Not all PCs are created equal, and if you’re a gamer, then you’ve probably experienced this first-hand.
Up until the past decade or two, PCs weren’t really built for gaming per se. Surely, you could play some games if your computer’s motherboard met the minimum game requirements, but as the gaming industry blew up, the processing demands skyrocketed as well.
This called for PCs with more capable processors, ones that were meant specifically for gaming, and so the battle of Intel vs AMD started – a debate for another day.
Today’s article is for gamers who already decided on buying Intel’s Core i7 8700k or actually own one. The i7 8700k is part of Intel’s latest Coffee Lake processors release, with 6 cores and 12 threads offering up to 30% better gaming performance than the predecessor.
It’s an excellent choice for hardcore gamers, however, there’s a catch. The i7 8700k is compatible with motherboards carrying chipsets from the 300 series only.
But hey, that’s actually a good thing because the i7 8700k can easily handle overclocking, so you’d be limiting its capabilities using an average motherboard anyways.
So if you’re looking for the best motherboard for i7 8700k, here’s a list of the top 6 options your money can buy.
6 Best Motherboard for i7 8700k
In this list, I’ve included 6 motherboards from 3 popular manufacturers: Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI. So let’s not waste any time and get started!
Kicking off our list of best motherboard for i7 8700k is a true beast, the ROG Maximus XI Hero Z390 Gaming Motherboard from ASUS is highly praised for its impressive features yet great price. This mid-range high-performance motherboard designed for 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors with dual M.2 heatsinks and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The range of tweaking you get from the ROG Maximus XI Hero is pretty flexible with tools that let you tune just about every aspect of your system.
Thanks to the integrated 5-Way Optimization technology, you can make use of intelligent automated tuning, and if you feel like manually controlling everything from storage to audio, then the revered ROG UEFI BIOS is your way in.
The ROG Maximus XI Hero is also quite efficient when it comes to overclocking. Being a Coffee Lake processor, the i7 8700k has bus frequencies coming from a shared reference clock, which makes it tricky to unlock the full overclocking ability of the system.
This ASUS motherboard features a built-in clock generator dedicated to supplying dynamic reference clocks to the different CPU cores and subdomains, granting you the ability to freely utilize headroom from the platform.
Such freedom is backed up by the OptiMem II tech which boosts overclocking by mapping memory signal pathways, as well as a very flexible T-Topology layout for impeccable timing of signal delivery.
To cool things down, the ROG Maximus XI Hero has a highly adjustable system with customizable controls that you can set via Fan Xpert 4 or the UEFI BIOS. You can have each header monitor and respond to 3 thermal sensors to provide cooling based on your unit’s workload.
The ROG Maximus XI Hero also features Aura Sync lighting for more personalized effects, the SupremeFX audio technology for detailed sound, and Bluetooth 5.0. This motherboard proves to be a solid option for i7 8700k processors.
- Flexible control
- AI overclocking
- SupremeFX audio solution
- Great design
- Excellent cooling system
- A bit pricey
From the reliable MSI brand, the MPG Z390 Gaming Carbon AC Motherboard is a wonderful choice for gamers searching for a unique gaming experience with lots of features and even more value for money.
Just like the previous Carbon lineup of MSI motherboards, the Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon definitely earns hefty points from looks alone! The sleek black and white theme along with the signature monster dragon appearing on the southbridge are a winning combo when it comes to style.
The MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is designed to support the 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors, in addition to Pentium Gold and Celeron, as long as Intel LGA1151 chips are present.
It includes a set of impressive MSI tools and tweaks to take your gaming action to the next level, such as the integrated Intel Wi-Fi / Bluetooth solution which utilizes MU-MIMO technology to boost AC speeds delivering up to 1.73 Gbps.
Thermal regulation is also a pretty awesome aspect of the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC thanks to the M.2 Shield Frozr. It extends the heatsink of this motherboard over the M.2 SSD, maintaining maximum drive performance without the usual throttling of fast SSDs once they get too hot.
The MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is equipped with a high-quality audio solution composed of isolated circuitry, ALC1220 audio processor, a designated amplifier, as well as premium capacitors, all working together to give you an immersive sound.
Moreover, the MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with 16.8 million colors and 29 effects that you can have fun with and personalize via the Mystic Light All or your smartphone.
- Great temperature and voltage regulation
- High AC speeds
- Impressive sound quality
- Outstanding value for money
- Stylish design
- Memory overclocking needs some work
Built with thermals and speed in mind, the Z390 AORUS Ulta Gaming Motherboard promises users to let them unlock the full potential of their Intel 8th and 9th generation processors, and I think it’s pretty safe to say the brand has successfully accomplished its mission given the number of its supporters with the gaming community.
The GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Ultra Gaming Motherboard packs a variety of unique features, each contributing to make the overall performance of your system as smooth as butter.
Starting from the Smart Fan 5 technology that allows users to control fan headers in response to different thermal sensors at various points on the motherboard to ensure consistent performance of the PC without overheating. This technology also provides you with real-time feedback on temperature and flow rate details to keep you in the loop.
