When it comes to gaming, having a solid gaming rig is absolutely crucial to stay ahead of the curve. After all, having a clunky old PC can kill the entire experience with performance issues, lag, stuttering and worse off – game crashes.
So, if you’ve decided to put together a new gaming computer for yourself, and you want to build it around an Intel Core i9 9900K processor – finding out the best motherboard that’s compatible with the chipset is a fantastic place to start.
However, with the insane amount of options out on the market these days, your hunt for the best gaming board of the year can quickly turn into an energy-sink and a tough challenge. And that’s why we’re here to help!
In today’s article, I’m going to walk you through your options when it comes to finding the best motherboard for i9 9900K processors. I’ll be covering all of the specifics, the features, and even some key ups and downs to each motherboard on my top list. And if you keep reading you’ll also be able to get answers to some of your burning questions about the best motherboards for the Intel Core i9 9900K processor.
Let’s dive right in!
My Favorite Motherboards For i9 9900K
Before we dig into the motherboards I suggest, I’d like to take a second to mention that there are dozens upon dozens of gaming boards for the i9 9900K that we could be looking at. However, I’ve narrowed things down to only 6 candidates!
After all, you’re likely looking for the cream of the crop rather than just an average board that supports the i9 9900K.
Here’s a quick overview of the best i9 motherboard models I’ll be covering:
All of the products that we feature in this article are independently tested & chosen by our editors. FragMeta may receive a commission on any products you buy through the links in this article.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS MASTER – The Overall Best Motherboard for i9 9900K Processors
It’s absolutely gorgeous, and packs quite the punch when it comes to its performance specs – the Gigabyte Z390 AUROS Master is our top pick for the best motherboard for i9 9900K this year.
First and foremost, let’s talk about design. The build is stylish and pretty sturdy with no loose bits or shoddy parts anywhere on the surface of the board. In addition to this, the RGB Fusion tech and Multi-Zone addressable LED lights allow you to really get creative with how your rig looks.
Now, in terms of its performance, it may seem deceptively similar to other 390 series motherboards. However, the Z390 AORUS Master wins out due to the fact that it makes use of the PowrStage system in combination with a 12+2 IR Digital VRM setup that absolutely crushes the competition. You can overclock this motherboard to the highest settings out of the box without losing any stability, ever.
This motherboard also features some pretty amazing networking tech as well. You’ve got a CNVi 802.11AC Wave 2 wireless system for blazing-fast Wi-Fi connectivity, alongside the good old Intel Gigabit LAN adapter that comes packaged with cFosSpeed to accelerate your internet connection and optimize your ping, even if you’re not using one of the best ethernet switches for gaming to accelerate and refine your experience.
It also packs a standard 4-way DDR4 RAM set up along with the Realtek ALC1220 soundboard that couples with the Sabre DAC audio system for crystal-clear sound and top-tier quality.
Over-top of all this, the Z390 AORUS Master features a lot of the bells and whistles that you’d expect from a high-end i9 motherboard. I’m talking about smooth ATX fitment, auto-charging USB ports, a smooth and seamless BIOS interface and so much more.
All in all, if you want the best of the best – this is definitely the i9 motherboard you should be after!
- 4 DDR4-compatible DIMM slots for your RAM
- Powerful overclocking capabilities with the 12+2 phase VRM setup
- Blazing fast networking thanks to cFosSpeed being built-in
- Amazing audio quality with the ALC1220 audio chipset
ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero – The Best Value For Your Money
In terms of sheer value for the cash you’re shelling out – this one stands close to the top. While it’s not quite as pricey as the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Master that we covered above, it’s still one of the best high-end ASUS motherboards purpose-built for gaming.
If you’re looking for serious power, perfect cooling, ultra-fast memory support, dual m.2 slots, and a stealthy aesthetic among a whole host of lucrative features – the Maximus XI motherboard is probably the one you should be looking at for your Intel Core i9 9900K build.
First and foremost, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is an i9 motherboard built with overclockers in mind. This really resonates well thanks to the elegantly built-in clock generator that packs everything you’ll need to get every drop of performance out of your core i9 9900K processor, without risking any sort of stability issues in the long-run.
And if this isn’t sweet enough as it is, the Maximus XI also features AI-driven overclocking. This allows you to overclock your board safely and efficiently at the push of a button, no know-how or experience needed.
Now, what about the other bells and whistles? The Maximus XI also packs a solid networking package with Intel Gigabit LAN and an MU-MI-MO 802.11 Wi-Fi adapter. Added to this are dual m.2 slots, a second-generation USB 3.1 port-hub, and a clear-audio soundcard.
All in all, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero definitely offers you a solid deal of premium features that you’d expect from a high-end gaming motherboard at pretty affordable prices. You can’t go wrong with this fine board from the ROG Maximus XI series.
