Top 10 Best Motherboards for i5 9600k

The i5 9600k is Intel’s latest mid-range processor and comes unlocked for overclocking. Coming with a 6-core, 6-thread count, this CPU goes head-to-head with AMD’s Ryzen 2600X for one of the best value chips in 2020. With proper AIO cooling, an i5 9600k can easily hit 5.1GHz when overclocked but to achieve that, you need to pair a Z390 motherboard with it. In today’s article, we will find out which is the best Z390 i5 9600k motherboard for your next PC build.

We have included the best options from various price segments as well as different form-factors. Below you can check the reviews for the motherboards as well as the pros and cons of each product. Whether you are looking for high-end gaming or enthusiast-class features, you will find the best motherboard for i5 9600k in the article below.

10 Best i5 9600k Motherboards

Product NameForm FactorGraphics InterfaceMemoryDimensions (inches)
1. MSI Z390A ProATX2 x PCIe x164400 MHz, Up to 128GB12.0 x 9.6CHECK PRICE
2. Asus ROG Strix Z390E GamingATX2 x PCIe x164266 MHz, Up to 128GB12.0 x 9.6CHECK PRICE
3. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro Wi-FiATX2 x PCIe x163466+ MHz, Up to 64GB12.0 x 9.6CHECK PRICE
4. Asus Prime Z390AATX2 x PCIe x164266 MHz, Up to 128GB12.0 x 9.6CHECK PRICE
5. Gigabyte Z390 Gaming XATX2 x PCIe x164266 MHz, Up to 128GB12.0 x 8.9CHECK PRICE

1. MSI Z390A Pro

PROS —

  1. Excellent price-to-performance
  2. Easy OC for any skill level
  3. Reinforced PCIe x16 slot
  4. Extended VRM heatsink
  5. Mystic Light Sync headers

CONS —

  1. Lacks second M.2 slot
  2. Not the best looking board
  3. No inbuilt Wi-Fi

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4400 MHz, Up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek ALC892 | Multi GPU Support: 2-Way AMD CrossFireX Technology | Form Factor: ATX

MSI has been known to make some of the best motherboards for beginners and experts alike. Their PRO series is designed to offer low-level control and bulletproof stability while overclocking, and the Z390-A Pro comes right at the doorstep of entry-level enthusiast motherboards, thus making this motherboard an excellent one to pair with your i5 9600k chip. This board can support up to 4400MHz OC memory maxing at 128GB and comes with extended heatsink design to ensure proper cooling of your rig.

This mobo is a great choice for someone looking to upgrade from a basic system to enter the realm of high-FPS gaming and advanced functionality. The reinforced PCIe slot is a solid addition and helps in extra durability as well as better heat dissipation. Our favourite of all is the BIOS, as not only does it have an excellent interface, but for the handy flashback feature and seamless system monitoring software which make tuning and tweaking a breeze. Luckily you do have access to a Gen2 Type-C port, but onboard Wi-Fi is missing.

It is an easy recommendation for a budget motherboard that is more than capable of overclocking a 6-core or even 8-core processor. If you care about performance more than the aesthetics, then this is a no-brainer for you, and the pros far outweigh the cons given the low price on this one.

2. Asus ROG Strix Z390E Gaming

PROS —

  1. Sleek aesthetics
  2. Bluetooth v5 and Wi-Fi
  3. Aura Sync lighting
  4. Best-in-class UEFI BIOS
  5. M.2 heatsinks

CONS —

  1. Expensive compared to its competitors.
  2. Heats up while overclocking.

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4266 MHz, Up to 128GB| Audio: SupremeFX S1220A | Multi GPU Support: AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology | Form Factor: ATX

How can a premium motherboard list be complete without the mention of ASUS ROG boards? They have pioneered the hardware industry and have been known to design top-notch VRMs and solid components. The Z390-E Gaming blows away our expectations by effortlessly handling a 9600k chip at 5GHz+ speeds when cooled properly. This board will surely catch some eyes with the sleek dark aesthetic and the customisable Aura Sync RGB lighting. Both NVMe M.2 drives come with heatsinks and the two PCIe x16 slots share 16 lanes from the CPU if you plan to use both of them.

