Our Recommendations For i5 4690K Motherboard

Motherboards 

MSI Z87-G45 GAMING

Brand: MSI | Chipset: Intel Z87 Express | Socket: LGA 1150 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory: 32 GB DDR3 | Memory Speed: 3000 Mhz

MSI is our favorite manufacturer of motherboards and has been highly successful in the past few years where we saw the likes of MSI Tomahawk and MSI MEG series motherboards. Even though the Z87 chipset is quite old, MSI does not seem to amaze us and MSI Z87-G45 GAMING motherboard is one of the best-valued motherboards by the company. The design of the motherboard feels modern despite being more than eight years old. In fact, it still provides better looks than most of the mid-range motherboards these days. At the chipset heatsink, you can find the large Dragon logo, red in color while the VRM heatsinks have a red accent in them too. Unfortunately, this motherboard does not provide RGB lighting natively, which is why you will have to install an after-market RGB lighting kit if you want to have RGB lighting in the case.

As the name of the motherboard suggests, this motherboard is based on the Z87 chipset. It hosts an LGA-1150 socket and comes with four DIMM slots. As you might have known, Intel Core i5-4690K uses DDR3 memory which is why the Z87 chipset supports the same as well. MSI Z87-G45 GAMING motherboard supports high-frequency DDR3 memory and you might feel it to be a bit unrealistic, as it supports up to 3000 MHz DDR3 memory with overclocking. This frequency is usually present in the DDR4 motherboards and that too in only the latest ones. Since the motherboard does not support native M.2 slots, it comes with seven PCI-E slots, which is just astonishing. Three of these PCI-E slots are PCI-E X16 slots while the rest are PCI-E X1 slots. Even though the motherboard does not support M.2 slot, you can install mSATA SSDs on the motherboard, as there is an mSATA slot on the motherboard. As for the SATA slots, there are six SATA III slots on the motherboard.Even though the multi-GPU technologies are not considered very efficient these days, this motherboard does support both the SLI and Crossfire technologies, enabling you to use multiple graphics cards from either NVIDIA or AMD for gaming. Since Z series motherboards are all about overclocking, they come with powerful VRM and the same is the case with this motherboard.

This motherboard has the capability of overclocking the fastest processor from the 4th generation of Intel, that is Intel Core i7-4790K up to around 4.8 GHz. For this very reason, overclocking the Core i5-4690K is not going to be any problem since it consumes a lot lower power. The VRM heatsinks have the shape of a dragon and are quite thick, which is why you won’t witness any kind of thermal throttling. The I/O of the motherboard is quite similar to the other motherboard of that time, providing 6 x 3.5 mm audio jacks, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A USB ports, a Gigabit LAN port, an HDMI port, a VGA port, a dual-link DVI-D port, a PS/2 port, an additional audio jack for a headphone, a S/PDIF port, and a BIOS button. MSI Z87-G45 motherboard is one of the best-valued motherboards for 4th-generation Intel processors and is available at a lot cheaper rates than in the past. You get high-end features of today’s motherboards and even though the performance of 4th-generation Intel processors is quite lower than current-generation processors, the overclocking support of this motherboard greatly helps in reducing the performance gap.

The Good

  • Looks quite good for an old motherboard
  • Provides fantastic VRM
  • High performance at a mid-range price

The Bad

  • The Z87 chipset does not provide any M.2 slot

MSI Z97 PC Mate

Brand: MSI | Chipset: Intel Z97 Express | Socket: LGA 1150 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory: 32 GB DDR3 | Memory Speed: 3000 MHz

Here we are with another MSI motherboard, which is MSI Z97 PC Mate. Unlike the previous motherboard, this motherboard is based on the Z97 chipset and it is one of the cheapest Z97 chipset motherboards that you can buy for 4th-generation Intel processors. First of all, the design of the motherboard is completely different from any of the motherboards that you would see these days and it looks like this motherboard would suit an office build due to the wide use of light blue color. Thankfully, at least the PCB of the motherboard is not green, unlike other old motherboards.

MSI Z97 PC Mate provides four DIMM slots, leading to a maximum memory capacity of 32 GB by using 8 GB memory sticks. The PCI-E slot configuration of the motherboard is quite different from most of the other motherboards, as it provides two legacy PCI slots and four PCI-E slots. Two of the PCI-E slots are PCI-E X16 slots and the other two are PCI-E X1 slots. The storage solution of the motherboard is not better than the previous motherboard despite having a newer chipset. It does not offer an M.2 slot and provides six SATA III ports. The VRM of the motherboard is not as good as the previous motherboard but overclocking a Core i5 processor is not going to be difficult by any means. You would easily be able to hit clock rates beyond 4.5 GHz with this processor. The VRM uses a single large heatsink for cooling and it does its job efficiently.

