Best Motherboard for i9 9900k with Overclocking Explained!

The i9-9900k processor is the mightiest processor currently out there. If you are building your own PC and have already got this then you are on the right path. It features 8 cores and never before seen clock speeds. i9’s closest competitor the Ryzen 2700k lags far behind in both power and performance compared to i9-9900k. Now, you must already know all that if you have it or looking to get it.

It’s obvious that such a processor needs the best of the motherboard to let it show its unhindered performance. You don’t want to get such an expensive processor only to see its performance getting slowed down because of a low-grade motherboard. But don’t worry here we will analyze some of the best motherboard for i9 9900k that will make your processor shine the brightest. (not literally!)

Looking for an i7 or i5 instead of the i9? Check out some of the best motherboard for i7 8700k and the best motherboard for i5 8400.

What to look for in the best i9 motherboard firstly the thing to look for such an extreme processor is the Z390 chipset. Providing a far greater performance and efficiency than its predecessor Z370 Chipset. (and don’t worry it lets you upgrade in the future if you want to ever.)

You don’t need a 20 phase or so motherboard if you are just looking to mild overclock the processor. Any top Z390 motherboards for the i9-9900K from the below list will be suitable for that. What is important is the proper airflow and cooling ensuring that the VRM doesn’t get too heated up when under heavy load.

Consider getting a PC case with good thermal performance and good fan setup and orientation. This ensures proper cooling. Want some help with that? Check out our article on Best PC cases for water cooling.

Our Recommendations for the Best Motherboard for i9 9900k

  1. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme
  2. ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
  3. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
  4. ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula
  5. MSI MEG GODLIKE Z390

Best choice for Extreme Overclocking of i9 9900k – Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme

best gaming motherboard for i9 9900k

If you really don’t want to compromise on your gaming experience and CPU performance. This will be the ultimate choice for the best gaming motherboard for i9-9900k. This is indeed an expensive motherboard, but it sure does justifies that. For starters, it has top-notch quality VRM and other components making it highly preferable for extreme overclocking.

A 10 GB LAN, 3 M.2 ports with their very own heatsinks. It has Thunderbolt 3 support and builds quality that is considered a standard world-wide. The Auros Z390 can easily overclock even 4 sticks of RAM to super-high frequencies. If you are looking for the best of the best to overclock your processor, just get this one and you will be done.

Check Prices at amazon.com

Best Feature-filled Motherboard for i9 9900k – ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate

best i9 motherboard

If you like getting MORE for what you pay for then this is your choice. The Taichi Ultimate Z390 comes with Extra SATA Controller, Four NICs, 8 SATA 3, 3 M.2 and USB Type-C are only a few to name.

The Aquantia 10Gb/s LAN gives you a phenomenal boost of 10X faster speed. It rolls with 2T2R Dual Band Wifi and dual Intel Gigabit LAN. Apart from this, it has fantastic VRM thermal cooling. With all this power in your motherboard, you can definitely push the i9-9900k to high clock speeds.

With the ASRock Z390, you can get most features of a 500$ motherboard and that too in half of the price.

Check Prices at amazon.com

best z390 motherboard for the i9-9900K – Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro

best motherboard for i9 9900k

The Auros Gigabit gets in the top ranks with its 12+1 phases Digital VRM Solution with DrMOS. A 6 layer PCB with 2x copper coating adds to its advantage.

The Auros comes with an advanced thermal design, here it uses Direct touch Heatpipe. This means that it has more surface area in contact with the thermal pads. This provides for better cooling and better performance. The design is actually real-world tested and proves to be the best of quality.

The Auros is an ATX motherboard that houses the LGA 1151 CPU supporting both the 8th and 9th gen intel core processors.

Check Prices at amazon.com

Best mATX Motherboard for 9900k – ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula

best motherboard for intel i9 9900k

The ASUS ROG Maximus is a micro ATX motherboard for i9 9900k. It comes with a 5 phase VRM that supplies incredible power to the CPU. Unlike other 4 phase VRM motherboards that uses doublers this one top in terms of power and efficiency.

When you are looking at the mATX motherboards there isn’t any question about choosing ASUS ROG Maximus. But the ASUS Customer care confirmed that this won’t be for sale in the USA. For that, we would recommend using EVGA Z370 Micro, with a really good VRM
it can definitely overclock your i9 9900k.

