The ninth generation of Intel Core CPUs is here, and the i7 9700K is the company’s latest entry into the high-end processor market. Although it is still based on the 14 nm lithography from the sixth generation, it is a significant upgrade from the i7 8700K. Intel has managed to cram two additional true cores into the i7 9700K while increasing the boost clock from 4.7 to 4.9 GHz. Moreover, it has maintained the 95W TDP of the i7 8700K.
The i7 9700K may be slightly overshadowed by the i9 9900K in single-threaded performance, but both CPUs tie in gaming benchmarks. So if you’re a gamer looking to upgrade from an older processor, the i7 9700K makes more sense. Of course, you will need to pair it with a brand new 300-series motherboard. The i7 9700K is compatible with the H310, B360, H370, Z370, and Z390 series chipsets. However, anything outside the Z390 is not recommended if you want to leverage the full features of the i7 9700K like overclocking.
In this post, let’s take a look at the best motherboard for the i7 9700K. This guide should help you find the most deserving home for your new processor.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra
The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra is designed to help you take full advantage of the i7 9700K. This motherboard has support for dual-channel DDR4 and M.2 SSD devices to avoid throttling and bottlenecking when loading data into memory. The maximum capacity for each DIMM slot is 32 GB, with an overclocking frequency of up to 4133 MHz.
While most motherboards from other manufacturers have dual M.2 slots, the Z390 AORUS Ultra comes with triple PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2. It also comes equipped with Wave 2, the latest wireless solution from Intel that is capable of providing up to 1.73 GB/s for a seamless online gaming experience.
The Z390 AORUS Ultra also features an advanced thermal design that has a multi-cut heatsink with a Direct Touch Heatpipe along with thick thermal pads that help manage temperatures during hardcore gaming sessions or when overclocking the i7 9700K.
This motherboard has a sleek design along with a monochrome palette. It does have ultra-durable protection for I/O, memory, and PCIe slots. Additionally, it enables you to customize the colors of your system through the RGB Fusion application. The app has also been completely revamped to give you full control over the LED lights.
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero
The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is a Z390 series motherboard that prides itself on its high-quality sound and voice system. SupremeFX and Sonic Studio III allows you to distinguish one sound tune from another when playing games. Moreover, the front panel has dual op amps that help improve the overall audio quality. If you often use in-game voice chat, this chipset is capable of delivering your speech to other players without noise or distortion.
The Maximus XI Hero features dual M.2 slots. You have the option to change the capacity of each slot from the BIOS. This motherboard has thermal sensors that can detect the temperature of the chipset. When the temperature exceeds a specific set value, theses sensors are activated to start cooling the system automatically. It is also a great option if you plan on overclocking your i7 9700K since it allows you to squeeze every bit of MHz from your processor. Additionally, it is integrated with the 5-Way Optimization technology of ASUS that allows you to have complete control of every aspect from audio to storage. For even more customization, you can access the more advanced ROG UEFI BIOS.
The Maximus XI Hero also features GameFirst V that optimizes the network traffic for online gaming or video streaming.
MSI MEG Z390 Godlike
The MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is an outstanding motherboard in terms of functionality. It supports dual-channel DDR4 memory than can be overclocked to 4600 MHz and comes with triple M.2 slots.
The MEG Z390 Godlike also has a feature called Killer xTend Technology. It is a built-in capability to use the WiFi adapter as a connection to the internet and a wireless extender at the same time. Killer xTend also keeps your gaming and streaming traffic prioritized over the network traffic from other connected devices.
MSI integrated the Xtreme Audio DAC to this motherboard. It gives you excellent audio output at 384k Hz/32-bit through a 6.3 mm headphone jack that delivers breathtaking sound quality.
