Best Motherboard For i9-12900k

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Looking for the best motherboard for i9-12900K ?

The Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake platform is the most innovative one we have seen from the blue team in quite some time. In addition to full support of PCIe Gen 5, Intel has also added support for DDR5 memory.

Moreover, the 12th Gen Alder Lake processors use a brand new architecture with a combination of performance and efficiency cores. These processors now use a brand new LGA 1700 socket as well.

So without further ado, here is our selection of the very best motherboards to buy for the Core i9 12900K.

Before moving on make sure you check the following detailed tutorial on how to choose the best motherboard for you: How To Choose The Right Motherboard For Your Needs: A Comprehensive Guide

Why Should You Trust Us?

At Best Motherboard Zone, we’re not just tech enthusiasts; we’re experts with a deep-rooted passion for the industry. Our lead author, Konstantinos Chiotis, has been a PC builder since he was 14 and has spent over a decade in the tech industry. His dedication to understanding and discussing hardware components like motherboards, GPUs, and processors in detail is what sets us apart.

When it comes to the Intel i9-12900K, we’ve done the research, tested the products, and compared the results. We’ve scrutinized every aspect, from the power delivery system to the cooling system, and even the aesthetics of the motherboards. Our recommendations for the best motherboards for the i9-12900K are not just based on specs, but on real-world performance and reliability.

We understand that your trust is earned, not given. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information. So, when we say these are the best motherboards for the i9-12900K, you can trust us.

Top 3 Best Motherboards for i9 12900K – Compared

Editors' Choice

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero

  • Extraordinary 21-Phase VRM

  • 5x M.2 slots for storage

  • Thunderbolt 4 Ports

Best Premium Motherboard for i9-12900k

Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master

  • Aquantia 10 GbE LAN Port

  • Powerful 22-Phase VRM Setup

  • Premium Connectivity

Best Budget Motherboard for i9-12900k

ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-PLUS WiFi

(Best Seller)

  • Ideal for DDR4 Builds

  • Quite Affordable

  • Decent Power Delivery

How We Choose the Best Motherboard for i9 12900K

As the Intel Core i9 12900K is arguably the fastest gaming processor on the market, we have to be very meticulous in our approach when selecting suitable motherboards for it. Of course, we selected stringent criteria for the purpose of this roundup.

First and foremost, we focused on the quality and number of VRM phases offered by the motherboard, which can greatly affect performance. CPU overclocking is a big buying point of the Core i9 12900K, therefore the power delivery system of the motherboard has to be able to keep up.

We also prioritized the cooling system used by the motherboard manufacturers for cooling the VRM components, since any VRM setup is only as good as the cooling system attached to it.

In order to find the best motherboard for your use case, we made sure that it has all of those connectivity and networking features that one might require with a Core i9 12900K. These features are essential in the daily workings of a gaming motherboard.

Aesthetics are a subjective matter, however, we did prioritize motherboards that were more popular among the consumers due to their design.

Finally, the value proposition offered by the motherboards was the primary deciding factor. Even though the Core i9 12900K is a flagship premium CPU, it is ideal to pair it with a motherboard that maximizes the value for money.

With these factors in mind, we have ranked the very best motherboards for the i9 12900K that are currently available. Let’s jump in.

7 Best Motherboards for i9 12900K Reviews

1. ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero – Editor’s Choice

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 20+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400 | Video Outputs: HDMI | USB Ports: 11x rear IO, 9x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA ports


  • Extraordinary 21-Phase VRM
  • 5 M.2 Slots for storage
  • Thunderbolt 4 Ports
  • Unique Retro Design
  • High-end features


  • Extremely Expensive
  • No DisplayPort output

The ASUS ROG series has been the go-to for enthusiasts looking to pair a premium motherboard with their dream processor. The i9 12900K is no exception, and as such we highly recommend any enthusiast consider the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero if you want to build a high-end gaming or workstation PC using Intel’s Alder Lake flagship.