- Enjoy effortless overclocking thanks to built-in boost clock and overclocking AI
- Dynamic cooling system that utilizes FanXpert 4 tech
- Pre-mounted I/O shield and LANGuard
- Beautiful minimalistic black design with full-spectrum RGB lighting
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E – Best “Budget” Option Motherboard for i9 9900K processor
When it comes to ballin’ on a budget – there’s no other motherboard that can offer what you’d get with the ROG Strix Z390-E in its price range. If you’re looking for reliable performance, lots of power, and great quality with a low price in the Z390 motherboard lineup, then this is the best option for you!
Just like the Maximus model that we covered earlier, this one features an AI-optimized overclocking setup with the trusty FanXpert 4 cooling technology that makes running your board and Intel core i9 9900K processor at a higher clock a total breeze.
And to help keep your rig safe in case of unfortunate events like power spikes – they’ve also worked in a nifty Gamer’s Guardian functionality to safeguard your DRAM and boost slot safety.
The cooling setup works around the dual m.2 slots with a liquid header and fan-extension that relies on a MOS-fan bracket. I was actually impressed at how efficient this system was, despite the slight bit of hassle that it took to install it out of the box.
In terms of the standard feature-kit, it’s very similar to most other Z390-series boards. Great networking tech, SupremeFX LC1220 HD audio (not exclusive to the Z390 in the ASUS lineup), USB 3.1 ports to support acessories like the dongle’s we’ve featured in our list of the best Bluetooth adapters for pc gaming, and so forth.
Now, one area that this motherboard really stands out in is aesthetics!
The minimalistic, darker color-theme with bright Aura-Sync RGB light channels crisscrossing the I/O header – all of it looks absolutely mesmerizing and even though I had a lighter palette going for my gaming computer build, this motherboard looked stellar as part of it during the testing period.
- Great AI-driven overclocking capacity with FanXpert 4 cooling tech built-in
- Extra safety for your overclocking needs via Gamer’s Guardian to protect your z390 board and CPU
- Every technological feature of the Z390 series at only a portion of the price
- Gorgeous dark aesthetics with Aura-Sync RGB functionality
MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE – The Best “Luxury” Option For The Intel Core i9 9900K Processor
Maybe you’ve fallen in love with the stable and reliable architecture of the Z390 platform, or maybe you’re simply looking for the most “pimped out” motherboard out there. And if you fall into the category, then the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is undeniably the motherboard for you.
Now obviously, as the luxury option on my list, it comes with quite the price tag. But is it really worth it?
Yes, yes, and yes! Firstly, it has absolutely insane overclocking capabilities, which when combined with the Core i9 9900K processor, gives you the play-room to shoot way past the 5GHz stock clock and really ramp out some incredible power and performance that would be more than enough for the most demanding games and applications in 2020.
Supplementing the overclocking setup are expert-engineered heatsinks that funnel the generated heat away from critical parts like your CPU. This allows for extreme stability, even at insanely high clocks. Oh, and MSI has even added a nifty OLED screen for the MEG Z390 Godlike. This screen shows you all of the core performance stats for the motherboard, CPU, and other critical components – allowing you to really squeeze out the most from the excellent Z390 architecture.
And added to the Z390 OLED display is MSI’s Mystic Light RGB system that features over 16.8 million color options and 29 different effects, controllable via the Mystic Light app. This lets you truly personalize your PC and build and take the color-scheme and layout to a totally different level altogether.
But, what about the basics? Of course, with all the cool stuff that MSI packed into the MEG Z390 Godlike, they haven’t forgotten the standard dual m.2 slots and an m.2 shield frozr, Wi-Fi adapter (Killer Wireless-AC 1550), USB 3.1 ports and a dual-channel HD audio processor.
All in all, the whole set up is pretty insane. And if you’re looking to get the best of the best from the Z390 platform – the MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is one of the best motherboards for the Core i9 9900K processor platform.
- Incredibly powerful overclocking platform and precision-engineered design for maximum performance
- Support 4 DIMM Slots taking DDR4 memory up to a clock of 4,600 MHz
- MSI Mystic Light RGB System Enabled, allowing you to enjoy over 16.8 million color options
- Packed chock-full of the latest tech bells & whistles to make sure you’ve got all bases covered with the best of the best
Extended ATX (E-ATX)
MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk – The Best “Starter” Gaming Motherboard For The Core i9 9900K Intel Processor
Now that we’ve covered three core areas and offered you options that lean towards performance, value for your money, and budget savings – let’s talk about a motherboard that effectively addresses all three categories.
The MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk is incredibly affordable, boats fantastic power and overclocking capabilities, and features all of the standard bells and whistles that a high-end motherboard should. However, while it doesn’t skimp on performance, it does fall a little behind when it comes to the aesthetic features such as an intricate RGB layout or crazy visuals. And that’s why it’s so affordable, being a third of the price of similarly-performing motherboards. However, that being said – it’s still compatible with the MSI Mystic Light platform.
This motherboard is an excellent fit for the LGA 1151 series socket, covering most 8th and 9th generation Intel processors, including the i9 990K series Intel processor.
It features blazing fast turbo m.2 slots, lots of USB 3.1 ports (as well as several USB 3.1 type-C enabled ones ), dual-channel boosted DDD4 DIMM slots that can read up to 4,600 MHz memory clocks, Intel Optane memory capability, fantastic networking features (Wi-Fi adapter and dual Gigabit LAN), and so much more.
