Best Motherboard for i9 9900K VSGuides.com

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Core i9-9900k is a formidable processor that runs intensive tasks including video rendering, editing, and gaming among other tasks. A CPU this powerful needs a solid motherboard to match, otherwise, you won’t get the best of it. You’ve gone for a great graphics card and the other usual upgrades. Let’s find the best motherboard now.

 

If you’re looking for a motherboard with great overclocking capabilities, budget buys, or one that sports the latest features, we’ve got you covered with the best motherboard for i9 9900k review.

 

What is a Motherboard?

 

I’m sure most of you know what a MOBO, but this is for the sake of the newbies, trying to build their first pc (we’ve all been there). The motherboard can be thought of as the heart.

 

Motherboards typically sit at the back of the machine and their primary function is to route power to all the parts of your computer and help them communicate with each other. As such, it has physical contact with nearly all the components on the PC—think main power, CPU, RAM slots, video and sound cards, PCI, USB, and expansion slots.

 

Motherboards also play a vital role in upgrades. If you want to go that route its important to first check for compatibility since not all motherboards have the correct connections for the newer models. You can also upgrade your motherboard to facilitate other improvements such as a new CPU or a video card.

 

What to Look for in a Motherboard?

 

Choosing a motherboard can feel intimidating at first which is why we’ve put together a list of factors that you should consider before making a purchase

 

1. Form Factor

 

In simple terms, this relates to the size of the MOBO. There are three main sizes available:

 

  • ATX: Most motherboards come in this size and it offers the most space for slots and plugs
  • Micro-ATX: The name says it all. Micro-ATX is shorter than the standard ATX and offers less space for expansion slots
  • Mini-ITX: This size is suitable for tiny PCs. It offers fewer storage options and may have room for only one add-in card.

 

2. Processor Socket and Chipset

 

The CPU socket refers to the solitary connector between a MOBO and a microprocessor. It’s a distinct mount on the motherboard used by the CPU only and it ensures the circuit chip is inserted correctly. It aids CPU access and inhibits damage that may be caused by the insertion or removal of a unit.

 

It’s worth noting that CPU sockets are designed for specific CPUs and they aren’t interchangeable. Intel works with LGA sockets while AMD chips use PGA sockets. BGA is also a CPU socket, but one that’s not common since it’s bonded permanently to the motherboard which makes servicing or upgrading difficult.

 

For easy identification, manufacturers include a three to five-digit number which ensures a CPU uses the right CPU socket.

 

Two chipsets work with the Core i9 900k—the Z370 and Z390. Both chipsets facilitate overclocking features and provide quick access to data files, videos, and digital photos. The Z390 chipset is faster, more powerful, and ideal for intensive gaming.

3. Overclocking Capacity

 

Overclocking refers to pushing the CPU and memory to run at a higher speed than the official speed grade set by the manufacturers. If done right, overclocking may help speed up your system. It’s a risky affair since overclocking has the potential to destroy your MOBO, CPU, memory, or corrupt your hard drive not to mention voiding the CPU’s warranty.

 

If it’s so bad, why is it even a consideration? Because we all do it, ha. But seriously, if you run system-intensive applications like photo editing, video transcoding, and games, juicing up your CPU’s clock can boost performance.

 

Consider the motherboard’s VRM (Voltage Regulating Module) which converts regular voltage into something your processor and graphics card and handle. We recommend using a high-quality VRM system along with 12+2 Phases for good results.

 

Further, you can install extra (good quality) heatsinks to keep the CPU, RAM, Capacitors, and M.2 SSDs cold and prevent your machine from overheating and burning.

4. Expandability and Ports

 

If you’re building a gaming PC, with multiple graphics cards, you want to have several PCIe ports. If you’re inclined towards 32GB RAM, go for a motherboard that can handle 32GB per slot or one with at least 4 RAM slots.

 

Consider having at least 2 M.2 ports for SSD, USB 3.0 ports, extra USB ports, an HDMI port, and Ethernet. While we’re on the subject, fast Wi-Fi adapters, and Bluetooth capacity are invaluable additions.

 

 5. Audio and RGB

 

Many motherboards come with built-in features including onboard audio, but in most cases, you’ll find that it’s only good for mid-range speakers. If you want a bigger sound with good quality, and possibly one that you can link up with a 7.1 home theatre, you’ll need a sound card.

 

Review of the Best Motherboard for i9 9900k

 

Now we get to look at some top options on the market

 

1. ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero

Best Gaming Motherboard

 

ASUS is a well-known and respected brand by enthusiast PC builders world over and Maximus XI Hero carries on the. Carefully assembled to pair with the i9 9900k, this unit offers loads of high-quality quality sought-after in a gaming PC.