In a world where most motherboards have basic VRM designs, the ASUS Maximus Z690 Hero stands out because it features a 20+1 phase power delivery system with 90A stages. This should be more than enough to handle any overclocking you might want to do on your i9 12900K.

The Z690 Hero has another trick that makes it an excellent choice for enthusiast-level overclocking with its flagship Core i9 12900K. With large heatsinks, adequate fins to cool the VRM efficiently, and no problems under prolonged loads this motherboard should be perfect if you want performance without any hassle.

Moving on to the features, the Maximus Z690 Hero is a premium motherboard with all of the features you would expect from such an expensive product. The motherboard supports DDR5 memory at speeds up to 6400MHz which guarantees that your system will be up to date with the latest memory standards of 2022.

The Maximus Hero offers a 2.5 GbE LAN port and WiFi 6E for connectivity, as well as 5x M2 slots if you install the PCIe expansion card to give it more storage power. It also includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports which is an interesting inclusion considering some competitors don’t have this feature at all or only offer one such type of connection.

However, we would have also liked to see the addition of a DisplayPort output to the rear I/O as it sometimes helps in troubleshooting.

Aesthetically, ASUS has implemented a fresh new design language with this generation of Maximus board. With its pixelated design, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is reminiscent of old-school computer games.

The design of this board is rather impressive but straightforward, with large heatsinks covering up the actual PCB. There’s RGB lighting on both the I/O cover and the chipset cover, while most of the high quality components of the board are covered by massive heat spreaders in a matte finish.

We gave the edge to the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero over the more expensive Maximus variants such as the Z690 Extreme because the Hero has a way better price-to-performance output. Another competing alternative can be the MSI Z690 GODLIKE, which is also a ridiculously expensive option.

All in all, this high-end motherboard is the best option if you want to make your Core i9 12900K as powerful and stable as possible for gaming, productivity, or simple synthetic tests that require a lot from hardware like rendering.

It has got an excellent power delivery system and a versatile feature set which is hard to find on other boards, however, the price tag is rather high so potential buyers should definitely do their due diligence before finalizing their decision.


  • VRM Design: 9.510
  • Features: 9/10
  • Aesthetics: 8.5/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 9/10

2. Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master – Best Premium Motherboard for i9 12900K

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 19+2+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400 | Video Outputs: DisplayPort | USB Ports: 11x rear IO, 9x internal | Network: 1x 10 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 6x SATA ports


  • Aquantia 10 GbE LAN Port
  • Powerful 22-Phase VRM Setup
  • Premium Connectivity
  • Lots of USB Ports
  • Impressive RGB Lighting


  • Very High Price
  • No HDMI Output

Gigabyte’s AORUS line of motherboards has always been known for its excellent premium offerings, and that trend continues with the latest Intel 12th Generation processors as well. The Z690 AORUS Master edition combines a powerful power delivery system together with some unique features which are almost too good to be true, albeit at a steep price point.

The VRM setup on the Z690 AORUS Master is an extremely impressive 22-phase design, out of which 19 are dedicated to providing clean and stable power to the CPU. With 22 phases and 105A available for the CPU, this Z690 AORUS Master ensures that even i9 12900K overclockers can trust their setup.

Moreover, the power delivery system is also efficiently cooled with multiple heatsinks so temperatures won’t be an issue. The heatsinks are adequately finned as well, further improving the surface area and the heat dissipation potential.

In the department of features, the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master is a beast of an ATX motherboard with everything you could need. With its wide variety in terms of options and capabilities, there’s no way it could be lacking. We’ve chosen the DDR5 variant that supports DDR5 memory up to 6400MHz – perfect for any high-end Alder Lake processor on the market today such as the Core i9 12900K.

Gigabyte has outfitted this board with an Aquantia 10 GbE LAN port, which provides plenty of bandwidth for all your networking needs. You can also take advantage of wireless connectivity using WiFi 6E protocol–a nice touch.

