When you’re building a system based on Intel’s desktop platform, going all out usually means opting for the i9 9900k CPU. It’s a powerhouse, and there’s nothing it can’t handle. However, with so many options out there, it’s difficult to choose the best motherboard for the i9 9900K. Therefore, below we have reviewed the 12 best motherboards for the i9 9900K.
You’ll find everything from budget models to higher-end motherboard options, that will allow you to build a PC based on your budget. It’s worth noting that these are also the best motherboards for the i9 9900KS, Intel’s newer CPU that can turbo a bit higher than the 9900k.
Top Motherboards for The Intel i9 9900K CPU Picks
|ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390||Best Overall i9 9900K motherboard: Great performance and value|
|MSI MEG Z390 Godlike||Best High-end: Great VRM for Overclocking|
|Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Wi-Fi Z390||Best budget i9 9900K motherboard under $200|
|ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390||Best micro-ATX (mATX) motherboard for the i9 9900K|
|ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC||Best mini-ITX motherboard for the i9 9900K|
|EVGA Z390 Dark||Best EATX motherboard for the i9 9900K|
Best i9 9900K Motherboard Overall
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)
When your budget limits you to a
motherboard costing $300 or less, you start to notice that manufacturers
sacrifice features to reach that price point. Fortunately, that’s not the case
with the ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) by ASUS.
At a pretty reasonable price, you
get an ATX motherboard that’s excellent in every regard, and that includes
overclocking, too. With Fan Xpert 4, you can set all the headers to monitor
thermal sensors which can increase cooling when under load.
You will also find four DIMM
slots for a total of up to 64GB memory at 4400MHz when overclocked. There are
two PCIe x16 slots, as well as two M.2 slots for storage. Connectivity is well
taken care of by the 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac module which gives you excellent
wireless speeds. Add to this the excellent SupremeFX S1220A audio chip, and
you’ve got a very well rounded motherboard.
It also has good lighting, with a couple of RGB lights that you can customize with ASUS’s Aura Sync software if that’s your thing. Overall, it’s an excellent motherboard that cuts very few corners, yet comes at a reasonable price.
Best Premium High-end i9 9900K Motherboards
MSI MEG Z390 Godlike
While for the same price, you
could potentially buy an entire build, but MSI’s MEG Z390 Godlike motherboard
is the best there is, period. It has everything you’d need, and then some, and
is overall the best motherboard for overclocking as well.
To begin with, this supports pretty much any CPU on the LGA1151 socket, and that includes 8th gen processors as well. And the VRM section is phenomenal, giving you a lot of room for overclocking. There are four DIMM slots, and each of them supports dual-channel DDR4 memory with a frequency of up to 4600MHz when overclocked, which is quite a bit.
Next, you’ve got a Killer
Wireless-AC 1550 module, as well as two Killer E2500 LAN modules, so you’re
very well off in terms of networking. You have two headers for a front USB 3.1
Gen 2 Type-C, which provides quite a bit of futureproofing.
Add to this the four PCIe 3.0 x16
slots, which allow for NVLink and CrossFireX, as well as the three M.2 slots,
and you can plug in a couple of GPUs and all the storage you might ever need. To
wrap things up, you also get a great audio section with 8-channel 7.1 audio.
Best Budget i9 9900K Motherboard
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi
If you’re going for a
9900K/9900KS build, but don’t want to spend over $200 on a motherboard, you’re
quite limited in terms of options. And you’re even more limited in terms of
good options. However, GIGABYTE’s Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi is one of those good
options, and it comes in as an excellent motherboard for overclocking.
There’s a 12+1 phase digital VRM solution that’s going to keep a high-end CPU stable when overclocking, so you can easily get the most out of that processor you paid quite a bit for. You’ll also find four DIMM slots that take unbuffered, non-ECC memory, as well as two M.2 slots with their own heatsinks to keep them cool.
Networking is well taken care of
by an Intel CNVi 2×2 802.11ac wireless module, so if you can’t run a cable to
your system, you don’t have to worry too much. There’s a good audio section, too,
with a Realtek ALC 1220-VB taking care of that. All things considered, you
won’t be missing out on any key features with the Z390 AORUS PRO Wi-Fi, and
you’ll be saving quite a bit compared to competitive products.
