8 Best Motherboard for i7 9700K

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ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO
Motherboard ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO
Form Factor ATX
Maximum Memory Speed 4400 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 6
M.2 Slots 2
Total PCIe Slots 6

ASUS is a popular manufacturer of motherboards and is known for designing some of the most powerful motherboards of all time. Their ROG MAXIMUS series is targeted towards the enthusiast community and is based on Z-series chipsets for the Intel platform.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO is one of the finest motherboards for Intel’s mainstream processors right now and is capable of running even the most powerful processors at the highest possible clock speeds.

The price of the motherboard is surely higher than the other motherboards based on Z390 chipset, however, it is worth every penny if you are someone who wants to juice every bit of performance. 

First of all, the looks of this motherboard are pretty impressive, as expected of ASUS Republic Of Gamers. The motherboard mainly uses black color for the PCB while there is RGB lighting on the heat-sink at the I/O panel cover and the chipset heat-sink.

The lighting on the I/O cover does not have any logo but the lighting on the chipset has the ROG logo which greatly enhances the looks of the system. The heat-sinks on the VRM are very nice-looking as well and have HERO written on them. The RGB lighting can be controlled through the software application and it supports ASUS AuraSync as well.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO is an ATX motherboard and comes with four DIMM slots, which means that with the use of 32 GB sticks you can reach a maximum memory limitation of 128 GB. As for the PCI Express slots, there are five of them, among which three are PCI Express 3.0 X16 and three are 3.0 X1.

This seems like a great configuration, where you can install lots of PCI-E devices such as multiple graphics cards, PCI-E SSDs, sound cards, etc. As for the M.2 slots, there are two of them, both being covered by large heat-sinks. The motherboard provides six SATA III ports, capable of running at 6Gb/s.

Coming to the I/O of the motherboard, it offers 6 x audio ports, 2 x WiFi antenna ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports (one of which is used for BIOS), an HDMI port, a DP port, a PS/2 port, a BIOS Flashback button, and a Clear CMOS button.

These options seem very extensive and are quite helpful during various scenarios, especially the BIOS related functions. ASUS has used ROG SupremeFX in the motherboard with the audio codec S1220, which is greatly appreciated for its quality and outputs.

The motherboard also supports Bluetooth and WiFi, where ASUS has used Intel Wireless-AC 9560 for WiFi, capable of running at 1.73 Gbps. As for the multi-GPU support, the motherboard supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and 3-way AMD CrossFireX technology. There is a total of seven fan headers in the motherboard including the CPU and AIO pump headers.

The power delivery of this motherboard is quite controversial. ASUS implemented a new design for the VRM and used a big 4+2 phase power delivery, however, this VRM is much better than previously used 4+2 phase VRM in the cheap motherboards. That is why you can overclock the processors like Intel Core i7-9700K or even Core i9-9900K at high frequencies like 5.0+ GHz, etc.

Conclusion:

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO is one of the best motherboards for those people who want to get high performance but yet not spend as much money as it would take for MAXIMUS XI FORMULA.

The looks of the motherboard are pretty good and with great RGB lighting, it enhances the looks of your rig. With great I/O features like integrated high-performance WiFi, lots of PCI-E slots, etc., you get ease of access and don’t have to spend extra for these features.

Pros
  • Awesome looks
  • Great performance
  • Lots of features
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive

MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE

MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE
Motherboard MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE
Form Factor E-ATX
Maximum Memory Speed 4600 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 6
M.2 Slots 3
Total PCIe Slots 5

MSI is as good as ASUS when it comes to motherboards and the company has a large range of motherboards available for various kinds of purposes. MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE is flagship motherboard from the company that is priced a lot higher than other Z390-based motherboards. It is also one of the most beautiful motherboards we have ever seen. 

It looks just fantastic due to its unique looks and extensive use of covers. There is an RGB MSI Dragon logo on the chipset heat-sink while the I/O panel cover has a large RGB zone. There is a dashboard LCD on the motherboard as well, which is located right next to the DIMM slots.

The reason for the high pricing of this motherboard is that it comes with a lot of extra packaging and the motherboard itself is also the top-notch in terms of features.

The motherboard comes with 6 x custom SATA cables, WiFi antenna, streaming card, SLI HB bridge, M.2 Xpander-Z card, 1/4-inch to 3.5mm jack converter, RGB LED extension cable, addressable RGB extension cables, 2 x external temperature probes, case badge, manuals, cable stickers, and GPU poster.

