Intel Core i7-9700K Review. What socket is i7 9700k

One of the most important things to pay attention to is, of course, the price. This will determine what kind of features you’ll be able to get and what you could potentially compromise on. The good news is that there’s so much variety out there, you’re sure to find a decent motherboard for any budget.

6 Best Motherboard for i7 9700K in 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

There are many good processors to choose from, and the i7 9700K is one of the best choices any PC gamer would choose when building a PC. However, you cannot use the full potential of such a powerful processor until you choose the right motherboard.

That said, we’ve developed some of the best motherboards for the i7 9700K CPU that will be perfect for your gaming PC. For the 9th Gen Intel processor, the Z390 motherboard is the absolute best option to pick. When purchasing a new motherboard, however, there are a few other things to keep in mind, such as:

  • Form Factor: First of all, you should determine the size of the computer you want to build and then choose the motherboard accordingly. If you want to build a small computer, choose ITX or mini-ITX motherboards. Otherwise, you can stick to standard ATX motherboards.
  • Chipset: When choosing a new motherboard, always make sure it supports the CPU of your choice. As in this case, the Z390 motherboards will be the best option to pick as they feature LGA1151 sockets that support 9th and 8th Gen Intel processors.
  • Memory Speed: Choosing a motherboard with 2 DIMM slots or 4 DIMM slots is your personal choice. However, do not forget to check the maximum memory speed supported by your motherboard. Few of the available motherboards can only support memory speeds up to 1000-2000 MHz. While there are some other good options that provide speeds up to 4500MHz.

Here are some basic things that you should always keep in mind before choosing a motherboard. However, that’s not all, there are actually many more factors you should consider. If you want to know about all the factors, consider reading the detailed “Buying Guide” mentioned below, as we’ve covered each relevant factor fairly well. Until then, let’s take a look at the list of the best motherboards for the i7 9700K.

6 Best Motherboard for i7 9700K in 2021

The best motherboard for the i7 9700K Processors supported Shape factor Supported memory speeds up to Buy now
MSI MPG Z390 motherboard 9 i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K and 8th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron ATX 4400 MHz Check on Amazon
GIGABYTE Z390 motherboard intel Core 9 and 8 processors ATX 4400 MHz Check on Amazon
ASUS TUF Z390-Plus motherboard 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors ATX 1000 MHz Check on Amazon
MSI MPG PRO Z390 motherboard Intel Celeron, Intel Core 9th Generation, Intel Core 8th Generation, Intel Pentium Gold ATX 4400 MHz Check on Amazon
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I motherboard 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors Mini-ITX 2400 MHz Check on Amazon
ASRock Z390 motherboard 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors ITX 4500 MHz Check on Amazon

1. MSI MPG Z390 Motherboard

MSI MPG Z390 motherboard

If you’re going to build a gaming PC, you shouldn’t neglect MSI’s products as it’s one of the most popular brands in making gaming motherboards.

Speaking specifically of the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge motherboard, this is an ATX motherboard that comes at an amazing price these days, which is why we’ve placed it in the first place. As it is equipped with the Z390 chip, it comes with the LGA1151 socket which supports all 9th ​​and 8th Gen Intel processors, including Pentium Gold / Celeron processors as well. On the other hand, you get 4 DIMM slots on this motherboard, so you can outfit your PC with dual-channel DDR4 memory. In fact, memory speeds can be overclocked up to 4400 MHz.

To install some high-speed NVMe SSDs, it also offers two M.2 slots that are capable of speeds up to 32Gb / s. Besides, the 2 PCI x16 slots on this motherboard have a shielded connector that prevents the connector pins of the heavy graphics cards from bending and also makes the whole motherboard more durable. Speaking of other features, you have a WiFi AC, Bluetooth, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C connector on the front. And the Audio Boost 4 feature of Nahimic 3 supports 8-channel (7.1) HD audio for an immersive audio experience. In fact, if you love RGB lighting, Mystic Light support will help you smoothly control it throughout your device.

Key Features:

  • ATX motherboard
  • 4 DIMM slots
  • Memory speed up to 4400 MHz (OC)
  • Supports 9th and 8th generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron processors
  • Shielded PCI x16 slots
  • Dual M.2 slots
  • Mystical Light Synchronization
  • Audio Boost 4 with Nahimic 3
  • Built-in Intel Wi-Fi 1.73G AC


  • Comes with many SATA ports
  • Extended heat sinks provide better thermal performance
  • The overclocking capability is good
  • It also has 3 PCIe 3.0 x1 slots

But the physical cores are an asset (… for the most part), and this extra processing power makes the i7 9700K powerful enough to handle anything a player can throw at it, and more. In fact, its actual value for gamers may be negligible and unreasonable, while the cheaper six-core / 12-thread i7 8700K still remains on the scene.

Higher Boost, But No Hyper-Threading

Announced in late 2018, the Core i7-9700K replaces the Core i7-8700K in the Intel desktop processor line-up. The Core i7-9700K has a base clock of 3.6 GHz, 100 MHz slower than its predecessor, although its maximum boost clock of 4.9 GHz is 200 MHz higher.