All in all, the MSI MAG Z390 Tomahawk rivals easily rivals and even surpasses other high-end motherboards in terms of feature offerings. And it manages to do so at only a fraction of the cost. This is exactly what makes it one of the best motherboards for the i9 9900K, hands down!
- Gaming-oriented performance build with dual-channel DDR4 memory slots compatible with Intel Optane tech
- MSI Mystic Light compatible, allowing you to enjoy over 16.8 Million RGB colors
- Perfect compatibility with 8th and 9th generation Intel processors on the LGA 1151 socket platform
- Lots of high-end tech packed in, without any of the added cost
What Should You Look For In A Motherboard For The i9 9900K?
Now that we’ve covered some of the best options when it comes to finding a motherboard for the Core i9 9900K, let’s quickly go over some of the key things that you’ll need to keep in mind in order to pick out the best possible motherboard for yourself and your i9 9900K processor.
Chipset & Processor Compatibility
Before we start talking about the entire array of features that the average motherboard can feature, let’s talk about compatibility. After all, your entire build revolves around the i9 9900K CPU and making sure that you get a board that’s compatible with the i9 9900K is absolutely crucial.
In our case, you’ll be looking for an LGA 1151 socket MOBO. Whether it’s one of the ones we’ve listed out or another model that you’re considering – make sure that it supports the 9th generation of processors, including the i9 9900K.
Performance & Overclocking Capability
When it comes to gaming, you’ll need all the performance and firepower that you can get from your PC. The majority of this relies strongly on your motherboard being able to hold a stable clock on your CPU and memory. In particular, when it comes to overclocking the i9 9900K processor, features like VRM become very useful to really get the most out of this super-powerful processor.
Now, in addition to this, you’ll also need to have the right cooling setup going on, and the motherboard should be able to support it. After all, keeping your RAM, i9 9900K CPU, SSD’s, and VRMs cool is key for stable performance in the long-run.
And last but not least, it’s worthwhile to think about getting a board that has AI-driven overclocking intelligent fan-control, and other automated motherboard gaming performance optimization features for your i9 9900K.
Form Factor / Case Fitment & Aesthetics
Ensuring compatibility between the various array of parts that will be hooked up to your motherboard is crucial. However, figuring out whether or not your motherboard and case are compatible in the first place is probably just as crucial.
I personally recommend picking out a case around the components you’ve picked up for the MOBO and i9 9900K combo. However, if you want to create an aesthetically-driven gaming PC build around a specific case, make sure that you keep the form factor such as mini ITX, E-ATX, and ATX in mind while shopping.
And while we’re on the topic of aesthetics, it’s worth talking about the general look and feel of the board itself. You should decide ahead of time whether or not the motherboard should feature a lighter or darker theme, as well as what sort of RGB-lighting compatibility you’d like it to have. Some boards feature built-in lighting setup, others have customizable RGB strips you can install all over the case, hooked up to a centralized color system.
Frequently Asked Questions About i9 Compatible MOBOs
Are gaming and normal motherboards any different?
Not particularly. Generally, gaming motherboards pack in a little more technological capability as they’re more focused around delivering extreme performance. And in recent years, the gaming side of the market has also ramped up in terms of aesthetics with fancy RGB lighting and other “look & feel” style features.
What motherboards support the i9 9900K?
If you’ve kept up with me until this point in the article, you now have several great options for motherboards to put on your shopping shortlist. However, generally, any motherboard that features an Intel LGA 1151 socket and an 8th/9th generation chipset will support the i9.
Can I Install Other Processors Instead Of The i9?
Any processors that fit within the 8th/9th generation range and use the LGA 1151 socket will work just fine with the motherboard you buy.
What is VRM and why is it important for the i9 9900K?
A VRM regulates the input voltage going to your CPU, effectively lowering it and delivering a consistent power-stream so that it doesn’t overload. It’s one of the key features required for total stability, especially when you’re overclocking your setup for maximum performance.
And while having to get a motherboard a VRM set up isn’t necessary by any means, it really helps get that much more extra performance out of the processor.
Closing Thoughts – My Verdict
So there you have it – my top 4 motherboards for i9 processors in 2020!
If you’ve kept up with me until this point in the guide, you should now have a shopping shortlist ready. We’ve gone over the top boards and their best features, the general considerations that come into play when shopping for a motherboard, as well as some of the burning questions people have in mind when looking around for a MOBO.
My personal favorite option for the best i9-9900K motherboard (and the board I’ve got in my PC) is still the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS MASTER!
It’s undeniably one of the best boards all around, delivering stellar performance, amazing value for your money, and everything that you could really want in a gaming board at a very reasonable price-point.
With that said, I wish you luck on your shopping adventures and I hope that this guide helps you pick out the best motherboard for i9 9900K.
What are some of the motherboards you’re considering that weren’t mentioned in this guide? Let us know in the comments below for a chance of having them featured in a second detailed review!