re going to overclock your CPU, go with a motherboard focused on overclocking so you know it can withstand the process.
- Look at the number and type of USB ports and how many connections it has for storage drives like M.2 or HDDs. This is entirely up to you and what you’re looking for. Some people use fewer storage drives, while others prefer storing large files.
- Check out the different form factors a company offers. A micro-ATX motherboard might work better than a standard if you’re using a small case.
- Be sure you know what’s included on the motherboard. Not all boards include Bluetooth, for example. Depending on your choice, there are also different audio, Bluetooth, and internet connection options. While you can add other modules to the computer to compensate for these, choosing a higher-end motherboard with them already included might be more desirable.
Knowing what to look for can help you narrow down what model you want. However, there are a few places where ASUS and MSI are very similar. You don’t have to worry about comparing those issues because both companies offer
How Are ASUS and MSI the Same?
There are a few similarities between ASUS motherboards and MSI motherboards. Being aware of these might help you find a suitable model more quickly.
- ASUS and MSI are known for quality builds with many fans and usage. You’ll be able to find plenty of reviews and ratings for almost any board made by these manufacturers.
- ASUS and MSI both make a variety of motherboards for different users and price points. They have more budget-friendly motherboards and more expensive motherboards designed for power users and gaming. One company isn’t necessarily more elite than the other.
- Both companies make motherboards compatible with both major CPU brands, Intel and AMD. Since your motherboard has to be compatible with your CPU, it means this is one issue you don’t need to worry about when it comes to choosing which brand is right for you. You can go with either, no matter which processor you’re choosing.
- Similarly, you can find different-sized motherboards from both companies. Whether you’re looking for micro-ATX, mini-ATX, or ATX, MSI and ASUS will have something to consider.
Regarding compatibility and popularity, MSI and ASUS are pretty evenly matched. Things like the price for certain feature levels, specific offerings, warranties, and customer support are the most important things to consider when choosing between the brands.
What if I Don’t Know What I Need?
If you don’t know what you need, you can still choose whether MSI or ASUS is suitable for you by looking at the available boards. Read through the features and what they’re capable of supporting to decide which might offer what you need for your build. You’ll know the right board when you find something that works perfectly and meets or exceeds your needs.
Comparing MSI and ASUS
One way to determine whether MSI or ASUS suits you better is to compare a few of their traits and see which you prefer. They’re both premium brands that are evenly matched, making narrowing down specific issues or benefits difficult. Like most choices in computer building, it all comes down to particular motherboard models and what you’re looking for.
ASUS and MSI don’t differ much in the features they offer. For example, both have high-end boards with a 10Gbps Ethernet connection, offer extreme power stage designs, and have motherboards with DDR5, Thunderbolt, and many M.2 slots. One thing that sets them apart is their proprietary designs.
MSI uses FROZR AI cooling, designed to help adjust the fans to keep the CPU and GPU cooler. Some of their boards offer an SMT DDR5 slot that uses a more modern welding technology to reduce the number of problems people have with their RAM slots. MSI also includes a memory boost technology to help the RAM perform better.
ASUS offers TUF chokes and capacitors designed to help improve system stability and temperature. They also advertise their SupremeFX Audio technology, which delivers a neutral sound and high-quality audio. ASUS boards have a variety of lighting and design features as well, depending on which you purchase.
ASUS and MSI offer a variety of motherboard features at many different price points. They each advertise a few lines to appeal to different computer users.
ASUS Prime motherboards are suited for people who aren’t using extreme programs on their PC but use it often and like to have some control over adjusting the performance. They also offer ProArt boards for creative professionals, workstation motherboards, and motherboards for corporate and business clients. They have two gaming lines: ROG and TUF.
The Republic of Gaming models are more suited for high-end builds and power users. TUF boards offer outstanding performance in gaming but with fewer features and a lower cost.
MSI offers four different motherboard lines: MEG, MPG, MAG, and Pro. MEG boards aim at extreme gamers willing to pay extra for excellent performance, build quality, and features. MPG is designed for those interested in RGB lightning control and synchronization.
MAG boards focus on rigorous quality testing; MSI says they’re sturdy and durable. Finally, the Pro series is for those with less extreme computer use, like business users or people who stream movies.
