The Intel Core i7 9700K is an excellent processor choice for anyone interested in building a gaming PC. However, there’s no point in having a high-performance CPU if you don’t pair it with an equally excellent motherboard. Only a compatible and powerful-enough motherboard can unleash the full potential of the i7 9700K. Choose right, and your gaming PC will be able to run even the most demanding games in the world.
With that said, finding the best motherboard for i7 9700k can be tricky, considering the sheer number of motherboards out there. Fortunately, we have shortlisted some of the best motherboards on the market for you after rigorous testing of dozens of options on the market by our OvrClock team. A winner has been chosen in six relevant categories after thorough research and testing with an Intel i7 9700k processor by the team.
Top Six Motherboards for i7 9700k
• MSI MEG Z390 Godlike E-ATX (Best value)
• MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon (Best overall)
• GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS ULTRA (Best for gaming)
• ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming (Best micro ATX)
• ASUS Prime Z390-A (Best performance)
• ASRock Z370 Extreme4 (Best budget)
Best Value Motherboard
|MSI MEG Z390 Godlike E-ATX |
Best Overall Motherboard
|MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon |
Best Gaming Motherboard
|GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS ULTRA |
Best Beginner’s Motherboard
|ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming |
Best Performance Motherboard
|ASUS Prime Z390-A |
Best Budget Motherboard
|ASRock Z370 Extreme4 |
Best Value Motherboard for i7 9700k
MSI MEG Z390 Godlike E-ATX
MSI’s MEG Z390 “Godlike” is by all standards a top motherboard for i7 9700k. Is it the best motherboard for i7 9700k? Well, there is stiff competition for that spot. First things first, it is one of the most expensive motherboards on this list. Furthermore, you need a spacious PC case so that it can fit this E-ATX form factor motherboard. So, if you are ready to open your wallet, the MEG Z390 “Godlike” won’t disappoint you — even when pushing its limits and playing the most demanding games available today.
From all the features and specs, the 18-phase CPU and the three networking devices are most impressive. The Killer xTend is one of the smartest network extenders out there and can provide a significant boost to your home network. Moreover, it can prioritize traffic, which can also come in handy at times and is a feature rarely seen in other motherboards.
In terms of overclocking, the Godlike is also superb. For comparison, the ASUS Maximus X Apex, last year’s top overclocking board, features only a ten-phase CPU power, whereas the Godlike has an eighteen-phase CPU power.
There is no room for worrying when it comes to cooling either. The MSI MEG Z390 Godlike has enough heatsinks and ten fan headers. However, for additional cooling, it never hurts to add an external CPU Cooler to your build.
In addition, there is an endless pallet of visual effects that can be created with the help of the Mystic Light App on Godlike so it can fit well into any gaming setup you want.
All in all, if you can afford it, buy it. You won’t find a better motherboard out there according to our testing. If you are budget conscious, continue reading this article as there are plenty of other great options out there.
Best Overall Motherboard for i7 9700k
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon
The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon is an excellent motherboard for i7 9700k. Don’t be surprised about its expensive pricing because the performance of this motherboard is outstanding. The VRM section, the heatsink, and every part of the board has that premium appearance and build quality expected of a motherboard of its price.
The MSI MPG Z390 is designed to be compatible with Intel’s 8th and 9th generation central processor units. The LGA1151 socket is a big part of that because it gives you overclocking abilities. In addition, the four solid DIMM slots are placed on the right side of the LGA1151 socket and support dual-channel memory up to a total of 128 GB for all your RAM needs.
The M.2 Shield Frozr heatsinks are considered super-reliable for heat dissipation. So even when you run the most demanding games, these bad boys won’t allow any heat to accumulate and slow you down. These built-in heatsinks are so good, in our experience with the board, you almost don’t even need an external CPU Coolers unless you plan to really overclock your PC build.
The back panel comes with numerous connectivity ports. Two of the three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots come with Steel Armor protection to support the Graphics Card you use on this build. This motherboard also includes three PCIe 3.0 x1 ports which you can use as well for expansion.
Fans of RGB lighting will also like this motherboard. The Mystic Light feature lets you customize all the RGB lights, which can be pretty entertaining and can make for great social media pictures, or even get you in the right mood for a long gaming session by setting the tone through the right colour scheme.
