5 Best Motherboards for i9-9900K

If you’re going to build a quality gaming rig, you need a badass processor, and the i9-9900K is one of the best. So it’s no surprise that many gamers are turning to this processor when building their new gaming PC. But what about a compatible motherboard? No worries; we’re about to show you the best motherboards for the i9-9900K.

Best Motherboards for i9-9900K – Our Picks

Best Motherboards for i9-9900K – Our Picks
AwardModel 
Best Budget ATX Motherboard for i9-9900KGigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO gigabyte z390 aorus pro
Best Mid-Range ATX Motherboard for i9-9900KASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate asrock z390 taichi ultimate
Best High-End ATX Motherboard for i9-9900KGigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme gigabyte z390 aorus
Best Micro-ATX Motherboard for i9-9900KAsus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390 asus rog maximus xi gene z390
Best Mini-ITX Motherboard for i9-9900KASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC asrock z390 phantom gaming

Best Budget ATX Motherboard for i9-9900K

For most gamers, an ATX motherboard is your best choice. These boards provide the most space for PCIe slots, USB interfaces, fans, and other components. The only real downside is that they require a larger case, but big cases are best for cooling, anyway. Here are three excellent options.

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
ChipsetIntel Z390
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATA
Multi GPU SupportNvdia SLI, AMD CrossFireX
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 3 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
2 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
3 × USB 3.1 Gen 1
4 × USB 2.0/1.1
1 × LAN
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiNo

If you’re on a budget, you might not be willing to invest in the biggest, baddest motherboard on the market. That’s okay. In fact, you can get good performance with very little expense. Take, for example, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro.

The Aorus Pro caught our eye right from the outset. It boasts a gorgeous black and orange theme, with a signature Aorus bird of prey and orange stripes on the surface of the motherboard itself, as well as RGB lighting. But a good motherboard is about more than cosmetics. It’s about real-world performance.

First off, the Aorus Pro has a 12+1 phase power section, a significant upgrade from the earlier Z370 line. This will provide more than enough power to unleash the i9-9900K’s full potential.

On the top of the board, you’ll find three PCIe slots, all of which are reinforced. This provides full support for any modern GPU, and even an aftermarket sound card if you want to enjoy top quality audio. If you want to use the i9-9900K’s native sound, you’ll get Gigabyte’s built-in AMP-UP audio technology.

For storage, you get a pair of M.2 slots for lightning-fast SSDs. Alternatively, you can attach up to six SATA drives. Keep in mind that each M.2 drive will use up a SATA connection. For example, if you install two M.2 SSDs, you’ll “only” be able to attach four SATA drives.

For memory, you get a whopping four DIMMs. Your i9-9900K processor will be obsolete long before you run out of RAM capacity.

On the back of the board, you’ll get plenty of connection options. There’s a single HDMI port, as well as five USB Type-A ports (three 3.0 and two 3.1), and a USB Type-C port.

The Aorus Pro also supports overclocking. With VRM cooling, you’ll have no problem running your i9-9900K at a full 5GHz, with only 3.33 volts of power. The load line calibration is a bit twitchy, but that’s not a huge complaint at this price point.

Best Mid-Range ATX Motherboard for i9-9900K

ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
ChipsetIntel Z390
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 8 × SATA
Multi GPU SupportNvdia SLI, AMD CrossFireX
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports2 × Antenna Ports
1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x HDMI
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
3 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A
4 × USB 3.1 Gen1
3 × LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF Out
1 × Clear CMOS Button
HD Audio Jacks
Wi-FiYes

With motherboards, as with most technology, you get diminishing returns the more you spend. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, a mid-priced option is where it’s at. Enter the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate, a motherboard that’s purpose built for online gaming. It supports 10Gb Ethernet, so you can even use it as an access point for a game console.

The Taichi Ultimate sports three PCIx16 slots, so you can install any GPU and sound card you like. Depending on your hardware selection, though, you might have to fiddle around with placement. Longer cards in the upper slot might butt up against the top M.2 module. Furthermore, the lower slot is very close to the RTC battery, so you’ll need to be careful when you’re installing a card in that slot.

