Looking for the best motherboard for i9 9900K?
The 9900K is an 8 core 16 thread gaming and productivity beast. The base frequency is 3.6GHz, and it can boost up to 5GHz.
That alone is super impressive, still in 2023. Especially considering the global chip shortage. If you can get your hands on a 9900K, you’ll be quite content with it.
This coffee lake processor is still capable years later. Intel CPUs are very good at overclocking, and also great if you like to tweak around with BIOS settings.
As such, it is even important that you don’t skimp out on the motherboard for this one. We’ve rounded up what we think are the seven of the best motherboards for the i9 9900K.
We always try to make things as diverse as possible, so every board on this list is here for a reason. We’ll also differentiate between them so that you can make the right choice. More on that later, let’s get to the roundup itself.
Best Motherboards For i9 9900K Comparison Table
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra
Best Premium Motherboard
MSI MEG GODLIKE Z390
Best Budget Motherboard
MSI Z390-A Pro
How Did We Decide On The Best Motherboards For i9 9900K
For a motherboard to earn a spot on this list, it needs to pass several parameters. We try to provide clear examples and explain why each board is a good fit for a certain type of user.
Here’s how our research and testing process goes.
First off we need to consider that we are looking at the best motherboards for i9 9900K.
As such, it is imperative that the motherboard we can manage the 9900K at its maximum intended performance.
This is why you will hear us talk briefly about VRMs, power phases, power, and thermal efficiency, etc. People buying a 9900K in 2021 are likely going to be mostly gamers, with a handful of content creators, video editors, and the like.
As such VRM design and power delivery are important things to consider. Some might want to overclock their processor as well, so we take note of which motherboards are good at it and which are sub-par.
Others focus on reliability, so each board on this list must be durable in the long term. So, let’s quickly summarize the roundup here.
The first board on our list is the Gigabyte Aorus Ultra. It finds itself on the top because it checks all of the boxes in terms of performance, design, connectivity, and networking options.
Not only is it a great performer, but it also happens to look the part. It was an easy choice for this one.
Afterward, we included motherboards that fit the budget and value category, a few motherboards are more top of the line with enthusiast-grade features, and we even added a Z370 option for people who want to save money.
So, the key parameters are value, VRM design, aesthetics, and performance. No single motherboard is on this list because it excels in all of these things, rather the choices here are a combination of four of these things with varying results.
Diversity is a key element when compiling a list, and this is something you can only get with extensive research and testing.
7 Best Motherboards For i9 9900K
1. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra Motherboard – Editors Choice
Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 4400MHz | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Form Factor: ATX | Voltage Regulator: 12+1 Phases | Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA | RGB: Yes | Network: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Intel GbE LAN, Bluetooth
- Excellent network features
- Enticing design with RGB
- Robust VRM design
- Great power efficiency
- Built-in rear I/O shield
- A bit expensive
Gigabyte always manages to find a spot on our list due to the excellent overall feature-set of the motherboards. The same is true with the Z390 Aorus Ultra.
The Aorus Ultra manages to stand out thanks to its mostly black design, with some metallic accents thrown into the mix. Combine that with tasteful RGB implementation, and we have quite the looker-on our hands.
The Aorus Ultra sports a metal backplate covering most of the sensitive components.
It even includes a built-in rear I/O shield. Apart from that, RGB zones can be found near the I/O shield and the upper left heatsink, along with an Aorus eagle logo on the bottom right heatsink.
There’s also an RGB zone on the lower left. The aluminum accents on all of the M.2 shields are a nice touch.
The Z390 Aorus Ultra is using a 12+1 phase VRM design, which is more than enough for the i9 9900K. The excellent thermal design for the regulator cooling allows you to heavily overclock the 9900K.
The board is also Intel Optane ready. Other key features such as the comprehensive software suite, digital LED modes, and three M.2 slots serve as the cherry on top.
So, this motherboard finds its way to the top of our list because it ticks all of the boxes. If you are someone who cares about great design, maximum performance, and an abundance of features.
Then this is the best motherboard for i9 9900K. Of course, it comes at quite the cost and if you’re on a budget you might have to look elsewhere.
VRM Design: 9/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
2. MSI MEG GODLIKE Z390 – Best Premium Motherboard For i9 9900k
Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 4600MHz | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Form Factor: E-ATX | Voltage Regulator: 16+2 Phases | Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA | RGB: Yes | Network: Killer 1550 Wi-Fi, Killer E2500 LAN, Bluetooth
- Beastly performance
- Clean and stable power delivery
- Extreme overclocking potential
- Four PCIe X16 slots
- Aesthetically pleasing RGB implementation
- Godlike performance, Godlike price
The name alone should speak for itself “GODLIKE”. This best enthusiast motherboard is quite over the top in terms of raw performance.