Once the most important predictor of CPU performance, clock speed is no longer as important as it used to be, thanks to the advent of multi-core chips and modern software that can run separate instruction threads on each core. Even so, we expect slight clock adjustments from generation to generation, and there may even be reductions (as with the base speed here) if the new chip uses a more efficient architecture.

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and evaluated thousands of products to help you make better purchasing decisions. (Read our editorial mission.)

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AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

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Intel Core i9-9900K

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Core i7-9700K is more efficient, but not dramatically. It’s built on a 14nm (14nm) manufacturing process, similar to what Intel has used for its desktop and mobile computers over the past few years. The market launch of Intel desktop processors based on the company’s next-generation 10nm manufacturing process resulted in significant delays. Meanwhile, the latest third generation AMD chipsets, including the Ryzen 7 3700X, are built on a 7nm process called “Zen 2.”. (Overall, smaller process “sizes” are better for semiconductor fabrication.)

One of the main differences between the Core i7-9700K and its predecessor is Intel’s decision to abandon multi-threading support on the Core i7-8700K. Multithreading, which Intel calls Hyper-Threading, allows each core to handle two processing threads simultaneously. This can have a huge impact on the processor’s ability to handle complex instructions from demanding modern software such as video editing packages, although it has little effect on the performance of most games. The lack of Hyper-Threading means the Core i7-9700K can handle eight instructions at once (one for each core), up from 16 for the Ryzen 7 3700X.

Subtle Improvements

The Core i7-9700K has a 95 watts design thermal power (TDP), the same as its predecessor but higher than the 65 watts of the Ryzen 7 3700X. AMD also sells a more powerful Ryzen 7 3800X, with a 105-watt TDP, and a slightly higher base clock and increased clock rates.

With 16 PCI Express lanes available, the Core i7-9700K has reasonable versatility to support both a GPU and one or more expansion cards, assuming your motherboard supports it. Like the rest of the 9th generation family, the Core i7-9700K is compatible with Z390 motherboards using the LGA 1151 socket, as well as many previous-generation chipsets (most notably the Z370, Q370, B365, B360, H370 and H310). The Z390 introduces subtle improvements over the others, including USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and gigabit Wi-Fi. (Note: If you have an LGA 1151 motherboard based on the 100 or 200 series chipset, this motherboard will not work with the Core i7-9700K.)

However, it does not provide PCI Express 4.0 support as does the latest X570 chipset for AMD Ryzen processors. 4th Gen PCIe offers many times the potential peak bandwidth than its predecessor, although so far this is only relevant for people who own or plan to purchase a PCIe 4.0 storage drive. The Ryzen 7 3700X also has 36 usable PCIe lanes, making it more suitable than the Core i7-9700K for system builders who need a lot of room to expand or to configure with multiple video cards.

The Core i7-9700K has 12MB of total cache, just a third more than the Ryzen 7 3700X. A larger total cache can help improve the performance of some applications – including many games – that benefit from faster memory access, although this is a relatively small factor compared to clock speed and number of cores, and the raw “amount” is not “apples to apples.” ”Comparable.

The Core i7-9700K supports up to 128GB of DDR4-2666 memory (assuming the motherboard too) and includes an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics processor. The Ryzen 7 3700X has no integrated graphics, meaning you need to pair it with a discrete processor graphics, although most buyers of these chipsets will be interested primarily in games and will almost certainly install dedicated graphics cards anyway.

This motherboard is compatible with Intel HD graphics and is equipped with two PCle 3.0 x 16 slots which can accommodate separate graphics cards. Other features that you may find useful are the Turbo USB charger, Triple M.2 with triple heat shield, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an advanced thermal system.


The Core i7 8700K and Core i7 9700K are much more similar. As previously mentioned, both use the Coffee Lake architecture and have identical specifications. Here is a list of the similarities between the processors:

  • Same core architecture design (Coffee Lake)
  • Supported by 300 series motherboard chipset and LGA 1151 socket
  • It uses a 14 nm process node
  • Unlocked CPU (Core i7 – X700K, suffix “K)
  • Intel UHD 630 graphics card
  • Supports up to 128GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM
  • PCIe Gen 3.0 with 16 PCIe lanes
  • 12MB L3 cache

A lot of similarities can be expected as the Core i7 9700K has 2 additional cores than the Core i7 8700K. The missing hyper-threading technology in the 9700K certainly degrades performance. But when it comes to single-core performance, there isn’t much to be separated between the two CPUs.

The Core i7 8700 and Core i7 9700K are compatible with the same Intel 300 series motherboards, based on the same Coffee Lake design. There is an upgrade path from 8th gen to 9th gen. Compatibility of 8th and 9th generation motherboards allows for an easy upgrade path. But 9th generation processors are the last processors compatible with 300 series motherboards. So there is no upgrade option for 10th generation or upcoming 11th generation Intel processors.

Intel is quite clumsy in terms of the process node. There isn’t much difference beyond the core gain and Hyper-Threading performance. The processors have the same core architecture, the same L3 cache, the same UHD graphics, etc. The Core i7 9700K is only 8700K but with 2 extra cores removed and hyper-threading. More on that later.