Check Prices at amazon.com

The truly Godlike Motherboard for i9 9900k – MSI MEG GODLIKE Z390

MSI MEG GODLIKE Z390

Do you see that Godlike in the title? Well, this truly justifies that. With a powerful 18 Phase VRM and a superb design, you get what can only be called unlimited power and performance. The MEG Z390 comes packed with three onboard M.2 (NVMe, SATA and, PCIe supported)

The newly introduced motherboard has thermal pads on both sides of the M.2, thus justifying its name as the Shield Frozer. It features 4 DDR4 memory slots that can give up to 64GB and 4600MHz when overclocked. Also, a Dual BIOS are just some of the few that i name.

This best motherboard for i9 gives you a feature of a dial/knob to adjust overclocking settings within safety limits. This gives you access to different settings for overclocking and performance levels. Also, you won’t have to dive in it manually if you feel you’re not the expert on it.

Check Prices at amazon.com

What to look for in a motherboard for i9 9900k

You get yourself a nice graphics card, high-speed RAM modules, and a powerful processor. What else do you need? The answer is simple.

A motherboard!

The motherboard might seem just a board full of transistors and multiple circuits to any normal human eye. But to us gamers and tech geeks, the motherboard stands as the foundation for any custom PC that puts together all the other components to deliver you the powerful performance you desire.

Intel launched the i9 series core processors a few years back, and since then, they have changed the game for everyone, designers, engineers, gamers, office employees, and anyone who wants raw power from their PC. From the latest 9th generation Intel processors, the i9 9900k shines as one of the best performing octa-core processors with the Coffee Lake Refresh architecture. Apart from being power efficient with its 95-watt TDP rating, the processor also features Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 that lets you overclock it from its base clock frequency of 3.60 GHz to a max frequency of 5.00 GHz. Equipped with the integrated Intel UHD 630 Graphics, the processor can work alone without a dedicated graphics card.

There are lots of available options in the market, but a lot goes into deciding which motherboard is the perfect one for you. And in this article, we discuss the factors you need to consider before buying a motherboard for your Intel i9 9900k processor.

Form Factor

Size is everything! Before we dive into the details about sockets and other technical factors, let us discuss the simplest but most important aspects that you will have to consider before getting a motherboard for your i9 9900k build.

Motherboards are available in many different form factors, or to put it simply, in many different sizes. You will have to keep in mind the environment that you wish to keep your PC in and, obviously, the size of your computer case so that the board can fit in it. Make sure you have a proper size cabinet before you buy your motherboard for the i9-9900K build.

The size will determine many other factors, too, including the number of available expansion slots (DIMM slots, PCIe slots, M.2 slots, etc.), cooling abilities, and airflow.

There are 3 broad categories of motherboard sizes, Standard ATX, Micro-ATX, and mini-ITX.

Standard ATX sized motherboards come in dimensions measuring 12 x 9.6 inches, and this is the most commonly used one out of those mentioned above. These generally have four DIMM slots for your memory modules and up to seven expansion slots for you to fit the other components.

Here come the micro-ATX motherboards that feature a square shape and measure 9.6 x 9.6 inches in size. The smaller lets you fit the board in a mini-tower and also a full-size ATX case. It carries all the features of a standard ATX board but just in a smaller size, and also you get a pair of full-size expansion slots.

Mini-ITX cases are even smaller, with its dimensions of 6.7 x 6.7 inches. The mITX boards are built for such compact systems to make a low-profile working system without any cooling facilities. Unfortunately, you lose two extra DIMM slots in exchange for the smaller form factor as mini-ITX boards only have 2 DIMM slots compared to a standard ATX or micro-ATX motherboard with four.

Although a standard ATX is a great option for i9-9900K builds, we recommend getting a micro-ATX motherboard for the i9-9900K, as you almost get the same features as a standard ATX one but that too in a smaller form factor that you allow you to place your PC even in a small space. You will be able to move it more easily.

Processor Socket Type

No matter how much money you spend on getting a motherboard, your PC will never run unless it is compatible with the processor. The factor that determines whether a specific processor will work with a motherboard is the socket type. 

A processor chip comes with hundreds and thousands of pins arranged in a specific order that differentiates one chip from another. These pins fit into the motherboard’s socket holes, which have the same layout, and then a lever fixes the chip firmly into place. The contact between the pins of the processor and the socket holes maintains the electrical connection between them for them to work.

