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Looking for the best motherboard for the intel core i9 13900k?
Considering that the Intel Core i9 13900K is currently among the fastest gaming processors available, we need to be vigilant when selecting an appropriate motherboard for it. For the purposes of this roundup, we established specific criteria for each motherboard in this selection.
As VRM phases have a significant impact on performance, we began by analyzing the quantity and quality of the VRM provided by the motherboard. The ability to overclock the Core i9 13900K processor is a major selling point, therefore the motherboard’s power delivery system must be capable of handling the task.
Moreover, as the cooling system linked to the VRM configuration determines how well it performs under sustained loads, we also assigned top priority to the cooling solution utilized by the motherboard. Judging the quality of the cooling solution gives us an idea of the VRM’s long-term reliability.
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
Our Top 3 Picks
- MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi – Top Choice
- ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO – Best High-End Motherboard For i9 13900k
- MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi – Best Budget Motherboard For i9 13900k
- ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming – Best Micro ATX Motherboard For i9 13900k
- MSI MEG Z690I UNIFY – Best Mini ITX Motherboard For i9 13900k
Why Should You Trust Us?
You may be wondering why you should trust our review on the best motherboards for the Intel Core i9 13900K. After all, there are countless tech reviews out there. But let us tell you why we stand out.
Our author, Konstantinos Chiotis, is no stranger to the world of pc building and gaming. His passion for pc building is merged with a genuine enthusiasm for games. This fuels his commitment to deep-dive into the ins and outs of hardware like motherboards, GPUs, and processors. Furthermore, Konstantinos is a seasoned veteran of the tech industry, with more than a decade of experience. This affords him a unique insight into the ever-evolving realm of PC gaming and hardware, setting him apart in this field.
As you can see from our list of the 5 best motherboards for i9 13900K, we don’t just pick the most popular or the most expensive ones. Instead, we look at key factors that affect performance such as VRM phases, power delivery systems, and cooling solutions. We also pay attention to the features, aesthetics, and most importantly, the value for money. Our priority is to give you detailed and comprehensive reviews so you can make an informed decision that matches your needs.
With Konstantinos at the helm, we guarantee that our tech reviews are not just informative, but also reliable. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting the best advice on your next motherboard purchase.
How We Choose the Best Motherboards For The i9 13900k
We ensured that the selected motherboard choices feature all the connectivity and storage capabilities that are to be expected from a modern system. A high-end system built around the Core i9 13900K needs to have top-notch connectivity, networking, and storage features.
While we appreciate that aesthetic preference is very subjective, we gave our utmost consideration to motherboards that have had widespread appeal among consumers for their stylish appearance.
Of course, the key decisive element was the value proposition presented by the motherboards. The Core i9 13900K is a flagship CPU, but to get the most out of it, you need to match it with a motherboard that not only maximizes its performance but also provides excellent value for your money.
With these criteria in mind, we have created a ranking of the very best motherboards for the i9 13900K on the market right now.
The 5 Best Motherboards for i9 13900K Reviews
1. MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi – Our Top Choice
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z790 | VRM: 19+1+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-7600+ | Video Outputs: HDMI | USB Ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA
- Reliable Power Delivery
- Versatile Storage Options
- Superb Connectivity
- Unique RGB Implementation
- Decent Networking Features
- Relatively Expensive
- Lack of DisplayPort Output
Our top pick for the Core i9 13900K is a board that combines the most desirable features with a strong power delivery system, without completely breaking the bank. The MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi is a superb motherboard that checks a lot of boxes and does not really have a significant weakness in its arsenal. Its well-rounded nature makes it our top pick for the Core i9 13900K right now.
One of the primary strengths of the Z790 Carbon WiFi is its robust VRM design. MSI has outfitted this motherboard with a 19+1+1 phase power delivery system which is among the very best setups that we have seen on Z790 motherboards. You can even overclock your i9 13900K CPU using custom voltages and the board’s VRM will be able to keep up with the demands.
