My friend recently bought a motherboard for what he called, ‘his DREAM PC’. And as excited as he was for it, it just didn’t turn out to match him. So, what followed was lots of tears and disappointments. His dreams were crushed and his heart, broken. It made me realize how attached one could get to his/her PC, and then NOT getting the right specs for it could be brutal. So, after great evaluation, I am going to make sure that you DON’T get your dreams broken! Thus, here are the Best motherboards for Core i7-8700k, for the year 2021.
First and most of all, I would like to point out that ASRock Z370 Taichi could be-without any doubts-considered as the most preferable motherboard for Core i7-8700k. It is known for its high-quality components and an all-rounder persona, meaning that it’s great for gamers as well as for the non-gamers, with a decent price. But, if you want motherboards that compliment your specific needs, rather than being all-rounder, check my list below and hopefully you’ll find what you need.
|ASRock Z370 Taichi||All-rounder, for gamers and non-gamers. Best Motherboard for Core i7-8700k.||Amazon|
|MSI Z370 -A Pro||Best budget motherboard for gamers.||Amazon|
|ASROCK Z370 extreme 4||A great value offer, providing good features to money ratio.||Amazon|
|ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F||It has a very good price to performance ratio.||Amazon|
|Gigabyte AORUS Z370 gaming 7||Gets easily overclocked at 1.26 volts.||Amazon|
|MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC||Comes with double ESD protection and military-class 5 components. Thus, very durable.||Amazon|
|ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E||Performs 15-20% better at high temperatures than its predecessors.||Amazon|
|ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I||Very compact and powerful. If put with an i5, then it could be a budget offer.||Amazon|
|ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E||Compact and powerful, with easy assembly and built-in wi-fi.||Amazon|
|ASUS Prime Z390-A||Performs 15-20% better at high temperatures than its predecessors.||Amazon|
|Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO||Very well equipped and designed, with powerful VRMs, efficient cooling, and RGBs.||Amazon|
|ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex||Built for overclocking its memory.||Amazon|
|EVGA Z370 Micro||Very powerful and smooth, a pint-sized powerhouse.||Amazon|
1. ASRock Z370 Taichi – Best Motherboard for Core i7-8700k
ASROCK Z370 Taichi is highly regarded for its high-quality components, and over the top performance, especially when it comes to the overclocking stability it offers to its users. At about $264, this is no doubt, one of the best motherboards for core i7-8700k.
It comes with DDR 4 memory supporting up to 64 gigabytes and overclocks at 4333 megahertz, which is NOT bad at all. It supports NVIDIA SLI and CROSSFIRE X. There is RGB lighting onboard for gamers who want performance with an awesome look. Moreover, it has dedicated headers for you to connect LED strips or other accessories and control it through the ASROCK RGB LED utility software.
It supports 3 PCI generation-3 M.2 SSDs with up to 32 gigabits of transfer speed for ultra-fast loading and file transfer. As for its heat sinks, it has aluminum alloy heat sinks to keep things cool and double BIOS to let the gamers reach 5 gigahertz with ease.
It is a high quality, very stable, and easily overclockable motherboard at your disposal. And again, it won’t be wrong to consider it as one of the best motherboards for core i7-8700k.
|1. High-quality components.|
2. Ultra-fast downloading and data transfer.
3. Easily overclockable.
4. Very stable at overclocking.
|1. Less onboard lightings for the RGB fanatics.|
2. MSI Z370 -A Pro
MSI Z370-A Pro is a dream-come-true motherboard for those game enthusiasts who are in a budget. It offers a Z370 chipset on as low as $100.
Other than that, it has support for 32 gigabytes of RAM, with intel 1151 8th generation compatibility. It has 2 full-length PCI slots and 4 shorter slots.
The best thing about it is the heat sink. It has 4 system fan headers, a CPU fan, and a pump fan, so you can also do water cooling. Let’s not forget that all of this comes in just $100.
This motherboard has all the essentials to get your gaming PC running. Though it doesn’t have an optical audio port and could use some more USB slots, it supports your graphics card, has support for the VRM, supports DDR memory up to 4000 megahertz, and also supports overclocking if you have an unlocked Intel chip.
