Best Motherboard for i9 9900k for Extreme Gaming Performance

A motherboard is undoubtedly one of the most critical components of a computer system since most of the essential parts are attached to it. It follows then that a good motherboard allows you to take an unlocked processor to new limits by overclocking. Therefore, we have compiled an extensive guide of the best motherboard for i9 9900k to maximize its capabilities and elevate your gaming experience to new levels.

Why the i9 9900k?

Despite not being Intel’s latest processor, it’s still one of the best and most powerful out there. It’s built for the most extreme PC builds with robust performance in gaming and threaded applications, thanks to its 8 cores and 16 threads. This makes the i9-9900k makes it particularly ideal for enthusiasts.

The i9-9900k is one of the last Intel high-end processors based on the LGA 1151 Socket. On top of finding the right socket, we also recommend going for the Z390 chipset for this processor since it offers the best future-proofing if you plan on upgrading your system down the line. Furthermore, the Z390 is a clear upgrade on the Z370 chipset, providing better efficiency and excellent performance for peak processor and memory overclocking capabilities.

Nonetheless, finding the right motherboard to complement this processor can be quite overwhelming, largely to the different types of sockets and chipsets available. Solid housing also extends to proper cooling, decent airflow and sufficient power delivery components from the motherboard and power supply to push the i9-9900k to its maximum capabilities.

Let’s get into our recommendations for the best motherboards for the i9-9900k:

1 Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ULTRA

If you’re looking for a premium motherboard that comes with all the features right out of the box, Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra is definitely the best choice. For starters, it comes with a 12+1 Design Power VRM that gives clean power delivery to the motherboard’s components. It also supports up to 4400MHz and a maximum memory of up to 64GB, providing one of the most highly overclocked memories we have seen on the market.

This super-reliable motherboard has three M.2 slots for memory modules and Wi-Fi, including six SATA6 slots for storage components. It features three PCIe x16 slots made from Gigabyte Steel Armor and three PCIe slots for expansion cards, as well as supporting 2-Way AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. Like all other Gigabyte motherboards, the Z39 Aorus Ultra is packed with great connectivity options, including one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port, one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, two USB3.1 Gen1 and four USB2.0 ports -all on the rear I/O panel.

With the robust design, remarkable power design VRM, expansive rear I/O panel and plenty of built-in features, the Z390 Aorus Ultra is the ultimate motherboard for i9-9900k. Once you get a full tower case for it, you’ve stepped up your processor to new limits. The only downside is perhaps you’ll have to dig a bit deeper into your pockets for this ATX motherboard.

Pros

  • SLI and Crossfire support
  • 12 Phase Power Design VRM
  • Ideal alternative to the Z390 Aorus Xtreme

Cons

  • A tad expensive

2 Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro is quite similar to the Aorus Ultra, with only minor differences in features and price. If you’re looking for a cheaper motherboard with the same performance and components as the Aorus Ultra, this one certainly fits the bill. Its aesthetics are arguably the first thing that will catch your eye, coming from the PCB with black color, white touch and some orange RGB lights.

The Aorus Pro has an excellent feature set, starting with a 12+1 Phase Power Design VRM that can easily overclock the i9-9900k to new heights. It supports 128GB of memory at 4400Mhz overclocked clock speed. The motherboard has multiple USB 3.1 ports, including Type-C, Type-A and USB 2.0 ports for connectivity. For storage, it includes six SATA6 slots and two M.2 slots with heatsinks on them. It also has three PCIe x16 slots with PCI Steel Amor as well as three PCIe slots, plus it supports multiple AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great aesthetics
  • Built for enthusiasts

Cons

  • No significant downside

3 MSI MEG GODLIKE Z390

If you want a flagship, most-featured packed motherboard, it doesn’t get any better than the MSI MED GODLIKE Z390. This monster of a motherboard has an 18 Phase Power Design VRM, offering outstanding performance that can easily overclock the i9-9900k. It supports up to 128GB of memory with up to 4400Mhz of overclock speed. The aesthetics are just as pleasing, a black PCB with a grey touch.

It has six SATA6 memory slots and three M.2 Wi-FI module slots. The panel also includes one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, three USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, plus some USB 2.0 ports on the rear I/O panel. The GODLIKE Z390 uses first-rate audio and network controllers from MSI, including built-in Wi-Fi and RGB lights. It also has four PCIe x16 slots, allowing you to install multiple Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.

It’s an E-ATX motherboard; therefore, it needs a full tower case, which can present some compatibility problems. However, if you can afford it, this is arguably the best motherboard for i9-9900k you can find on the current market.

Pros

  • Brilliant aesthetics
  • Multiple USB ports
  • 18 Phase Power Design VRM

4 ASUS ROG Maximum XI Gene Z390

When it comes to micro-ATX motherboards, the ASUS ROG Maximum XI Gene Z390 is an excellent choice. It features a 12 Phase Power Design VRM and supports most Intel Coffee Lake processors with high overclocking power right out of the box. It has two RAM DIMMs for storage (which might not suffice for an enthusiast’s build) and supports maximum memory of up to 64GB -overclocked up to 4000Mhz.

As a micro-ATX motherboard, it lacks some of the features found on ATX motherboards. It comes with only one PCIe x16 slot and one PICe x4 slot and lacks support for multiple graphics cards. It also comes with four SATA6 slots and two M.2 modules support. For connectivity, it features three USB .1 Gen1 Type-A, one USB .1 Gen1 Type-C, eight USB .1 Gen1, including two USB 2.0 ports and Wi-Fi support.

