Best Motherboard for i7 9700K in 2020

Best Motherboard for i7 9700K in 2020: The Intel Core i7-9700K is a high-performance desktop processor and a serious upgrade from the quad-core 7700K that was prevalent on the market a while back. While Intel has not offered many upgrades in terms of CPU architecture in the last five years or so, they have been increasing the number of cores in their processors in order to keep up with their competitors. With its 8th generation processors, they have added 2 cores for every three series. In 2018, AMD came up with 2nd generation processors and Intel upped the ante by enhancing the number of cores in the i7, giving it eight cores in total.

With the 9th generation i7 processors, Intel removed hypothreading. The Intel Core i7-9700K is a 9th generation processor with eight cores, and the absence of hypothreading allows it to provide eight threads. It has a 4.9 GHz turbo clock and a 3.6 GHz, making it an ideal system for gaming. Additionally, it has a 95 Watts TDP, a 12 MB L3 cache and Intel UHD Graphics 630. As such, you need a good quality motherboard for i7 9700K in order to unlock the true potential of this processor. 

Since the i7 9700K can provide high performance on a single core, it is a fast processor well-suited for gaming. This processor gives better performance than the 3rd generation processors from AMD Ryzen. This is the reason why gamers all across the world swear by this processor.

If you are an avid gamer looking to upgrade your 3-4-year-old CPU and looking to get more FPS with your system, the i7-9700K is an excellent option. A new CPU needs a 300-series motherboard which can support it. There are several motherboard chipsets that are compatible with i7 9700K, such as Z390, Z370, H370, B360, and H310. But since the lower chipsets will not be able to support advanced features like overclocking, we will look at only Z370 and Z390 while searching for the best motherboard for Intel i7 9700k.

In this buying guide, we will look at the different motherboards that are best for the i7 9700K based on price points and user needs. We will be discussing their features and their pros and cons so you can ensure your new processor lives in the best home possible and give out the best performance. Going through the list of products will help you arrive at your decision quicker and with increased confidence.

Best Motherboards for Intel i7 9700K Processor

1. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

This gaming motherboard for i7 9700k also supports i9 9900K, i5 9600K, and Celeron/ Pentium Gold/ 8th Generation Intel Core processors. Built to withstand long hours of gaming, it has an ATX form factor suitable for multi-GPU performance. It also has 2 M.2 slots and 6 SATA 3 ports for HDDs and SSDs. 

This motherboard has an HDMI display interface and a solid build with grey and black colours dominating the theme. It also has massive heatsinks over Chipset and VRM that allow it to dispel more heat due to the large surface area of the heatsinks. It contains a high-performance audio codec in the form of the Realtek ALC1220P chip which powers the MSI Audio Boost technology. 

The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC has an Nvidia GTX 1080-Ti GPU which is a great performance booster for your games. It supports both Crossfire and SLI. It has an Intel Z390 Chipset.

This motherboard supports 4 DDR4 DIMMs expandable up to 128 GB. Although the RAM runs at a frequency of 4400 MHz, this high-end model can support RAM overclocking so you can run more demanding programs and games using this motherboard, pushing your RAM to the limit.

This motherboard has an Intel Wireless AC 9462 card which supports Bluetooth versions 2.1-5. It also has a LAN controller in the form of the Intel GI219V Gigabit. Since it is an AC board, it also comes with built-in Intel WiFi.  

This is a budget motherboard that should be the best gaming motherboard for i7 9700k you don’t want extreme overclocking. It has fast boot-up and decent performance for a motherboard in its price range. 

Pros

  • Good support for overclocking
  • Big heatsinks 
  • Bluetooth and WiFi onboard

Cons

  • UEFI has a single-window interface 
  • No USB-C port 

2. GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Ultra

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

This motherboard a bit costlier than the budget products available on the market, but it delivers consistent and fast performance in games and applications. has an ATX form factor and supports 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors. There are 3 slots for M.2 fitted with heatsink covers. For HDDs and SSDs there are 6 SATA 3 ports. 

The Gigabyte Z390 has an HDMI port and not a Display Port. PS/2 connector is also missing. It follows the Aorus Falcon design with silver, orange, and black colours spread across the board. It has four customizable zones namely the RAM slots, the back panel cover, the audio PCB separation line, and the Z390 chipset heatsink. 

The PCIe slots take up most of the southern PCB area and these include three PCIe 3.0 slots able to support a three-way Crossfire and a two-way SLI card setups. In order to provide better durability and GPU support, 2 of the three PCIe slots are reinforced. 