The MEG Z390 Godlike is also capable of limitless lighting effects that are customizable through the Mystic Light RGB application. Additionally, the OLED display on the dashboard not only displays useful information but can also be personalized to show GIFs.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Master
The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Master is a motherboard from the company’s flagship series that is capable of exceptional performance. It sports a design that is thermally engineered with Fins-Array heatsink, a heat pipe, and a thermal baseplate. This structure not only improves the performance of the chipset, but it also protects it from sinking heat. Additionally, it offers a thermal solution for SSD devices to prevent the motherboard from throttling and enhance heat dissipation.
The Z390 AORUS Master offers surround sound audio powered by gold capacitors to ensure a stable audio system. Like the Z390 AORUS Ultra, this motherboard features Wave 2 wireless technology to give you up to 1.73 GB/s. It also has a unique feature called Turbo Charge that provides super-fast charging for mobile devices through the USB 3.0 port.
ASUS Prime Z390-A
The ASUS Prime Z390-A offers one of the most exciting features for the i7 9700K. This motherboard automatically overclocks your processor based on smart predictions and thermal telemetry. Additionally, each header on this chipset can dynamically reference three thermal sensors to give you a comprehensive overview of its temperature and make adjustments accordingly.
The Prime Z390-A comes with dual M.2 slots that can support up to 32 GB/s of data transfer speeds. In terms of connectivity, it has backward-compatible USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports. This motherboard also features Fan Xpert that gives you full control over the fans to cool your system manually.
The memory on the Prime Z390-A has greater stability and an improved frequency margin because of a couple of integrated technologies. OptiMem II reduces the vias by rearranging memory signals to lessen crosstalk, while T-Topology boosts the overclocking memory capacities.
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC
The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC is a motherboard that was developed with the help of Intel. With both constructors working together, you can expect this chipset to be packed with features optimized for the i7 9700K.
The MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC can support up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM and two twin-turbo M.2 PCI-Express Gen3 x4 slots. Moreover, this motherboard comes with several ports for other functions such as HDMI, USB, and DisplayPort. It also gives you maximum control over the color combination through the Mystic Light application.
The heavy heatsinks on the MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC make the temperature much more manageable. There are also numerous fan headers installed to ensure you have command over the thermal dissipation of your system and boost performance.
MSI integrated Audio Boost 4 and NAHIMIC 3 into this motherboard to provide you with studio grade sound quality for a more immersive gaming experience. They also allow for precise and neat sound when you speak with other players through voice chat.
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming
The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming is a motherboard that was developed to give you enhanced gaming experience with AI Inter-clocking while offering exciting computing features at the same time. Like the Prime Z390-A, it is capable of automatically overclocking your processor based on smart predictions and thermal telemetry.
The ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming also has a comprehensive design with cooling options that can be easily configured through the UEFI BIOS or the Fan Xpert 4 software. It has a dual-channel RAM architecture and has a total of four DIMM slots. Each slot can support up to 16 GB of memory storage. Moreover, a couple of PWM/DC fans can be found in the chipset to ensure that your processor maintains a cool temperature.
In terms of sound, the ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming also stands out. It integrates the SupremeFX S1220A audio solution with Sonic Studio III to create an aural landscape that creates a more immersive gaming experience. It also has integrated Bluetooth 5.0 technology and Intel Optane Ready for better memory management.
Overall, the ROG Strix Z390-E is an excellent motherboard for both gaming and multimedia. Additionally, it can easily support all the necessary software needed for video editing or 3D rendering.
MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk
The MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk may be significantly less expensive than the other options on this list, but it has a ton of useful features, especially for gamers. It supports dual-channel DDR4 along with two M.2 slots to yield the overclocking capabilities of the i7 9700K.
The M.2 devices in the MAG Z390 Tomahawk are shielded by thermal guards to enhance performance and avoid overheating. This motherboard also features the Extended Heatsink Design that helps the i7 9700K to run at full speed to deliver the best performance efficiency. The design is inspired by the military concept for cooling, as evidenced by the heavy base-plates installed to absorb heat from the processor.