All in all, this is a top motherboard for i7 9700k that doesn’t come cheap. But that’s the price of high-end gaming. So, aside from the price point, there isn’t much to complain about with this motherboard given its abundant features.
Best Gaming Motherboard for i7 9700k
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS ULTRA
Third on the list, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra is a top motherboard for i7 9700k. The thermal technology makes it stand out. This motherboard features a heat sink design that has a direct-touch heat pipe. Thanks to that, much greater heat consumption is possible. Its RGB fusion design is another point of pride for this great motherboard, with the LEDs creating stunning light effects which are customizable to any PC build out there.
The Gigabyte Z390 has onboard Wi-Fi, which is also considered a big plus on its behalf. Not many other motherboards in its class can match the advanced wireless solution that the Z390 offers. This is especially important for those that like to play and stream simultaneously without any hurdles or delays.
Featuring a 12+1 power phase with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, this motherboard comes well-equipped for expansion and CPU power. The motherboard also features 2 M.2 slots for stage expansion and 6 SATA ports which have become a mainstay in most motherboards nowadays.
The only downside of this great motherboard is the BIOS – the basic input/output system which loads without a functional OS on the PC. We found the BIOS to be quite difficult to navigate for our experienced team, meaning it will likely cause problems for beginners/ It can be tricky if you are not experienced in that kind of stuff; however, it is very rare and unlikely that you will ever need to use BIOS. Other than that, there are only high praises for the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Ultra.
Best Beginner’s Motherboard for i7 9700k
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming
The Asus ROG Strix Z390-E is one the best motherboards for i7 9700k, largely owing to the five-way support optimization feature and the AI cooling. The AI assistance deals with temperature dissipation and overclocking — and in our testing, this motherboard’s cooling was well and truly a tier above others. In addition, UEFI comes with a mode that can detect the system status of every other function. Then there is the EZ mode that provides support for RAID configuration, RGB lighting, and more.
The motherboard offers excellent connectivity with Type-C connectors, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, and a Dual M.2 setup. The two M.2 slots support both SATA and PCIe 3.0, which means fast performance. Compared to other motherboards in its class, the Asus Strix Z390-E is the most DIY-friendly of all and very easy to integrate into PC cases.
Five-way optimization enables automated tuning and AI overclocking assistance. The overclocking comes pretty close to overlocking done by experts with years of experience as per our testing making this a very beginner-friendly motherboard. Then there is the GameFirst V feature which can deliver maximum bandwidth while you are gaming. DIYers prefer this more as this motherboard comes with premium components for exceptional endurance, I/0 shields, and SafeSlot.
The bottom line is that Asus is a top brand for motherboards. Over and over again, they manage to deliver top performance in their motherboards. The Asus Strix Z390-E is no exception as it is designed for gamers. Some of you may find the voltage regulators a bit inconvenient. But then again, poorly designed voltage regulators shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for anyone searching for a top-performance motherboard.
Best Performance Motherboard for i7 9700k
ASUS Prime Z390-A
The ASUS Prime Z390-A is designed to serve 8th and 9th generation processors. AI overclocking is possible because of the 5-way optimization and is one of its most essential features. The AI overclocking makes overclocking a breeze and accessible to experts and beginners alike. The five-way optimization enables dynamic fan calibration. In addition, the 5-way optimization uses thermal telemetry and intelligent prediction for optimal overclocking.
Thanks to the PCIe 3.0 slots, you can get bandwidth speeds of up to 32 Gbps. These are pretty good data-transfer speeds for an application drive or an operating system.
The audio codec comes in collaboration with Realtek S1220A, which is fairly common these days. Thanks to this codec, there is a 120dB signal-to-noise ratio. This is the ratio for the stereo line-out. As a result, the audio output is out of the utmost quality and worked particularly well in our experience.
One can easily control the RGB lighting via the ASUS Aura. There are a variety of customizations that can be achieved with this feature, with the option to control any external lighting strips as well.
There are eight USB ports on this motherboard: 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, and 3x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports. There are also six audio ports, out of which there are 5x 3.5 mm audio jacks and one S/PDIF port.
Overall, the ASUS Prime Z390-A is an excellent piece of hardware equipped with premium parts that are perfectly tuned to deliver exceptional performance.