In addition to the high-quality VRM components, MSI has also installed a large VRM heatsink assembly to keep the temperatures in check. The multi-piece VRM on the Z790 Carbon WiFi ensures that all the MOSFETs and other components of the VRM assembly will stay under the temperature limits, even when overclocking.
At this price point, you can’t really compromise on the feature set of a Z790 motherboard, and MSI leaves nothing to be desired here. The Z790 Carbon WiFi provides all the bells and whistles that one would expect from a high-end motherboard on this platform. The storage suite is particularly impressive, as MSI has managed to offer 5 M.2 slots in addition to the 6 SATA ports for your drives. This makes this motherboard an ideal choice for most high-end gaming and workstation rigs.
The lack of a DisplayPort output on the rear I/O may be a minor nuisance when it comes to troubleshooting.
In a similar price range, you can also find the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master and the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming, but we prefer the MSI option for this spot as it offers the best price-to-performance ratio while delivering the most versatile feature set and a competent power delivery system. The ASUS option is a bit more expensive, but it may appeal to those buyers who prioritize aesthetics.
The design language of the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFI is a bit polarizing. On the one hand, the all-black PCB and brushed metallic heatsinks give it a very stealthy and sophisticated look. However, MSI has gone ahead and put a glowing MSI Dragon logo prominently on the I/O cover. It is a controversial choice that may ruin the design of the board for some users, however, others might find the touch of RGB lighting to be charming.
Of course, the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi is not a cheap motherboard by any means. However, it still offers a very decent value for money in that price bracket. The alternative choices in this category are not as well-equipped or as reliable as the Z790 Carbon WiFi while having higher price tags. Therefore, even though the initial price tag is high, the MSI Z790 Carbon WiFi is our top pick for the Intel Core i9 13900K in 2023.
- VRM Design: 9/10
- Features: 9.5/10
- Aesthetics: 8.5/10
- Value for Money: 8/10
- Overall Rating: 9/10
2. ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO – Best High-End Motherboard for i9 13900K
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z790 | VRM: 20+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-7800+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, 2x USB-C Outputs | USB Ports: 12x rear IO, 6x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA
- Superb VRM Design
- Excellent Storage Features
- Thunderbolt 4 Support
- Attractive RGB Lighting
- Unique Diagnostic Features
- Quite Expensive
- No DisplayPort Option
At the end of the day, the Intel Core i9 13900K is a premium processor that is one of the fastest consumer desktop CPUs out there. Therefore, it makes sense to pair it with a high-end motherboard that can match its performance and premium nature. Our high-end pick for the i9 13900K is the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO, which is one of the very best motherboards on the market currently.
The Maximus Z790 HERO separates itself from the crowd thanks to its extraordinary power delivery system and robust cooling solution. ASUS has provided a 20+1 phase VRM design on this motherboard that is ideally matched for your Core i9 13900K CPU. You can overclock this processor to your heart’s content on this motherboard, and the VRM components will be able to match your demands.
What is especially notable about the Maximus Z790 HERO is the cooling solution for the VRM components. ASUS has not spared any expense in its design, resulting in a massive heatsink array that covers the VRM components on the top and side of the CPU socket. The heatsink assembly is extremely effective and allows the user to overclock even the most demanding Intel processors, like the i9 13900K.
We also like the MSI MEG Z790 ACE in this price category, but the ASUS option edges out this comparison thanks to its versatile feature set and superior design language. The VRM cooling on the ASUS offering is also more reliable in certain overclocking scenarios.
Of course, a Z790 motherboard in this price category has to be packed with features, and the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO is no exception. We particularly like the Thunderbolt 4 ports on the rear I/O as well as the plethora of storage options that ASUS has provided. These features make the Maximus Z790 HERO a very attractive option for power users and enthusiasts.
The board does lack a DisplayPort output, however, which can be a real lifesaver when diagnosing errors.