The rear I/O includes 11 USB ports and 2 USB-C variations to ensure that you’re equipped when it comes to networking. There is no HDMI output here, which would have been nice for troubleshooting. For storage, four M.2 slots will keep things running smoothly in here no matter what comes next year or sooner.

The Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master is one of the more premium-looking boards out there. The whole front side has heatsinks and spreaders that give it an elegant look, while at first glance you can’t really tell the PCB apart from the heat spreaders with all this black surface area.

Moreover, the RGB lighting on this board covers most of the I/O cover adjacent to VRM heatsinks. The chipset heatsink also has a subtle but still appealing design language. While it could’ve been cleaner looking from every perspective, you can’t deny that what they’ve got works well for them.

Gigabyte also offers other variants of the AORUS line based on the Z690 chipset, such as the AORUS Z690 Elite and the Z690 Xtreme, but the Z690 Master takes the recommendation thanks to its excellent value for the money. It is quite expensive, but the balance of price-to-performance is rather good.

Overall, Gigabyte’s AORUS Master Z690 is a great option for gamers who want to take their system as far into the future as possible. With a unique feature set and enough power under its VRM heatsinks, this motherboard is certainly a very attractive buy for enthusiasts even though it is out of reach for most gamers thanks to its steep price.


  • VRM Design: 9.5/10
  • Features: 9/10
  • Aesthetics: 8.5/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 9/10

3. ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-PLUS WiFi – Best Budget Motherboard for i9 12900K – BEST SELLER

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 14+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-5333 | Video Outputs: DisplayPort | USB Ports: 8x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 4x SATA ports


  • Ideal for DDR4 Builds
  • Quite Affordable
  • Decent Power Delivery
  • Premium Networking
  • Understated Design


  • Few Rear USB Ports
  • Lack of HDMI Output

The ASUS TUF series has always been known for its high-quality and user-friendly motherboards. The newest addition to this renowned lineup is the ASUS Z690-Plus WiFi board which offers significant features considering its low cost. You do not even have to worry about wasting your older DDR4 memory modules since we have selected the DDR4 variant of this board for this roundup.

Even though the pricing of the ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi is rather modest, ASUS has not sacrificed the power delivery system at all. The 14+1 phase VRM design is quite robust for any modern Alder Lake CPU, and you can even dabble in moderate overclocking on your i9 12900K.

ASUS has provided some sizeable VRM heatsinks on this board as well, which are adequately finned to improve heat dissipation. While you shouldn’t expect competitive overclocking results on a flagship CPU such as the i9 12900K, this setup should still be good enough for most gamers out there.

The TUF Z690 Plus is a budget-oriented motherboard that features standard 2.5GbE LAN and Wi-Fi support, but it lacks excessive amounts of USB ports like other motherboards in its class (8 in total). We would have liked to see a few more rear USB ports to improve this segment.

ASUS has, however, provided 4 M.2 slots for storage on the board which is a pretty good suite for modern gaming PCs. The rear I/O has a DisplayPort output, but the HDMI port is missing which can often be helpful in troubleshooting.

The aesthetics of this motherboard are quite decent and carry the design language of the TUF brand. The logo lights up in different colors depending on your RGB configuration, and there’s even an RGB glow from the chipset heat sink. It may not seem like much but look closely you’ll notice Z690 written over the I/O cover with TUF Gaming proudly displayed below that.

In the budget segment, ASUS also offers the ASUS PRIME Z690-A motherboard, but we chose the ASUS TUF Z690-Plus because of its robust power delivery system and versatile feature set. You may also consider the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A instead, but it is a bit more expensive than the TUF option.

Conclusively, the TUF Z690 Plus WiFi is a great low-cost option for gamers who want value and performance without sacrificing their pockets. The board delivers what it promises, which means you won’t be disappointed with this purchase. It can be crowned as the very best budget motherboard for the i9 12900K.