The high-performance thermal design of the Z390 AORUS Ultra combines its multi-cut heatsink with thick thermal pads and a Direct Touch Heatpipe to achieve reliable MOSFET cooling that’s fit for overclocking enthusiasts’ needs.
Another impressive feature of the Z390 AORUS Ultra is the integrated triple thermal guard for the included M.2 SSD devices, which provides a solution for overheating issues and thermal throttling through efficient heat dissipation.
As for the RGB solutions offered by the Z390 AORUS Ultra, you’re in for a real treat. The onboard digital LED lighting demonstrates a striking contrast against the dark monochrome plate. You can further manipulate the LEDs surrounding the motherboard to shine with vibrant colors using the remastered RGB Fusion app.
The Z390 AORUS Ultra also features 12+1 VRM phases to provide lots of headroom for overclockers, as well as speedy Wi-Fi connectivity and dual-channel DDR4 memory.
- Triple thermal guard for M.2 drives
- Impressive CPU overclocking
- Futuristic design
- Efficient cooling solution
- Integrated I/O shield
- Doesn’t work with AIO coolers
Going back to the renowned brand ASUS, the ROG Strix Z390-E is part of its Gaming Series motherboards especially built to fully enhance your experience as a gamer with smart solutions and remarkable stability.
The ROG Strix Z390-E is compatible with 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors with generic support to LGA1151 socket. The design here is as attractive as the Maximus XI Hero Z390, with superior aesthetics that’ll definitely catch your eye. Thanks to ASUS Aura, you get to fully customize the RGB LED lighting with multiple patterns to choose from.
The 5-Way Optimization technology is also present in the Strix Z390-E, revamped precisely to provide quick overclocking results. The new back-end features the popular AI overclocking solution that works based on automated predictions and thermal telemetry.
If you decide to buy the ROG Strix Z390-E, I believe you’ll particularly appreciate the comprehensive cooling system of the unit. It features dedicated fan headers for CPU coolers, high-performance water pumps, and self-contained water-cooling setups, all of which you can configure via Fan Xpert 4 or the UEFI BIOS.
Additional impressive features of the ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard include SupremeFX audio technology, matte black I/O shield, MemOK automatic reboots, as well as Gamer’s Guardian seal of longevity.
- Premium aesthetic
- Cool to handle overclocking
- Dedicated fan headers
- Intelligent overclocking
- Great price for features
- Inconsistent build quality
The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is another worthy candidate from MSI to make onto our list. It’s one of the brand’s best creations, with hundreds of positive reviews swearing by its performance.
With the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, you get to personalize the color scheme according to your preferred aesthetics and setup style. You can easily change the motherboard’s look via the Mystic Light App or a smartphone, with 16.8 million colors and 17 LED effects to pick from.
It also supports all the latest standards for storage devices, giving you the opportunity to connect various ultra-fast devices for in-game advantages over your opponents such as quicker game launching and loading of levels.
The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC offers an exceptional audio experience which is a direct result of adding golden Chemi-con audio capacitors and dedicating them to the front output, boosting acoustic realism.
Moreover, this MSI motherboard adopts Nahimic Sound technology, which is actually famous for its use in projects supervised by the Military and the Aeronautics industry. Having such a technology serving your gaming performance can seriously take sound immersion during gameplay to a whole new level!
The one bone I have to pick with this particular MSI motherboard is the disappointing overclocking abilities. It seems that the heatsinks don’t really do a great job in cooling since the temperatures still get pretty high. Also, the power consumption levels demonstrate inconsistent rise ups, which isn’t ideal for overclocking.
- Durable components
- Immersive sound experience
- Reinforced RAM slots
- Affordable compared to other models
- No built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
- Not the best for overclocking
Last but definitely not least, an excellent and solid choice if you don’t have the time (or sanity) to look through an endless list of best motherboard for i7 8700k. This particular GIGABYTE flagship motherboard is loaded with seemingly every feature you’d need to harness the true potential of your i7 8700k.
The Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 is developed for 8th generation Intel Core processors. It’s built to provide gaming enthusiasts with the best possible outlet by utilizing an all-digital CPU power design which works to deliver power to the most demanding components with incredible precision.
Overclocking was definitely a concern of GIGABYTE when making this motherboard, so they added an integrated Turbo B-Clock, offering the necessary flexibility to help you take advantage of every MHz of headroom from your system.
The RGB lighting is another aspect you’ll probably appreciate in the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 since the RGB Fusion app allows you to individually customize each zone and digital LEDs with access to more than 16 million colors.
The built-in Smart Fan 5 technology ensures that your PC keeps up a steady performance for extended periods while staying cool, backed up by 9 temperature sensors to avoid overheating.
Extra features of the Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 include AORUS AMP-UP audio, triple M.2 support, dual-channel DDR4 memory support, and Multi-Way graphics support.
- Enhanced audio profile
- Highly customizable RGB
- Supports crossfire and SLI connections
- Appealing aesthetics
Wrap Up – Choosing the Best Motherboard for i7 8700k
If you’re on the hunt for the best motherboard for i7 8700k Intel processor, then you’ll surely find your perfect match on this top 6 list.
That being said, be sure to make your decision based on crucial factors such as CPU compatibility, form factor, RAM support, as well as overclocking abilities.