In our case, we have the Intel i9-9900K processor, which is compatible with a motherboard that has an LGA1151 socket. There are tons of motherboards available on the market that have the LGA1151 socket, but your budget and the other factors will decide which one you should get.

Chipset

A single processor can work with more than one motherboard with different chipsets. What a chipset does is that it relays information and data between the processor and the other components in the computer, such as the storage devices, ports, and the memory.

Motherboards with newer chipsets often feature more expansion slots and USB ports compared to older ones. They may introduce new hardware configurations and other features too. An i9 9900k motherboard is available in two chipsets, and that includes the Z370 and Z390 chipset. The Z390 chipset is an updated version of the Z370 equipped with more USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and WiFi 802.11ac. We recommend going for an i9-9900K motherboard with the updated chipset (Z390) as it comes with more hardware configurations and is overall more powerful than its predecessor.

RAM

RAM or Random Access Memory is a type of volatile memory that temporarily stores data so that the system can access it quickly whenever needed. A PC with enough RAM lets you multitask seamlessly and open and use multiple programs simultaneously, which is very important for productivity tasks and gaming.

RAM is available in the market as RAM modules or memory modules that fit into the motherboard’s DIMM slot. A processor is nothing without enough RAM, and hence you need a good amount of memory at your disposal if you wish to have one of the best i9-9900K builds that work efficiently. If you aim to build a gaming PC, then make sure that your i9-9900K motherboard has at least 2 x DIMM slots or more and that you install at least 16 GB of RAM. While four slots are the sweet spot, two will also do the job nicely.

Ports and Expansion slots

Expansion slots generally refer to the slots on the motherboard that allow you to install storage solutions, audio and sound cards, and other components to expand your computer’s functionality.

Over the years, many different types of expansions slots have been in existence, but now the most commonly used types include PCI and PCI Express slots.

For your i9-9900K motherboard, you will find that it has more than one PCIe slot, and they are of different sizes. These PCIe slots allow installing many components, including a graphics card, audio cards, solid-state drives, network adapters, and other expansion cards.

No matter whichever motherboard for the i9-9900K you buy, you would want at least one full-size PCIe x16 expansion slot specifically built for installing a dedicated graphics card or GPU. Most i9-9900K builds work the best with a dedicated GPU. If you aim to build your own gaming PC, then a dedicated graphics card is a must for you to run the latest and graphically demanding games since the integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics will not be enough to handle all your gaming needs.

For your storage solutions, the motherboards are equipped with M.2 slots and SATA ports. M.2 slots allow you to install the new NVMe solid-state drives that offer very high data transfer rates while occupying very little space in your cabinet. SATA ports are older alternatives when it comes to installing hard disks and SSDs. Having both on your system will benefit you as you can opt for future upgrades anytime.

Other PCIe slots (x1, x4, and x8) can be used for installing other expansion cards.

Make sure that the motherboard you choose to buy has the necessary expansion slots per your requirement.

External ports are just as important as the other ones. The higher the number of external ports you have, the better because you never know when they might come in handy. Ensuring that your motherboard features all the different types of required USB ports and display adapters are essential. They essential ports that you will need include:

Display

  • HDMI Port: Display connections through HDMI supports much higher resolutions of up to 8K.
  • VGA (Video Graphics Array) Port: Most commonly used display port that supports resolutions of up to 2048 x 1536.
  • DVI or Digital Video Interface Port: Legacy port for older display devices.

Peripherals

  • USB 2.0/USB 3.0 port: Necessary for connecting external storage devices such as pen drives and mobile phones to your computer.
  • USB Type-C port: Comparatively, a newer type of port offers a very high data transfer speed of up to 40 GB/s thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 technology.
  • PS/2 ports: Legacy ports for older mouse and keyboard connections in case you have them lying around.

Some Final words on getting best i9 motherboard

If you feel overwhelmed with all these features and not sure which is the best choice for you, just remember for choosing a motherboard the most important features to look at are namely, Power supply, Cooling and it’s VRM quality. These aren’t the only factor to consider but these will help if you have no other idea in choosing what suits you the best.

A Motherboard is an important factor in deciding your CPU and also overall system performance. So, if you are looking to build a PC that is the absolute best in class then don’t shy away in investing a few bucks as this will surely prove out to be beneficial in the end.

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