5 Best Motherboards for i9-10900K

Best-Motherboard-for-i9-10900K

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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 boards but the question remains: which Z490 motherboards are the best? Well, the answer depends on which CPU you own.

We’ve already answered which Z490 boards are the best for the Core i5-10600K and today we will answer the same question, but for the Core i9-10900K. Before we list the best boards for the i9-10900K let’s explain why would you get it in the first place.

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 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.

Best Motherboards for i9-10900K – Our Picks

Best Motherboards for i9-10900K – Our Picks
AwardModel 
Best Budget Motherboard for i9-10900KMSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Msi Mag Z490 Tomahawk
Best Mid-Range Motherboard for i9-10900KASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming Asus Rog Strix Z490 E Gaming
Best High-End Motherboard for i9-10900KMSI MEG Z490 Godlike Msi Meg Z490 Godlike
Best Micro-ATX Motherboard for i9-10900KASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFi Asus Rog Strix Z490 G Gaming Wifi
Best Mini-ITX Motherboard for i9-10900KMSI MEG Z490I Unify Msi Meg Z490I Unify

Best Budget Motherboard for i9-10900K

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × 1G LAN
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × HD Audio Connectors
Wi-FiNo

Look, there are a couple of proper 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 good enough. But why buy a budget board and pair it with a flagship CPU?

Our budget choice for the 10900K costs a couple of dozens of bucks more than budget Z490 boards but it can 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 4800MHz 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.

A bit pricier but coming with Wi-Fi is the MSI Z490 Gaming Edge. It has almost the same suite of features except for dual M.2 heatsinks and dual gigabit LAN (since there’s Wi-Fi connectivity). If you want a similar motherboard from a different manufacturer, the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-H features the same VRM while offering BIOS flashback, dedicated Wi-Fi card M.2 slot, and a better audio section. You don’t get dual gigabit LAN on this board. Only a single 2.5Gb LAN port, which should be enough for most users.

Best Mid-Range Motherboard for i9-10900K

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 3 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × USB BIOS FlashBack
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
3 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
4 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × Optical S/PDIF out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

The ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming is an excellent board for overclocking the 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 4800MHz DDR4, two M.2 slots, and six SATA III ports. Two PCIe x16 slots with support for both Crossfire and SLI.

Three PCIe x1 slots and 2.5Gb LAN by Intel. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. Premium audio section based on ASUS’ S1220A audio codec. Support for all kinds of RGB LED lighting. 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 this one’s very attractive. RGB effects are there to fulfill gaming design quota but the rest of the board is completely covered in charcoal black color that looks stunning.

The alternative would be the MSI MEG Z490 Unify. This is another OC-friendly board with features such as POST code, colored debug LEDs, BIOS flashback, and top of the line VRM. It looks a bit too aggressive but once you tuck it inside your case it’ll be fine. The MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon is a bit cheaper board that’s also pretty good. It comes with excellent VRM but lacks in OC-friendly features such as POST code, colored debug LEDs, and BIOS flashback.

If you want something a bit more expensive with a sleeker design, there’s the ROG Maximus XII Hero. It has almost the same set of features but it looks way better. You get three M.2 slots instead of two, and the back hides dual gigabit LAN (1Gb + 5Gb) ports. Also, the POST code sits on top of the board, where it should be easier to see.

Best High-End Motherboard for i9-10900K

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS Button
1 × Flash BIOS Button
1 × PS/2
2 × Thunderbolt 3
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 10G Super LAN
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × Optical S/PDIF out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

The MSI MEG Z490 Godlike is a work of art. 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 5000Mhz 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 also very hard to imagine, or at least to swallow. It’s enough to say that it costs noticeably more than the i9-10900K CPU. If you want an alternative, get the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490. That’s another board that has it all. Well, everything except Thunderbolt 3 ports. For those looking for something a bit cheaper but still with a ton of features, the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula Z490 is a nice choice. You get almost everything found on the two premium boards, just for a noticeably lower price and without Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Best Micro-ATX Motherboard for i9-10900K

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming Wi-Fi
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × USB BIOS FlashBack
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

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. 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 4800MHz 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 2.5Gb LAN port along with six USB 3.2 ports out of which one 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 board and 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 who want something compact.

Best Mini-ITX Motherboard for i9-10900K

MSI MEG Z490I Unify
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory2 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNone
Expansion Slots1 × PCIe x16
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS Button
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × Thunderbolt 3
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × Optical S/PDIF Out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

There are a couple of interesting Mini-ITX Z490 boards on the market. Our voice, at least when it comes to pairing it with the 10900K, goes to the MSI MEG Z490I Unify. The board has the best VRM that can fit onto an M-ITX board. It should work fine when overclocked, but don’t go too far. The good news is that Intel’s boost technology already pushes the 10900K pretty far so you might not need to manually overclock it.

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 5000MHz 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.

The alternative is the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I. This is another excellent ITX board. It doesn’t come with active VRM cooling so overclocking the 10900K on it might be too much. It also doesn’t have debug LEDs but it comes with more USB 3.2 ports on the back. Further, the ROG Strix Z490-I has a premium audio section taken from other flagship board models. On the other hand, you won’t find Thunderbolt 3 on this board.

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Goran Damnjanovic

Goran Damnjanovic

Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.

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