These accessories themself cost quite a lot and if you are someone who is not going to use any of these accessories, then perhaps you should look at some other motherboard that is a lot cheaper. 

The motherboard has an E-ATX for factor, which makes it larger than the rest of the motherboard on the list and has one 24-pin power connector (next to the DIMM slots), two 8-pin power connectors, present along the VRM and another 6-pin power connector, present along the first M.2 slot.

This makes the motherboard capable of handling very heavy power loads. There are five PCI Express slots in the motherboard, where four of them are reinforced with metal and are PCI-E 3.0 X16 while the fifth of them is PCI-E 3.0 X1. Moreover, there are three M.2 slots in the motherboard with each of them having their own heat-sinks for effective operation. There are six SATA III ports in the motherboard, which is similar configuration to most of the other motherboards. 

Coming towards the I/O of the motherboard, we come to know that there are no ports for display because the company expects the user to use dedicated graphics cards. There are 7 x audio ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 2 x LAN ports, 2 x antenna ports, a PS/2 port, a Flash BIOS button, and a clear CMOS button.

It is important to note that the motherboard uses two audio chipsets (Realtek ALC1220), two LAN chipsets, and Killer 1550 chipset for WLAN. The motherboard supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX technologies. There is a whopping number of fan headers on the motherboard; in total, ten of them, where all of them support PWM and DC modes.

The best thing about this motherboard is that it comes with top-notch VRM. The motherboard has a 14-phase power delivery, where nothing is used for the iGPU, as there are no ports to display.

This great power delivery ensures the best possible overclock and you would be theoretically limited to the potential of your processor only. With a motherboard like this, Intel Core i7-9700K should be able to hit even up to 5.5 GHz if you got a silicon lottery.

Conclusion:

MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE is a motherboard that is not designed for everyone and is targeted towards content creators who can take advantage of its wide number of additional accessories.

The motherboard is an absolute beast when it comes to power delivery, number of features, number of ports and slots, which is why a regular gamer might not be able to saturate the usages of this motherboard.

Overall, the price of the motherboard is justified with respect to the features and you should not worry about the price if you are going to utilize the additional features.

Pros
  • Tons of additional accessories
  • Fast memory speeds
  • Powerful overclocking capability
  • Beastly looks
Cons
  • Very expensive for a regular gamer

MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON

MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON
Motherboard MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON
Form Factor ATX
Maximum Memory Speed 4400 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 6
M.2 Slots 2
Total PCIe Slots 6

Here we are with another MSI motherboard based on the Z390 chipset, that is MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON. As the name suggests, this motherboard is targeted towards gamers and is a lot cheaper than the previously mentioned motherboards. The motherboard does provide high-end features and the looks of the motherboard are much better than most other motherboards.

There is RGB lighting below the keyboard at the right side and also on the I/O panel cover. The M.2 slot and the chipset share a single large heat-sink, silver and black in color, where there is a dragon logo along with carbon texture. The PCB itself is black in color and the I/O panel cover has a carbon texture with a slight touch of silver. 

MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON is an ATX motherboard and provides a 24-pin power connector, one 8-pin power connector, and one 4-pin power connector. There are four DIMM slots and six PCI Express slots, where three of them are PCI-E 3.0 X16 and three of them are PCI-E 3.0 X1.

A great thing we see here is that two of the PCI Express slots are reinforced with metal while the DIMM slots are also reinforced. This enhances the looks of the motherboard as well. There are two M.2 slots, where only one of them is covered with the heat-sink that we talked about earlier. The SATA III ports are six, just like the rest of the motherboards.

As for the I/O of the motherboard, it comes with 6 x audio ports, a LAN port, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, a DP port, an HDMI port, and a PS/2 port. As you can see there are no BIOS buttons in this motherboard like the previous two motherboards.

The motherboard uses Realtek ALC1220P audio chipset, which is quite a good chipset and offers decent audio SNR. There are seven fan headers on the motherboard in total, which seem sufficient for even the most power-hungry components.

The VRM of the motherboard are good enough to handle the 9th-generation processors and even with overclocks above 5 GHz, the temperatures of the VRM components stay around 90 degrees, which is fine.

