Z390 motherboards are Intel’s latest generation motherboards, which were released at the end of 2018 and are designed to work with Intel’s latest 9th generation Coffee Lake processors.
They have powerful upgrade features such as USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, CNVi link, and excellent overclocking capabilities.
If you are looking for a motherboard that can improve gaming performance or overclocking capabilities, then the Z390 is definitely your best choice.
Unfortunately, choosing the right gaming motherboard is not easy. You may need to spend a lot of time browsing the web and viewing comments.
To make it easier for you to make your choice, we spend a lot of time researching and testing these Z390 motherboards, testing their quality, overclocking performance, and more.
All motherboards that we have reviewed are best for gaming, overclocking. These motherboards have good VRM. You should pick a motherboard for your build according to your needs.
Benefits of Z390 Motherboards
Let’s take a look at a few of the top benefits you can expect from the best Z390 motherboards:
- Cutting-edge Performance: With the technology in the best Z390 motherboards, you can expect the most advanced performance with amazing speed and best performance.
- Built-in WiFi: The Z390 motherboard integrates the CNVi link, which is a built-in technology that provides lightning-like WiFi connectivity.
- USB 3.1 Gen 2: As data transfer speeds increase, you need matching technology. Fortunately, the Z390 motherboard has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port for enhanced connectivity options.
- Maximum overclocking potential: The Z series is about overclocking. The best Z390 motherboards provide the most powerful features in the consumer market.
Not only that. They also have some other impressive features such as onboard lighting, built-in software options, powerful audio configuration, and more.
Keys of Z390 Motherboards
- USB Header: A slot on the motherboard that allows you to connect cables to the chassis to add additional USB ports, usually on the front panel.
- PCIe Slots: Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, slots on the board to accommodate add-in cards like graphics cards, SSD cards, dedicated sound cards, etc.
- DIMM Slots: Dual In Line Memory Module slots, the slots on a motherboard where your RAM lives. The number of total slots contributes to the maximum amount of RAM your system can handle, paired with the chipset and OS.
- Chipset: The communications pathways that the various parts of a motherboard use to talk to each other. The chipset determines which processors a motherboard is compatible with.
- SATA Ports: The number of physical ports on your board, combined with ports for NVMe storage, will determine the total number of storage drives you can have connected to your PC at any time.
How We Test z390 motherboards
Z390 motherboards are Intel’s latest motherboards. They have the fastest speeds and strongest overclocking performance. We mainly test their overclocking ability, single-core and multi-core application speed during the test.
We ran Geekbench 4 to test single-core and multi-core application speeds, and ran Maxon’s Cinebench R15 to test the performance of CPU and OpenGL GPUs.
In addition, we used CrystalDiskMark to test NVMe and SATA storage speeds, and used SiSoft Sandra to evaluate memory performance and processor arithmetic speed.
In the game test session, we tested 3DMark: Fire Strike, 3D Mark: Time Spy, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider are run to evaluate gaming ability.
We then tested the efficiency of the power supply by measuring the power consumption of the board while idle and while running the Prime95 CPU stress test benchmark.
Finally, we came up with this list by comparing price, durability and other factors.
Our Top Picks:
|Gigabyte Z390 Designare||13.18 x 10.62 x 3.14 in||3 lbs|
|Asus ROG Strix Z390-E||13.5 x 3.03 x 10.75 in||4.15 lbs|
|MSI MEG Z390 Godlike||12 x 10.7 x 1.2 in||4.3 lbs|
|ASRock Z390 Phantom||8.9 x 7.3 x 3.2 in||2.2 lbs|
|Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro||8.74 x 7.44 x 3.07 in||1.85 lbs|
The Z390 Designare beats its closest competitor in price, has similar overclocking restrictions to its closest competitor, but beats it in terms of overclocked DRAM performance.
Compared to the ubiquitous situation on modern Macs, Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 has received less attention on the PC side.
But that doesn’t mean that every creative type prefers macOS or pays to design a system for someone else.
Gigabyte’s Z390 Designare uses Intel’s latest Thunderbolt 3 controller to add DisplayPort 1.4 pass-through for discrete graphics and two PCIe switches.
You can choose between SLI or single card and dual NVMe cards that are directly connected to the CPU, and you can even add 1.73Gb / s Wi-Fi to its dual Gigabit Ethernet.