  • VRM Design: 8.5/10
  • Features: 8/10
  • Aesthetics: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 9/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

4. MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi – Best Overclocking Motherboard for i9 12900K

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 18+1+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6666 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 9x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA ports


  • Excellent Overclocking Performance
  • Sizeable VRM Heatsinks
  • 5 M.2 Slots for Storage
  • Excellent Feature Set
  • Unique RGB Choices


  • Relatively Pricy
  • Polarizing Design Choices

If you’re looking for a high-end, performance-oriented motherboard to power your i9 12900K CPU with excellent features and technologies then look no further than the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi. This expertly crafted piece of hardware not only has top-notch stability but also provides extreme overclocking capabilities thanks to its supreme VRM design!

The MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi features an 18+1+1 phase VRM with 75A power stages. This ensures enthusiast-grade CPU overclocking capability for high-end models such as Intel Core i9 12900K. The MSI BIOS has also been specially designed to be user-friendly in terms of temperature management and automatic overclocking options.

Moreover, the VRMs on this motherboard are adequately cooled by large heatsinks, which make sure that the temperatures remain within reasonable limits under extended load periods. The all-around overclocking suite makes this motherboard the best overclocking motherboard for the i9 12900K.

When it comes to features, it becomes clear that the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi is designed for high-end gamers and overclockers, with an array of options that will meet even the most demanding needs. Our selected variant comes equipped with support for DDR5 memory of speeds up to 6666MHz.

It has the standard PCIe Gen 5 support, 2.5 GbE LAN port, and WiFi 6E to make your life easier while also coming with 5x M.2 slots for storage needs as well. There’s nothing much else you can ask from a high-end PC in 2022.

When it comes to design and aesthetics, the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi is a unique motherboard. It sets itself apart with its use of carbon fiber pattern and adds an extra touch by prominently featuring MSI Dragon graphics on top. The large RGB dragon logo over the I/O cover may not go well with all builds, but it is certainly an interesting choice.

Further analyzing this polarizing design choice, the entire PCB is covered in heatsinks and heat spreaders and you barely get to see the PCB at all. MSI wrote “Carbon” near where they placed the chipset heatsink which makes it a little more unique.

MSI’s Z690 Tomahawk is an alternative option to the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi, but we went with the latter because of the superior power delivery setup of the Z690 Carbon WiFi. Furthermore, the Tomahawk offers an inferior feature set as well.

The MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi Motherboard is an excellent choice for those looking to overclock their processor. It’s in the premium price bracket which makes it a bit of a difficult buy, but it still has solid features that make this board stand out from the rest.


  • VRM Design: 8.5/10
  • Features: 8.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 9/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

5. MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi – Best Value Motherboard for i9 12900K

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 8+4 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 9x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 6x SATA ports


  • Very Affordable
  • Excellent Networking
  • High Value for Money
  • 4 M.2 Slots for Storage


  • Few Rear USB Ports
  • No RGB Lighting
  • Mediocre VRM Cooling

The MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi is one of the best value and most reasonable choices for those who want to maximize their i9 12900K gaming experience without breaking the bank. This motherboard offers all basic features without compromising on performance, which makes it perfect if you don’t need anything extra fancy but still want a flagship platform for your Alder Lake CPU.

Since it is based on the Z690 chipset, the MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi motherboard is a great choice for users that want to overclock their i9 12900K processor without spending a lot of money. This Intel chipset offers maximum overclocking functionality which is not found on other budget chipsets.

In terms of power delivery, the MSI Pro Z690-A is a great choice for moderate overclocking, but if you want to do anything more than that then this board may not be up your alley. The 8+4 phase VRM is acceptable at best, but that’s what you expect from a value-oriented Z690 motherboard.

The VRM gets adequately cooled using large heatsinks with several fins, however, you cannot expect it to hold up with competitive overclocks over an extended period of time.

The Z690 chipset at this price point is an incredible bonus, coupled with the ability to use DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 5 ports too. There are also four M.2 slots for your storage needs, and the connectivity is handled by a 2.5 GbE LAN port as well as WiFi 6E.

