When you’re looking for the best Z390 motherboards for your build, there are a lot of options out there. You will find budget motels, you will find high-end models, and quite a few options in between in terms of price.
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So, to make things a bit easier
to choose, these are the best Z390 motherboards for overclocking, gaming,
content creation and a multitude of use cases. We’ll start things off with a
few budget motherboards, below $200, and we’ll gradually move up to the best Z390
motherboard for 9900k.
Our Top Z390 Motherboard Picks:
Best Budget ATX: The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC crams an impressive feature set in a board that comes at a very reasonable price, making it our choice for the best budget ATX board.
Best Midrange ATX: ASUS’s ROG Maximus XI Hero is our pick for the best midrange ATX board, with features such as AC Wi-Fi, dual M.2 slots and USB 3.1 Gen 2.
Best High-End ATX: MSI has done a great job with the MEG Z390 Godlike, and with memory support up to 4600 MHz and SLI/CrossFireX, this is the best high-end ATX motherboard for the Z390 platform.
Best Micro ATX: The MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge doesn’t cut many corners to obtain its smaller form factor when compared to its bigger brother. This makes it a great choice for a micro ATX build.
Best Mini ITX: Gigabyte’s Z390 I AORUS PRO Wi-Fi comes with an impressive feature set, and even though pricey, is well worth the title of the best mini ITX board.
Best Budget ATX Z390
Motherboards Under $200:
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC
MSI has been on a roll with their motherboards lately, and the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC is one of their best options, especially for users who want a good ATX motherboard on a budget. It manages to have an excellent feature set in a board that costs below $200, so let’s take a look at everything you get with it.
First things first, this comes with an LGA1151 socket, so you can use Intel’s 8th and 9th gen CPUs. What you won’t find with many of the competitors’ products is support for dual-channel DDR4 memory that goes up to 4400Mhz. This is actually pretty impressive. Fast RAM isn’t as necessary as it is with AMD builds, but it’s nice to know you can have it.
Aside from this, connectivity is
great, too. There are two TURBO M.2 slots, as well as support for Intel Optane
memory, and a few USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. Add to this support for both SLI and
CrossFireX, as well as MSI’s Mystic Light RGB, and you’ve got yourself a great
ASUS Prime Z390-A
When it comes to a good Z390
motherboard on a budget, the ASUS Prime Z390-A is a great option. It comes with
an attractive white-on-black design that feels right at home in just about any
build, and doesn’t cut any corners.
It supports Intel’s 8th
and 9th generation processors, and comes with an LGA1151 socket. In
addition to that, you’ll find an M.2 slot, as well as USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, so
you’re pretty much covered in terms of connectivity. What’s interesting is the
addition of ASUS’s 5-Way Optimization, which can automatically overclock your CPU.
The PCIe slots are Safe Slot Core, which is a patent-pending technology that ensures no damage to the motherboard is done, even if you use heavy GPUs that stress it quite a bit. It’s also nice that ASUS have added DTS Headphone:X, as well as an 8-channel audio module with Realtek’s ALC887 HD audio codec.
In terms of the visual looks, the
Prime Z390-A is excellent. On the black PCB you’ll find white accent elements,
something you won’t find with many other boards, as well as RGB lights with
ASUS’s AURA Sync support. It’s overall a great board, and an excellent pick if
you’re on a budget.
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Ultra
Even though some might argue that
the price isn’t really budget, the Z390 AORUS Ultra is probably the best
motherboard that you can get at this price. It comes with an excellent feature
set and a great VRM section, which is welcome at this price point.
For starters, the LGA1151 socket supports both 8th and 9th generation Intel CPUs. You will also find 4 DIMM slots that work with dual-channel, non-ECC DDR4 memory. While we’re talking about memory, it’s worth mentioning you get Intel Optane memory support, which is nice. There are three M.2 slots with thermal guards, so there’s plenty of room for storage.
