Best Intel 13th Gen motherboards
Motherboards are vital components for rigs. Alongside CPUs and GPUs, mobos form the trifecta of personal computers. With the arrival of Intel’s 13th Gen processors, Z790 motherboards are the best entry point for the Raptor Lake beasts.
If you’re buying into the new CPU ecosystem, you won’t want to miss out on pairing it with one of the best Intel 13th Gen motherboards. We’ve curated a list of the most powerful and convenient motherboards for your new Raptor Lake rig.
Products at a Glance
Features and consideration
Acquiring a brand-new motherboard is arguably the most important part of building a PC. Choosing the correct one will vary depending on whether you want to get the most out of all of the components or not. This article will focus on the new Intel 13th Gen processors.
One of the best things about this CPU release is its backward compatibility. The same LGA 1700 and DDR4 RAM are supported, with the addition of Z690 mobos working in tandem with Intel 13th Gen. However, we can’t stop thinking about the massive improvements both PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 will mean for gamers and creators alike. So these new forms of connectivity must be considered when purchasing a motherboard for Raptor Lake CPUs.
Furthermore, you may also want to consider other aspects of the motherboard in question. These are the typical features you’ll have to keep in mind along the way:
- Chose the right socket: If you’re going for Intel, this is an easy step. It has been loyal to the LGA 1700 socket that has worked perfectly until now, and we’ll continue seeing it at least until the new 14th Gen chips drop.
- Motherboard size: Boards usually come in three sizes: ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ATX. Choosing between one or another will depend on how big you want your rig to look and how many ports you’ll actually need. The bigger the motherboard, the more ports it’ll have.
- Ports and slots: Decide first how many ports you’ll need. Once you have that clear, pick a motherboard size, then a case size. With new tech coming out, ATX mobo sizes will be in high demand.
- Aesthetics: How the PC looks in its final form is important. For some people, there’s nothing more satisfying than peeking within a PC to see all of the bright and beautiful components running like a living, breathing organism.
How we picked the best Intel 13th Gen motherboards
We’ve kept a close eye on the new Intel 13th Gen debut. At this point in the game, we’ve determined the best characteristics a motherboard needs to be included in a list of greats for Intel’s new CPU line. Our first benchmark was the component’s form factor. We tilted for standard ATX form factors because it is the most convenient for a new PC generation with big GPUs and some overclocking headroom. Once that was considered, we went ahead and checked for connectivity, then culminated with aesthetics.
Best Intel 13th Gen motherboards
- High overclocking features
- PCIe 5.0
- Incredible DDR5 speeds
- WiF 6e support
- 10G ethernet
The ROG Strix line of Asus is one of the top-tier models of its famous motherboards. Since the ROG Maximus Z790-Extreme went end of life, the Z790 Hero is the next best offering for us.
These are boards built especially for overclocking, marketed toward enthusiast gamers. Starting with its personalization features, the Hero gives users the opportunity to be unique by synchronizing lighting and the overall look of the rig across components via AURA sync RGB.
It’s a Z790-based board, so you can expect native Raptor Lake support, plus top-of-the-line features, including: such as AI overclocking, Extensive Gen 5.0 compatibility (PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, and 5x M2 slots), 10 GigE port, WIFI6E, plus a powerful 20+1 VRM power stage setup with power connectors.
If you intend on heavy overclocking and high-end gaming, this beast should go with. Although set at a relatively high price, these motherboards wield an extremely high standard and build quality. The Maximus Z790 Hero holds more than enough reasons to place it at the top of the best Intel 13th Gen motherboards.
And its cheaper than the Extreme was too!
- Great Price
- DDR5 7600 compatibility
- Advanced thermal conductivity
- Full PCIe 5.0 design
- Not enough headroom for overclocking
- Could have more M2 connectors
Not all gamers are looking for overclocking features. If you’re a gamer looking for the best motherboard for your out-of-the-box Raptor Lake processor, but don’t want to keep spending exorbitant amounts on components, or just want to save some bucks for a new Nvidia RTX 4090, Gigabyte’s got you covered.