Like the Aorus Pro, the Taichi Ultimate supports up to six SATA connections. If you’re only using one M.2 slot, you’ll want to use the second one, since it will occupy SATA port 3. The first and third slots will each steal two SATA connections, 0/1 and 4/5 respectively. But if you’re using three M.2 SSDs, a single SATA port should be more than good enough to meet your storage needs.

The Taichi Ultimate supports DDR4 RAM with clock speeds of up to 4,200MHz. This is far beyond your typical DDR4 RAM speeds, so you can overclock your RAM to your heart’s content.

On the Taichi Ultimate, overclocking your i9-9900K is totally doable. However, you’ll want to avoid the automatic overclocking algorithm. Since it’s based on voltage, and the i9-9900K draws relatively little voltage, the automatic algorithm will actually end up underclocking your processor.

To get a full 5GHz from your i9-9900K, you’ll want to increase the BCLK, drop the core voltage to 1.3 volts, and increase the multiplier. Fiddle around with it a bit, and you’ll have blazing fast speeds in no time.

Best High-End ATX Motherboard for i9-9900K

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme
ChipsetIntel Z390
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 6 × SATA
Multi GPU SupportNvdia SLI, AMD CrossFireX
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports2 × SMA antenna connectors
1 × HDMI
2 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
4 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
2 × USB 3.1 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0/1.1
2 × LAN
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

If you want the best of the best, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme is virtually unbeatable. Forget about what processor you’re using. The Aorus Xtreme supports up to 128GB of RAM, including Intel’s high speed Optane memory. Even with a low-end GPU, texture pop-in will be minimal with this type and quantity of RAM.

The board itself is gorgeous, with an RGB Aorus bird of prey and RGB lighting across the board. And if you want even more RGB lighting, there are four on-board connectors for light strips. There are heatsinks at the rear IO shield, the north and south bridge, and the M.2 modules. All of them have a Perspex coating, a lightweight, durable plastic that can withstand even very high operating temperatures.

The Aorus Xtreme sports four PCIe ports, which allows you to install dual graphics cards if you so desire. Pair dual graphics with Optane memory, and your friends will be drooling over your rig’s performance. You might even be able to run Kingdom Come: Deliverance at max settings. Just kidding; everyone knows that’s impossible!

If you’re running a single GPU, you’ll want to install it in the first two PCIe slots. The third shares some bandwidth with the first M.2 socket, so you’ll get slightly reduced speeds from that slot. The other two M.2 slots can occupy either PCI or SATA bandwidth, depending on your settings.

Even so, most people are not going to be using all of these ports. In practice, you aren’t going to run into any issues. That said, the large number of slots gives you plenty of options for future upgrades.

The Aorus Xtreme utilizes a pair of 8-pin CPU power connectors, which allows for even the most demanding CPUs. Thankfully, the i9-9900 is not even going to come close to demanding all that power.

If you’re looking for the best benchmarks, this motherboard blows others out of the water. It also runs cooler than most other motherboards on the market. Check out this video to see what it’s capable of.

Best Micro ATX Motherboard for i9-9900K

Asus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390
ChipsetIntel Z390
Memory2 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 2 × ROG DIMM.2, 4 × SATA
Multi GPU SupportNone
Expansion Slots1 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x4
Back Panel Ports1 × Wi-Fi antenna
1 × PS/2
1 × HDMI
3 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A,
1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
6 × USB 3.1 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × LAN
1 × Clear CMOS
Wi-FiYes

Ever since the first Micro-ATX motherboards came out, people have considered the platform inferior for gaming. However, this hasn’t actually been the case for the last  few years. With modern circuitry, you can actually get excellent performance from a Micro-ATX board. You just won’t get as many slots.

The Asus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390 features a pair of PCIe x16 ports, enough for a dual-slot GPU. If you choose this option, you’ll be limited to the i9-9900K’s onboard sound. But considering the fact that the onboard sound is so good, you probably won’t even want a sound card.

For memory, the Maximus XI Gene offers a pair of RAM slots, supporting a total of 64GB. This is more than enough for any foreseeable game.