ASUS is also known to be a bit of a fan-favorite when it comes to aesthetics and design language. The ROG Maximus Z790 HERO is another one of ASUS’s offerings that may be desirable on the basis of looks alone. The massive RGB panel on the I/O cover, combined with the decals on the chipset heatsink, gives the board a very distinctive look and a bold personality.
Potential buyers may also consider ASUS’s own ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming for a small discount over the Maximus option, but the latter brings significant advantages in terms of features and power delivery.
Being a premium motherboard on the latest Intel chipset, the Maximus Z790 HERO is certainly not a cheap option. It does not deliver the best price-to-performance ratio, but if you are in the market for a premium motherboard in this price bracket, that metric does not carry much weight. The Maximus Z790 HERO is our pick for the best high-end motherboard you can currently buy for the Core i9 13900K.
- VRM Design: 9.5/10
- Features: 9.5/10
- Aesthetics: 8.5/10
- Value for Money: 7/10
- Overall Rating: 8.5/10
3. MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi – Best Budget Motherboard for i9 13900K
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z790 | VRM: 16+1+1 Phase | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-5333 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 7x SATA
- Relatively Affordable
- Excellent Value for Money
- DDR4 Memory Support
- Robust Power Delivery
- Great Storage Options
- Lack of RGB lighting
- Very Simple Design Language
While the Core i9 13900K is a premium processor, you do not necessarily need to pair it with an expensive motherboard in order to maximize its potential. There are some motherboard options on the market that focus on providing the best value for money. The MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi is one such board that can be paired with the Core i9 13900K to create a competent pairing without breaking the bank.
The Z790 TOMAHAWK is part of a series that is known for its reliability and robust power delivery. Thanks to the 16+1+1 phase VRM design, that trend carries on in the Z790 version of the TOMAHAWK. This power delivery setup is an excellent choice for the Core i9 13900K, and can even handle the flagship CPU at overclocked settings.
One quick glance at the board also reveals that MSI has opted to install sizable VRM heatsinks on this particular board to improve the VRM performance and longevity. The cooling solution for the VRM and the chipset is quite acceptable and does not present any problems, even when overclocking.
MSI is not the only player in this space, however. The Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Elite AX comes in at roughly the same price as the TOMAHAWK and can be another option to consider. However, we prefer the Z790 TOMAHAWK thanks to its superb power delivery system and versatile feature set at this price point.
On the topic of features, the Z790 TOMAHAWK does not leave a lot to be desired in this department. We have chosen the DDR4 variant of the board in this roundup since DDR4 is the more affordable memory type at the time of writing. This also helps lower the overall cost of the system, making it a better fit for the “Best Budget” pick.
The overall networking and connectivity features align with what we expect from a modern Z790 motherboard. MSI has gone the extra mile in the storage department, however, and included 4 M.2 slots with 7 SATA ports. This is ideal for someone who wants to connect a lot of storage drives to the motherboard, such as in a home server.
Aesthetically, the TOMAHAWK is a bit dull and uninspiring. There is no RGB lighting on the motherboard and the overall look of the board lacks a bit of personality. MSI has gone with a very stealthy look on this particular motherboard, and it may be a polarizing choice. Still, the all-black look is quite popular nowadays and it does not clash with any PC components, no matter the color or lighting.
Of course, the Z790 TOMAHAWK shines above the rest when it comes to the value proposition. You can also consider the ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus at this price point, but the TOMAHAWK holds superiority over the former thanks to its amazing feature set and robust power delivery. The MSI Z790 TOMAHAWK is ideal for those users who want a great value-oriented motherboard to pair with their flagship Core i9 13900K processor.