This is a great motherboard for i9-9900k for a mid-tower build. But’s it worth considering the trade-off you’d have to make for a smaller set-up. That said, the Maximum XI Gene Z390 still presents one of the most appealing prices for features.

Pro Tip: Consider the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming if you’re looking for the best mini ITX motherboard for i9-9900k.

Pros

  • Excellent VRM
  • Best micro-ATX motherboard

Cons

  • Lacks Legacy SATA M.2
  • Only 2 memory slots
  • Lacks multiple GPU support

5 ASRock Phantom Gaming 9

If you’re looking for a premium, high-quality motherboard that’s not super expensive, the ASRock Phantom Gaming 9 is well worth your buck. It features a 12 Phase Power Design VRM, four RAM DIMMS for memory and supports maximum memory of up to 64GB at 4266Mhz. That means it’s a relatively better bargain than the 10GBPS Ethernet version when comparing features per price value.

This ATX motherboard packs sufficient storage and connectivity options, with eight SATA6 slots and three M.2 slots with an M.2 heatsink in the second place. The Phantom Gaming 9 includes three PCIe x16 slots with PCI Steel Armor, and also supports quad AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. The motherboard features one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, three USB 3.0 Gen2 Ports and four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports for connectivity. There’s a 10GBPS Ethernet version that’s relatively cheaper, but it comes with 1.73Gb/s Wi-Fi.

The high-quality build makes this a pretty solid motherboard for i9-9900k. However, you can probably find cheaper motherboards from Gigabyte and Asus at the price point. More so, the cooling system would do with an upgrade.

Pros

  • 1.73Gb/s Wi-Fi
  • 12 Phase Design VRM
  • Supports high OC RAMs

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Cooling system could be better

Factors to Consider in the Best Motherboard for i9 9900k

1. Processor

Processors are installed on motherboards using sockets. This means the motherboard’s socket has to match the processor’s socket. The Intel Core 19-9900k uses an LGA 1151 socket for installation, so ensure that your final motherboard pick has the appropriate socket for the CPU.

2. Size

Typically, motherboards and cases come in three different sizes for form factor flexibility when you’re building your PC. If you have plenty of space for your gaming setup, you can certainly set up a full-sized gaming rig, allowing you to go for larger components, such as EATX or ATX motherboards. These offer more connectivity options and features than their smaller counterparts. On the other hand, if you’re a bit constrained on space, you may be limited to smaller components, namely a Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboard.

3. RAM

While the processor is vital for handling the computational tasks, RAM is just as important for storing temporary information, making it vital for speed in applications and games. Modern-day applications and games require substantial memory to run smoothly. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your ideal motherboard meets your PC’s memory requirements.

When looking at RAM, you’ll consider the RAM type and bus speed it supports, suchlike DDR3 3200Mhz or DDR4 4200Mhz. This represents the generation and speed bandwidth.

4. Storage

Modern PCs use Solid State Drives (SSDs) for storage owing to their terrific speeds. You should ensure the motherboard offers the option and flexibility to install several storage options. Most entry-level motherboards provide storage options via SATA ports, but the newer NVMe storage ports offer ultra-fast speeds via PCIe connections.

5. Ports

Connectivity options are just as crucial when it comes to the best motherboards for i9-9900k. After all, you’ll have various input, output and computer components to connect with your system. Therefore, a motherboard with multiple ports and connectivity options s naturally more versatile.

Some of the key connectivity options to consider include USB Type-C and USB 10Gbps ports, RAM slots, Wi-Fi connectivity (Ethernet) ports and M.2 slots.

6. PCI-e Connectors & Expansion Slots

PCI-e connections are essential for installing vital components on your computer. They are mostly used for graphics cards, where the PCIe slots determine how many you can use at once as well as the bandwidth speed. Some users also use them to install networks cards, store cards, sound cards and other expansion cards. Therefore, the best motherboards for i9-9900k offer multiple expansion slots for high versatility.

7. BIOS

The motherboard’s chipset has its own smaller operating system, commonly known as BIOS. It’s incredibly important to keep this software updated for all the latest features, allowing you to get the maximum performance out of your gaming PC, as well as delivering the best system stability. This involves visiting the motherboard’ support website regularly to check for updates.

8. Features

Nowadays, motherboards come with built-in features, saving you a lot of effort and cash. Besides standard features such as extra Wi-Fi or Bluetooth expansion cards, you can also consider some bells and whistles in your motherboard, such as RGB lighting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on i9 9900k Motherboards

1. How much RAM is necessary for i9 9900k?

RAM is practically not linked with the CPU’s performance. It mostly ensures smooth multitasking in games and applications. That said, you can use the maximum RAM supported by the motherboard to get the best performance out of your PC, particularly the i9-9900k processor.

2. Does i9 9900k require liquid cooling?

It depends. If your motherboard provides decent VRM phases and better heat dissipation via its heat sinks, you’re good to go with just the CPU Fan Cooler. However, if you plan to overclock the CPU to its full potential, it would be best to use liquid cooling.

3. What’s the best GPU for i9 9900k?

Again, it depends on your specific needs and requirements. However, it’s worth mentioning the latest RTX 2080Ti is sufficiently powerful to pair with an i9-9900K, powerful enough to run most modern resource-intensive applications and games smoothly and fluidly.