The only drawback we found on this board was a 50MHz CPU overclocking defect on the test CPU, which in any case has only 250MHz overclocking space.
Asus is one of the leading brands dealing with computer and computing components. ROG Stix Z390-E is basically a gaming motherboard that helps provide users with outstanding gaming performance.
At the same time, people can also get exciting computing power and overclocking performance through it.
It supports Intel Core 8th and 9th generation processors. Therefore, it can provide excellent connectivity. Thanks to AI Interclocking, users can get a complete gaming experience.
In addition, the ASUS ROG Stikx Z390-E is equipped with a player’s guardian. It extends the life of other components of the system.
As a user, since SafeSlot is located in the motherboard, you get excellent sharing resistance and device retention.
Another interesting feature that the motherboard has is an I / O shield that can be used. It is pre-installed on the motherboard. This makes ROG Strix easy to install.
MSI MEG Z390 Godlike is the most expensive Z390 motherboard in this group. To this end, MSI provides a wide range of functions: supports 128GB DDR4, a large number of M.2 connections, six SATA ports and even U.2 connections.
In addition, you get four PCI-E x16 slots-more than other motherboards here.
Realtek audio hardware is equipped with an 8-channel 32-bit DAC that provides dual Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac wireless capabilities.
It also provides additional CPU and PCI power connectors, on-board buttons for adjustment, and a dynamic display that displays component information or your own design.
The motherboard is almost all-metal, completely different from the competing Gigabyte Z390 Designare. It’s louder and has more lights, and its functions are more geared towards games than work and creativity.
It is the best Mini-ITX motherboard, and in my opinion, nothing is closer than that.
The motherboard contains a 5-phase VRM, which is not impressive in itself. However, it uses the ISL9927 power stage and is the only Z390 motherboard we know to use these 60A beasts.
This is a high-quality Mini-ITX motherboard with 8-layer PCB packaging, and the size of the board has sufficient heat dissipation capacity.
In addition, the motherboard also includes Sound Blaster Cinema 5, 1x Thunderbolt 3, dual M.2 slots, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, Intel 2T2R dual-band 802.11ac WiFi with Bluetooth 5.0, and more.
Although they have not reached the level of the ultimate Z390 Mini-ITX motherboard. But they are not a cheap substitute. Both in terms of gaming performance and computing power, they are impressive.
GIGABYTE Z390-I AORUS Pro is the ITX version of the Z390 AORUS Pro. It also happens to be our best choice for the ITX Z390 motherboard, as every square inch is packed with features for the perfect ITX build.
Its limitations are inherent in the ITX size-there is only one PCI Express slot, only two RAM slots, etc.
Since most people only use a single GPU setup, even the disadvantages of a single PCI Express slot are not significant.
Despite the limited physical space, they also managed to squeeze two NVMe SSD slots into the motherboard (one on the back), backlit RGB lighting, and even built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
There is no doubt that this is a high-quality, full-featured Intel Z390 motherboard, as small as possible, and we have no real complaints about it.
If you want the best, most fully featured Intel Comet Lake motherboard then I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay for it. And pay through the nose if Asus’ Z490 Maximus XII Extreme is anything to go by. It is, as the name suggests, extreme, packing in a variety of luxurious, and incredibly handy extras (a frickin’ screwdriver with interchangeable heads for one), and it’s also one of the highest performing Z490 boards we’ve tested.
But it only really makes sense if you’re buying a K-series Core i9 and genuinely intend to overclock the nuts off it. The Maximus XII will allow you to get the highest clock speed out of your 10900K and won’t turn it into a pile of molten slag while you’re at it. The MSI Z490 Godlike is actually the fastest Z490 outright at stock speeds, but I’d rather have the ROG board in my camp if I’m going down the OC route.
Obviously it’s only for the very highest of high-end PC builds, however, as the $750 price tag means you could actually build a respectable full gaming PC for the price of this single motherboard. It’s an aspirational Z490 motherboard, and arguably the best gaming motherboard for Comet Lake overclocking, but I’ll concede it’s not a particularly realistic purchase for most of us.
Priced around $80 (£78) and at times dipping below $70 (£70), the ASRock H370M Pro4 brings Intel’s more-advanced H370 feature set to buyers who thought they could only afford a lesser B360 model.