Many people consider this the best motherboard for 9700k purely due to its memory performance. There are four slots which allow you to install 128 GB of DDR4 RAM. Hence, it is not possible for the motherboard to support the latest 312 GB UDIMMS. When it comes to speed, the motherboard can support DDR4-4266 which allows for the use of both non-ECC and ECC unbuffered memory.

This model supports Bluetooth version 5.0 and Intel Gigabit LAN powered by cFosSpeed. It uses Realtek ALC1220-VB HD codec for audio that offers an S/PDIF optical output as well as five 3.5 mm audio jacks on the back panel. It also has an integrated 802.11ac WiFi along with a Gigabit LAN fitted with cFosSpeed. 

You should get the best motherboard for Intel i7 9700k as this will decide how much overclocking our CPU can withstand. With eight cores going over 5.0 GHz, you need a motherboard that can support 5GHz+ overclocks owing to the heat sink and the high-end VRM. It gives great performance and passes all quality tests. So if you have some extra cash to spend, you could consider buying this motherboard.

Pros

  • Eight fans for better cooling 
  • Solid design
  • Excellent VRM

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • BIOS can be improved

3. ASUS Prime Z370-A-II

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

This ATX motherboard from ASUS supports both 8th and 9th generation Intel processors and has all the necessary features that would suit the needs of content creators and gamers. With its dual 32GB/s M.2 slots and 6 SATA slots, it gives you the solid foundation needed for the first build and loads of opportunity for expansion.

With this product, ASUS maintains its colour theme, combining the black PBC with white and silver accents. There are white etchings on the motherboard, giving it an attractive look. Moreover, there is an I/O cover of considerable size which covers a part of the motherboard’s heatsinks.

This motherboard supports both AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI technologies. It has Intel HD Graphics and Multi-VGA output support. The maximum shared graphics memory is 1024 MB and it can support 3 displays at the same time.

With four RAM slots, you can expand the memory up to 64 GB with this motherboard. It does secure and careful routing of traces and vias so that better memory overclocking can be achieved by maintaining the signal integrity.

The ASUS Prime Z370-A-II has Intel I219V Gigabit LAN Controller with ASUS LAN Guard and ASUS Turbo LAN utility. It also has the Realtek S122-0A chipset with Crystal Sound 3. These, along with Japanese capacitors provide you with warm, crisp, and immersive sounds.

When it comes to features, performance, and capabilities, the Prime Z370-A-II is a powerful motherboard that is ideal for gaming and other purposes. Although it does not come cheap, it is considered by many to be the best motherboard for i7 9700K. You can’t go wrong with its visual flairs and overclocking support.

Pros

  • Easy plug and play 
  • Excellent I/O
  • Good bios

Cons

  • RGB is less
  • Plastic parts are present

4. GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

If you are looking to buy a motherboard for i7 9700k, the GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 is a great choice. There are six SATA sockets on this motherboard, but if you add an M.2 SSD two out of the six SATA connections cannot be used. It has a total of 3 M.2 slots and one of them has a heatsink.

Considering the wide range of features this motherboard has, it looks extremely organized and clean. The sleek white, grey, and black colour scheme seems to compliment the steel bands surrounding the memory slots and all the PCI Express. The top half contains a shield that protects the I/O components and the power phases. 

The motherboard supports both NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire technologies and has HDMI/DP graphic output. The DP port can support a maximum resolution of 4,096×2,304 at 60Hz while for the HDMI port its 4,096×2,160 at 30Hz. 

Gamers will be glad to know that this motherboard can accommodate up to 64 GB DDR RAM that can reach a speed of up to 4133MHz. This makes this motherboard ideal for multitasking because you can run streaming programs, media players, PC games, and web browsers with this. 

Gigabyte was really thinking about gamers when they developed this system, as it has Intel Gigabit LAN with an E2500 chip. There is no built-in Bluetooth or WiFi onboard. The system also has an ESS Sabre DAC for enhanced sound quality. Backed by Nichicon and WIMA gold capacitors, that Sabre DAC can provide an output of 121dB. 

The GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 manages to balance good looks and performance, which makes it a versatile motherboard. Although the layout isn’t exactly cluttered, you still get several features with it. There are three M.2 connectors if you want to use Intel Optane, or if you want to build a solid PC with a dual graphics card, you get steel-wrapped slots, an HB SLI bridge, and SLI and Crossfire support.