One big drawback of the Z690-A is that it only has 6 rear USB ports, which can get populated really quickly. We would have liked to see at least 8 rear USB ports for a bit of upgradability down the line.

The MSI Pro Z690-A has a rather dull and basic design, as it does not have any significant RGB lighting zones on the board. Since there isn’t any other color or pattern for added flair, it makes this board look last in innovation compared to its competitors.

On the plus side, the MSI Pro Z690-A is a basic board that will save you from installing 30 different RGB software. This makes the build more stable and simple by eliminating extra programs such as lighting control panels or fan profiles required for customizing your system according to your taste.

In terms of alternatives, the ASUS PRIME Z690-P falls close in price to the MSI Pro Z690-A, however, it falls short when it comes to the overall feature set. Moreover, the VRM design of the MSI option is superior, making it our pick for this spot.

Conclusively, the MSI Pro Z690-A is an excellent choice for those looking to purchase the best value motherboard for the i9 12900K. It offers a variety of features and acceptable power delivery at an affordable price point, which is about everything you can ask for in a gaming motherboard.


  • VRM Design: 8/10
  • Features: 7.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 7/10
  • Value for Money: 9/10
  • Overall Rating: 8/10

6. ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming – Best Micro ATX Motherboard for i9 12900K

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 14+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6000+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA ports


  • Decent Power Delivery
  • Thunderbolt 4 Capability
  • Impressive Aesthetics
  • Premium Networking


  • Very Expensive
  • Thunderbolt is not native
  • Limited Expansion Slots

Our micro ATX pick for this roundup is from ASUS ROG with their Strix Z690-G mATX motherboard for Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake processors. It’s a very expensive board but if you have the budget, this one will suit your compact PC needs perfectly.

The VRM design on this motherboard is quite robust with 14+1 phases capable of overclocking even the Core i9 12900K to a certain extent. While it is true that you can’t expect any competitive overclocks, it is still a really good VRM in the micro ATX form factor.

ASUS has also provided some decent VRM heatsinks which do have ample finning with hybrid fan headers to improve heat dissipation. VRM temperatures are not really an issue with the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming.

The Z690-G Gaming has been designed with a number of features to ensure it meets the demands of modern-day gaming. The networking solution provided by this motherboard includes a 2.5 GbE LAN port, WiFi 6E capability, and 3x M.2 SSD slots that can operate at PCIe Gen 4 speeds – all in a compact form factor.

What’s more, is that ASUS has also provided Thunderbolt 4 support via an internal header. This means you’ll have to install an extra card if want this feature, which can be a bit of a bother for some consumers.

Being a micro ATX motherboard, the number of PCIe expansion slots may also be a bit of a worry when it comes to upgradability down the line.

ASUS has gone with some traditional ROG styling with this board, and it’s easy to see why. The PCB is barely visible thanks to large VRM heatsinks and I/O covers that cover up most of the PCB itself. The design detail on offer here is quite impressive overall.

The ROG logo and lighting bar are a nice touch, adding some character to this board. This ASUS offering is clearly targeted at gamers with its impressive RGB implementation.

ASRock’s Z690M Phantom Gaming is a solid alternative to the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G when it comes to micro ATX motherboards for the i9 12900K, but we prefer the latter thanks to its superior feature set, even though the ASRock offering is substantially cheaper.

All in all, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G has all the bells and whistles you could ask for in a micro ATX motherboard, but at a steep price tag. It may not be worth it if you are looking solely at cost, but for the select i9 12900K users who want to build a high-end compact gaming PC, this is the one to buy.


  • VRM Design: 8/10
  • Features: 8.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8/10

7. Gigabyte Z690-I AORUS Ultra – Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i9 12900K

Form Factor: Mini ITX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 10+1+2 Phase | Memory: 2x DIMM, 64GB, DDR5-6400 | Video Outputs: DisplayPort | USB Ports: 8x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA ports


  • Ideal for SFF Builds
  • Solid Connectivity Features
  • Five M.2 Slots
  • Relatively Affordable


  • Only 2 DIMM Slots
  • Limited Expansion Slots
  • Mediocre VRM Cooling

Gigabyte has been a leader in the industry for years, and now they’ve introduced another fantastic product. The Z690-I AORUS Ultra from Gigabyte is perfect if you want to build an Intel Alder Lake system on Mini ITX format without worrying about the lack of features. The Z690-I will elevate your small form factor build to the next level.