Conclusion:

MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON is a motherboard that is perfect for high-end gamers and it got everything a gamer needs whether you talk about RGB lighting, strong OC performance, and impressive durability. With lots of fan headers, you won’t suffer from thermal throttling if your case supports a large number of fans and with big heat-sink, your M.2 SSD won’t get heated.

Pros
  • Large M.2 slot heat-sink
  • Reinforced DIMM slots
  • Stable power delivery
Cons
  • Absence of WiFi

ASUS PRIME Z390-A

ASUS PRIME Z390-A
Motherboard ASUS PRIME Z390-A
Form Factor Mini-ITX
Maximum Memory Speed 4266 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 6
M.2 Slots 2
Total PCIe Slots 6

ASUS PRIME series motherboards are budget motherboards that tend to provide necessary features while not breaking the bank. ASUS PRIME Z390-A is a motherboard that is based on the Z390 chipset and offers a great price to performance ratio. The PRIME series is known for its black and white color theme, which makes it great with white-colored cases.

The PCB of the motherboard is black in color but has white-colored heat-sinks and some parts of the PCB have white stripes as well. There is PRIME Z390 Series written on the I/O panel cover while the chipset heat-sink mentions ASUS.

The I/O panel cover extends towards the PCI-E slots and has Crystal Sound written on it, which means that ASUS has used a better sound chipset on this motherboard than common motherboards, which we will be talking about in the I/O section. There is RGB lighting in both the I/O cover and the chipset heat-sink that can be customized through the ASUS software application and it supports ASUS AuraSync, allowing it to be synchronized with other devices and components.

There are only two power connectors on the motherboard; the 24-pin power connector at the right sides of the DIMM slots and the 8-pin power connectors above the VRM components. There are three temperature sensors on the motherboard apart from the components’ sensors such as GPU, which can be referenced through the ASUS FAN Xpert 4. There are five 4-pin fan headers and two AIO pump headers on the motherboard.

Since this is an ATX motherboard, there are four DIMM slots, leading to a maximum memory of 128 GB. There are three PCI-E 3.0 X16 slots and three PCI-E 3.0 X1 slots, just like the previous motherboards. There are two M.2 slots, one of which has a heat-sink and is advertised to drop the temperatures of the SSD device by up to 20 degrees. The number of SATA III ports remain the same at six, like other Z390 motherboards.

The I/O panel of the motherboard is quite minimal and looks similar to the MSI MPG Z390 CARBON PRO motherboard in terms of ports. It provides 6 x audio ports, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, a DP port, a LAN port, and a PS/2 port. The motherboard supports Crystal Sound 3, which seems to be a customized chipset based on Realtek S1220A. The motherboard does not support WiFi and that is why there are no antenna ports at the rear.

The VRM of the motherboard is not the stronger area of the motherboard. The motherboard does support moderate overclocking on processors like Intel Core i7-9700K but the VRM tend to get hot and require active cooling to sustain performance.

Conclusion:

ASUS PRIME Z390-A is a budget motherboard that is great for people who are not into extreme overclocking and want a cheap motherboard that boots up fine and does great in gaming. The I/O of the motherboard is although similar to the MSI MPG Z390 CARBON PRO, the VRM is somewhat lower end. This can be somewhat countered with better airflow and if you have a white-colored case, this motherboard should look very attractive in your rig.

Pros
  • Suits white-colored cases
  • Low price
  • Good enough performance for most people
Cons
  • VRM components have high temperature

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING
Form Factor Mini-ITX
Maximum Memory Speed 4800 MHz
DIMM Slots 2
MAX MEMORY 64 GB
SATA III Ports 4
M.2 Slots 2
Total PCIe Slots 1

Here we are with another ASUS ROG motherboard, that is ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING. This motherboard is also based on the Z390 chipset, however, this motherboard has a mini-ITX form factor, which makes it stand out in front of other motherboards. It is true that the size of this motherboard is quite small but the performance of the motherboard is spectacular and that makes it quite a special product.

The motherboard is greatly covered by the I/O panel cover and the heat-sinks of the VRM and the M.2 slot. There is a ROG logo on the M.2 slot heat-sink while there is a lot of branding on the I/O panel cover, which seems a bit too much, to be honest. The overall color theme of the motherboard looks good though, with a black and gray color theme. The branding on the I/O panel is RGB-lit and there is RGB lighting beneath the motherboard at the right side as well. 