Both companies offer a wide range of boards for any user.
It’s difficult to say which company offers better build quality. There is really no definitive answer.
However, many users who have used both appear to prefer ASUS slightly. A large part of this is how often they emphasize overclocking, which requires a very stable and well-built motherboard.
On the other hand, MSI focuses on reliability and does a lot of testing to ensure their motherboards are up to the most challenging tasks. Many of their products feature advertisements that tout their stability and longevity.
Ultimately, it probably depends on the board. Higher-end offerings with thicker PCBs and better power stages will often outlast and outperform lower-end models from either company.
The reviews are entirely mixed, depending on the motherboard.
However, reviews are a powerful tool for consumers to find which product will work best for them. Don’t discount them, even if it means reading a few professional reviews and then reading reviews on retail sites from genuine purchasers.
You might discover specific issues with a motherboard or find that it has features you didn’t even know you needed yet.
If you want a company with excellent customer support, choosing MSI might be the better choice. Many consumers have complained about ASUS’s RMA process and customer support over the years.
Each experience will vary, of course, but many say that ASUS has some of the worst customer support for computer components in the retail industry.
Both MSI and ASUS provide excellent, stable performance. However, if you ask gamers which company offers better performance, the answer is frequently ASUS.
It’s difficult to tell whether they’re producing better performance or if people’s reviews are skewed by what they’ve used and recommended in the community. However, because they’re so focused on overclocking, ASUS is known for stability and performance in all their gaming boards. Many people also prefer their UEFI to that offered by MSI.
One of the best ways to determine the performance of MSI or ASUS boards is to look up reviews for the specific boards. See how they performed in real-world tests by reputable companies. Knowing the version of a particular board is far superior since both companies make great products.
Comparing ASUS and MSI Motherboards
One way to get a better idea of exactly which is better for you is to look at similar motherboards designed for specific audiences from both brands. Checking out their flagship gaming motherboards with a similar price point and features shows how similar the two brands are regarding specifications.
These motherboards are some of the most extreme offerings from each company. They really highlight what ASUS and MSI are doing at the higher end of the motherboard spectrum.
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 HERO EVA Edition
- PCIe Slot: 2 X PCIe 5.0 slots and 1 X PCIe 4.0 slot
- Number of Memory Slots: 5 X M.2 slots (three plus an additional two with ROG expansion)
- Maximum Memory Supported: 128 GB DDR5 6400+ (OC)
- Ports Avaliable: 2 X Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports (with a total of 11 USB ports on the back and 9 USB ports on the front)
- Ethernet Type: Dual 2.5 Gb Ethernet ports
- Wi-Fi / Bluetooth: Wi-Fi 6E/V5.2
- Audio: ROG SupremeFX 7.1 Surround Sound
This model also has an extreme OC kit, black metal capacitors, heatsinks on the M.2 ports, and a VRM heatsink design. There is a BIOS FlashBack button, a clear CMOS button, a pre-mounted I/O shield, and AURA Sync RGB headers. Many of its features appear to target overclocking enthusiasts.
MSI MEG Z690 ACE
- PCIe Slot: 3 X PCIe 5.0 slots
- Number of Memory Slots: 5 X M.2 slots
- Maximum Memory Supported: 128 GB DDR5 6666+ (OC)
- Ports Avaliable: 2 X Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports (with a total of 15 ports, including the Thunderbolt.)
- Ethernet Type: Dual 2.5 GB Ethernet ports
- Wi-Fi / Bluetooth: Wi-Fi 6E/V5.2
- Audio: 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio+
This model features an aluminum cover, heavy plated VRM heatsink, double-sided M.2 shield Frozr, and an enlarged chipset heatsink. It has a direct 19+1+2 phases power design, Core Boost, and Game Boost. Many of its features appear to target gamers who are passionate about keeping their thermals under control.
Each of these boards was listed as one of the top boards for Z690 on the gaming motherboards section of their main website. They have similar price points and features, making them a good comparison set.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to say whether ASUS or MSI is actually better for any particular user. I currently use an MSI motherboard, but my last computer was an ASUS ROG board. Both give me the same performance, at least in the areas I use and notice. At the end of the day, you have to see what the companies offer and decide which will be best for you and what you’ll do with it.