Pros

  • Decent accessories kit 
  • RGB fusion LED lighting 
  • Layout is uncluttered 

Cons

  • Video card conceals a part of the heatsink LEDs
  • More USB ports should be there

5. ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is an ATX motherboard which supports 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors fitted with dual M.2 and 6 GB/s SATA ports. This motherboard has a variety of connectivity and expansion options through three PCIe x 16 slots, along with the Z390 PCH additions. 

It has an aesthetic design with brushed and dark meta heatsinks on the south and north bridges along with a sizeable back IO cover. The motherboard is totally black and looks more mature and sleeker than its predecessor, the ASRock. 

Out of its three PCIe x 16 slots, two are fitted with steel supports and are able to run at 8 times the normal speed. The motherboard has NVIDIA and AMD dual-graphics capability, so you can fit two GPUs in it easily. You may use the third slot for additional expansion cards. 

This motherboard has 4 slots for RAM and supports 64GB DDR4 memory. Although the ram runs at a frequency of 4400 MHz, the device supports overclocking, so you can get the most out of this motherboard. The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is equipped with Optimem II technology that reduces vias by mapping memory signal pathways over different layers of PCB. This also reduces crosstalk by creating shielding zones. 

This motherboard also has a WiFI antenna and a Gigabit Ethernet LAN, along with Bluetooth 5.0 support. For audio codec, it uses the 8-channel ROG SupremeFX S1220, so it can support higher fidelity audio with ease. For audio output, it has S/PDIF and 3.5mm jacks.

If you wish to buy the best gaming motherboard for i7 9700k, you should go for a model that gives a top-quality performance in both games and applications, and this motherboard serves that purpose quite well. Overall, it’s one of the best motherboards available on the market since it is designed to withstand overclocking, has decent VRM cooling, and improved audio quality.

Pros

  • CMOS button is clear
  • BIOS is user-friendly
  • Layout is uncluttered 

Cons

  • VRM design can be better
  • Software bloat

6. ASRock Z370 Extreme4

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

This ATX motherboard supports 8th generation Intel Core CPUs and has 2 slots for M.2. There are a total of eight SATA drives but our of these, only four are required since the lanes are stolen from the M.2 slots by the remaining four ports. This is more than enough for SSD and HDD needs. The motherboard is packed with features and will appeal to PC gamers and system builders alike.

The RGB lighting feature is a nice tough, and you get it via a cable header or onboard. Coming to graphics, you get several I/O options for using with integrated GPU. On the board, you get HDMI, DVI-D, and D-Sub connectivity options. So you can get a 4K maximum resolution at a frequency of 30Mz. Using D-Sub and DVI-D, you can get a maximum resolution of 1920×1200 at a frequency of 60Hz.

There are 4 RAM slots, and you can expand the memory up to 64 GB, running at 2666Mhz, by since the motherboard support overclocking, it can go up to 4333MHz. The eight SATA 3 6 Gbps and the two M.2 Gen 3 ports are adequate for your SSD and HDD needs.

The ASRock Z370 Extreme4 has a Gigabit LAN card. However, it does not have a WiFi and a Bluetooth card, so you have to install them separately. There are also five Type A USB 3.1 slots and one Type C USB 3.1 port. It has the usual audio slots and an Ethernet port as well.

This motherboard looks solid and gives a solid performance. You can get some attractive features at an affordable rate, which makes it arguably the best motherboard for 9700k. If you are willing to sacrifice built-in Bluetooth/Wi-Fi for a sophisticated audio system like DAC, this product is a good choice for you.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Great audio capabilities
  • Eight SATA ports 

Cons

  • Big overclocks require more voltage
  • Error-code readout not present

7. EVGA Z370 FTW

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 64 GB

This ATX motherboard has an Intel Z370 chipset and supports 8th Generation Intel processors. It has 6 slots for SATA and 2 M.2 32Gbps slots. It has all the additional features you need to be satisfied with your motherboard’s performance. For instance, it has the Sound Core 3D Audio from Creative, therefore delivering hi-fi sound quality and saving you the trouble of installing a dedicated sound card.

Once you open the package, you will readily notice the stickers on the memory slots and the other sockets which tell you about compatibility. After removing the stickers, you will see the sober design of the motherboard, with grey and black colour combination. EVGA goes aggressive when it comes to heatsinks, which many gamers would appreciate.

The EVGA Z370 has integrated HDMI 2.0 which allows for 4K gaming and 60 fps streaming supported by Intel HD Graphics. Once you install the GPU, multi-GPU can be achieved via 2-Way AMD Crossfire, NVIDIA Quad SLI, and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI+Physx technologies. 