If we take a look at the BIOS, ASUS has provided a plethora of ROG software and its AI suite, as well as plenty of settings for RGB and cooling options. If all this sounds confusing to you, there is also an EZ mode for new PC builders. You get a lot of premium features like a Gen2 Type-C port, Intel 2×2 Wi-Fi card, Intel Gigabit LAN as well as high-end SupremeFX audio, but all this adds to the cost of it. This motherboard is not for everyone, especially with the high pricing than some other competitors, but what it does better is an amazing design with the best BIOS in the industry. All these mid-level enthusiast features and the brand value of ASUS makes it an obvious choice to include in our list for the best motherboard for i5 9600k.

3. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro Wi-Fi

PROS —

  1. Awesome build quality.
  2. Excellent all-round performance.
  3. RGB Fusion 2.0 LEDs.
  4. Dual M.2 thermal pads.

CONS —

  1. Not the most intuitive BIOS.
  2. Some competitors provide three M.2 slots.

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 3466+ MHz, Up to 64GB| Audio: Realtek ALC1220-VB | Multi GPU Support: 3-Way AMD CrossFireX and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI Technology | Form Factor: ATX

The AORUS brand is aimed to provide gamers with premium features and performance coupled with great looks to go along with. The Z390 AORUS Pro is one of the best options in the sub $200 segment and offers dual shielded PCIe slots and dual thermal pads for the M.2 slots. It follows the signature black theme with orange and silver accents and comes with nice RGB implementation across the board. With things such as Gen2 Type-C port, 12+1 phase VRM and best-in-class networking connectivity, this mobo can give many pricier boards a run for their money.

Just like with any other AORUS board, this comes with high-end ALC 1220 audio and superfast wireless and LAN speeds, as well as a nice array of USB connectivity including a Gen1 Type-C header, two Gen2 Type-A and a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C connector on the rear I/O. Gigabyte uses a simple yet effective design for the BIOS and gives you options for Easy Mode and Classic Mode for different skill levels of users. As expected from a premium mobo, we have many advanced OC settings, including custom profiles for RAM and fan utilities, and you will surely enjoy hitting 5.1GHz on this motherboard. The AORUS Pro Wi-Fi is a solid all-rounded i5 9600k motherboard tailored for intensive gaming and long term durability.

4. Asus Prime Z390A

PROS —

  1. Excellent price-to-performance
  2. Aura Sync RGB lighting
  3. M.2 heatsink
  4. Great UEFI BIOS

CONS —

  1. Not for extreme overclocking
  2. No inbuilt Wi-Fi

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4266 MHz, Up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek S1220A | Multi GPU Support: 3-Way AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology | Form Factor: ATX

The ASUS Prime Z390-A is an amazing budget board and comes with a sleek black-and-white aesthetic, which makes it perfect for someone going for a white-themed build. It uses high-quality components and can handle everything you throw at it. This mobo can easily achieve 5.1GHz speeds when overclocking an i5 9600k with decent cooling. Although it doesn’t come under the ROG umbrella, it still features a solid BIOS with some great customizability and tuning profiles. An interesting thing that ASUS has given is the AI overclocking feature for automatic tuning and control; however, we recommend manual overclocking over that any day.

Out of the two M.2 slots, the heatsink is present only on the primary one, and we have ASUS safe slot protection on the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. If you are an audiophile or a heavy gamer, you will love the addition of SupremeFX S1220A codec on this one, which makes it next to none in terms of sound quality. There are no addressable RGB headers, and even onboard Wi-Fi is missing, but those are personal preferences and don’t count as major drawbacks. Especially when you consider the fact that you get a high-speed USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port and such a powerful VRM at this price. The Prime Z390-A is the best upgrade option if you are coming from a Z170/Z270 chipset or are just looking for a well-performing budget motherboard.

5. Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X

PROS —

  1. Impressive OC potential
  2. Great value-for-money
  3. Shielded rear I/O and PCIe slots
  4. M.2 thermal guard

CONS —

  1. No Type-C port
  2. Not a very user-friendly BIOS

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4266 MHz, Up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek ALC892 | Multi GPU Support: AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire Technology | Form Factor: ATX

The Z390 Gaming X is a budget i5 9600k motherboard and comes at a price where the extra bells and whistles do not matter to an average buyer. Despite Gigabyte receiving some critic remarks for their BIOS, they deliver excellent results with a powerful VRM and cooling design. The Gaming X is one of the cheapest boards out there that can handle an overclocked i5-9600k at a stable 5GHz, and what’s best is it can run XMP mode and supports 2 M.2 slots with PCIe Gen3 x4 and SATA interface. The low price doesn’t stop Gigabyte from using high-quality components on this board, and it’s great to see a shielded primary PCIe x16 slot and the thermal guard on the M.2 slot.