If you have less than $100 to spend, it’s one of the best gaming motherboards for Intel’s pared-down platform. ASRock splits the H370’s extra HSIO (high-speed input/output) pathways across two rear-panel USB 3.0 ports and two internal SATA headers.
Buyers who don’t need RGB or a 10Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen2 front-panel header will be pleased to find that the H370M Pro4 offers more of nearly every other port than its closest competitor, for a lower price.
The Asus ROG is an overclocking and efficiency hero, beating even the similar Taichi Ultimate.
This premium ATX model sports 64GB of DDR4 memory supporting up to 4,400MHz and it also uses the Realtek ALC1220 codec, with premium ESS ES9023P DAC capacitors.
It opts for a tasteful black styling with grey elements on the heatsinks. Subtle RGB is located on the PCH heatsink and IO shield.
Lots of high-end features are incorporated, as you would expect at this price point, including two PCIe x16 slots that support x8/x8 SLI, heat spreaders on the two M.2 SSDs, and a BIOS Flashback button. This enables you to upgrade firmware more easily.
There’s four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, including one USB Type-C, along with two Gen1 and two USB 2.0 Ports for a keyboard and mouse. In addition, there’s a 1.4b HDMI and 1.2 DisplayPort.
If you’re looking to get an edge on the competition, but you don’t have a lot of extra space on your desk, you’re going to need a Micro-ATX motherboard – more specifically, the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC.
What you’re getting here is a Micro-ATX motherboard with all the features a full-sized ATX one offers, but at a fraction of the price.
Despite its smaller size, you still get dual M.2 slots, SLI and Crossfire support, and all the fiery performance that Intel Coffee Lake Refresh has to offer.
If you’re looking for a smaller motherboard, you can’t afford to pass on the MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge MC.
If you’re on Intel, this is the best micro ATX motherboard.
You have dual M.2 slots, dual PCI Express x16 slots, full overclocking support, and 4 RAM slots. Despite the cut-down in size, you haven’t lost any meaningful functionality: if anything, you’ve only gained more of it!
Built into this motherboard are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features. Using the included antennas, you can wirelessly connect Bluetooth peripherals and join wireless networks without needing to purchase or carry extra peripherals. This is particularly useful for those who are on the move frequently or can’t connect directly to their router– college students, for instance.
Aesthetically, you have the additional benefit of RGB lighting. There are a few RGB lighting headers on this board that can be used with lighting controllers, and a dedicated rear glow RGB light to help fill your chassis with the colors of your choice. With the addition of Mystic Light software, you can synchronize your RGB setup completely across all supported peripherals and components!
MSI’s Z390M Gaming Edge AC is the best choice if you’re building a Micro ATX Intel board, no question.
Is z390 a good motherboard?
The z390 motherboard can still do a broad variety of tasks; it provides support for both 8th and 9th generation processors. Even core i9 processors can overclock most z390 motherboards. The z390 does not support 10th generation processors, but the z490 does. Due to its improvements, the latter is marginally better than the former. According to are experience ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming is no doubt a better choice in every aspect.
Does z390 support 10th gen?
The most straightforward answer to this quarry is “NO”. But a variety of different tasks can still be done by the z390 motherboard, and it supports both 8th and 9th generation processors. Indeed core i9 processors can overclock certain z390 motherboards. The z390 may not endorse 10th generation processors, but the z490 does. Due to its improvements, the latter is marginally better than the former. Asus motherboard rog strix z390-i gaming is adequate for heavy and advanced gaming.
How much RAM do I need for i9 9900k?
To maximize the performance of your PC using Intel’s i9 9900k, you can use the maximum RAM supported by your motherboard. With that said, RAM practically is not interrelated with the performance of CPU, but does ensure smooth multitasking in applications.
Does i9 9900k need liquid cooling?
There are various factors you need to consider before deciding if you would need liquid cooling for i9 9900k. If your motherboard offers good VRM phases and better heat dissipation using heat sinks, you’re good with only the CPU Fan Cooler. However, if you’re looking to overclock the CPU to its full potential, you are better off using liquid cooling.
Finally, I want to say that if you are building an Intel 9th generation PC for gaming or office, then you should get the Z390 motherboard. They give you a better gaming experience and faster computing power.
In this article we have listed the best Z390 motherboards for each budget and situation so that you can make an informed decision about which motherboard to buy. If you haven’t found a suitable Z390 motherboard, you can contact us or leave a message below.