 

It features a dedicated on-board clock generator that provides dynamic reference clocks to all the processor’s cores and major subdomains. This gives you the liberty to extract every single MHz of headroom from your system.

 

And while doing so can cause overheating, the motherboard uses automated 5-Way optimization technology to predict and handle cooling superbly. Combine that with Optimum III technology and the Fan Xpert 4 system and you have a stable motherboard that keeps everything cool.

 

 

 

This 5-Way optimization tech also fine-tunes the system’s components, from storage to audio, to ensure everything stays up to date. Additionally, the motherboard offers 4 DDR4 slots, dual M.2 ports, stable connectivity via 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac adapter as well as an Intel Ethernet Adapter.

 

The aesthetics on this baby are pretty slick, with a robust but beautiful all-black design and Aura Sync RGG lighting that you can customize.

 

Key Specs

 

  • Chipset: Z390
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Socket: 1151
  • Audio: SupremeFX S1220
  • Wireless: 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac

 

Pros

 

  • Practical expansion and storage options
  • Overclocking stability
  • Great audio
  • Built-in wireless connection

 

Cons

 

  • 2 screws are hard to remove
  • Poor Bluetooth connectivity

 

2. ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming -ITX/AC

Best Mini ITX Motherboard

 

Motherboards with smaller form factors are mostly built for simpler tasks including web browsing and routine tasks but not with the award-winning Z390 motherboard from ASRock. The company has managed to design a unit for a smaller machine that provides sufficient power to keep an i9 9900k processor cool.

 

This little guy comes with an oversized M.2 voltage regulator heatsink that dissipates heat efficiently and thereby supporting overclocking. You can get on with system-intensive tasks and rely on the heatsink to keep things cool.

 

The MOBO packs lots of practical and useful features including a Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C interface), dual M.2 slots, 4 x 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 4 x 3.1 Gen 2 ports, Ethernet port, plus HDMI and DisplayPort for integrated graphics. The motherboard comes with a built-in Wireless-AC 9560 adapter that supports up to 1.73Gbps and Bluetooth 5.0 technology.

 

That’s not all, there’s a 7.1 CH HD Realtek Audio powered by Sound Blaster Cinema5 delivers awesome audio realism, perfect for gaming or watching movies. Plug in stereo speakers or a pair of headphones and enjoy cinematic audio like never before.

 

The motherboard has onboard RGB headers and an addressable RGB header for compatibility with LED devices such as chassis, coolers, strip, and CPU fans.

 

Key Specs

 

  • Chipset: Z390
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Socket: 1151
  • Audio: Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec
  • Wireless: Dual Band 802.11ac

 

Pros

 

  • Quality build
  • Value for money
  • 73Gbps Wi-Fi
  • Ideal for small form factor cases

 

Cons

 

  • Thunderbolt3 operates at half-speed (20Gbps)
  • Small addressable RGB header pins

 

3.  GIGABYTE Z390 UD Motherboard

Best Motherboard on a Budget

 

Do you want to build a versatile PC without breaking the bank? GIGABYTE Z390 UD MOBO is worth a second look. It comes with a host of innovative features and enhancements intrinsic to the GIGABYTE brand. Plus it’s geared towards helping you obtain the best out of every component added to the motherboard.

 

The Z390 provides great VRM using a 10+2 Phase and is capable of running i9 9900k. It uses Smart Fan 5 to keep the PC cool so you can continue gaming without worrying about the machine’s performance. Plus, you can interchange fan headers to reveal various thermal sensors at various locations on your motherboard.

 

A special feature on this unit is the stainless steel armor bolstering PCIe connectors thereby providing additional strength to back heavy graphics cards. And to ensure the power stays stable as the CPU loads, the motherboard is made using plated power connectors.

 

The motherboard comes with a PCIe Gen3 x 4 M.2 connector, 4 RAM slots, 8 3.1 ports and six

SATA 6Gb/s ports. You’ll find support for both Thunderbolt 3 AIC, as well as RGB light strips. It’s fitted with high-end quality capacitors that deliver high fidelity for realistic sound effects in gaming or movie watching. Better yet, there’s an audio noise guard to keep noise pollution in check.

 

The motherboard doesn’t offer a Wi-Fi module, but to compensate for that, it has high speed automated Realtek 8118 LAN to give network priority to your games or applications and provide a smooth internet experience. The Z390 UD motherboard sports a striking black and gray design with a simple layout that’s been optimized for straightforward component installation and swapping.

