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Best motherboard for Intel Core i9, i7, i5

Last Updated on January 2, 2024
Best motherboard for Intel Core i9, i7, i5. Image shows the Intel logo next to the MSI Z790 motherboard on a light gradient background.

Whether you’re building a gaming setup or a versatile system for tasks, selecting the right motherboard is essential for performance and stability, so in this guide, we’re helping you find the best motherboards for Intel i9, i7, and i5 processors. Whether it be for the latest i9 9900k variant or the less expensive i7 9700k and i5 9600k, you’re going to want the necessary features and correct compatibility for your components to fully shine.

When it comes to the Intel i9, i7, and i5 series it’s important to find a motherboard that strikes a balance, between performance, expandability, and reliability. It goes beyond compatibility; instead, it involves selecting a board that not only fits but also enhances and optimizes the processor’s overall performance. To find the perfect motherboard pairing for your Intel CPU, you’ll want to keep on reading.

Products at a Glance

How we picked the best motherboard for Intel i9, i7, i5

Our selection process for the best motherboards for Intel i9, i7, and i5 CPUs involves analyzing a combination of technical specifications, user reviews, and expert opinions. We assess each motherboard’s ability to support the different Intel series, focusing on their power handling, cooling solutions, and memory support. Ultimately, the board needs to support the specific needs of each Intel CPU, from their overclocked turbo boost speed to their high specs.

In addition to firsthand user experiences, we consider publicly available benchmarks and expert reviews to understand each motherboard’s performance in real-world scenarios. This includes evaluating how well they handle CPU-intensive tasks, their overclocking capabilities, and overall system stability. Overall, we pull on our in-depth topic knowledge of motherboards to deduce products that are highly regarded for their performance, stability, and build quality, and make an excellent pairing for this lineup of Intel processors.

Across the PC Guide site, we’ve used our in-depth topic knowledge of motherboards and PC builds to put together a wealth of buying guides for upgrading your setup. If you’re not an Intel user, we’ve of course got the best motherboard for AMD Ryzen 9, 7, and 5, and we’ve also got a lineup of the best motherboards for gaming too.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • Exceptional overclocking capabilities.
  • Robust power delivery system.
  • Thunderbolt 4 and ample storage options.
  • Premium price tag.
  • Limited to 2.5 GbE LAN.
  • Potentially overwhelming for casual users.

The ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO is a powerhouse motherboard designed for enthusiasts and overclockers, and comes up as today’s editor’s choice for the best motherboard for the Intel Core lineup. Its stellar 20+1+2 phase VRM design, equipped with 90A SPS power stages, is a highlight, offering exceptional overclocking capabilities. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to maximize the performance of their Intel 1400K series CPUs. The motherboard’s meticulous engineering for stability is evident in its use of 10K black metallic capacitors and a robust aluminum VRM heatsink, enhanced with a heat pipe and high-conductivity thermal pads.

This motherboard is tailored for users who demand the utmost in power and stability for their high-end builds. Its advanced power delivery system ensures consistent performance even under heavy loads, which is crucial for intensive tasks like gaming, content creation, and computational work. Moreover, features like Thunderbolt 4 support and ample storage connectivity options make it a versatile choice for a variety of applications, from professional workstations to top-tier gaming rigs.

  • Abundant PCI-E 5.0 slots for future-proofing.
  • Sleek design with RGB lighting.
  • Excellent connectivity with WiFi 6E and 10Gb LAN.
  • E-ATX form factor limits case compatibility.
  • No Thunderbolt 4 support.
  • May be too large for some build configurations.

The Gigabyte Z790 AORUS MASTER, an E-ATX motherboard, is packed with features that cater to high-performance needs. It boasts an array of PCI-E 5.0 slots, ensuring maximum bandwidth for the latest graphics cards and M.2 storage solutions. The inclusion of Gen4 and Gen3 slots provides flexibility in component selection, making it a versatile platform for various high-end builds. The motherboard’s sleek design, enhanced with subtle RGB lighting, appeals to gamers and professionals who value aesthetics alongside performance.

Ideal for enthusiasts and power users, this motherboard excels in connectivity. High-speed USB ports eliminate the bottleneck of slower transfers, while WiFi 6E and a 10Gb LAN port ensure rapid and stable online connectivity. This makes the AORUS MASTER a great choice for users who require fast data transfer speeds, whether for gaming, streaming, or professional data-intensive tasks.

  • Effective VRM cooling for stability.
  • Strong power delivery for optimal performance.
  • Extensive connectivity options.
  • No RGB lighting for aesthetic customization.
  • Lacks aesthetic appeal compared to other models.
  • May not suit users looking for a visually striking build.

The MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK MAX WiFi motherboard is tailored to harness the capabilities of Intel’s i5-14600K processor. It features a robust 16+1+1 phase VRM, ensuring stable and efficient power delivery, a key factor for achieving optimal CPU performance. This is especially beneficial for users who engage in CPU-intensive tasks like gaming, streaming, or content creation. The motherboard’s emphasis on effective VRM cooling aids in maintaining optimal performance, preventing thermal throttling under load.