What’s interesting is that this
board comes with a 12+1 phase digital VRM solution, making for an admirable
overclocking motherboard. Get something like Intel’s 9700K and you’ll get a
The onboard AC Wi-Fi 2×2 wave 2, as well as the inclusion of Bluetooth 5, make this a great option for users who don’t want to bother with wires. The audio section is pretty good, too, with ALC1220 taking care of that. Add to this RGB Fusion, and you’ve got an excellent board for the money.
MSI Z390-A PRO
If you don’t really need RGB or a
board that’s extremely flashy, MSI’s Z390-A PRO is a great way to save a few
bucks without sacrificing on any of the most necessary features. Some might
consider it pretty barebone, but it actually has a lot of features, and this is
the best budget Z390 motherboard under $100.
To begin with, the LGA1151 socket means you can use both an 8th gen and a 9th gen Intel CPU. MSI also includes support for dual-channel DDR4 memory, and at up to 4400Mhz with overclocking, which is impressive at this price point.
There are M.2 slots with PCIe Gen
3 x4 speeds, which will give you pretty good performance out of your NVMe SSD. With
an 8+4 pin CPU power connector, overclocking won’t be an issue, and we’re glad
to see CrossFireX support at this price point. A truly great budget pick.
Best Midrange ATX Z390
Motherboards under $300
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E
ASUS have quite the reputation
when it comes to motherboards, and their ROG Strix Z390-E is an excellent
example of why. It’s a board that comes with quite a lot of functionality and
excellent performance, at a pretty reasonable midrange price.
You get plenty in terms of
connectivity, from two M.2 slots, to USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, which is pretty
great. ASUS have also included their Optimum II technology, so you can
overclock your RAM if necessary. Speaking of RAM, there are four DIMM slots
that support DDR4 memory. We also see ASUS’s 5-Way Optimization for automatic
overclocking, as well as Fan Xpert 4, which makes sure cooling is kept at bay.
With the motherboard you get 802.11 AC Wi-Fi, which works admirably, but we’d still recommend Ethernet for gaming. The pre-mounted I/O shield makes installation a breeze, and the PCIe slots are Safe Slot, which prevents motherboard damage due to heavier GPUs. Add to this RGB lights with AURA Sync support, and the Strix Z390-E is a very attractive mid-range option.
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)
The Maximus XI Hero is another
great Z390 motherboard by ASUS that blurs the lines between a midrange and a
high-end Z390 motherboard. It is somewhat pricey, but the feature set is
excellent and it’s obvious ASUS didn’t cut any corners here.
To begin with, the Maximus XI
Hero comes with a dedicated onboard clock generator. This will give you the
possibility to make the most out of your CPU when overclocking, and it actually
makes overclocking simple for people who aren’t too well versed with it. Fan
Xpert 4 will take care of the cooling here, and if you want to, you can give
5-Way Optimization the opportunity to basically overclock things for you.
Aside from this, you will appreciate the two M.2 slots, as well as USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and the 802.11 AC module. Connectivity shouldn’t be an issue here, as you can see. The motherboard also comes with not just an HDMI port, but a DisplayPort one, too. While we’re talking connectivity, the motherboard supports 2-way SLI or 3-way CrossFireX, so you can use multiple graphics cards if you want to.
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Master
GIGABYTE does have a lot of motherboards, which might make things confusing. But if you’re looking for a midrange board below $300, the Z390 AORUS Master is the one to go for. It has a pretty great feature set, as well as a good VRM section for overclocking.
To begin with, there are four DIMM slots that support dual-channel, non-ECC unbuffered memory. There’s also support for Intel Optane memory, which is nice. Speaking of Intel, you will also find their CNVi 802.11 AC 2×2 wave 2 Wi-Fi module, so connectivity shouldn’t be an issue even if you don’t have a cable going from your router or modem to your system.
Storage won’t be an issue, thanks to the three M.2 slots which all have thermal guards to keep your SSDs cool. Speaking of cool, you get an advanced thermal design with a direct touch heat pipe and a fins-array heatsink, which should help with the cooling, too.