- VRM Design: 8.5/10
- Features: 8/10
- Aesthetics: 7.5/10
- Value for Money: 9/10
- Overall Rating: 8/10
4. ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming – Best Micro ATX Motherboard for i9 13900K
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
- Competent Feature Set
- Decent VRM Design
- Thunderbolt 4 Support
- Solid Connectivity
- Ideal for Compact Builds
- Eye-catching Design
- Few Expansion Slots
- Aggressive Styling
- Non-native Thunderbolt support
For those in search of a top-tier micro ATX motherboard for the Intel core i9 13900k, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming stands out as an exceptional choice.
Boasting a reasonable price and an array of features, it’s a prime pick for gamers and enthusiasts alike. Plus, its overclocking capabilities ensure you maximize your CPU’s potential.
The ASUS Strix Z690-G Gaming motherboard’s VRM is nothing short of impressive. With a 14+1 phase VRM and high-quality power delivery components, it can easily overclock most Alder Lake CPUs to their peak frequency.
Additionally, the VRM sports superb cooling through its sizable heatsinks. While the heat dissipation system is remarkable for a micro ATX board, it doesn’t quite reach the performance of more premium ATX alternatives. As such, the ROG Strix Z690-G may not be the perfect motherboard for overclocking a Core i9 13900K.
The ASRock Z690M Phantom Gaming serves as a worthy alternative to the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G when considering the finest micro ATX motherboards for the i9 13900K. However, we lean toward the latter for its superior feature set, despite the ASRock option being significantly more affordable.
Feature-wise, the ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming clearly stands out as a fully-loaded gaming motherboard. It offers extensive features and connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5 Gigabit LAN for networking. Additionally, three M.2 slots for storage make it a versatile choice for a compact motherboard.
Regarding connectivity, ten rear USB ports and additional internal USB headers provide ample expansion opportunities. A diverse range of audio and video connectors also ensures compatibility with various external devices.
On the downside, the motherboard’s Thunderbolt support isn’t native. ASUS includes an internal header for Thunderbolt 4 compatibility, but a separate card is required. At this price point, native Thunderbolt support would have been a welcome addition.
Limited PCIe slot expansion is another shortcoming due to its compact micro ATX form factor. However, this is not a deal-breaker, given the decline in SLI usage.
Aesthetically, the ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming is a head-turner. Its all-black design is enhanced by customizable RGB lighting, which looks especially striking in low-light environments, such as within a PC case.
Design-wise, the ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming carries the familiar and much-loved ROG design language. The RGB lighting takes center stage, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
In summary, the ASUS Strix Z690-G ranks among the best micro-ATX Z690 boards available. If you’re on the hunt for a high-end, compact solution to pair with the 13900k, this motherboard should be at the top of your list. With impressive features and performance, it ranks among the elite in its category.
- VRM Design: 7.5/10
- Features: 7/10
- Aesthetics: 8/10
- Value for Money: 8/10
- Overall Rating: 7.5/10
5. MSI MEG Z690I UNIFY – Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i9 13900K
Form Factor: Mini ITX | Chipset: Z690 | VRM: 10+1+1 Phase | Memory: 2x DIMM, 64GB, DDR5-6800 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 3x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x WiFi 6E | Storage: 3x M.2, 4x SATA
- Compact Form Factor
- Thunderbolt 4 Support
- Supports 3 M.2 Drives
- Understated Aesthetics
- Mediocre Power Delivery
- No RGB Lighting
- Relatively Expensive
Mini ITX motherboards are all the rage right now, as enthusiasts have brought back the trend of compact, small form factor PCs. With the powerful Core i9 13900K, you can build a really competent gaming PC that does not take up a lot of space in your setup. For this purpose, you will need a mini ITX motherboard to go along with your Raptor Lake CPU. The MSI MEG Z690I UNIFY is the ideal fit for this scenario.
Not only does the Z690I UNIFY support the latest and greatest when it comes to Intel CPUs, but it does so in a compact footprint without compromising on quality. The 10+1+1 phase power delivery system might not be the most powerful when it comes to Z690 motherboards, but it is quite sufficient for stock operation with the Core i9 13900K.