Best Micro ATX i9 9900K Motherboard
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene
If you’re on the hunt for a compact mATX motherboard, and you want one that’s feature-packed and still below $400, the ROG Maximus XI Gene could be the one to go for. It looks good, it’s got all the features you could ask for, and it’s actually priced reasonably.
First things first, you get two DIMM slots with support for up to 32GB of memory, per DIMM. There are four M.2 slots, as well as USB 3.1 Gen 2 and an 802.11ac Wi-Fi module integrated, too. What’s interesting is that there’s an LN2 jumper that allows you to use special functions and options made for LN2 overclocking. There’s also a start button which lets you boot your system in, say, an open bench system.
With all the features it’s
packing in a compact form factor, and all the RGB the board has, this is very
well one of the best options for a sub-$400 motherboard if your requirements
are mATX and plenty of features. Oh, and it also has a pre-mounted I/O shield,
because you’re bound to forget it the first time otherwise.
Best Mini ITX i9 9900K Motherboard
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX
ASRock isn’t many people’s first choice when it comes to motherboards, because at high-end prices, there are often better products. But if you’re looking at entry-level pricing, such as below $200, the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX is one of the best picks for a CPU such as the i9 9900K or the i9 9900KS.
Even though it comes with only
two DIMM slots, you can have DDR4 memory at up to 4500MHz when overclocked,
which is quite impressive. This isn’t something we’ve seen with other
motherboards, and it’s an excellent feature. The maximum capacity tops out at
32GB, however, which might be a problem. Another feature we don’t see too often
is an Intel Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connector.
You do get gigabit LAN, as well as 2T2R dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, so networking is well taken care of. There’s also a 7.1 channel audio with Realtek’s ALC1220 codec, with support for Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5.
Last but not least, RGB fans will love the Polychrome SYNC, which gives you quite a few RGB headers, as well as one that’s addressable so you can hook up additional lighting. If you want fast RAM and Thunderbolt 3, the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX is the one to go for.
Best E-ATX i9 9900K Motherboard
EVGA Z390 Dark
While EVGA might not have that
many options when it comes to motherboards for the i9 9900K, the Z390 Dark is
one of the best options if your budget limit is $400. It comes in an EATX form
factor, which might limit you in terms of what case you can use with it, but if
that’s okay with you, you’re looking at an excellent motherboard.
First things first, there’s
somewhat of a limiting factor in terms of memory. Even though you can use DDR4
memory at up to 32GB and 4600MHz with overclocking, there are only two RAM
slots. It would’ve been nice if there were four, but this is quite possibly our
only complaint about the board.
It also comes with 7 USB 3.1 Gen
2 ports, two of which are Type-C (one port and one header), as wella s two M.2
slots and six SATA ports. Connectivity is excellent too, with an Intel Wi-Fi/BT
module, and dual Intel Gigabit NIC modules.
All things considered, if you’re okay with the somewhat large form factor, as well as the limiting number of DIMM slots, the EVGA Z390 Dark is arguably one of the best motherboards for i9 9900K if your budget is $400 or below.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ULTRA
Even though the AORUS lineup by Gigabyte is pretty extensive, it’s the Z390 AORUS ULTRA that’s one of the best picks for the i9 9900K if your limit is under $300. It works with 8th and 9th gen Intel Core processors, and it’s an excellent pick for overclocking.
First things first, you have four
DIMM slots that support dual channel, unbuffered, non-ECC memory. To add to
this, there are also three M.2 slots, all with a heatsink, so your M.2 SSDs can
remain cool even under load.
Also great is the VRM section. With a 12+1 phase digital VRM and excellent cooling on it, you can push your CPU to pretty high frequencies, especially if your pick is the i9 9900KS that have quite high stock frequencies, too. All you’ll need is a good cooler for it.
The connectivity is taken care of
an Intel CNVi 2×2 802.11ac wireless module which gives you excellent
performance in games when you can’t have a cable going to your system. Add to
this Realtek’s ALC 1220-VB audio chip, and you’re looking at an excellent
motherboard for just about anything, at a great price.
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E
One of the main ideas behind the
ASUS Strix series of motherboards is to give you excellent performance and a
respectable feature set for a reasonable price. And that’s exactly what the ROG
Strix Z390-E does, coming in quite a bit below $300, yet offering all the
necessities for a great motherboard for the i9 9900K.