The rear panel comes with a pre-installed I/O shield as well, but you won’t find a Type-C port on this one. The BIOS is refreshed and includes several Gigabyte APP Center addons; however, as mentioned before, the UEFI interface is a bit confusing with a complex submenu structure. While it does its job well, it is something they can improve on in the future. In case you find the design too plain for your liking, add an RGB LED strip to spice up the visual appeal. At such a low price, the Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X is the best budget motherboard for i5 9600k and will meet all your requirements for high-end gaming.

6. Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi

PROS —

  1. AI overclocking features
  2. Addressable Aura Sync RGB
  3. Shielded PCIe and M.2 slots
  4. Rich SupremeFX S1220 Audio
  5. M.2 heatsinks

CONS —

  1. Expensive
  2. No anti-static bag

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4400 MHz, up to 128GB| Audio: SupremeFX S1220 | Multi GPU Support: 3-Way AMD CrossFireX and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI Technology | Form Factor: ATX

The Maximus XI Hero is a premium Z390 offering from ASUS and is targeted at power-users with its monster VRM setup and a whole bunch of high-end features. The build quality is amazing in every aspect and includes massive heatsinks and top-grade capacitors that will give you bragging rights of having some of the best motherboard hardware for your rig. The AI overclocking functionality is implemented well on this one and makes the system-wide tuning just one-click away. This board has three full-length PCIe slots with two of them being reinforced.

It has a 10-phase PWM and eight 4-pin fan headers, giving it a lot of room for overclocking while the 5-Way Optimization technology ensures proper heat management. If you are someone who needs the best audio experience with your system, this board has one of the finest audio DACs, and the SupremeFX S1220 Audio Codec is next to none in terms of premium studio-grade sound output. The dual M.2 slots come with nice looking heatsinks and support PCIe Gen3 x4 speeds, and you also get six SATA 6Gb/s slots for other storage devices. This board also gets the points for USB connectivity, featuring a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port and plenty of Gen1 and USB 2.0 ports.

We would recommend the Maximus XI Hero to anyone looking for a stylish motherboard for i5 9600k and wants the best performance and audio experience for gaming as well as mainstream usage. ASUS is known to provide excellent UEFI BIOS which is reflected in the BIOS design on this one.

7. Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming

PROS —

  1. Great price-to-performance ratio
  2. Powerful 10+2 phase VRM
  3. Rear I/O panel shielding
  4. Great for SFF builds

CONS —

  1. Only four fan headers
  2. Unintuitive BIOS interface

Socket: 1151| Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4266 MHz, up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek ALC892 | Multi GPU Support: AMD Quad-GPU CrossFire Technology | Form Factor: Micro-ATX

If you are looking for a smaller build or have a micro-ATX case, then Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming is the best compact motherboard for you. This mobo is very similar to the Z390 Gaming X, except for it being in the micro-ATX form factor. Despite the smaller size, it still maintains a dual PCIe x16 setup as well as PCIe and I/O shielding. Not only will this save you some bucks but can deliver as much thrust to overclock an i5 9600k as some full-sized ATX boards. This board has a 10+2 phase power design, and memory support is just as good as any other boards on this list.

You would be able to use multi-GPU setups with Crossfire mode, but keep in mind that the secondary PCIe slot only supports up to x4 mode. What’s nice is that the primary PCIe is supplemented with Steel Armor protection for better durability and heat dissipation. On the rear panel, you will find all your USB ports including two USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type A+C) ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports. Although there is support for RGB headers, the Gigabyte App Center is not very intuitive for control over your system. Other than that, the Z390 M Gaming is a steal for the price, especially if you are building a micro-ATX build.

8. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC

PROS —

  1. Competitive pricing
  2. USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
  3. Neutral aesthetics
  4. Onboard Wi-Fi

CONS —

  1. Little RGB included
  2. POST LED missing
  3. No M.2 heatsink

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4400 MHz, up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek ALC1220P | Multi GPU Support: AMD 2-Way CrossFire and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Technology | Form Factor: ATX

Whether you need a gorgeous appearance or lighting fast gaming experience, the MSI Gaming Edge AC will deliver the perfect balance of looks and performance. This is another solid competitor in the sub $200 range and is specifically targeted towards heavy-gamers with the fast memory speeds and Mystic Sync RGB. Its BIOS is clean and easy to navigate, and the VRM can easily handle an OCed 9600k if you make sure to provide sufficient airflow. It does lack M.2 heatsinks or as much RGB as some other mobos, but everything else is taken care of.