The rear I/O of the motherboard consists of 3 x 3.5 mm audio jacks, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, a DVI-D port, a VGA port, an HDMI port, a LAN port, and two PS/2 ports for the mouse and keyboard. The VGA port and the PS/2 ports might feel dated for these times but the rest of the options are going to be very helpful. MSI Z97 PC Mate is one of the cheapest Z97 chipset motherboards that you can buy and it offers a lot of legacy features as well which you won’t find in most of the other Z97 motherboards. You might not find the looks of the motherboard interesting and the overclocking features are not the best but other than that there are almost no shortcomings of this motherboard.

The Good

  • Available at a cheap rate
  • Provides legacy PCI slots

The Bad

  • No M.2 slot despite having Z97 chipset
  • Boring looks

ASUS Z97-A

Brand: ASUS | Chipset: Intel Z97 | Socket: LGA 1150 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory: 32 GB DDR3 | Memory Speed: 1600 MHz

ASUS offers a tight competition to MSI when it comes to motherboards these days and this competition was there in older motherboards as well. Surely, there were fewer motherboard series by ASUS for 4th-generation Intel processors but there were still enough of them to fulfill the needs of budget users and enthusiasts both. ASUS Z97-A is a fantastic motherboard by the company that provides modern looks and offers high-end overclocking features as well. The motherboard has a black color theme and the VRM heatsinks are golden in color. The circular chipset heatsink feels really unique and the shiny texture gives a premium feel. This motherboard still does not come with RGB lighting but other than that you won’t be able to tell if it is an old motherboard.

The motherboard uses the Z97 chipset and it provides four DIMM slots just like the previous two motherboards. The maximum memory capacity of the motherboard is similar to the previous motherboards as well, at 32 GB but the memory clock support is a tad bit better. It supports up to 3200 MHz memory with overclocking, which is similar to the mid-range motherboards of these times. The slot options of the motherboard are quite versatile. It offers three PCI-E X16 slots that support NVIDIA Quad SLI as well, two legacy PCI slots and two PCI-E X1 slots. Apart from that, it provides an M.2 slot as well above the PCI-E slots where you can use the latest M.2 SSDs for high performance. The SATA ports of the motherboard are quite special as well. It offers 1 x SATA Express support with 10 Gbps bandwidth and 4 x SATA III ports with 6 Gbps bandwidth. Overall, this motherboard is better than the rest of the motherboards on the list due to this storage solution.

The VRM of the motherboard is no doubt better than most of the other Z97 chipset motherboards, as the company has used an 8-phase VRM in this motherboard. This will let you overclock even the flagship Intel Core i7-4790K easily, let alone a Core i5-4690K. You would be seeing clock rates around 4.8 GHz with this motherboard unless you get a bad silicon lottery. The I/O of the motherboard offers 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x D-Sub, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x LAN (RJ45) port, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (blue), 2 x USB 2.0 ports, and 1 x Optical S/PDIF out. Seeing four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports in such an old motherboard would surely be interesting for many people but one can expect anything from ASUS. ASUS Z97-A is a top-notch motherboard that is based on the Z97 chipset and if you want high-end features and are willing to spend a little extra, you won’t be disappointed in this motherboard. The looks of the motherboard are better than most other Z97 chipset motherboards, although they are still incomparable to the likes of ASUS Maximus series motherboards.

The Good

  • Modern looks
  • Impressive storage options
  • Powerful VRM

The Bad

  • Tends to be a little more expensive than others

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H

Brand: Gigabyte | Chipset: Intel Z97 Express | Socket: LGA 1150 | Form Factor: ATX | Memory: 32 GB DDR3 | Memory Speed: 3100 MHz

Indeed, Gigabyte motherboards were not as famous as ASUS or MSI some years ago as they are considered these days but that is exactly why Gigabyte motherboards were cheaper and offered a better value. Most of the motherboards by the company were targeted towards budget users but Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H is an enthusiast-class motherboard. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H is a high-end motherboard by the company that comes at a slightly lower price than the ASUS Z97-A and yet it offers similar features. The looks of the motherboard are somewhat different from the Z97-A motherboard, as the company has used yellow-colored heatsinks for the VRM. The chipset heatsink is also yellow and it would have been better if the company used silver or black color for them. Perhaps this is the very reason that Gigabyte motherboards were not as famous in those days.