With 4 DDR4 slots, you can install a maximum 64 GB RAM up to 2666 MHz, but under overclocking, a frequency of up to 4133 Mhz is supported. The motherboard can achieve transfer rates of 32 Gbps due to the 2 M.2 Key-M slots, which is ideal for NVMe SSDs giving out high-performance.

The EVGA Z370 has Bluetooth support and an Intel i219V Gigabit NIC with Realtek ALC1220 7.1 Channel HD Audio. It also has Intel Dual-band WiFi with an external antenna.

Although this motherboard has impressive graphics, the specifications are more or less average. Although it gives the performance expected from a Z370 motherboard, it has poorly debugged software and average BIOS compared to some of the other products on the market. If you want to get some value for money while buying the best motherboard for Intel i7 9700k, this is a good choice for you. 

Pros

  • Multiple USB ports 
  • Dual BIOS
  • Sober design 

Cons

  • Does not activate the turbo mode correctly
  • Software and BIOS are somewhat simple

8. MSI MEG Z390 Godlike E-ATX

  • Form Factor: E-ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 128 GB

This motherboard has an E-ATX form factor and supports i5 9600K, i7 9700K, i9 9900K, and 8th generation Intel Celeron/ Pentium Gold/Core processors. It has three slots for M.2 and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. 

MSI manufactures its motherboards on specific themes to match different flavours and tastes. The heatsink is sleek and has a huge surface, looking powerful and ripped. The colours used are mostly neutral, with silver, grey, and black in as the main ones. Here you can fit several RGB LED effects and showcase the gamers tunes. 

The motherboard supports multi-GPU from AMD and NVIDIA but you can’t just slot in four GPUs inside the motherboard to make your games run faster. Among the slots, the top two are able to run at 8 times their normal speed which allows you to integrate high-end graphics card into the system. But if you use 3-4 cards, the slots will be able to run at 4x speed only, which is a bit inconvenient. 

With its four memory slots, the MSI board can accommodate a maximum 128 GB of DDR4 memory. The peak speed is 4600Mhz. Other storage options include the SATA ports and the M.2 slots. 

This motherboard has one PCI-E x 1 socket and four PCI-E x16 slots. In terms of audio, it has the Realtek ALC1220 chipset, which is boosted using the ESS ES9018 DAC. It also supports Bluetooth 5, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, and has two Killer Gigabit Ethernet for LAN.

Although the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike E-ATX is not exactly cheap, it is probably the best motherboard for i7 9700k at its price range. With this, you get custom features, additional streaming card, crisp audio, solid networking, and excellent VRM. This motherboard performs much better for applications than for games, however, and if you prefer to do some creative work as opposed to gaming, this might be a good choice for you.

Pros

  • Excellent application performance
  • Storage and audio features are great
  • Sufficient PCI connectivity

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Not so good for gaming

9. GIGABYTE Aorus Master 

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 128 GB

If you are looking for an ATX motherboard that supports 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors and support high-end gaming, then the Aorus Master might be the best motherboard for i7 9700K. It has 6 SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports and 3 M.2 slots. 

The CPU area for this motherboard I fairly crowded and the power phase chokes are pretty prominent at first glance. For this model, GIGABYTE has provided new heatsinks and since the mounting mechanism follows strict standards, there are no compatibility issues. There is a spacer which gives a little clearance on the cooler underside. After removing the plastic cover, you see thick and durable fins nicely arranged. Because the 9th generation CPUs draw a lot of power, this motherboard pays more attention to VRM cooling.

Multi-GPU users should shy away from this motherboard since it does not have support for Crossfire or SLI. There are no display ports apart from the HDMI port. 

The Aorus Maste has four DIMM slots that can support up to 128 GB of RAM reaching speeds of DDR4 5200. Depending on the CPU IMC, the mileage will vary. Following a standard configuration, the memory has two power phases. 

The motherboard supports Bluetooth 5 and has Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200. It uses Realtek ALC1220-VB audio codec, supported by WIMA FKP2 and Nichicon capacitors, and a 2.5 GbE LAN. The company has done away with the connected chipset M.2 heatsink because it made the installation process complicated.

Although it is a bit difficult to push the CPU with this motherboard right now, with the upcoming BIOS updates, this should change. The software could use a little improvement but the hardware is pretty solid. It is less flashy than other products and has very few RGB elements. Overall, it is a good motherboard which you can get at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Improved heatsinks 
  • SLI Support
  • 16-Phase 70A Power Delivery

Cons

  • The power switch is at the rear
  • Not suitable for multi-GPU users

10. MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • Max Memory: 128 GB

The MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk delivers a solid gaming performance and could very well the best motherboard for 9700k. It has good specification and can support CPU overclocking and a single-GPU build. This is an ATX motherboard that supports 9th generation Intel Core processors like i5 9600K, i7 9700K, i9 9900K, and 8th generation processors as well. It has two turbo M.2 slots and six SATA ports that can support RAID arrays.