It might not be having some of the features that of an expensive motherboard, but for people still using the 2nd or 4th generation, they can get an 8th generation experience in a budget.
|1. Contains all the essential for a gaming PC|
2. Comes with a great heat sink. Also has water cooling
3. Supports overclocking of an unlocked intel chip
|1. Doesn’t have an optical audio port|
2. Fewer USB slots
3. Doesn’t have a type c connector on the back
4. Doesn’t support mystic or RGB header
3. ASROCK Z370 extreme 4
The extreme motherboards always strike a great balance between performance and features. Moreover, they are also positioned at a lower price point-150 in the UK and 180 in the US-making it a good value offer. Other such boards that offered the same features had costs of about 20-30% more than the ASROCK Z370 extreme 4 motherboards.
Appreciable features include its circuitry, which is isolated, assisting in providing a strong signal between the CPU and the memory. It has 2 USB 3 headers. It has 1 USB 3.1 header, which is nice since most such motherboards didn’t provide a USB 3.1 header and also cost more.
Also, it includes 8 SATA ports, which is unusual since almost all the other boards have 6 SATA ports. It has a simple and discreet heat sink behind the SATA ports and it can accommodate more than 1 graphics card, supporting both NVIDIA SLI and CROSSFIRE.
|1. costs 20-30% less than similar motherboards providing almost the same features, making it a good value offer.||1. needs more USB ports if we want to connect a USB mouse and keyboard.|
2. doesn’t have a USB 2 port, instead has a USB 3.1 port.
3. needed more voltage for overclocking, leading to higher temperatures.
4. ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F
This motherboard has a very good price to performance ratio. It costs about $190-which is about $60 less than CROSSHAIR 6 Hero-while providing most of its functions.
Its features include an excellent BIOS support and an SSD secure race function in BIOS, which is a little-added-extras. Moreover, memory support at higher frequencies is also very important, and we have seen great support from ASUS with this board.
Although it lacks some minor features, it won’t be unfair to consider it an awesome gaming computer with great RGB functionality. So, for the gamers who want performance and good looks, this might do for you.
Overall, if you want to step into the world of the 7th generation, with a fancy outlook, this motherboard is for you! But, for the users who want something less fancy or are on a budget, it won’t be recommended and advised to go for something less costly.
|1. Provides almost all the features that of CROSSHAIR 6 Hero, but costing $60 less.|
2. Has a very fancy outlook and great RGB functionality.
|1. No surface power and reset buttons, no debug led, no CEMOS clear button, and no USB bios flashback.|
2. Not exactly for the ones on a budget since it’s on a fancier end.
5. Gigabyte AORUS Z370 gaming 7
This motherboard costs about 270-280 pounds. Some changes have been made to its overall appearance. The white, which was on the previous models, has gone and this time they have gone for more of a silvery type of an effect, making it look more mechanical, and giving it more of an industrial-type of a look.
Moreover, it has gold plated contacts for audio and video onboard. Behind it, inside, there is a fan that would spin at about 6000 rpm if the VRMs hit 90 degrees Celsius. But, given its appreciable heat sink, it’s very rare that it hits a temperature like that so it’s most probably there for emergencies. However, if you get the fan to spin somehow, it will quite surely be very, very noisy.
Moreover, it includes USB 2, 3, 3.1 ports, and has ports for 6 SATA cables.
An appreciable feature regarding performance would be that it gets overclocked very easily and reaches 5.1 gigahertz at 1.26 volts. Other than that, it supports 4000 megahertz memory, which is quite similar to its earlier models. And BIOS too is very basic.
|1. Gets easily overclocked.|
2. Has an emergency fan for VRMs.
3. Has a new outlook.
|1. Memory is still the same as its previous models.|
2. BIOS is very basic.
3. Performance is a bit behind given that it costs about 270-280 pounds.
6. MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
This motherboard comes with double ESD protection. It also comes with military class 5 components, giving it a good lifespan. Or in other words, your motherboard is going to stick with you for a very long time…
Some appreciable features include an embedded ALC 1220 CODEC, with separated audio layers, and CHEMI CON audio capacitors, which means the audio is really clean in this motherboard. Unlike most stock motherboards that lack in sound quality.
Moreover, at 1.37 volts, the motherboard overclocks at 5 gigahertz with no worries at all. Thus, it makes it great for someone who wants an overclocking motherboard.
One of its most prominent features is that it has a very well-rounded BIOS. A person using it for the first time would face no complexities while using it. But, even for an enthusiast, the BIOS is designed to be complex enough that he/she too, would enjoy it. In simple words, the BIOS is complexly simple!