MSI has provided substantial heatsinks on the motherboard that are designed to keep the VRM components running at agreeable temperatures. You can try your hand at overclocking as well, but the power delivery system of this particular motherboard is not robust enough for high overclocking on the Core i9 13900K. It is ideal to use stock voltage settings with this motherboard, which is better for both temperatures and power draw.
The feature set of the Z690I is quite attractive as well. MSI has not compromised on the storage and connectivity capabilities of the board, and has provided most of the modern features that are available on this platform. The main selling point of this particular motherboard is its mini ITX form factor along with a competent, well-rounded feature set that does not leave a lot to be desired.
We also considered the Gigabyte AORUS Z690I mini ITX motherboard as an alternative, but the Z690I UNIFY has better features in terms of storage and connectivity. The former is a bit cheaper, but the value proposition is in favor of the Z690I UNIFY overall.
Of course, aesthetics also have to be considered in the purchase process. The MSI Z690I UNIFY takes no risks in this department, as MSI has gone with a completely black PCB and matching heatsinks. The board does not have a ton of distinguishing features in terms of design. There is a stark lack of RGB lighting which may be an issue for some buyers. An embossed MSI dragon logo provides a bit of personality to an overall dull motherboard.
The competing ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I is a clear winner in the design department, but it costs significantly more than the Z690I UNIFY. The difference in price does not justify the minor improvement in aesthetics, which is a subjective matter nonetheless.
On the subject of pricing, the Z690I UNIFY is definitely not the cheapest motherboard in this category. It is a relatively pricy option, but that is to be expected for mini ITX motherboards in general. They are often more expensive than competing ATX options due to their developmental costs and low volumes. Still, the Z690I UNIFY provides good value for money compared to alternative options in the mini ITX category.
- VRM Design: 6.5/10
- Features: 7/10
- Aesthetics: 7.5/10
- Value for Money: 7/10
- Overall Rating: 7/10
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the best overall motherboard for the Intel Core i9 13900K? The MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi is the best overall motherboard for the Intel Core i9 13900K due to its robust VRM design, versatile storage options, superb connectivity, and unique RGB implementation.
- Which motherboard is the best high-end option for the i9 13900K? The ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO is the best high-end motherboard for the i9 13900K. It has a superb VRM design, excellent storage features, and supports Thunderbolt 4.
- What is the best budget-friendly motherboard for the i9 13900K? The MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi is the best budget-friendly motherboard for the i9 13900K. It offers a robust power delivery, great storage options, and DDR4 memory support.
- Which is the best Micro ATX motherboard for the i9 13900K? The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming is the best Micro ATX motherboard for the i9 13900K. It offers a competent feature set, decent VRM design, and Thunderbolt 4 support.
- What is the best Mini ITX motherboard for the i9 13900K? The MSI MEG Z690I UNIFY is the best Mini ITX motherboard for the i9 13900K. It’s compact, supports Thunderbolt 4, and can accommodate up to 3 M.2 drives.
- What factors should I consider when choosing a motherboard for the i9 13900K? When choosing a motherboard for the i9 13900K, consider factors such as the VRM design, storage options, connectivity, aesthetics, and value for money.
- What is the importance of the VRM design in a motherboard? The VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) design is crucial as it determines the motherboard’s ability to deliver power to the CPU, especially when overclocking.
- Does the choice of motherboard affect the performance of the i9 13900K? Yes, the choice of motherboard can affect the performance of the i9 13900K, especially when it comes to overclocking. A good motherboard with a robust VRM design can help you get the most out of your CPU.
- What is the role of the cooling system in a motherboard? The cooling system in a motherboard helps to keep the VRM and other components cool, especially under heavy loads or when overclocking. This can improve performance and extend the lifespan of the components.
- What is the advantage of having multiple M.2 slots in a motherboard? Having multiple M.2 slots in a motherboard allows you to install more than one M.2 SSD, which can provide faster storage and improved performance compared to traditional SATA SSDs or hard drives.