If you’re a high speed storage enthusiast, the Maximus XI Gene has plenty to offer. In addition to three Z390 paths, you can also connect two SSDs directly to the CPU. That said, enabling these two M.2 slots will steal eight lanes from the second PCI x16 slot. This will slow down your graphics performance if you’re running a dual-slot GPU.

If you’re having trouble finding the M.2 slots, you’re not alone. They’re actually located under the aluminum heat spreader, which is a necessity given the relatively small size of the board. Just take a peek under the hood, and you’ll be able to find them.

One thing we really like about the Maximus XI Gene is the support for Asus Ramcache III technology. This technology recognizes frequently-used files, and caches them in a dedicated portion of memory. This won’t necessarily make a big difference while you’re gaming, but it makes a huge difference when it comes to boot time.

Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i9-9900K

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC
ChipsetIntel Z390
Memory2 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 4 × SATA
Multi GPU SupportNone
Expansion Slots1 × PCIe x16
Back Panel Ports2 × Antenna Ports
1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort 1.2, 1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
4 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A
2 × USB 3.1 Gen1
1 × LAN
1 × Optical SPDIF Out
1 × Clear CMOS Button
HD Audio Jacks
Wi-FiYes

In general, a Mini-ITX motherboard isn’t ideal for gaming. You’re looking at less space for attachments, and a smaller case that’s harder to cool. That isn’t to say you can’t build a powerful, compact gaming rig, though. With the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC, you absolutely can.

It sports a PCIe x16 slot, along with dual M.2 slots that can each support NVMe-M.2 SSDs. In other words, you can get 4GB/s transfer rates, as well as install a modern GPU. On the downside, the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC only supports processor speeds of 3.4GHz, even with overclocking. So you won’t be able to get the most out of your i9-9900K.

In addition to the M.2 slots, you also get four SATA 6G connectors, which can support standard 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives. The board also has an M.2 Key E for WiFi, and can support up to 32GB of RAM. No memory or connectivity issues here!

When it comes to peripherals, the Z390 Phantom GAMING-ITX/AC provides you with plenty of options. There’s an HDMI port, as well as a DisplayPort 1.2 for video, and a Realtek ALC1220 connection for sound output. You also get four USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and a pair of USB 3.1 that supports Thunderbolt connections.

About the i9-9900K

First released in October of 2018, the Intel Core i9-9900K is still among the fastest CPUs on the market. It’s Intel’s answer to AMD’s Ryzen processor line, which had been pushing Intel out of the gaming market for several years. The goal was to produce a multi-core processor capable of multi-threading utilizing the LGA 1151 socket and Z390 chipset.

Later versions of the 9th gen i9 are now available, but they offer only modest improvements over the 9900K. You get eight cores, 16 threads, a base frequency of 3.6GHz, and a maximum clock speed of 5.0GHz. This makes it faster than any contemporary AMD processor, at a comparable price. In particular, it excels at hyper-threading.

The i9-9900K outperforms the next most powerful Coffee Lake processor by 400MHz, while still using the same 95-watt thermal package. And it has the benchmark results to back up Intel’s claims. Furthermore, a soldered heat spreader improves cooling efficiency and prevents overheating. It runs 10°C cooler than the fastest Core i7 processors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the i9-9900K worth it?

The i9-9900K continues to hold its own even after years on the market and gives AMD a run for it’s money. You should definitely consider getting it if overclocking and cooling efficiency are a priority to you.

What socket type is i9-9900K?

The i9-9900K, like other 9th generation Intel CPUs, use the LGA 1151 socket type.

Is the i9-9900K good for gaming?

Absolutely. In fact that’s an understatement: it’s more than good.

Simon Purcell
Simon Purcell
Simon has invested more time and energy in DOTA 2 than he cares to admit. Nowadays he's shifted his focus on tech and finds himself more at peace knowing there's no MMR to obsess over. Now it's MHz and GHz instead.
Simon Purcell
Simon Purcell
Simon has invested more time and energy in DOTA 2 than he cares to admit. Nowadays he's shifted his focus on tech and finds himself more at peace knowing there's no MMR to obsess over. Now it's MHz and GHz instead.

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