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Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i9 9900K - ASRock Z390 Phantom

Form Factor Mini-ITX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
RAM 2 x DDR4 (2666 MHz – 4500 MHz) (Maximum 32 GB) Dual-Channel
Slots 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 1 x M.2 Key E (WiFi/BT-Module, incl. 802.11ac)

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC is a Mini ITX motherboard and it is astonishing that a Mini ITX motherboard has also stepped into the high-end market. Such small form factor motherboards were originally developed to do simpler tasks such as surfing the internet and some fairly advanced routine work.

Nowadays, we even have much smaller computers to do these tasks and a consumer can just slap on a high-end SSD on a Mini-ITX motherboard without any problems.

The first company that managed to provide the proper power and keep the Intel’s Core i9-9900K cool in such a small form factor is ASRock with their Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard. The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard has got so many features at a cheaper price.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC is a mini-ITX motherboard with a simple design. The heat sinks and the PCB are in black color which provides the consumers with a nice look and it should go well with the other system components having a similar color scheme. A RGB strip is located on the underside of the motherboard.

It has an oversized voltage regulator heat sink which is designed to support overclocking, a Thunderbolt 3 controller and dual M.2 slots. Having all those features, the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard is still quite value-priced. It has a half-speed (20Gbps) Thunderbolt 3 controller and a single Gigabit Ethernet port.

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard features Intel’s new CNVi PHY with the integrated controller of the Z390 chipset which kicks up the WiFi up to 1.73Gb/s while keeping it under the budget.

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The back of the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard has 2 x 3.1 Gen1 ports, a PS/2 port, HDMI 2.0 as well as a DisplayPort 1.2 for integrated graphics.

There’s a Type-C connector between the 4 x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports which also support graphics output in addition to data (at 20 Gbps combined). The consumers will get Intel Gigabit Ethernet (I219V), five analog audio jacks from Realtek’s high-end ALC1220 codec and optical digital audio output.

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard should pair up really well with the Intel’s Core i9-9900K, thanks to the oversized voltage regulator heat sink which will support some real overclocking, especially if you want a small form factor PC.

Pros
  • Significantly improved the Core i9-9900K efficiency
  • Supports good overclocking
  • Performs great
  • 1.73Gb/s WiFi and Thunderbolt 3 at a quite reasonable price
Cons
  • Thunderbolt 3 only has half-speed (20Gbps)
  • There is no USB 3.1 Gen2 header for the front panel
  • DIMM overvoltage

Best High End Motherboard for i9 9900K - Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme

Form Factor ATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
Voltage Regulator 16 Phases
Video Output Dual Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme has some quite advanced features that the consumers may need. This motherboard features an overclocking-friendly design, but it might have some issues with the HyperX Predator RGB DDR4-2933 when overclocking.

If you’re looking to get the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme motherboard, then look for the memory kits which other Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme owners have had no issues with before you buy a memory kit.

Knowing that the Core i9-9900K needs to be overclocked to get the highest performance, Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme motherboard justifies that with the motherboard’s 16 phases voltage regulator.

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme is the best choice for i9-9900k motherboard compatibility.It features 10GbE controller by Aquantia for faster networking in addition to the standard Intel Gigabit Ethernet in order to get dual networking.

This motherboard also has an Intel’s 1.73Gb/s WiFi, just in case you set up your PC at a place where you don’t have a handy Ethernet port. This motherboard also has the Intel’s latest four-lane Thunderbolt 3 controller.

Gigabyte added an overclocking module, RGB fan controller hub, fan extensions, adapter cables and large WiFi antennas to the installation kit along with nylon braided SATA cables.

Related: Best Motherboard for I5 9400F

There are six fan headers of the overclocking controller, eight fan headers of the RGB Fan Commander, but the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme also has eight onboard fan headers as well. The motherboard also has two D-LED and two RGB connections.

Each RGB interface and three fan headers are located around the bottom edge along with front panel audio. We also have a couple of dual-port USB 2.0 headers, front panel connectors with additional PC speakers.

Just in front of the CPU socket of the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme motherboard, there are four more fan headers, other two RGB and D-LED headers. The motherboard also has USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen2 front panel headers.

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme motherboard’s all three x16 PCIe slots have metal skins, but only the top two are connected to the CPU in  x16/x0 or x8/x8 mode. Whenever a card is detected in the second PCIe slot, the eight lanes will be taken by it. There are four lanes for the third slot, two of which are disabled when an SSD is put in the third PCIe slot.