If you want the cream of the crop, this is it, but expect to pay a pretty penny for this one.
In terms of design, this best premium motherboard features massive heatsinks, good power delivery components tasteful RGB implementation, and aluminum shields for the M.2 heatsinks, and everything an enthusiast is looking for when it comes to the overall design.
It truly has it all. The chipset heatsink has an RGB dragon logo over it, which covers the total surface area.
The heatsink near the I/O shield also has an RGB zone, which is controllable via MSI’s mystic lighting. Other than that, it includes four PCIe full-length slots.
Two of these operate at x16, the third one at x8, and the fourth one at x4. On top of that, Killer 1550 Wireless-AC, E2500 LAN, and even Turbo U.2 are all enthusiast-grade components.
These components show that the Godlike is no holds barred. All of these top-tier components reflect the performance of this best enthusiast motherboard quite well.
It is using a 16+2 VRM design, so 18 phases in total. That’s extremely impressive, to say the least. As such, overclocking both the CPU and RAM is quite the experience.
With adequate cooling, you can truly test the limits of the i9 9900K. This high-end motherboard is for enthusiasts, we don’t need to expand on that statement.
It has all the features that a hardware lover could want, and it also looks the part. As such, there are no technical downsides to this i9 9900k compatible motherboard, however, the cost is quite the real-world downside.
The best of the best premium motherboard comes at a price.
VRM Design: 10/10
Value For Money: 7.5/10
Overall Rating: 8.87/10
3.BEST SELLER: MSI Z390-A Pro Gaming Motherboard – Best Budget Motherboard For i9 9900k
Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 4400MHz | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Form Factor: ATX | Voltage Regulator: 7+2 Phases | Storage: 1x M.2, 6x SATA | RGB: No | Network: Intel GbE LAN
- Great overall value
- Clean and reliable power delivery
- Durable heatsink design
- Fast memory support
- Basic storage features
- No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Only 1x M.2 slot
Let us switch gears from these high-end flagship motherboards to something more accessible to the average audience.
Not everyone needs four PCIe slots or an overengineered VRM design for that matter. As such, the Z390-A Pro represents a value over everything else.
This is reflected in the subtle design as well. While it does not have any flashy RGB or over-the-top branding, it gets the basics right.
The VRM and chipset heatsink is well-built and looks decent as well. Especially the VRM heatsink, which features angular styling.
This adds a bit of character to the otherwise simple design. This best budget gaming motherboard features a coffee-like color for the PCB, which has some silver accents here and there.
The selection of controllers is quite good as well. It features Intel 1219V Gigabit Ethernet and the Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec.
The storage options of this best mid range motherboard could be better, as this is the only Z390 motherboard that we know of which features only one M.2 slot.
Performance and reliability are solid all around but don’t expect insane overclocking on either the RAM or the CPU for that matter. Otherwise, the 7+2-phase VRM design does a good job of providing clean and stable voltage for the best power delivery to the 9900K.
This good power design motherboard is great for people who don’t want to tweak around with the 9900K too much.
As the best budget motherboard for i9 9900k, it lacks some features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but it makes up for that with its excellent value. Overclocking will be quite basic, but it can still be done if you want to play around with it for testing.
VRM Design: 8/10
Value for money: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8.37/10
4. ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX – Best ITX Motherboard for i9 9900k
Memory Support: 32GB DDR4 @ 4400MHz | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Form Factor: ITX | Voltage Regulator: 5+2 Phases | Storage: 2x M.2, 4x SATA | RGB: Yes | Network: Intel GbE LAN, 802.11ac WI-FI, Bluetooth 5.0
- Premium components and controllers
- Surprisingly great value
- Thunderbolt 3 Type-C support
- Decent thermal performance
- No front-panel USB 3.1 Gen 2 header
- Only two DIMM slots
The Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX was one of the first motherboards representing the Phantom Gaming brand. We must feature the best mini ITX motherboard for i9 9900k, as we know that there is a possibility of a few SFF PC lovers out there reading this.
If you fit the bill, know that this is by far the best mini ITX motherboard for the 9900K.
In terms of design, ASRock motherboard with a mini itx form factor has kept it simple with the all-black heatsinks and PCB.