The power delivery system on the Z690-I AORUS Ultra is acceptable for stock clocks. It packs a 10+1+2 VRM design with 105A power stages that can handle an i9 12900K at its boost clocks comfortably. However, you should not expect any serious overclocking output from the Z690-I AORUS Ultra when paired with the flagship Alder Lake CPU.

Although the provided VRM heatsinks are quite large, they do not do a great job of carrying the heat away from the VRM components. In fact, the VRM does tend to get quite toasty under extended loads, especially when paired with a power-hungry CPU such as the i9 12900K.

The Z690-I offers support for two different generations of memory, which can be either DDR4 or DDR5. We recommend the DDR5 variant which can support speeds of up to 6200 MHz. The main drawback of the mini ITX form factor is that the board only has 2 DIMM slots, which can pose a major problem in terms of upgradability down the line.

In terms of features, the Z690-I AORUS Ultra offers a great suite of storage for your daily needs with five M.2 drives available for storage drives. This is quite a ridiculous number on a mini ITX motherboard!

Moreover, with 8 USB ports, this mini ITX motherboard is decent in the segment of rear I/O as well. Connectivity is also very solid with the option of 2.5 GbE LAN and WiFi 6E. However, there is only a single full-sized PCIe x16 slot which is alarming for upgradability.

Aesthetically, the board is quite plain and simple but it does have some unique touches here and there. Most of the PCB is hidden away under massive heatsinks and heat spreaders that have a brushed metal finish that looks quite decent.

The only bit of RGB lighting is tucked away under the right edge of the board, which is a peculiar place to put it. Nevertheless, you can customize the pattern of the RGB lighting with the Gigabyte AORUS software.

Alternatives are hard to find in the mini ITX space, but the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I can be a valid competitor to the Gigabyte Z690-I AORUS Ultra. The latter, however, is our pick for this spot thanks to its excellent price-to-performance ratio as compared to the ASUS option.

Overall, the Gigabyte Z690-I AORUS Ultra is the perfect fit for the i9 12900K on the mini ITX platform. It offers an unbeatable balance of performance and features in a compact form factor that’s hard to beat.


  • VRM Design: 7/10
  • Features: 7.5/10
  • Aesthetics: 7.5/10
  • Value for Money: 8/10
  • Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Best Motherboard for i9 12900K – Buyer’s Guide

The i9 12900K is an unlocked processor with the potential to overclock highly. To achieve stable overclocks, one would ideally want a motherboard that offers good power delivery and stable performance in all aspects. Keep in mind the following factors when finalizing your motherboard buying decision.

Chipset Choice

First and foremost, you have to select the platform for your 12th Gen Intel processor. This will decide which features your motherboard will have, and how it will interact with your selected i9 12900K processor.

For the Alder Lake generation, Intel has launched 4 new chipsets. Each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Z690: The flagship platform for the 12th Gen Intel Core processors is known as Z690. This chipset supports full CPU overclocking as well as memory overclocking. It provides a maximum of 28 PCIe lanes with 12 usable PCIe 4.0 lanes. The DMI 4.0 chipset link is x8.
  • H670: This secondary chipset does not allow CPU overclocking, but does allow memory overclocking. There are 24 maximum PCIe lanes with 12 usable PCIe 4.0 lanes, and the DMI 4.0 chipset link is x8.
  • B660: This budget chipset only allows memory overclocking. The number of maximum PCIe lanes is 14, with 6 of them being usable PCIe 4.0 lanes. The DMI 4.0 chipset link drops to x4.
  • H610: This basic chipset does not allow any CPU or memory overclocking. It has 12 maximum PCIe lanes with 0 PCIe 4.0 lanes. The DMI 4.0 chipset link is x4.