 

Key Specs

 

  • Chipset: Z390
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Socket: 1151
  • Audio: ALC 1220-VB
  • Wireless: N/A

 

Pros

 

  • Affordable
  • Premium features
  • Easy to install
  • Crossfire Multi graphics for higher frame rates in gaming

 

Cons

 

  • No integrated Wi-Fi
  • Some users reported receiving bent pins

 

4. MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE Motherboard

A High-end Option for Creative Applications

 

 

If you want to build a high-end PC for creative applications and you’ve got the cash the splurge, this MOBO fits the bill. It’s a stylish ‘mature looking” unit assembled to provide power for PCs engaged in various fields including creativity work, productivity tools, and even stream.

 

That said, it has been tweaked again and again to make it more a powerful and reliable MOBO that can support hardcore gaming. Plus, it uses Killer LAN networking capabilities and enhanced audio to give a seriously immersive experience.

 

The motherboard uses 18 Phases VRM (yes you read that right) to deliver unrivaled power capable of supporting the Intel Core i9 9900k with ease. It uses high-end capacitors and heavy heatsinks to enhance the motherboard’s overclocking abilities.

 

Here, you get humidity protection, temperature protection, circuit protection, and EMI (electromagnetic interference) protection. Multiple fans are available for cooling plus you’ll have control over them to ensure that you can cool your machine.

 

The expansion slots and ports are overkill, but hey, its premium product so why not. It has four memory slots, four PCI-E x16 slots, and one PCI-E x1 socket. It supports multi GPU protocols from both Nvidia and AMD.

 

There are also three M.2 connectors, six SATA 3 ports, one U.2 connection, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (that include a Type-C connector), and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. A 6.5mm headphone jack and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

 

There are lots of RGBs. You can find them in the southbridge, on the mid-board heatsinks, and on the mirrored section on the top heatsink. You can synchronize the lighting with RGB LED hardware from other component companies.

 

Key Specs

 

  • Chipset: Z390
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Socket: 1151
  • Audio: 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio
  • Wireless: Killer Wi-Fi AC 1550

 

Pros

 

  • Beautiful industrial design
  • Latest Generation Killer 1550 Wi-Fi
  • Superb cooling
  • Excellent overclocking abilities

 

Cons

 

  • No 10Gbps Ethernet
  • May be challenging for beginners

 

5. GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO

Best Motherboard around the $200- $250 mark

 

If you’ve been thinking of going the second-hand way thanks to the exorbitant new CPU price and expensive motherboards, think again. Here’s a reliable option that comes in at a fair price. It’s not only inexpensive but also packs tons of useful elements that allow it to pair successfully with Core i9 9900k.

 

This motherboard brings to the table a 12+1 digital power phase that delivers power to power-hungry components with ease allowing you to get the best performance out of your PC. Gaming enthusiasts and overclockers need not worry about overheating and burning all thanks to two heatsinks and a thick thermal pad that provide excellent cooling performance.

 

Add the Smart Fan cooling technology that allows you to manage cooling at distinct locations and you’ve got a winning motherboard for grabs. The MOBO is layered with heavy-duty protection that includes PCIe and memory armor to shield the components from EMI among other things.

 

Connectivity-wise, this unit comes with 4 memory slots, three PCI-E x 16 slots, two m.2 slots, six SATA ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and audio output. The MOBO also supports dual-graphics systems from both AMD and Nvidia. You also get five full-size USB 3.1 ports that include one Type-C port, and HDMI port.

 

Through the addressable LEDs, you can control onboard RGB as well as external RGB allowing you to illuminate your machine.

 

Key Specs

 

  • Chipset: Z390
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Socket: 1151
  • Audio: ALC 1220-VB
  • Wireless: N/A

 

Pros

 

  • Solid build
  • Thoughtful layout
  • Superb cooling

 

Cons

 

  • Messy software

Best Motherboard for i9 9900K

Conclusion

 

Eager to build your new PC? Our list of the best motherboard for i9 9900k has looked at some top choices on the market. In our opinion, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero ranks the best.

 

This motherboard has top of the line elements suited to system-intensive tasks that demand serious overclocking and cooling capabilities. It also has a wide array of expansion and storage options, built-in Wi-Fi, and decent audio.

 

What’s your favorite motherboard for the Core i9 9900k? Let us know in the comments.

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Best Motherboard for i9 9900K VSGuides.com

time to read: 11 min