The power delivery heatsink extends around the chipset heatsink and M.2 slot. These are connected by a 2oz copper heat pipe for thermal dissipation.
This board also integrates RGB LEDs at the bottom, which are fully customizable. This best micro atx motherboard for i9 even includes an RGB header and high data transfer speed.
In terms of performance, the ASRock Phantom Gaming ITX does quite a good job. The heatsinks never get too toasty, and they can easily handle the 9900K at full throttle.
Overclocking is a bit limited, but that is to be expected with the limited number of power phases (5+2). Power efficiency is also decent at idle and full-load. Other than that, the board uses a premium controller for Wi-Fi, ethernet, and of course, Bluetooth.
ASRock has another Z390 ITX board, called the Z390M-ITX. However, the Phantom Gaming version features better design and premium features.
It earns its spot onthis list because it can easily trade blows with a full-sized best ATX motherboard in terms of raw gaming performance.
The overall value of this best mini itx motherboard is also hard to ignore. If you can overlook some of the obvious downsides that come with an ITX board, then this will fit quite well into a small form factor PC (SFF), ultimately if you’re an SFF lover just get this one already.
VRM Design: 9/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Overall Rating: 8.37/10
5. ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E – A Fan Favorite Motherboard For i9 9900k
Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 4266MHz | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Form Factor: ATX | Voltage Regulator: 10 Phases | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | RGB: Yes | Network: Intel GbE LAN, 802.11ac WI-FI, Bluetooth 5.0
- Premium design language
- Reliable power delivery system
- Visually stunning RGB
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support
- A bit expensive
- Overclocking isn’t that great
You can’t quite have a list of the best motherboards for i9 or any processor and not include a Strix motherboard on there.
This was back when the Strix lineup was overhauled for a more streamlined look, and the successors of this board still follow the same formula.
The all-black PCB pairs nicely with the dark heatsinks and black metal accents on the board. This board features three full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slots.
The top one runs at x16, then x8, and the last one at x4. Other than that, it utilizes two M.2 slots for storage along with six SATA ports.
The rear I/O shield has a customizable RGB ROG logo along with the holographic branding underneath it.
Other than that, the chipset heatsink also features Strix branding along with a metallic style grey/black finish. Impressive aesthetics.
The motherboard supports up to two-way SLI and up to three-way AMD CrossFire configurations. The high quality audio codec is also surprisingly good, it’s called the ROG SupremeFX S1220A HD.
Other than that, the board also has support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Performance and power efficiency are also quite good, as you would expect from a Strix product.
For extreme overclocking, it leaves a bit to be desired, but people usually buy ROG Strix motherboards for the abundance of features, premium design, and ASUS’s excellent software.
If all of that sounds appealing to you, then by all means buy this high end motherboard with your eyes closed. Just know what to expect if you are an overclocking nerd, this atx motherboard won’t impress you that much.
VRM Design: 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8.25/10
6. ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 – Best Motherboard For Overclocking
Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 4500MHz | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Form Factor: ATX | Voltage Regulator: 10+2 Phase | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | RGB: Yes | Network: Realtek 2.5 GbE LAN, 802.11ac WI-FI, Bluetooth 5.0
- Abundant enthusiast features
- Premium fit and finish
- Excellent performance out of the box
- 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
- High Price
- VRM cooling could be better
- Bloaty software
With the Asrock Phantom Gaming 9, the manufacturer dropped their classic red and black color theme and instead decided to implement a neutral color scheme.
The Phantom Gaming series of micro atx motherboards are top of the line, and this Z390 version is no different.
Overall, we are a fan of the design and the direction ASRock is going for with this motherboard. There are still some red accents here and there, but it is more subtle this time around.
The accents can be found around the chipset heatsink on the PCB near the processor socket. This full-sized ATX motherboard has a ton of RGB and users can install memory of 64GB.
There are LEDs near the VRM and chipset heatsink, and even on the audio PCB cover. It even has one of two favorite enthusiast features: Debug LEDs and onboard power and reset switches.
At the bottom, we can see three PCIe 3.0 slots that support three-way CrossFire support and two-way SLI Nvidia graphics cards configurations.
All of these slots are clad in metal for better durability. This flagship motherboard also features enthusiast-grade components from motherboard and power supply such as 2.5-gigabit ethernet and a 2T2R 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter.
You also get four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one of which is a Type-C port. Apart from the 2.5-gigabit ethernet, it features two more LAN ports powered by Intel GbE.
This best atx motherboard does not stop there, performance and gaming setup is quite good thanks to the VRM design.