By far the most impressive part
of the Z390 AORUS Master, and something we haven’t seen in any other board at
this price, is the audio section. The ESS Sabre DAC and Realtek ALC1220 codec,
combined with Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors make this a true pleasure for audio
MSI MEG Z390 ACE
MSI’s MEG Z390 ACE hovers right
around the $300 mark, which is perfect for a midrange Z390 motherboard. It
comes with a truly admirable feature set, with things that you wouldn’t expect
at this price point.
To begin with, you have four DIMM
slots with support for up to 4600Mhz RAM. This is extremely fast, and not
something any of the competitors offers. To add to this, you have three M.2
slots, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectors, as well as an excellent networking
section comprised of a Killer E2500 LAN chip and Intel’s 802.11 AC Wi-Fi.
The motherboard is made for
overclocking, and it does have an admirable VRM section which supports this
fact. For hardcore gamers, you get both SLI and CrossFireX support, which is a
nice addition for anyone looking to run a multi-GPU setup. The ESS audio DAC
and Nahimic 3 make for a great sound section, too, and you get a pre-installed
I/O shield as well.
Last but not least, there’s also
MSI’s Mystic Light Infinity RGB lights, which add a colorful splash to an
otherwise all-black motherboard. It’s a very appealing design, though, and it
should fit in just about any color scheme you have in mind.
Best High-End ATX Z390
MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE
MSI’s MEG Z390 GODLIKE is very
likely one of the most expensive motherboards you’ll come across when looking to
build a system based on Intel’s platform. However, with a couple of features
that set it apart from everything else, it’s well worth the asking price. So,
what do you get out of MSI’s flagship motherboard?
For starters, memory support is
excellent. There are four DIMM slots for DDR4 memory, and you can push it up to
4600Mhz if necessary, which is impressively fast. In terms of ports, you have
three M.2 slots with a heat management shield, as well as two front USB 3.1 Gen
2 Type-C connectors, so you should be good to go.
The networking section is pretty well taken care of. You not only get two Killer E2500 LAN modules but also a Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wi-Fi module, which is pretty great. There’s support for both SLI and CrossFireX, so multi GPU setups shouldn’t be an issue here.
The all-black motherboard gets a
splash of color thanks to MSI’s Mystic Light Infinity RGB lights, and there are
additional headers for even more lights. It is, both visually and functionally,
the best high-end Z390 motherboard, and the best Z390 motherboard for 9900k.
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme
When you’re looking at high-end motherboards, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme is a pretty great option for a variety of users. If you’re going to be building a high-end system based around an Intel 8th or 9th gen processor, you should definitely give it a shot.
This is a board that has all the connectivity you might need. You will not only get four M.2 slots, but also USB 3.1 Gen 2, as well as 802.11 AC Wi-Fi and Gigabit LAN. You can also get M.2 RAID, as well as make use of an ROG DIMM.2 expansion card.
It’s also nice that you have
dedicated water cooling zones, and headers that let you monitor your liquid
loop’s flow and temperature. The 5-Way Optimization is made to work with this,
so you can overclock your system if necessary, without a lot of fuss.
Even though it is admittedly
pricey, it’s still a high-end motherboard that’s full of great features. Oh,
and we shouldn’t forget the AURA Sync RGB lights, which do add a bit of flash
to an otherwise all-black motherboard.
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Xtreme
GIGABYTE is another household name in the motherboard industry, and their Z390 AORUS Xtreme is their vision of a high-end Z390 motherboard. It’s excellent and comes with an excellent feature set and a great ability for overclocking.
You have four slots for DDR4 memory, which is just about standard for these motherboards. There’s also support for Intel Optane memory, something not a lot of boards offer. In terms of connectivity, you do get three M.2 slots with their own thermal guards, and that should have your storage covered. There’s also AQUANTIA 10GBE BASE-T LAN, as well as Intel Gigabit LAN, so networking won’t be an issue either. Oh, and yeah, you have Intel 802.11 AC Wi-Fi if you’d rather avoid a cable.