The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Xtreme motherboard will pair really nicely with the Intel’s Core i9-9900K since it will provide the high-end consumers with nearly all the features they may need. This motherboard supports overclocking and offers fast networking.

Pros
  • Features larger voltage regulator for increased power output
  • It has the latest Thunderbolt 3 controller with dual Type-C ports
  • In addition to the GbE and 1.73Gb/s, it also has 10GbE
Cons
  • May face problems if paire with the HyperX Predator RGB DDR4-2933 when overclocking
  • Expensive

Best Z390 Motherboard For i9 9900k - ASRock Z390 Taichi

Form Factor ATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
Voltage Regulator 12 Phases
Video Output HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2

Those high-end consumers who need a ten Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) connection don’t have a lot of options to choose from, most of those require you to buy a card and then finding a place to put it in.

ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard features an Aquantia controller and costs a little bit lesser than a combination of Z390 Taichi and a separate Aquantia card. Those buyers who get the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard do not lose the Taichi’s dual-gigabit networking and the WiFi controller has also been upgraded to 1.73Gbps.

Adding to the dual Gigabit Ethernet available on the cheaper Z390 Taichi, the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard adds a 10GbE and upgrades the WiFi to a faster 1.73 Gbps.

The ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard has a chrome colored power and reset buttons now instead of the circular black spots in the older Z390 Taichi motherboard.

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The ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard has the Aquantia’s 10GbE port color coded in red which makes it easy to identify. The ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard uses the same PCIe/USB interface as the Z390 Taichi’s module and the WiFi module does not look much different even though it has been upgraded.

The layout that ASRock use is different from the most competing solutions by converting CPU pathways from x16/x0/x0 to x8/x8/x0 and x8/x4/x4, when the second and the third slots are occupied with cards. This does benefit the users who are utilizing the PCIe x4 storage solutions as it does not force them to use a slot which shares bandwidth across the PCH.

The bottom edge of the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard has the front-panel audio, D-LED and dual RGB LED, fan, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt Upgrade.

The ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate motherboard is a really great choice for you if you want to pair it up with a Core i9-9900K, since the motherboard will provide good overclocking capabilities as well as fast networking.

Pros
  • Features 1.73Gbps Wifi
  • Has 10GbE as well as dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • Has a good value for the features it provides
Cons
  • Mediocre voltage regulator cooling

Best Budget Motherboard For i9 9900k - Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro

Form Factor ATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
Voltage Regulator 12 Phases
Video Output 1 x HDMI

The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard offers good performance with some nice set of features at a quite value price. The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro has four DDR4 DIMM Slots. It also has two M.2 Slots and six SATA III ports. Each M.2 slot has an AORUS M.2 shield which cools it.

The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro has a single Gigabit port and does not have WiFi, whereas there is a WiFi model also available which is a little bit more pricey than the motherboard that we are talking about. The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro also features a Realtek 1220.

It has quite some RGB lighting, clearly Gigabyte taking a different path here. With all those aesthetics, you also get eight 4-pin hybrid fan headers.

Related: Best Motherboard for I7 9700K

It has two M.2 slots which only differ in the size they support. The one closer to the CPU socket supports 110mm while the one further away from the CPU socket supports 80mm. Both SATA M.2 and PCIe SSDs can be used in bothe of the slots and both of the slots also have heat sinks too.

The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard’s onboard audio is the Realtek ALC1220. Gigabyte did not cut the number of audio outputs and give the consumers a full six ports including the optical. The back I/O panel has a total of 9 type-A USB ports from which, two are USB 3.1, three are USB 3.0 and there is a USB 3.1 Type-C port too.

This motherboard is such a great choice for the high-end consumers who are looking for a motherboard to pair with Core i9-9900K since it offers good overclocking capabilities. The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard also has to offer a good amount of features too, although it lacks a WiFi module, but it does not cost so much.

Pros
  • Good value for performance
  • Heat sinks for M.2 slots
Cons
  • Does not have a WiFi module

Best Micro ATX motherboard for i9-9900K - ASUS ROG Maximus XI

Form Factor Micro-ATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
Voltage Regulator 12 Phases
Video Output HDMI 1.4b

In order to help the consumers who want a compact Micro-ATX motherboard, ASUS went all out with their ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene motherboard. This motherboard helps the consumers to not to sacrifice features. This motherboard has 2 DIMM slots in order to get an extra pair of NVMe SSDs.