CPU and memory clocking is quite good and will keep enthusiasts busy. The VRM heatsink does tend to get quite hot once you start pushing it in real. It’s a minor hiccup, and one you’d only notice at crazy core clock speed.
Apart from that, this is an excellent enthusiast-grade motherboard for the i9 9900K.
But if top-notch aesthetics are your thing, you might have to steer away from this motherboard.
VRM Design: 7.5/10
Value for money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.8/10
7. ASUS Prime Z370-A – Entry Level i9-9900K Motherboard
Memory Support: 64GB DDR4 @ 4000MHz | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Form Factor: ATX | Voltage Regulator: 10 Phases | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | RGB: Yes | Network: Intel GbE LAN, 802.11ac WI-FI, Bluetooth 5.0
- Great entry-level Z370 option
- The subtle inclusion of RGB
- Unique white accents on heatsinks
- Excellent software support
- Features only six total USB ports
- Lower-end components than Strix lineup
- Overclocking won’t be that great
Finally, we decided that it can’t be all Z390 motherboards. The 9900K can also work with Z370 motherboards. So if you’re trying to save some money, the Prime Z370-A is a good way to do that.
It features the classic look of ASUS motherboards and gets the job done quite good. Prime motherboards are known for their inclusion of subtle RGB lighting, and it works well with the white heatsinks that provide a unique look to the board.
The PCB itself is black and is contrasted beautifully by the white aluminum heatsinks. The triangular patterns on the PCB are a bit distracting but don’t end up taking away from the overall beauty of this motherboard.
However, it is not just a looker. This motherboard uses the same VRM design as some of the higher end ASUS motherboards. So, the main difference is that it gets rid of some of the higher end components.
For example, instead of using the SupremeFX audio seen on Strix and Maximus boards, this one uses the Crystal Sound 3 codec.
It has three PCIe full-length slots and features SLI and Crossfire support for graphics cards. Performance is decent. The Prime Z370 holds up in both synthetic workloads and gaming.
However, we won’t expect people to perform heavy overclocking on this board. You’d want to go with a Z390 option for better results.
So, the Prime Z370 is for people who want a good-looking best budget motherboard with sleek RGB lighting while maintaining a strict budget for other components.
It’s perfect for people putting together a build that revolves around the color white. However, if you’re an enthusiastic overclocker, stay away from this one.
VRM Design: 7.5/10
Value for money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.8/10
Best Motherboards For i9 9900K Buyers Guide
Chipset Differences: B360, Z370, and Z390
The Z370 chipset was released in October of 2017, along with 8th generation Intel coffee lake processors.
A year later Intel introduced the Coffee Lake refresh in the form of the 9th generation processors. This is also when Z390 was first introduced.
The interesting thing is that the 9900K will work on both of these chipsets, so which one should you use?
Well, the majority of the aspects are the same. Memory channels, capacity, SATA ports, 3.0 ports, and even the PCI-e slot express lanes are the same.
The only difference is that Z370 lacks 802.11ac Wi-Fi and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps). Some manufacturers have added these components by using adapters and such. Z390 has both integrated within the chipset itself. It can also handle up to six USB 3.1 ports.
In short, Z390 is just an incremental upgrade over its predecessor. Other chipsets such as the B360 also exist, but we won’t recommend using that with a 9900K.
The 9900K won’t be able to boost properly with some B360 boards, so that is off the table. If USB 3.1 is important to you, you might as well go with Z390. These boards also have better VRMs, as they are likely tailor-made for the 9900K.
Voltage Regulator Modules and Power Phases
Voltage Regulating Modules (VRMs), are the components that deliver volts to your CPU. Higher quality VRMs tend to provide cleaner and stable power to your CPU whereas poor quality VRMs tend to provide unclean and unstable volts to CPUs resulting in bad thermal output or system BSODs, particularly under stressful conditions.
VRMs take the power coming in from your power supply and optimize it for CPU consumption. VRM components are some of the most important electrical components in the motherboard, and they are critical when it comes to overclocking.
When you overclock your CPU, the power requirements of your CPU may increase more than it is supposed to take in so it’s important to have decent power delivery.
Not only does the CPU require more power to reach higher frequencies, but it also requires that power be delivered cleanly and consistently.
A robust VRM configuration is critical for this process because it enables the CPU to operate at higher frequencies while using lower voltages.
On motherboard spec-sheets, you might come across marketing terms like “14+2 phase VRM design.” These are the number of power phases used by the VRM design of a specific motherboard.