This is a very solid motherboard with only a few minor cons. Like for example, it doesn’t have a full debug readout, which would have been helpful. Other than that, it performs well and definitely recommended.
|1. Great lifespan.|
2. Clean audio.
3. Overclocks easily.
4. Very well-balanced BIOS for gaming newbies as well as enthusiasts.
|1. Doesn’t have a debug readout.|
7. ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E
At $240, this motherboard comes with beefier VRMs, +400watt for i9-9900k. What this means is that there is going to be more heat, however, this is why ASUS provided a fan in the bracket, to keep this heating under control. However, overheating only seems to be an issue with Core i9.
As for memory, it has a dual-channel configuration, which can support up to 64 gigabytes of DDR 4 RAM, overclockable to 4266 megahertz. Note that this is more by 266 megahertz, comparing it with its earlier Z370 motherboards, which gave 4000 megahertz. So, we can consider this to be an improvement.
The M.2 solid-state drive’s heat shield and the chipset heat shield have been made 2 separate components. Although a minor change, however, it will cater to the effect of heat, which reduced the motherboard’s performance by 15-20% in its previous versions. Thus, a major improvement performance-wise.
It has 7 fan connectors, and 2 connectors for water pumps, to enable water cooling.
Although, the Z390 chipset is not much different than the Z370 chipset, however, ASUS has shown a much more focused approach to its performance.
|1. Caters to the decrease in performance due to heating.|
2. Greater megahertz for RAM overclocking.
3. Efficient heat sink and a better overall performance
|1. Not much difference between the Z390 chipset and Z370 chipset.|
8. ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I is a mini ATX masterpiece of a motherboard. It is designed while keeping the gamers in mind and is highly recommended for those who would want to build a compact but powerful coffee lake system.
This motherboard comes with USB 2, 3, 3.1 connectors with an applaudable feature of USB 3.1 type-a and type-c connectors as well. It has a total of 4 SATA ports and for memory, it supports up to 32 gigabytes of DDR 4, which is overclockable to about 4333 megahertz.
Moreover, it has what ASUS calls a double-decker heat sink arrangement, for efficient cooling. It has RGB lights onboard and has an RGB header for those who prefer a fancier outlook. The RGB settings are controllable using ASUS’s own aura sink software.
An appreciable feature for this motherboard would be its easy installation. It comes with a CPU installer and installation of memory too, is very easy, making it great for the ones assembling a motherboard for the first time. Also, it has an M.2 slot at its back and one M.2 slot in front, making raid-0-setup doable.
|1. Very easy assembly.|
2. Compact and powerful.
3. If assembled with i5, one could call it a budget system.
4. Includes USB 3.1 type-a and type-c
|1. It might overheat if its rear is not left open.|
9. ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E motherboard, coming in about $370 in Australia, is again an ATX size motherboard and doesn’t differ much than the ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F. However, ASUS did change its appearance, introducing a more silvery look, compared to the dark greyish look of the ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F motherboard.
Other different features include a built-in wi-fi, also having USB 3.1 generation 2 connectors, which were missing in the Z370-F.
Its appreciable features include a very efficient heat sink and a stable power supply. Also, it comes with an MC enabled feature, which overclocks this motherboard to 5 gigahertz. However, overclocking is much more difficult when compared to the MAXIMUS 10 Hero and takes about 1.3-1.4 volts to overclock. The MAXIMUS 10 Hero overclocks much easily than Z370-E.
It was also quite unstable when overclocking and only overclocks when the MC feature is enabled. So, if you disable this feature, you might not overclock but get a more stable performance.
While overclocking, more voltage was needed so the temperatures rose up to 80 degrees Celsius, which is much cooler compared to MAXIMUS 10 Hero, and so. It’s safe to say that cooling is much better on this board.
Other than that, it contains onboard RGBs and RGB headers. However, it contains no headers for water pumps. So those who would want water cooling, this motherboard is not for you. But, even with air cooling, the temperatures were quite stable.
|1. Very efficient cooling and power supply.|
2. Stable performance.
3. Includes RGB headers.
4. Has the CPU installation tool, making assembling much easier.
|1. Difficult to overclock and unstable at 5gigahertz.|
2. Doesn’t support water cooling
3. No power and Reset button.
10. ASUS Prime Z390-A
The ASUS Prime Z390-A is basically an improved version of its previous model, the Z370. Coming at about $190-200 in the US, this motherboard’s pros greatly out-weigh its cons.