The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene motherboard has a single PCIe x16 slot and it is now more acceptable for the consumers than it may have been in the past. This motherboard increases the storage support and can support up to five NVMe SSDs

It has two M.2 slots which are connected with the PCH and are hidden under another aluminum heat spreader just between the DDR4 slots and the DIMM.2 riser interface. The front edge of the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene motherboard has a USB 3.0 and a USB 3.1 Gen2 header a little bit towards the left is one of the two RGB headers.

The motherboard has a special ASIC which allows the firmware to be flashed by using a USB drive and a power supply only. This is quite important for the consumers who got the motherboard and it was manufactured before the launch of the rather new CPU model.

Related: Best Motherboard for Ryzen 5 2400G

The rear I/O panel of the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene motherboard has two USB 2.0 ports, a couple of USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen1) ports, HDMI 1.4b, two more USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and  four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, one of which is a Type-C connector.

The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene also has a WiFi antenna for the Intel’s 1.73 Gb/s module and a digital optical output port along with five analog audio jacks.

This motherboard will pair very nicely with the Core i9-9900K with the set of features that it has to offer as well as the overclocking capability that it has. With more storage in a compact size, it is a great option for you if you want a smaller form factor motherboard.

Pros
  • Has dual M.2 connected to CPU
  • Graphics cooler clearance
  • Double-Capacity DRAM
Cons
  • Does not have a WiFi moduleHas two DIMM slots
  • Do not have support for dual graphics cards

Best Motherboard For i9 9900k Video Editing - MSI Meg Z390

Form Factor E-ATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151
USB Ports 5 x USB 3.1 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
Network Ports 2 x Gigabit Ethernet

Being one of the most expensive Z390 motherboards in the market, the MSI Meg Z390 GODLIKE motherboard is one of the high-end Z390 motherboards.

The MSI Meg Z390 GODLIKE motherboard has four memory slots which supports up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM. The motherboard also offers the consumers with three M.2 slots and all of them with their own heat sinks and the consumers also get six SATA ports and a single U.2.

It offers the consumers with four PCI-E x16 slots. For this motherboard, it is possible have two slots running at 8x speed. MSI does support Nvidia SLI with two GPUs and AMD CrossFire with Quad GPUs.

This motherboard also offers the consumers with a single PCIe x1 slot since there are already many PCIe x16 slots and M.2 connectors. This is the kind of compromise that a lot of consumers will probably accept without any problems.

It has a Realtek ALC1220 audio chipset which has 8-channel 32-bit DAC, this is better than the Aorus with the 2-channel.

Related: Best Motherboard for Ryzen 5 3600X

It offers dedicated M.2 bandwidth and the U.2 connector just simply adds a little bit more versatility to the storage.

This motherboard offers the enthusiasts with a lot of features which help the users with overclocking and little bit of tweaking here and there. This motherboard has two eight-pin connectors for the CPU which are capable of delivering a huge amount of power to the high-end CPUs.

The MSI Meg Z390 GODLIKE motherboard is a great choice for the Core i9-9900K with the features and the overclocking capabilities that the motherboard has to offer.

Pros
  • Solid performance
  • Great storage features
Cons
  • Not so much impressive in gaming
  • So expensive

Best Enthusiast Motherboard For i9 9900k - Asrock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

Form Factor ATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151

Asrock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 is an enthusiast-grade motherboard for the 8th and 9th generation of Intel processors and is specifically an excellent choice for the likes of Intel Core i9-9900K, providing mind-blocking overclocking features, high-quality I/O features, and a gasping design.

One can easily understand the premium price of the motherboard by the first look and that is mainly due to the large I/O cover, shiny PCI-E slot, and aesthetically pleasing VRM heat-sinks. There is RGB lighting on the I/O cover along with the chipset heat-sink and the backside of the PCI-E slots. There is written PG at the chipset heat-sink, indicating Phantom Gaming while you can also find the full name of the motherboard on the PCB. The PCB of the motherboard is black in color with a bit of silver and red-colored stripes.

