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Those looking for a motherboard to accompany their 10th gen Intel CPU have dozens of quality choices to pick from. Every board manufacturer has a solid selection of motherboards, but the question remains: which Z490 motherboards are the best for the 10900K? Well, read on and find out. Note that our motherboards section has a ton of informative articles if you’re looking for something else.
We already answered which Z490 models are the best motherboards for Core i5-10600K, and today, we will show you the best motherboards for i9-10900K. The 10900K uses a lot more power, meaning that we’ve skipped the bare-bones Z490 boards. With that said, we still have a value pick. We’ve also included mid-range and high-end picks along with one mATX and one Mini-ITX option.
The 10900K can get pretty hot, so we recommend checking out our list of the best CPU coolers for i9-10900K to keep the CPU under control no matter the load. You can read the best airflow PC cases guide and get a high-end airflow case and further improve thermals. Finally, if you’re looking for a GPU to accompany your 10900K, take a look at the best RTX 3080 graphics cards guide.
1. MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk: Best budget motherboard for i9-10900K
There are a couple of budget Z490 boards that can handle the i9-10900K OCed to 5.1GHz without shutting down or throttling the CPU. Yes, temperatures are very, very high but technically, they are in the safe zone. However, if you want steady thermals along with a few extra features, we recommend getting a board that’s more mid-range than budget.
Our choice for the best value motherboard for the 10900K costs just a couple of dozens of bucks more than budget Z490 boards while being able to handle overclocked 10900K without issues. The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk has an excellent VRM unit that will handle Intel’s flagship even when running at 5.1Ghz or higher.
The board also comes with a solid set of features that should be enough for most users. You get support for 4800 MT/s DDR4 memory, two M.2 slots (both have heatsinks), and six SATA III ports. Then there are two PCIe x16 slots (with Crossfire support) and two PCIe x1 slots.
The rear panel includes six USB 3.2 ports and a dual gigabit (1Gb + 2.5Gb) LAN along with one USB C, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, and two video outs (HDMI and DisplayPort). The Realtek ALC1200-VD1 Codec is powering a very good audio section. The board has debug LEDs, but you won’t find features such as POST code or BIOS flashback.
2. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming: Best mid-range motherboard for i9-10900K
The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming is an excellent choice for overclocking and the best mid-range mobo for the i9-10900K. It comes with colored debug LEDs, POST code, BIOS flashback, and superb VRM. It also packs a rich collection of other features. Support for 4800 MT/s DDR4, two M.2 slots, and six SATA III ports. Two PCIe x16 slots with support for both Crossfire and SLI.
The board also features three PCIe x1 slots and 2.5Gb LAN by Intel. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. There’s also a premium audio section based on ASUS’ S1220A audio codec. Rear Panel packs five USB 3.2 along with one USB C port. You also get four USB 2.0 ports for some reason.
Finally, the design of this board is excellent. The MSI Z490 Tomahawk isn’t bad but ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming blows it out of the water. RGB effects are here to tick the gaming design boxes. The rest of the board is completely covered in charcoal black color that looks stunning.
3. MSI MEG Z490 Godlike: Best high-end motherboard for i9-10900K
The MSI MEG Z490 Godlike is a work of art and hands down the best flagship motherboard for the Core i9-10900K. It’s impressive just how much hardware MSI managed to put onto a regular ATX PCB. This board has it all. It’s equipped with the best possible VRM unit and includes every feature sought by overclockers.
You don’t get POST code, but you do get a huge screen next to RAM DIMMs for tracking various info when overclocking. DDR4 support goes up to 5000 MT/s, and the board includes three M.2 slots. If that’s not enough for you, the MEG Z490 Godlike comes with an expansion card that includes two additional M.2 slots.
You get six SATA III ports (we would’ve liked eight on a board this expensive) along with one PCIe x1 port. The board comes with three PCIe x16 slots and support for SLI and Crossfire. The rear panel is packed to the brim. You have dual gigabit LAN (2.5Gb + 10Gb), six USB 3.2 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, clear CMOS and BIOS flashback buttons, as well as two USB 2.0 ports.
The audio section includes Realtek ALC1220 Codec supported by ESS E9018 combo DAC that, together, deliver crystal clear sound. Overall, the MEG Z490 Godlike is an impressive board that packs almost every imaginable feature. But its price is very hard to swallow. It’s enough to say that it costs noticeably more than the i9-10900K CPU. In other words, if you want the overall best board for the 10900K, you have to be ready to pay the price.
4. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFi: Best micro-ATX motherboard for i9-10900K
The mATX Z490 lineup is far from satisfying, but ASUS made an excellent board in the form of the ROG Strix Z490-G. This is the only Z490 mATX board we can recommend for the 10900K, which automatically turns the ROG Strix Z490-G into the best mATX motherboard for the 10900K.
The board’s excellent. Its VRM is taken from full-sized ATX models and will run fine with OCed 10900K. The board has support for 4800 MT/s DDR4, two M.2 slots (one is coming with heatsink), and six SATA III ports.
You get two PCIe x16 slots and one x1 slot. The rear end hosts a 2.5Gb LAN port along with six USB 3.2 ports, one of which is USB C and two video outs (HDMI and DisplayPort). The audio section is the same as on premium models. That means ASUS proprietary audio chip that offers excellent sound quality.
Overclockers will be happy to see debug LED array along with a BIOS flashback button. Overall, the ROG Strix Z490-G is an excellent mATX motherboard. While we would like to see mATX models that are even better than this one, we are happy to recommend it to all 10900K owners looking for something compact.
5. MSI MEG Z490I Unify: Best Mini-ITX motherboard for i9-10900K
There are a couple of interesting Mini-ITX Z490 boards on the market. Our vote for the best ITX motherboard for the 10900K goes to the MSI MEG Z490I Unify. The Z490I Unify has the best VRM that can fit onto an M-ITX board. It should work fine when overclocked, but don’t go too far.
Anyway, this is the best Mini-ITX board to put in your Mini-ITX case. It has an excellent VRM cooling solution that combines heatsinks with active cooling (look at those perforations on the rear panel). It supports 5000 MT/s DDR4 memory. It comes with two M.2 slots, with one sitting on the back of the board.
There are four SATA III ports, and the board has a solid audio section powered by the Realtek ALC1220 codec. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 connectivity along with Bluetooth 5.1. The rear panel hosts three USB 3.2 ports along with one Thunderbolt 3 and 2.5Gb LAN port. MSI somehow found the space for debug LEDs, which is nice to see on an M-ITX board.
Why Pick the i9-10900K?
The Core i9-10900K is the current flagship CPU from Intel. It has ten cores, twenty threads, and boost clocks that surpass the 5GHz mark. But considering its price, the 10900K is a bad purchase at the moment.
For the same price of entry, you can get the Ryzen 9 5900X and dominate both gaming and productivity benchmarks. Or, you can get the 10600K, overclock it, and get 10900K-like performance for less money. Or get the Ryzen 5 5600X and get the same level of performance without OCing the CPU.
At the moment, the 10900K can only be a good purchase if you find it used for a price that’s about 30 percent less than the price of a new CPU. Also, if you find a killer deal for a new CPU that makes it cheaper or the same price as the 5800X, the 10900K could be a solid buy, especially for users who need those extra two cores found in the 10900K.
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