The motherboard provides four DIMM slots, leading to a maximum memory of 32 GB and it supports up to 3100 MHz memory sticks with overclocking which is quite close to the Z97-A motherboard. There are six PCI-E slots on the motherboard and one legacy PCI slot. Three of the PCI-E slots are X16 slots while the rest are X1 slots. Despite having six PCI-E slots, the motherboard provides an M.2 slot with 10 Gbps bandwidth. The SATA ports of the motherboard are as impressive as the Z97-A ports, as it provides a SATA Express port and six SATA III ports. The VRM of the motherboard is similar to the Z97-A as well, as it uses an 8-phase VRM. This leads to similar overclocking support, although ASUS BIOS is particularly famous for overclocking. The large VRM heatsinks make sure that the temperatures of the VRM are well under control and there are no issues thermally during overclocking.

The rear I/O of the motherboard provides 1 x PS/2 mouse port, 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port, 1 x D-Sub port, 1 x DVI-D port, 1 x HDMI port, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, 1 x RJ-45 port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 5 x 3.5mm audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In). This I/O configuration seems even better than the ASUS Z97-A and Gigabyte has used Realtek ALC 1150 Codec in this motherboard which is also better than the ALC892 used in the ASUS Z97-A. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H is a powerful alternative to the ASUS Z97-A and MSI Z97 PC Mate as it provides high-end features while keeping the price lower than its competitors. The motherboard provides similar overclocking features and the storage and audio solutions are comparable to some of the best motherboards of the time, although it does lack in the aesthetics department a bit, especially in the color theme.

The Good

  • Mighty storage solution
  • Provides a total of six PCI-E slots
  • Comes at an attractive price

The Bad

  • The color theme feels a bit odd

ASUS B85M-G R2.0

Brand: ASUS | Chipset: Intel B85 | Socket: LGA 1150 | Form Factor: Micro ATX | Memory: 32 GB DDR3 | Memory Speed: 1600 MHz

The last product on the list is ASUS B85M-G R2.0 and unlike other motherboards on the list, it does not use a Z-series chipset. Instead, it uses a B-series chipset that is considered a mid-range chipset. A B-series chipset does not provide overclocking features that you would find in a Z-series chipset and that is why you will have to run the Core i5-4690K at stock clocks. Moreover, you won’t be able to overclock the memory and that is why you will have to run the memory at stock clocks that the motherboard supports.

The color theme of this motherboard is a bit similar to the previous motherboard by Gigabyte, as ASUS has used a lot of yellow color on the VRM heatsink, slots, and ports. For a B-series chipset, this does not look as odd as the Z-series but still red or silver color would have been better. The motherboard provides four DIMM slots where you can install a maximum memory of 32 GB. The memory clock rates are much slower than the previous motherboards, as it supports up to 1600 MHz RAM sticks only. This is going to be limiting the memory performance of the system by a lot, although Intel processors work great with low-frequency memory, unlike AMD Ryzen processors.

There are four PCI-E slots on the motherboard, having a configuration of 2 x X16 slots and 2 x X1 slots. For storage, ASUS has provided 6 x SATA III ports, just like other mainstream motherboards. Since this chipset is older than the Z97 chipset, the motherboard does not provide an M.2 slot and you will have to bear with a SATA SSD.Since the B85 chipset does not support overclocking, there is no need to discuss the quality of VRM. Despite this, the heatsink of the VRM is good enough to dissipate the heat of even the Intel Core i7-4790K at stock clocks. The rear I/O of the motherboard provides 1 x PS/2 keyboard, 1 x PS/2 mouse, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x D-Sub, 1 x HDMI, 1 x LAN (RJ45) port, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, 3 x 3.5mm audio jacks. This configuration is similar to most of the other mid-range motherboards and there is nothing that would stand out here. MSI B85M-G R2.0 is a budget motherboard by ASUS and even though it is not the best option for a K-series Intel processor such as Intel Core i5-4690K but buying a Z-series chipset is not a budget-friendly thing. Instead, this motherboard can be used with 4th-generation Intel processors and the only major difference will be that you won’t be able to overclock the processor with this motherboard.

The Good

  • A lot cheaper than Z-series motherboards
  • Provides similar slots and ports to most Z-series motherboards

The Bad

  • Does not come with an M.2 slot
  • Does not support overclocking the processor or memory

Summary For i5 4690K Motherboard

Motherboards