Now, the quality of this motherboard is quite similar to the likes of ASUS ROG Maximum series motherboards and that is why the VRM heat-sinks are large in size, keeping the VRM temperatures under control. Three out of five PCI-E slots are reinforced with metal and are PCI-E X16 slots while the other two are PCI-E X1 slots. There are four DIMM slots on the motherboard, limiting the maximum memory capacity to 128 GB. Apart from the 24-pin power connector and the 8-pin power connector, the motherboard allows a 4-pin power connector as well, which is located right next to the 8-pin connector.

The motherboard is really impressive in terms of storage options, as it provides 8 x SATA III ports and three Ultra M.2 slots, which is barely seen in any motherboard. The motherboard comes with 128 MB BIOS and it even provides a backup 128 MB BIOS, in case anything goes wrong. 

The I/O of the motherboard is very surprising as well. This is one of the only motherboards that come with three RJ45 ports, where two of them are Gigabit ports and the other one is a 2.5G port. Apart from that, you would find 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 2 x antenna outputs for WiFi, 1 x PS/2 port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x DP port, 6 x audio jacks, and a Clear CMOS button. The motherboard uses the renowned Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec and also supports Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5.

One of the best things about the Asrock motherboards is that they come with supreme-quality VRMs and that is quite necessary for high overclocking. Since Intel Core i9-9900K is a power-hungry processor, this motherboard takes care of all that requirement nicely and allows 5.0 GHz+ clocks using IR Digital PWM 12 phase VRM, as long as your chip is not one of the bad ones. Also, the cooling of the processor greatly affects the overclocking. The memory support of the motherboard is noticeably superior to other Z390 motherboards, providing up to 4266 MHz memory clocks with overclocking, although it will be quite expensive to buy sticks that would support such clocks. 

Pros
  • Lots of storage options
  • Comes with three LAN ports and WiFi as well
  • Overclocking capabilities are beyond imagination
Cons
  • One of those expensive enthusiast-grade motherboards

Best Premium Motherboard For i9 9900k - Asus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390

Form Factor mATX
Chipset Intel Z390
Socket LGA 1151

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI GENE is a top-quality motherboard that has won several awards from enthusiasts, making it one of the best Micro ATX motherboards that you can couple with Intel Core i9-9900K. You get high-quality VRM, fast memory support, incredibly rich audio quality, and an additional DIMM.2 card while you will have to compromise on the number of DIMM and PCI-E slots.

It is a motherboard based on the Z390 chip, which is although not the latest chipset for Intel Core i9-9900K but it is surely one of the best Micro-ATX motherboards that you can use in combination with the Intel Core i9-9900K. First of all, the design of the motherboard is similar to other ROG MAXIMUS series motherboards. There is an RGB-lit ROG logo on the I/O cover while there is ROG GENE written on the M.2 heat-sink, which is also RGB-lit. It is a pretty small motherboard comparing to regular ATX motherboards that come with those additional PCI-E slots.

There are only two DIMM slots on the motherboard and right next to the DIMM slots, you can find the slot for the DIMM.2 module that provides extra storage capacity in combination with M.2 storage disks. Since there are only two DIMM slots, you can use a maximum memory of 64 GB, although that is more than what most users would have thought of. Moreover, two DIMM slots allow higher memory clock rates and that is why this motherboard supports up to 4800 MHz of memory clocks with overclocking which is astonishing. 

There is a single PCI-E slot on the motherboard, which is an X16 slot as expected while there are four SATA III ports and two M.2 slots. The I/O of the motherboard is quite extensive and provides 6 x audio ports, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a BIOS button, a Clear CMOS button, a PS/2 port, an HDMI port, an RJ45 port, and two antenna outputs. As the antenna outputs indicate, the motherboard does support WiFi and also Bluetooth 5.0.

The motherboard uses ROG SupremeFX8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A, which is one of the best audio Codec by Realtek being enhanced by ASUS. You also get Sonic Studio III support along with Sonic Studio Link.

Now, coming to the VRM of the motherboard, you can see that the motherboard uses a 12-phase VRM accompanied by large heat-sinks. You shouldn’t be having any problem overclocking a 9900K to past 5 GHz as long as the cooling capabilities are fine. As for the PSU connectors, the motherboard does provide an additional 8-pin power connector if you want to give extra juice to the motherboard.

Pros
  • DIMM.2 card feels novel
  • Super-fast memory clock rates
Cons
  • Limited DIMM and PCI-E slots

Summary

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