The best thing about this motherboard is that it is compatible with any casing, as this is a mini-ITX motherboard. You can use this motherboard with even the smallest of cases without having any issues. The motherboard has a 24-pin power connector next to the DIMM Slots and has an 8-pin power connector next to the VRM components, at the top.

The motherboard has only two DIMM slots, which is why the maximum operating frequency of the RAM sticks is higher than motherboards with four slots and this motherboard can go as high as 4800 MHz, which makes it the fastest motherboard on the list with respect to memory. This also limits the maximum memory of the computer to 64 GB, although this should not be an issue for most people, as 64 GB is more than enough for gaming or even high-end software applications.

There is only one PCI Express slot in the motherboard, that means that you won’t be able to use any PCI-E device with the motherboard except the graphics card. The motherboard does provide two M.2 slots though; one above the PCI-E slot and the other one at the back side of the motherboard. There are four SATA III ports and that makes the motherboard quite good in terms of storage, as two M.2 slots and four SATA III ports should be enough for tens of TBs of space.

The I/O of the motherboard is still similar to other motherboards despite the fact that this motherboard is much smaller. It provides 6 x audio ports, a LAN port, a DP port, an HDMI port, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and 2 x antenna ports for the WiFi. There are only three fan connectors on the motherboard; one for the CPU, one for AIO pump, and one for the chassis, which seems a bit disappointing for a motherboard of this price.

The VRM of the motherboard is pretty good, providing 6-phase power delivery. The number of phases is although lower than older motherboards, the quality is much better and the transient response is greatly improved due to absence of doublers. You should not have any trouble with overclocking Intel Core i7-9700K past 5.0GHz. 

Conclusion:

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING is a special motherboard that is targeted towards users who want to design a small-form-factor PC. The price of the motherboard is although similar to the other motherboards, the performance is even better in some aspects, such as memory speeds and the VRM quality, while the looks of the motherboard are gaming-oriented as well. 

Pros
  • Best compatibility
  • Great VRM despite being a mini-ITX motherboard
  • Fastest memory speeds on the list
Cons
  • Only one PCI Express slot

ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-G GAMING

ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-G GAMING
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-G GAMING
Form Factor Micro-ATX
Maximum Memory Speed 4000 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 6
M.2 Slots 2
Total PCIe Slots 4

ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-G GAMING is a motherboard that is based on the Z370 chipset. The difference between the two chipsets lies only in the number of USB 3.2 Gen2 ports and the built-in WiFi chipset. Other than that, the Z370 motherboards are perfectly capable of running the 9th generation Intel processors.

The looks of the motherboard are impressive, with the use of black PCB and gray heat-sinks. Since this is a micro-ATX motherboard, it is smaller than the other motherboards on the list and larger the previous mini-ITX motherboard.

These motherboards are usually cheaper than their ATX counterparts but not by a lot. There is RGB lighting on the chipset heat-sink that can be customized through the software application and supports ASUS AuraSync technology.

The motherboard has a 24-pin power connector and an 8-pin power connector, located at the same positions as previous motherboards. The motherboard offers four DIMM slots, resulting in a maximum memory of 128 GB.

The main difference lies in the PCI-E slots, where this motherboard comes with two PCI-E 3.0 X16 slots and two PCI-E 3.0 X1 slots. At first sight, it looks like there is only one M.2 slot in the motherboard, however, there is a vertical M.2 slot next to the 24-pin power connector. Also, the motherboard provides six SATA III ports, like the most ATX motherboards.

The I/O of the motherboard is somewhat inferior to the Z390-based motherboards and here you get 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, 6 x audio ports, a DP port, an HDMI port, and a PS/2 port. There are five fan headers on the motherboard including the AIO pump and the CPU fan, which is satisfactory. 

The motherboard uses 8-phase power delivery, which does its job perfectly, allowing the user to overclock the 8th and 9th generation Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors without breaking a sweat. You should induce some direct airflow on the VRM if you plan to overclock past 5GHz.

Conclusion:

ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-G GAMING is a powerful motherboard that might not provide the latest features that Z390 chipset provides but the power delivery and the thermal performance of this motherboard is similar to the high-end motherboards based on Z390 chipset.