This motherboard is a solid choice for users who prioritize practicality and performance. Its focus on robust power delivery and comprehensive connectivity options, including WiFi and numerous USB ports, make it an excellent backbone for a high-performance PC. While it lacks the aesthetic features like RGB lighting, its sturdy build and feature set make it a reliable option for users who value substance over style.

  • Exceptional 19+1+1 phase VRM for overclocking.
  • Superior VRM cooling for sustained performance.
  • Versatile connectivity options.
  • Premium price point.
  • Lack of DisplayPort

The MSI MPG Z790 CARBON MAX WiFi is engineered to complement the performance of the Core i7-14700K processor. It boasts an extraordinary 19+1+1 phase VRM, which is a significant asset for users interested in overclocking or running high-demand applications. The exceptional VRM cooling feature of this motherboard ensures consistent performance by minimizing thermal throttling, which is crucial during long gaming sessions or intensive workloads. Its versatile connectivity features, including numerous USB and networking options, add to its appeal for a wide range of applications.

This motherboard is an ideal match for users seeking top-tier performance, particularly those who may dabble in overclocking. Its comprehensive feature set, combined with effective cooling mechanisms, makes it a reliable and powerful platform for gaming and professional use. While it comes with a higher price tag, the investment is justified by its performance capabilities and build quality, and is why it appears as the best motherboard for the Intel Core i7.

Features and Considerations

The topic of the best motherboard for Intel Core processors leaves several important considerations to be observed. Firstly, the chipset determines the motherboard’s features, including support for overclocking, memory speeds, and connectivity options. Look for chipsets like Z490, Z590, or the latest Z690, which offer robust support for these CPUs, especially if you’re inclined towards overclocking or demanding tasks.

Another important aspect is the motherboard’s expansion capabilities. This includes the number and type of PCIe slots, RAM slots supporting high-speed memory, USB ports, and storage options like M.2 NVMe slots. For those planning on future upgrades or using multiple high-end components, these factors become increasingly important.

Do motherboards work with any CPU?

The short answer to this is no. There are a variety of different CPU generations, different brands, and chipsets that all affect what motherboard will be compatible. If you read on, we’ll talk about each of these and the terminology you need to look out for.


When it comes to CPU generations, more specifically for Intel, you need to look out for which variant you have, and what motherboard you want to use with it. Usually, you want to acquire motherboards that cover two generations of Intel processors, for example, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390 Gaming Motherboard will work with 9th and 8th processors. This gives you a couple of options, go for the pricer, latest generation CPU or have the option for the more budget pick. Additionally, going for one of these motherboards opens up the option for upgrades later down the line. You can go for an 8th generation CPU such as the i7 8700k and potentially upgrade to the i9 9900k in the future.


You only really hear of AMD and Intel when talking about CPUs for PCs and for good reason, they’re the only big hitters out there. There are other chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm and Mediatek but these are the bigger names in mobile manufacturing and tend to stay away from the PC scene. So, which is best? AMD or Intel? Well, it’s all down to preference and to an extent, budget. Intel was the main staple for a number of years providing the highest quality chips out there but AMD burst onto the scene with top-notch quality CPUs at very affordable prices, enticing the PC builders out there to switch.

Motherboard Sockets

Similar to the generation problem, when motherboards are manufactured, they are for specific chips thus making the sockets tied to certain characteristics. The main socket types are Pin Grid Array (PGA) and Land Grid Array (LGA). These socket types apply compression through either a lever or a full plate to marry connections and keep it from dislodging. These two socket types are so popular with manufacturers as you avoid the risk of bending the pins when inserting the chip into the socket, and you can easily replace your current CPU with a different processor when required. On the other hand, devices that use the lesser-known Ball Grid Array (BGA) socket require soldering, meaning you’re stuck with that component for the lifetime of your machine.

Which is better Z790 or Z690?

The Z790 chipset is newer and a better choice for those with demanding peripherals. It offers an additional USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port compared to the Z690, making it more suitable for users who require fast data transfer speeds. The Z790’s enhancements cater to the latest technological demands, providing a slight edge over the Z690, especially for high-end builds.

Can an i5 motherboard support i7?

Yes, an i5 motherboard can support an i7 CPU, provided they share the same socket type and the motherboard’s chipset is compatible with the i7 processor. However, it’s essential to ensure that the motherboard’s VRM and cooling capabilities can handle the i7’s potentially higher power and thermal requirements. Always check the motherboard’s CPU compatibility list and specifications before upgrading to ensure proper support.

Our Verdict

Final thoughts

When it comes to the best motherboard for Intel Core series, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO, as our Editor’s Choice, stands out for its superior overclocking abilities and robust VRM design. This, coupled with its ample storage connectivity and Thunderbolt 4 support, makes it an exceptional choice for enthusiasts and power users seeking to push their systems to the limit.

The Gigabyte Z790 AORUS MASTER is a powerhouse for the i9 CPU, with its ample PCI-E 5.0 slots and rapid connectivity. For the i5 CPU, the MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK MAX WiFi balances robust power delivery with a practical design. For the i7 CPU, the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi stands out with its extraordinary VRM and exceptional cooling, making it ideal for demanding tasks and overclocking.