Overclocking and cooling things
shouldn’t be an issue here, thanks to the great VRM section and the highly
configurable ASUS Fan Xpert 4 software. Add to this PWM/DC fan headers and
compatibility with a water pump, and you’re all set. If you’d like your
motherboard to overclock things for you, you also have 5-Way Optimization,
which works pretty well.
In terms of memory, there are
four DIMM slots with support for up to 64GB of memory in total, at a maximum
frequency of 4266MHz when overclocked. There are also two PCIe x16 slots, so
dual GPU setups are an option here.
Networking and audio are
excellent, too. You get a 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac module for as little latency as
possible when gaming, and there’s a SupremeFX S1220A audio chip that covers you
very well in terms of audio.
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula
While there are definitely more
expensive and more feature-full options, if you’d rather save a few bucks and
don’t really need things such as quad-SLI, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula
could be an excellent option. It’s not cheap by anyone’s standards, but it does
a lot of things and it does them very well.
With Intel’s LGA1151 socket, you can fit any 8th and 9th gen CPU, making this a perfect pick for high-end CPUs like the i9 9900K and i9 9900KS. It does have an excellent VRM section if you’ll be overclocking, and you’ll also love the 5-way optimization that can do things for you if you’d rather not spend time on doing things manually.
Since we’re mentioning overclocking,
it’s worth noting that the VRM section can be connected to your custom liquid
cooling loop as well, which is an excellent feature not many other boards have.
Add to this two M.2 slots, USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and you’ve got
yourself an excellent motherboard. Oh, and if you like RGB, it also has a few
lights and works with ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting for software configuration.
MSI MEG Z390 ACE
When you’re looking at the best motherboard for i9 9900K made by MSI, it’s easy to get stuck with the GODLIKE, but that’s a very, very expensive motherboard. If your budget keeps you under $300, you might want to take a look at the MEG Z390 ACE, a more budget-oriented option that still quite features rich.
It comes with four DIMM slots that support dual-channel memory at up to 4600MHz when overclocked. This is quite a bit higher than most of the competition. It also has a Killer E2500 LAN module and an Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi module, so your networking needs are well taken care of.
Storage won’t be an issue, thanks
to the three M.2 slots with a thermal shield to keep them cool. And if you want
some external storage, you’ll love the USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C headers for the
front. The entire board is rounded out by MSI’s Mystic Light Infinity RGB
lights, which give you all the customization in the world when it comes to
setting up lights. And if that’s not enough, you can connect light strips with
addressable headers. It’s overall an excellent motherboard, especially at its
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Master
While some might argue that the
Z390 AORUS Elite is Gigabyte’s best pick under $300, there’s also the Z390
AORUS Master, which is slightly more expensive, and a touch better for things
such as overclocking and audio.
It works with dual-channel DDR4 memory, and it has four DIMM slots that you can use with it. There are three M.2 slots for all your storage needs, as well as PCIe 3.0 x16 and PCIe 3.0 x8 for GPUs and expansion. For overclocking, you get a 12+2 phase IR digital VRM, which keeps things stable under load and lets you push your CPU quite a bit in various scenarios. Pair this with a good air cooler, or even better, a nice AiO, and you can push CPUs such as the i9 9900K and i9 9900KS higher than 5GHz rather easily if you know what you’re doing, and keep them there.
Last but not least, you get
excellent networking thanks to Intel’s CNVi 2×2 802.11ac wireless module, and
audio is taken care of by Realtek’s ALC 1220-VB chip, paired with an ESS9118
Sabre DAC, which is one of the best DACs you’ll find on a motherboard.
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC
MSI has been coming out with some really nice motherboards lately, and if you’re going for the i9 9900K but don’t want to spend too much on a motherboard, the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC might be a good pick for you. Even though it comes at a somewhat low price, it’s pretty feature-rich, and it doesn’t cut corners where you don’t want it to.
First of all, there’s a big
chance you won’t find a motherboard at this price that goes up to 4400MHz on
the RAM memory. That’s when overclocked, of course, and it has four slots for
dual-channel memory. To add to this, you have Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and while
we’re talking Intel, there’s support for their Optane memory, too.
Storage is taken care of by two
M.2 slots, as well as six SATA slots, so you can connect plenty of storage
devices on it. There are three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots as well, something other
manufacturers seem to omit quite a bit lately. If this feature set sounds like
something you could work with, the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon AC could be
the motherboard to go for.