The Aorus range was Gigabyte’s way of punching into the big leagues. It was with this line it reached back onto the top as the market was being dominated by other brands, Asus and MSI. Now, Gigabyte keeps making hits with its Aorus Elite AX models.
This motherboard features a twin 16+1+2 digital VRM design up to 70A smart power stage, a 6-layer 2x copper PCB, and PCIe 5.0 ready Mid-loss PCB. The Aorus Elite ensures you won’t be short on bandwidth or storage thanks to its incredible specs.
The Aorus Elite can’t directly compete with high-end motherboards but it’s definitely the best mid-range Z790 component on the market. If you want to enjoy almost all the qualities of high-end gaming in tandem with an impeccable look, while at the same time not breaking the bank, you should consider the Aorus Elite AX. There’s not a single video game you won’t be able to comfortably play more than with this powering your Intel 13th Gen rig.
- Support for up to DDR5 7000
- Support for ECC and non-ECC un-buffered
- XMP support
- Amazing design
- Up to 64GB of RAM
Much akin to how gamers like to sit and play their games without any breaks, overclockers will spend the whole time trying to break through the limits of power on their various components. The Aorus Z690 Tachyon is the pinnacle of PC overclocking. It has a specialized VRM design and built-in switches to enable swift overclocking potentials.
The best part about the Tachyon, of course, is that Intel 13th Gen CPUs can run beautifully on this board. If you’re not ready to upgrade to a Z790 mobo just yet, you can safely pick this one up and garner unimaginable performance limits in computing without overspending.
The Tachyon VRM design features Dual 8-pin CPU power connectors and 15 Vcore phases at a 105A power stage. Furthermore, the Gigabyte design uses full Tantalum polymer capacitors for a better transient response and stability. According to Gigabyte, this design can offer up to 30% lower voltage spikes compared to its predecessor.
- Premium appearance
- Low price
- Not enough SATA ports
- Is Mini ITX
Let’s face it, you already spent a fortune on your brand-new Raptor Lake CPU, and you most likely picked up an RTX 4090 GPU, as well. Now, you just want to put these sweet components to good use without yet another wallet-burning component. If that’s the case, you should go with the ASRock Z690 Extreme. This motherboard will allow you to squeeze the best out of your CPU and GPU while you save up for a new Z790 board.
Back in 2021, the Z690 Extreme succeeded in all the benchmarks it was subjected to. Although it showed to have some problems in multi-threaded workloads, it performs incredibly in gaming environments and light single-threaded tasks. It’s a low-priced board that is still well-equipped. The ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi has three M2 sockets, 8 SATA ports, a 13 Phase (10+1+2, 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore), and DDR5 6400 with 64GB capacity DIMM slots.
If we compared this one with the new Z790 motherboards, it’ll obviously fall short. However, if we match it up with its peers, the ASRock board outperforms many of its rivals. Like we said in the beginning, this is a great component to pair alongside a new 13th Gen processor without spending too much money.
And that’s the current best among Intel 13th Gen motherboards, with Asus standing tall among the rest. While Z690 still is a viable option for Raptor Lake, future-proofing one’s rig is tantamount as components begin to age. Meteor Lake is only on the near horizon, and with it, DDR5 could come to dominate the RAM space.
Thus, the Asus ROG Maximus might be the best choice right now, but it doesn’t have to be one’s only choice. Pick the board that best suits your needs and workflow.
Asus ROG MAXIMUS Z790 EXTREME
The best motherboard is a component that houses all of your various other hardware, allowing them to perform to the highest degree. These boards will offer great connectivity, speed, and power without stunting your new 13th Gen CPU. If you have the money, going for the best possible solution shouldn’t be an issue.
The Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Hero will provide PC enthusiasts and newfound Intel 13th Gen users with the best overclocking and high-end gaming experiences possible. This motherboard will last for quite some time.