If sound quality is one of your primary concerns, the MAG Z390 Tomahawk provides high-quality audio with Audio Amplifiers integrated into the motherboard. Whether you are listening to songs or streaming your voice, it is capable of delivering clear sound.
Since the MAG Z390 Tomahawk is inspired by the martial notion, it comes with an integrated I/O shield cover along with an improved heatsink design for an optimal thermal solution. It has a ton of ports for your devices, including DisplayPort, golden audio jacks with S/PDIF, PS/2 Combo Port, and USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type A+C).
One of the more unique features of the MAG Z390 Tomahawk is the Magical Light show design. It gives you access to 29 lighting effects with a single click. Unlike many of the other options on this list, Mystic Light supports both Rainbow LED and RGB strips.
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is another motherboard that was developed with gaming enthusiasts in mind. If you spend long hours gaming on your system, this chipset is a great choice to pair with your i7 9700K.
The MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with MSI’s M.2 Shield Frozr technology to give you control over the heatsink on the motherboard. When your M.2 SSD devices experience a rise in temperature, the Shield Frozr heatsink helps retain the speed to make it work more efficiently.
The audio features on the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC are also remarkable. The motherboard has an ALC1220 audio processor installed along isolated circuitry to enhance the sound quality. Additionally, the audio capacitors and amplifiers fixed on the chipset have an excellent build quality. Overall, the audio system on this motherboard delivers exceptional quality sound.
In terms of connectivity, the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has Intel Wireless-AC 9260 capable of up to 1.73 GB/s along with MU-MIMO for Bluetooth technology. Like the MAG Z390 Tomahawk, this motherboard has support for the Mystic Light application. It gives you control over the lighting effects of the motherboard to enhance your gaming environment.
ASUS TUF Z390-Pro Gaming
The ASUS TUF Z390-Pro Gaming is a rather affordable motherboard that is an excellent option for gamers on a budget. It is a beautifully designed chipset that is more than capable of handling your i7 9700K.
A consistent and stable internet connection is essential for an excellent gaming experience. Thus, the TUF Z390-Pro Gaming offers different featured LAN connections. TUF LANGuard and Dual interconnect b/w the MAC (Media Access Controller) PHY (Physical Layer) with the Intel 1219V, Turbo LAN. These support secure inter-connectivity connection to ensure that you get a fast and reliable internet connection.
The TUF Z390-Pro Gaming has a dual-channel memory architecture to support DDR4 RAM and runs at the peak of 2666 MHz. It has two dual DIMM slots that support Intel’s Extreme Memory Profile XMP up to 64 GB of maximum capacity.
This motherboard also has multiple expansion slots, including dual M.2 slots for your SSD devices. If you want to have two SSDs on your system, you must install Hyper M.2 X 16 card into the PCI-E X 16_2 slot. All of the settings can be configured from the BIOS. Similarly, if you want to install three SSDs on your system, you can go to the BIOS settings and install a Hyper M.2 X 16 card into the PCI-E_1.
The TUF Z390-Pro Gaming is built with the military-shape. This design is optimized for safety and protection and ensures that you get a durable and reliable motherboard. It has a pre-installed I/O shield that supports the DisplayPort, an HDMI port, Type-A 4x USB 3.1 along with some audio ports.
Compared to the competition, the TUF Z390-Pro Gaming is much more affordable. If you are on a tight budget and want a functional home for your new i7 9700K, this motherboard is a wise investment.
That sums up our list of the best motherboards for the i7 9700K. These chipsets are the cream of the crop, and each has unique features that make them a deserving home for your new processor. We hope this list has helped you find a motherboard that fits your budget and your preference for features. If you are not concerned about the additional features that some of the more expensive options offer, consider getting the boards that cost less than $200. On the other hand, make sure you pick a more capable board if you plan on taking advantage of the overclocking potential of the i7 9700K.
Whether you are upgrading your gaming system or workstation, any of these models have the capability and compatibility to be the best motherboard for i7 9700K.