Pros
  • Decent looks
  • Higher compatibility than ATX motherboards
  • Somewhat cheaper than other motherboards
Cons
  • Low memory speeds

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS GAMING 7

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS GAMING 7
Motherboard GIGABYTE AORUS GAMING 7
Form Factor ATX
Maximum Memory Speed 4133 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 6
M.2 Slots 3
Total PCIe Slots 6

GIGABYTE has greatly improved the looks of their motherboards, especially with the new AORUS branding and GIGABYTE AORUS GAMING 7 is the perfect example of that. The looks of the motherboard are quite pleasing and there is a lot of RGB lighting in this motherboard.

There is AORUS written on the I/O panel cover and there is an AORUS logo on the chipset heat-sink. Both the panel and the heat-sink are illuminated with RGB lighting along with three of the PCI-E slots, DIMM slots, VRM heat-sink, and the left side of the DIMM slots where there is a bright RGB strip. 

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS GAMING 7 is a high-end ATX motherboard based on the Z370 chipset. There are three PCI-E 3.0 X16 slots and two PCI-E 3.0 X1 slots. The X16 slots have RGB lighting in them and are reinforced with metal as well. Impressively, there are three M.2 slots in the motherboard as well, where one of the slots have a heat-sink as well. There are six SATA III ports in the motherboard, which is the standard configuration.

The I/O ports of the motherboard include 6 x audio ports with gold connectors, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 2 x LAN ports, an HDMI port, a DP port, and a PS/2 port. Two LAN ports indicate that the motherboard uses two LAN chipsets and the audio chipset of the motherboard is excellent as well; the Realtek ALC1220 with ESS9018Q2C chip, resulting in a high SNR of 121 dB.

The motherboard uses an 8+2 phase power delivery and the VRM components are covered by large heat-sinks which keep the temperature down during high overclocks. You should not worry about the thermals of the components even with ambient cooling.

Conclusion:

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS GAMING 7 is a high-end motherboard that can take care of all your needs whether you are a hardcore gamer or a content creater. The motherboard is capable of pushing the processors past 5GHz and the thermal performance of the motherboard is pretty impressive as well.

Pros
  • Powerful VRM
  • Lots of RGB lighting
  • Lots of M.2 slots
Cons
  • Pricey among competitors

ASROCK Z370 Extreme4

ASROCK Z370 Extreme4
Motherboard ASROCK Z370 Extreme4
Form Factor ATX
Maximum Memory Speed 4333 MHz
DIMM Slots 4
MAX MEMORY 128 GB
SATA III Ports 8
M.2 Slots 2
Total PCIe Slots 6

The last motherboard on our list is ASROCK Z370 EXTREME4 which is a good motherboard. It is an ATX motherboard and is based on the Z370 chipset. The looks of the motherboard are not so attractive, with the use of gray stripes on black PCB and gray and black heat-sinks.

There is RGB lighting in the I/O panel cover, beneath the heat-sink of the chipset, and along the PCI-E slots on the I/O panel cover extension.

There are four DIMM slots, three PCI-E 3.0 X16 slots (where two of them are reinforced with metal), and three PCI-E 3.0 X1 slots. For storage, there are two M.2 slots and eight SATA III ports, which is more than the other motherboards we have listed here. There is a total of five fan headers on the motherboard, where two of them are for AIO pump and one of them is for the CPU.

The rear I/O of the motherboard include 6 x audio ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, an HDMI port, a DVI port, a VGA port, a LAN port, a PS/2 port, and two antenna holes where you can use a WiFi module if you want to use WiFi. This is the only motherboard on the list that provides DVI and VGA ports for display, which are considered pretty outdated for today’s standards. The audio of the motherboard is Realtek ALC1220 and uses Purity Sound 4 technology.

The VRM of the motherboard is its strongest part. The motherboard comes with a 12-phase power delivery, that is more than capable of handling any processor from the 9th generation of Intel and the large heat-sinks ensure that there is no thermal throttling as well.

Conclusion:

ASROCK Z370 Extreme4 is a very powerful motherboard and offers top of the line power delivery and cooling performance, however, it lacks in the aesthetics department, which is why it is a perfect motherboard for those people who own a case that does not have a large glass window.

Pros
  • Very powerful VRM
  • Cheaper than other motherboards
Cons
  • Looks are subpar