How to Choose the Best Motherboard for Core i7 9700K
Core i7 9700K is Intel’s top-of-the-line high-end CPUs. This 9th Generation “Coffee Lake” CPU is laced with features and functionality. It is one of the most appealing choices for gaming enthusiasts, because of its impressive single-core performance on its highly efficient eight-core chip. The improved architecture is also a huge help when it comes to bringing high-end gaming performance to the table. It comes with a base clock frequency of 3.6GHz that can be boosted right up to an impressive clock speed of 4.9GHz. Overall, it is an excellent choice for gaming, the TDP of 95w and few more subtle improvements here and there gives it quite the push to the top. Our job is to help you choose the best motherboard for Intel’s Core i7 9700K. A perfect motherboard in this case would be the one that can help support all the capabilities and functionalities of the Core i7 9700K, but also help it reach its maximum potential, and give it enough flexibility to boost its performance for an even smoother next-gen gaming experience.
What to Consider
Here are some of the things to consider if you are looking to pair your Core i7 9700k with the best motherboard possible.
You have probably chosen your motherboard according to the socket that can support Core i7 9700k, but the Form Factor is just as equally important. It defines what type of set-up you are about to build; whether you want a compact home cinema sort of build, an office workstation, or a massive gaming rig. There are three types of Form Factor, ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX. The main difference between the three is the overall dimensions, with Atx being the largest one and the Mini-ITX being the smallest, among the three. All three of these serve a different purpose, but if you are going to let the i7 9700k unleash its true gaming potential then it would be a wise choice to pick the ATX, so you can easily get the most convenient cooling system and space for other components that will be worthy of being paired with i7 9700k for a gaming set-up.
The right chipset is probably the most important factor to consider if you want to juice out the maximum performance of the Core i7 9700K. The motherboard manufacturers will often produce many different variants of the same chipset, ranging from budget ones to high-end processing beasts. So, if you are looking at a line-up of a motherboard with different variants of the same chipset, then make sure you get the one that not only is the most compatible with the Core i7 9700k but also more heavily featured than the rest because the CPU at hand is a high-end and is capable of utilizing all the high-end features that a supporting motherboard might offer.
If you want the best memory performance to accompany your high-end processor and help you achieve the peak gaming performance that the Core i7 9700k can offer; then you must consider a motherboard with more and improved DIMM slots. Most of the motherboards come with two DIMM slots, but the more the better. For such a high-end CPU, it would be only fair to pick up a motherboard with 4 DIMM slots. Moreover, certainly, the latest DDR4 is a must, because they offer support for a higher memory speed than its predecessor and the ideal memory speed for i7 9700k must be around 3200Mhz, at least. In some motherboards, you’ll also find further modifications, like that of metal fortification or as such that will allow for more efficient temperatures and memory performance.
Since you are going to be hooking up all the high-end components to your motherboard so that it can give you the ultimate gaming experience. Then it is crucial to analyze how many cooling fan headers do the motherboard offers. And in this case too, the more the better, but don’t overdo it if you are not going to utilize all the headers and would rather prefer a less expensive motherboard. Moreover, the availability of a good heatsink for CPU is also very important, along with an extra one for M.2 ports, if there are any, which will allow for high-speed connectivity and make your life even easier.
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M.2 Slots and U.2 Ports
In 2021, It would be a waste to pick a motherboard that does not offer M.2 slots, and the same goes for U.2 ports. M.2 allows for the modern NVMe SSDs, which are not only smaller but also lightning fast when it comes to connectivity. You can also choose to utilize the M.2 slots by harboring a high-speed Wi-Fi card there instead of the SSDs. However, the SSDs are more preferable, so wouldn’t it be nice if you picked a motherboard with not one but at least two M.2 slots. The U.2 does pretty much the same job, but it is quite rare, and the range of its compatibility is very exclusive, but getting a high-end motherboard that comes with both, should be the goal.
PCI Express x16, x8, x4, and x1 Slots
A motherboard with a decent range of PCIe slots should also be among your primary preferences because these slots are the most helpful and convenient when it comes to connectivity. The bandwidth of these slots should also be as high as possible to help you wring out the maximum performance out of your components that you’ll house in them. Especially, GPUs, because the modern GPUs require x16 slots, and one with a higher bandwidth should be the preference. This also concerns the multi-GPU enthusiasts, and if you are one of them then make sure you get at least two x16 that are actually giving out the same bandwidth, so you can pair up your GPUs with Nvidia SLI and Crossfire and take your gaming to another level.
There are a lot of other little factors, that are quite obvious, and one with all of the above will surely satisfy those little details, including, having excellent audio capacitors on board and capable ethernet, plus support for more USB ports, and an IO shield to make it DIY friendly. The factors mentioned above are the primary ones that will help determine what kind of build you might get, and if you go along perfectly, then you can easily wring out the high-end gaming performance that the Core i7 9700K is capable of providing.