The motherboard has a grey and black theme with RGB LEDs located in two zones, inside the Z390 chipset heatsink, and below the PCB. There is an individual heatsink for each zone and the back panel cover matches the overall theme quite well. 

Being a cheap motherboard, the Tomahawk support AMD CrossFire only. NVIDIA SLI is not supported, and there are secondary PCI-E x16 slots that are only able to run at 1x and 4x speeds, making them incompatible with GPU expansion cards. 

Coming to memory support, this motherboard has four RAM slots supporting 4400MHz of DDR4 memory. You can expand the RAM up to 128 GB, so it allows you to install 32GB UDIMMS. ECC memory is not something this motherboard supports. The power input of the motherboard is located to the right.

On the read panel, you can find two Gigabit LAN ports and the onboard audio is powered by the Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec. There is no support for WiFi and Bluetooth. 

There are a lot of positive things you can say about this motherboard. It can handle CPU overclocks and powerful single-GPU systems. It has a decent rear IO and a good collection of on-board connectors. It delivers fast performance during games at an affordable price. So if you want decent speed at a cheap price, this system is a good choice for you.

Pros

  • Voltage regulator protected by default thermal limits
  • Superior gaming performance
  • Great features for a single-GPU build

Cons

  • Performance for applications is not so good 
  • Average memory and storage performance

Buyer’s Guide

A motherboard is a big investment, and to make use you are getting the best gaming motherboard for i7 9700k, you should know what to look for before visiting an online or offline store. Knowing about these factors will allow you to select the best system for gaming or whatever purpose you plan to use the system for. Some of the buying factors are as follows.

  • Form Factor

This is the first factor you must consider while buying a motherboard. The common form factors are ATX and micro ATX, but in the latter, there is less number of expansion slots due to it being smaller in size. If you are not sure what size of motherboard you should buy, you can always compare the sizes with that of your old motherboard. Generally, people go for the ATX board only because it has so much potential for expansion.

  • Processor Socket

Processor socket is the next thing you need to look into. There are three types of socket available today which are BGA, PGA, and LGA. AMD uses PGA, while Intel uses LGA. As for BGA sockets, they are not that popular as they are attached permanently to the motherboard, making it impossible to service or upgrade them. The processor you can buy depends on what sockets your motherboard has. So before deciding on your motherboard, you should probably decide what CPU you want.

  • SATA

SATA is an important factor to consider because they allow you to storage and optical drives to the motherboard. So you should buy a motherboard with a certain number of SATA ports depending on how many drives you plan on connecting. Do make sure your motherboard has the SATA 3.0. 

  • RAM

RAM is a very important thing to consider and the motherboard you buy will decide the number and type of RAM you can install. So you should carefully consider this factor before buying. Ideally, you should go for a motherboard that is able to support at least 16 GB of RAM, but if you are running a lot of demanding applications and games, you might require more RAM. Look for a motherboard that has 4 or more slots for RAM as it will allow you to expand further.

  • PCI slots

These expansion slots allow you to connect WiFi adaptors, sound cards, and other expansions. If you are a gamer, you’ll probably be expanding your system a lot, so look for multiple PCI slots that will allow you to add more cards. 

FAQs

1. Is z390 better than z370?

The Z390 has both WiFi 802.11ac and USB 3.1 Gen2 support. Z370 doesn’t have these, but it is possible to add them using controllers. Z390 has both of these features built-in and is able to accommodate six USB 3.1 ports.

2. Is i7 9700k compatible with z370?

If you have a BIOS update, you can run the i7 9700L on a z370 motherboard, but if you want to overclock your CPU regularly, it is better to go for the z390.

3. Is ASUS better than MSI?

In the world of laptops, ASUS is a much more popular company than MSI. But gamers swear by MSI because they claim it gives better performance.

Conclusion

You will find plenty of motherboards with sophisticated features for the i7 9700K. The aforementioned list of products and their listed features should give you some product knowledge that you can utilize to purchase a motherboard that will suit your needs. You need to carefully consider how much money you are willing to spend, what all are the features you need, and for how long you plan to use the system. It is best to go for a model that has lots of scope for expansion so that it can serve you for years to come.