The audio section is particularly
great, with an ESS SABRE 9018K2M DAC and WIMA audio capacitors, which should
completely negate the need of a separate audio card. It’s interesting that you
also get Thunderbolt 3, something that’s usually reserved for laptops.
Add to this an RGB fan commander
and RGB Fusion 2.0 support for a bit of light in your case, and you’ve got an
excellent high-end motherboard for your build.
Best Micro ATX Z390
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
MSI’s lineup of motherboards is
pretty extensive, so it makes a lot of sense that they have one of the best micro
ATX Z390 motherboards on the market with the MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC. It’s a
compact motherboard that makes sure not to sacrifice on any of the important
It comes with four DIMM slots that support memory up to 4500Mhz, which is quite impressive. You also get two turbo M.2 slots, as well as support for Intel Optane memory, something that’s picking up a lot of steam lately. It does have 802.11 AC Wi-Fi, too, which is pretty nice. The small form factor doesn’t limit you as far as GPUs go, because you have the choice between SLI and CrossFireX if you want to use multiple GPUs in your setup.
As far as the aesthetics of the motherboard go, this is an all-black design, but you do get MSI’s Mystic Light RGB lights. It’s a well thought out software for customization, paired with RGB on the board and additional headers as well. The MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is an excellent micro ATX choice.
GIGABYTE Z390 M Gaming
Even though their higher-end motherboards all gain the AORUS moniker, the Z390 M Gaming motherboard by GIGABYTE is still a very respectable choice for a lot of users. It covers a lot of features that most of the competition doesn’t have, and it does so with a compact micro ATX form factor and a reasonable price.
First things first, you get four
DIMM slots which all support unbuffered, non-ECC DDR4 memory. As with any other
LGA1151 socket motherboard, you do have support for Intel 8th and 9th
generation processors. If you want to overclock them, that’s also a
possibility, thanks to the excellent VRM section the motherboard has.
There are two M.2 slots that
support both PCIe Gen 3 and SATA drives, as well as dual PCIe slots for SLI and
CrossFireX. You do also get USB 3.1 Gen 2 in both Type-A and Type-C fashion,
which is very welcome. Those who care about aesthetics may shrug at the fact
that you don’t’ get RGB, but this is an excellent board that’s meant to perform
great on a budget, so we would still recommend it to anyone who doesn’t need
Best Mini ITX Z390
GIGABYTE Z390 I AORUS PRO Wi-Fi
A part of their AORUS lineup the
Z390 I AORUS PRO Wi-Fi is GIGABYTE’s entry in the micro ATX world of 8th
and 9th generation Intel motherboards, and it’s overall a great
choice for many. It is pricey, but it does have a great feature set to make up
To begin with, you have a 6 phase
digital VRM solution which means you can overclock your CPU without worrying
about stability. The advanced thermal design will make sure the thermals are
under control as well, which is great as well. You do get support for Intel
Optane memory, as well as Intel’s excellent CNVi 802.11 AC 2×2 wave 2 Wi-Fi
module so you don’t have to worry about connectivity if you can’t go with a
Last but not least, the audio
section is also admirable, which is not something you get from a lot of
motherboards today. Add to this the RGB lights with support for RGB Fusion 2.0,
and you’ve got yourself an excellent enthusiast board in a small form
MSI MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC
The industry of mini ITX
motherboards is pretty small, which makes it tricky to find a good board. But
if you’re in the market, MSI’s MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC is a great pick. It’s
full of great features, and it’s priced very reasonably for everything you get.
First things first, you do only get two DIMM slots, but you can populate them with dual-channel memory at up to 4600Mhz, which is impressive, to say the least. There are also two M.2 slots, as well as support for Intel Optane memory.
The audio section is also great,
and you get higher quality audio than most of the competition. There is no RGB,
but you do get Wi-Fi with two antennas at the back so you don’t have to worry
about cables. If you’re looking for a great motherboard in a compact form
factor, look no further, the Z390I Gaming Edge AC by MSI should be your top
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