Therefore, it is quite clear that only the Z690 chipset offers the overclocking functionality that we need when running a Core i9 12900K CPU. It is not beneficial to look at motherboards with other chipsets for this CPU, even if they are more affordable than the Z690 options.

DDR4 vs. DDR5

The Alder Lake generation comes with support for both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, which can be a bit confusing to users who are not familiar with the way Intel handled the respective memory generations.

You have two choices. Either you choose a DDR5 motherboard and use DDR5 memory, or you go with a DDR4 motherboard and use DDR4 memory. There isn’t an option of combining them in any motherboard model currently available at this time.

The current state of the DDR4 vs. DDR5 debate is a tightly contested one as both generations have closely matched performance right now. However, there will be more distinctions made between them as time progresses and the DDR5 memory technology improves.

If you do want to become an early adopter of DDR5, it will cost you a pretty penny since DDR5 is very expensive at the time of writing and only a few motherboards support it. However, it can save you from a lot of hassle down the line.

Overclocking and VRM Design

When buying a motherboard, the VRM design is one of the most important aspects to consider. VRM stands for Voltage Regulator Module, and it is responsible for delivering power to the CPU in a clean and stable manner.

A good VRM design will allow for better overclocking and stability, while a poor VRM design can lead to instability and overheating.

Since the Core i9 12900K is a powerful CPU, it requires a good VRM design in order to be overclocked properly. A good VRM design will also provide better power delivery and cooling. When considering a motherboard, be sure to check the reviews on the VRM design in order to ensure that you are getting a quality product.

Keep in mind that the number of “phases” a VRM has does not necessarily correlate with the quality of the power delivery system. Consulting user and expert reviews about a particular motherboard’s VRM is the best way to go.

Storage, USB Ports, and Networking

There are a few features that you’ll want to keep in mind when buying a motherboard for the Core i9 12900K. First and foremost, you should look for connectivity features such as high-speed USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, multiple PCIe Gen 4 M.2 slots, and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

In addition to these features, another important consideration when choosing a motherboard is networking. The latest motherboards offer premium networking features such as 2.5 GbE LAN and WiFi 6E, which are almost mandatory in a high-end gaming build featuring the Core i9 12900K.

These are some of the features that will complement your Core i9 12900K flagship processor nicely.


What chipset supports i9 12900K?

The chipsets that support i9 12900K include the Z690, H670, H610, and B660 chipsets. Out of these, only the Z690 chipset supports full overclocking of the CPU and the memory. The i9 12900K being an unlocked SKU, should therefore be paired with a Z690 motherboard.

Should I buy DDR5 or DDR4 motherboard?

You should buy a DDR5 motherboard if you are building a brand new gaming PC based on the Alder Lake platform completely from scratch. DDR5 is more future-proof, although it is also a lot more expensive right now. However, if you already have DDR4 RAM from an older build then you should buy a DDR4 motherboard.

Does i9 12900K support PCIe 5.0?

The i9 12900K supports PCIe 5.0 which is the latest generation of the PCI Express protocol. However, there are currently very few devices out there that can take advantage of the PCIe 5.0 technology. Graphics cards show absolutely no difference, while some storage drives show minimal improvement with PCIe 5.0 over PCIe 4.0.

Is DDR5 RAM better than DDR4?

DDR5 RAM is better than DDR4 RAM in terms of synthetic performance, but there are no substantial real-world benefits to DDR5 over DDR4 as of the time of writing. However, DDR5 is much more efficient than DDR4, has a higher JEDEC frequency, and has a better data transfer mechanism as compared to DDR4.

Does H670 support memory overclocking?

The H670 chipset does support memory overclocking, but it does not support CPU overclocking. It is, therefore, not suitable for unlocked K-series SKUs such as the Core i9 12900K, which are best paired with the flagship Z690 chipset.

Konstantinos Chiotis
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