Even at this price, you are getting Wi-Fi and Bluetooth which work flawlessly out of the box. Although we would have loved to see more USB connectivity, it’s more than enough at this price and still includes both Gen2 Type-A and Type-C ports. The neutral black aesthetic of this board can go well with any build, and you also get addressable RGB headers for some added bling. The Z390 Gaming Edge hits a few important spots but misses on some other. You do get some gaming enhancement tools like DDR4 Boost, Turbo M.2 and Audio Boost 4. Overall, the performance outweighs the minor flaws, and this board still checks most of the right boxes for a budget i5 9600k motherboard.

9. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra

PROS —

  1. Good build quality
  2. Solid 13-phase VRM for overclocking
  3. Shielded M.2 and PCIe slots
  4. RGB Fusion 2.0 lighting

CONS —

  1. Expensive
  2. Slightly heavier board

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4400 MHz, up to 128GB| Audio: Realtek ALC1220-VB | Multi GPU Support: NVIDIA Quad-SLI and AMD Quad-CrossFireX Technology | Form Factor: ATX

The AORUS Ultra comes midway of the AORUS motherboard line up and has similar VRM to the Pro and Elite boards, but comes with some extra quality-of-life upgrades. The solid build quality is reflected well in the beefy heatsinks over the VRM and M.2 slots, as well as pre-installed thermal pads for the latter. If you have multiple NVMe drives lying around, then you’ll like the fact that this board can handle up to 3 NVMe drives and 4 SATA drives together. There is also a Debug LED and CPU/DRAM/BOOT failure LED, which is a very handy addition to have.

XMP profile works right away, and you can cram up to 128GB of DDR4 memory, and the BIOS makes it easy to find the right settings needed for tuning and overclocking. The stock performance of the Ultra is extremely stable, and the 12+1 phase power delivery system helps in maintaining reasonable temperatures and easily pushing the chip to 5GHz+ speeds. This mobo sports high-end ALC1220-VB codec for superior sound quality and has superfast Wi-Fi and LAN standards for low latencies during gaming.

The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra provides a lot of bang for the buck with impressive feature-set and well-designed VRM and cooling. Overclocking is a breeze and voltage regulation is excellent, and to top all that, you get RGB Fusion lighting which will surely catch some eyes. Overall, this is an excellent upper mid-range offering for power users who want the most features for their money.

10. ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming – ITX/AC

PROS —

  1. Great build quality
  2. Better VRM and cooling
  3. Thunderbolt USB-C port
  4. Onboard Wi-Fi

CONS —

  1. Plain looks
  2. No rear I/O shielding

Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Z390 | Memory: Dual-Channel DDR4 4500+ MHz, up to 64GB| Audio: Realtek ALC1220 | Wi-Fi / Bluetooth: Intel® 2T2R Dual Band 802.11ac + BT 5.0 | Form Factor: Mini-ITX

We wrap up our list with the amazing little Z390 Phantom Gaming from ASRock. This mini-ITX mobo comes with an excellent design and layout and offers everything in a small package. ASRock is known to deliver some of the best hardware at very low prices, and this mobo is no exception to that. Firstly, it comes with two M.2 slots, something not many mini-ITX boards have. It also features four of each USB 3.1 Gen2 and Gen1 ports along with an Intel Thunderbolt Type-C port.

You might be wondering how well a small motherboard performs in terms of overclocking. With good cooling, the Z390 Gaming-ITX can easily push an i5-9600k to a stable 5GHz. This screams the stability and premium build quality of this mobo. You even get onboard Wi-Fi/Bluetooth as well as premium Realtek audio codec for an immersive gaming experience. With so many features packed in a tiny product, this is the best mini-ITX i5 9600k motherboard on the market. Forget what the ATX owners say, if your PC demands an ITX board, you won’t regret getting this one!

Conclusion

The i5 9600k is one of best mid-level chips for gaming, and if you have already decided to get one for yourself, we hope this article would have helped you in picking the perfect motherboard for i5 9600k based on your needs.

The 9600k demands good cooling and fast memory speeds so it becomes important to pick a high-quality motherboard which can support that. That said, whether you want just a basic gaming setup or extreme enthusiast functionality, these boards are the top choices for all use cases, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Shoeb
Shoeb

I spend my time exploring different ways to harness IOT in life. If I'm not working on any projects, I'm travelling to the place for another challenge.