In most cases, higher might be better on paper but it is not always the number of phases that matter. It depends on the quality of the power phase incorporated in a motherboard. Don’t trust the numbers.
VRM Thermal Control
To keep your overclocks stable and clean, VRM temperatures have to be controlled. Almost all motherboards are produced with adequate VRM heatsinks and cooling components these days.
You should stay away from a motherboard that doesn’t come pre-installed with decent VRM thermal control solutions such as heatsinks and chipset fans (if the chipset is the flagship and highest end).
If the chipset is not the highest end then fans are not mandatory however, heatsinks are a must. Any motherboard without good VRM cooling components will fail to overclock a processor whatsoever.
Desktop motherboards are typically available in three sizes. Users can choose from a variety of cases and form factors thanks to the different sizes.
Many users prefer a small case that takes up little space on their desk, whereas others prefer full-sized motherboards like E-ATX (Extended ATX) with more features. However, the three most regular and famous form factors are:
ATX: ATX is the standard size for desktop motherboards, measuring 12 x 9.6 inches. It typically has seven expansion slots (PCI Express slots), and nearly all ATX motherboards have four RAM slots.
Some motherboards designed for HEDT or Extreme Edition CPUs may even have 8 RAM memory slots. This is the most common size, and it is also slightly more expensive than the smaller sizes due to additional production costs. ATX motherboards also have the most ports and expansion options.
Micro-ATX: A smaller variant of ATX boards measuring 9.6 x 9.6 inches in size, the Micro ATX form factor provides most of the functionality of ATX boards in a smaller footprint. MicroATX boards are typically less expensive than ATX boards and offer very similar functionality.
They can also have four RAM slots, though many of the less expensive boards only have two. These motherboards typically have four expansion slots and lack some headers and extra USB ports.
Mini-ITX: The smallest desktop motherboard, designed for ultra-compact builds in small cases called “SFF”. It measures 9.0 x 7.5 inches and has only one PCIe slot. Due to space constraints, these boards only have two DIMM slots.
Furthermore, due to space constraints, these boards have very few headers and ports and often come with sub-standard VRM quality again because of the compact size.
When all is said and done, a motherboard is just a fancy PCB, but that is no reason to believe it should be ugly and unsightly in your PC case.
Indeed, as we have moved away from the trend of red, blue, and green PCBs, motherboard manufacturers have made significant improvements in the aesthetics of their motherboards.
Nowadays, motherboards typically include color-neutral PCBs such as black, with other elements on the board colored in white, silver, or grey. These colors are the safest bet because they do not clash with the lighting or other colored elements in your case.
Many motherboards also include built-in lighting, which looks quite nice. If the design language of your motherboard complements the look of your PC, it has the potential to elevate the aesthetics of your PC to the next level.
For extra points, you can also customize the motherboard’s lighting to match the rest of your lighting theme.
Choosing a motherboard based on aesthetics is not a good idea; however, once you’ve made your decision, it doesn’t hurt to look at some better-looking options in the same category.
So if you’re someone who loves to try out new RGB color schemes and lighting effects, make sure you choose a motherboard that has many aRGB headers and zones for you to customize them as much as you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
1: Is the i9 9900K still good in 2023?
The i9 9900K is still a great choice in 2023 because of its eight cores, 16 threads, and a boost clock of up to 5Ghz, all in all, it is great for productivity, synthetic workloads, and gaming. The 9th gen flagship processor has become more relevant since the global chip shortage and price hikes have occurred. People can opt for a used 9900K and call it a day because of its sheer performance and reliability.
2: Is i9 9900K good for 3080?
The i9-9900k is great for the RTX 3080 since you’ll be able to play a lot of games in 4K at high refresh rates, and this combination will also allow you to decrease the time is taken in video editing and other synthetic workloads too if you consume your GPUs rendering power. There won’t be any bottlenecks as well.
3: Which RAM is best for i9 9900K?
A 16GB 3000MHz+ DDR4 kit can be the best RAM combination for the i9-9900K if you are focusing on mostly gaming. You might want 32 gigs or more if you plan on video editing, doing animations, CAD work. We also recommend a frequency of at least 3000 to 3200 MHz to fully take advantage of the 9900K.
4: Is 9900K good for gaming?
The 9900K is an excellent processor for gaming since it boosts up to 5GHz combined with impeccable single-core performance, you’ll notice a performance increase if you are coming from an older CPU. All in all, it still holds up in terms of gaming even in 2023.
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