It has a total of 14 USB ports, including USB 2, 3, 3.1, and 3.1 type-c, which is an improvement as the Z370 didn’t include USB 3.1. Also, it has more USB slots, which is good news for people using USB keyboards and mouse.
Appreciably, the M.2 heat sink is separated from the chipset heat sink, which might seem a small change, but improves the system’s performance by 15-20% in high temperatures, as compared to its predecessors.
Furthermore, it has 7 fan headers and if these are not enough, for some very unknown reason, it has a connector for an extension cord which allows up to additional 8 fans. It also has built-in wi-fi.
It’s fitted with RGB strips and with 2 additional RGB aura connectors. However, it doesn’t have an RGB addressable connector.
For the users using Z170 or Z270 and want an upgrade, don’t think twice and go for this motherboard. But, for the ones using Z370, it’s not recommended as there isn’t much difference between the 2 chipsets.
|1. Separate heat sink for M.2 and chipset.|
2. Has built-in wi-fi.
3. Great cooling.
|1. Doesn’t have an RGB addressable connector.|
2. Not much different than Z370.
11. Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO
This motherboard has great engineering, cooling, lighting, and most of all, very simple to use for first time builders as well as enthusiasts. And the best thing, what this motherboard offers, other motherboards offer the same things at about $100 more, in the US. So, in $195-200 in the US, this is where you’d want to be.
It has 12, 50 amps individual faces, giving it a double advantage of delivering a rock-solid voltage to its most demanding component, the CPU. Supporting the i9-9900k-8 physical core processor, you are most likely not going to find a better well-equipped VRM at this price anywhere.
Moreover, it supports 128 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, which is overclockable up to about 4266 megahertz. This is unique as almost all the motherboards support 64 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM. Although it might be overkill for some.
Furthermore, they added WIMA capacitors for the audio. These are high-end capacitors and allow better impedance, crystal clear audio, and great at filtering out electrical inferences. Moreover, you get very deep bass for your videos and games.
It has 8 fan headers separated thoughtfully all around the motherboard. With 2 headers for water pumps, it enables water cooling.
As for the RGBs, it has very well equipped RGB strips onboard, with addressable and non-addressable RGB connectors. So, for those users who want a very colorful and bright system, this is definitely recommended.
|1. Very well equipped and designed.|
2. Very strong VRMs.
3. Very efficient cooling.
4. Very bright and colorful.
|1. The memory heat pad has a bit play between its screws, which might affect the heat sink in long term.|
12. ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
The ASUS ROD Maximus X Apex is for those users who want to enhance their system’s performance and get it to be more stable.
This motherboard is very well designed and is solid. Its appreciable features would be its heat sinks, which won’t let the temperature rise over 60 degrees Celsius, according to reviews. So, it has one of the most efficient cooling systems.
Also, the memory is quite close to the CPU, to get an overall better memory performance. Moreover, it has only 2 dim slots, which are meant to overclock it. So, its memory is designed to get overclocked. 4000 megahertz were achievable, but the best average frequency was 3200-3600 megahertz.
The onboard RGB strips were quite colorful and adjustable. However, due to the memory being too close to the CPU, it did give some loopholes in the lighting, which otherwise could have been better.
The board overclocked at 5 gigahertz with 1.3 volts. Though it can reach 5.1 gighertz, it won’t be so stable in that frequency.
|1. Very efficient cooling.|
2. Meant for overclocking.
3. Good memory performance.
4. Bright and adjustable RGB strips.
|1. Lighting could have been better if the memory wasn’t too close to the CPU.|
13. EVGA Z370 Micro
Coming in about $219 in the US, this micro masterpiece is a pint-sized power-house for those who want a great gaming experience.
Its appreciable features include very efficient VRMs. It supports 32 gigabytes of RAM and is great for overclocking. In fact, it can reach up to 4100 megahertz, which is awesome, compared to other ATX sized motherboards.
Other than that, it has about 6 fan headers, USB 2 and 3 ports, 6 SATA ports, and RGB headers. It also has an onboard CPU temperature monitor.
One of the rare things about this motherboard is that it is wi-fi optional. This means that you can choose whether or not to install the wi-fi in it. And if you want it installed, then it has a very easy installation procedure.
|1. Efficient memory performance.|
2. Efficient cooling.
3. Very powerful and smooth.
|1. Doesn’t have much fancy RGB strips. So not for those who love RGB.|
2. Doesn’t have a USB 3.1 port.
So this was all from my side when it comes to the best motherboards for core i7-8700k. I hope you found what you were looking for on my list.