Best Budget Motherboard for i7 9700k
ASRock Z370 Extreme4
The ASRock Z370 Extreme4 is the best motherboard for i7 9700k beginners but not the most powerful. Even though it is an entry-level motherboard, it is very consistent and reliable in terms of high-end gaming. It can deliver everything promised and more than often beyond that. Plus, it is one of the most affordable motherboards for i7 9700k and performs well under pressure during our team’s extended League of Legends gaming runs with it.
It comes with 3x PCIe x16 slots, a twelve-phase power design, and gigabit ethernet. However, it doesn’t have is a built-in Bluetooth/Wi-Fi or any additional audio gear such as DAC. This is the only reason it’s the most affordable motherboard on the list, but if there are not game-changers for you, this motherboard stands up very well in terms of performance and cooling as well.
When compared to more expensive motherboards such as the ASRock Extreme4 or the MSI Gaming Pro Carbon, the Z370 Extreme4 tends to hold its ground on most benchmarks per our testing. The only area where it lags behind is when running the most demanding games which are likely very rare. However, when under practical loads, the Z370 Extreme4 performs exceptionally well.
So, if you are not a professional gamer or hooked on high-end games, the ASRock Extreme4 might be the perfect fit for you.
Our Review Process: Why You Should Trust Us
Here at OvrClock, we are committed to keeping our editorial and product recommendation processes completely independent from our monetization — so, you can always be sure we are recommending the best PC Parts for you without any partiality.
The OvrClock team has been reviewing all parts of a PC build for years now, and we use our expert opinion and experiences when making recommendations. We try to get our hands on and actually test all of the products we recommend, in addition to the dozens of alternatives that are not on the final list. This allows us to provide insights beyond what you can find from reading other online reviews, and get a true and more clear understanding of the best options. Our diverse team and vast experience also allow us to highlight each product’s ideal use cases, as well as the perfect customer profile for any given product.
For Motherboards, we test things including but not limited to: power delivery setup, base and overclocking speeds, ports, audio and Wi-Fi connectivity, and RGB customizability, among many other factors. Our experience allows us to translate these insights into actionable conclusions and purchase recommendations for you, without you having to test all the products, or having to sift through piles and piles of data from our motherboard testing. All of the recommended motherboards and dozens of others not in this roundup have been tested with an Intel Core i7-9700k processor, and the aforementioned motherboards have been shortlisted based on their stellar performance with the Intel Core i7-9700k processor.
For any questions about our product selection and recommendation process, feel free to contact us.
Best Motherboard for i7 9700k: Final Call
Summing it up, our list is all you need to choose the best motherboard for i7 9700k for you. Each of the motherboards on our list enjoys a stellar reputation on the market, and given the lifespan of a motherboard, it’s important to make a good decision at the start. However, not all are made the same, and not all cost the same. It all comes down to your expectations, needs, preferences, and budget. Each of GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS ULTRA, MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon, and the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike E-ATX can be crowned as the best motherboard for i7 9700k.
But if we have to roll out the red carpet for a single motherboard, then our pick is MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming is considered a top choice if searching for a micro ATX motherboard. In contrast, the ASRock Z370 Extreme4 is considered an excellent choice when on the hunt for an affordable, entry-level motherboard. Last but not least is the ASUS Prime Z390-A. This formidable motherboard is stuck somewhere between all of the others and is often overlooked. On the contrary, it is a great motherboard that can be an excellent basis for your gaming PC.
Each motherboard on this list stands out in some category. Now, it is up to your requirements, priorities, budget, and general expectations to decide which one is best for you. But the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon is our top pick.
The motherboard has to be compatible with the i7 9700k processor. In addition, you need to consider things such as memory slots, expansion slots, SATA capabilities, chipset, etc. You also need to mind the size and the form of the motherboard as not all PCs are the same size.
Everyone who has at least some experience building a gaming PC or computer architecture knows that selecting the right motherboard is critical. It is the part that houses your CPU, the graphics card, and other components necessary for your PC to function. If your motherboard is out of commission, then you won’t be able to run your PC.
The i7 9700k is a great processor for gaming, with a 3.60 GHz base frequency and strong capacity to keep up with high frame rates and bright displays. This octa-core processor is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a versatile gaming option,
There are people who love playing video games, and then there are enthusiasts who devote their lives to gaming.
Corey has been playing games since The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy III were still young.
Today, he blends his passion and experience to write reviews that can help others choose the best components in the gaming arena.