The 9700K is a revised version of the 8700K made in a rush. Intel faltered during research and development. When AMD put its Ryzen processors on the market, Intel had to increase the number of cores and push the 14nm process node to the limit.


Intel supplies multiple versions of all Core series. The Core i7 has over 3 iterations, as does the Core i7 9700K, Core i7 9700KF, and Core i7 9700F. Intel has its own unique terminology for its products. Each product is distinguished by a note on the back.

  • The K suffix means the CPU is unlocked and can be overclocked.
  • F means the CPU does not have an integrated GPU. You won’t be able to boot without an external GPU.
  • KF means the CPU is unlocked but doesn’t have an integrated GPU

Key Features / Specifications:

Function Core i7 8700K Core i7 9700K
Electric socket FCLGA 1151 FCLGA 1151
Architecture Coffee Lake Coffee Lake
Base clock 3.7 GHz 3.6 GHz
Maximum frequency (boost clock) 4.7 GHz 4.9 GHz
Maximum RAM support 128 GB 128 GB
RAM handling speed 2666 MHz 2666 MHz
Number of cores 6 8
Number of threads 12 8
Unlocked multiplier 37 36
L3 cache 12 MB 12 MB
Instruction Set Extensions Intel SSE4.1, Intel SSE4.2, Intel AVX2 Intel SSE4.1, Intel SSE4.2, Intel AVX2
Integrated graphics processor Intel UHD 630 graphics card Intel UHD 630 graphics card
Maximum memory frequency 1.20 GHz 1.20 GHz
PCI Express version 3.0 3.0
Lithography 14nm 14nm
Energy consumption (TDP) 95 W 95 W
Price (suggested retail price) 385 $ 359

Even though these are old processors, we will be comparing the processor to Intel 9th ​​and 10th generation processors. The Core i5 9600K and Core i5 10600K were added to the fight to set an example of how much the Core offering has improved. All tests are performed on the same test bench, except for the 10th generation processor. Apart from swapping the motherboards, there will be no difference between the test setups.

Here is the test bench used for the performance check:

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aourus Master (rev 1.0), 10th generation MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
RAM: 8 GB x 2 Patriot Viper 3000MHz Cl14
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 280mm AIO
Memory: 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe

Each processor will be benchmarked with different software. We will be looking for the gaming and productivity burden to get a broad understanding of the results. We use AIO to ensure that there is no thermal throttling etc during benchmarking. Here are the benchmark results:

Cinebench R20:

The higher point is the better

Cinebench R20 Intel Core i7 8700K vs Core i7 9700K

7 ZIP Intel Core i7 8700K vs Core i7 9700K

Hand Brake:

Shorter time is better (measured in minutes)

Intel Core i7 8700K handbrake versus Core i7 9700K handbrake

Blender Open Data Render:

Shorter time is better (measured in minutes)

The Intel Core i7-9700K processor is a capable mainstream processor for gaming enthusiasts, but the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X offers better value and better performance for many computing tasks.


The Core i7-9700k processor is unique in its category and requires a special type of motherboard to realize its full potential. All motherboards recommended in this guide will work seamlessly with this CPU, greatly boosting your PC’s performance.

Take your time to buy a motherboard only to realize later that it is not compatible with this processor. Make sure to check factors such as SATA ports, form factor, PCIe slots, RAM, and CPU slots to find the best product for you.

A fan of the MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for a number of websites for over 10 years. Now he is blogging about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets and other new gadgets on

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This motherboard is compatible with Intel HD graphics and is equipped with two PCle 3.0 x 16 slots which can accommodate separate graphics cards. Other features that you may find useful are the Turbo USB charger, Triple M.2 with triple heat shield, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an advanced thermal system.

Things To Consider

What Budget Should I Set For An Intel Core i7 9700k Motherboard?

One of the most important things to pay attention to is, of course, the price. This will determine what kind of features you’ll be able to get and what you could potentially compromise on. The good news is that there’s so much variety out there, you’re sure to find a decent motherboard for any budget.

With Z390 motherboards you’ll typically look at the $ 200- $ 500 price tag, but the higher-end ones can potentially be more expensive.

Some of the things that will increase the price of your motherboard could include the number of ports and slots available or even the brand.

Socket Type

Perhaps the second most important thing to pay attention to is the socket type. Before you start looking at hundreds of different motherboards, you need to see if they have the correct socket type.

9th Gen Intel processors will require the LGA 1151 socket, so make sure you cross out the ones with AM4 or LGA 1200 sockets from your list. These sockets are for AMD or Intel 10th generation processors and will not be suitable for the i7-9700K processor.

The good thing is, it can help you narrow your list down to a more manageable size, with just a few motherboards to choose from.


A motherboard chipset can determine a few different things, such as the number of SATA ports, the available PCIe lanes, and how well a system can be overclocked. The Z390 chipsets will generally be expandable in the future, which of course makes them some of the best options.

When you do your research, make sure the chipset in question is compatible with your chosen processor. You can always find deals, especially if you don’t use a specific brand or chipset. Other options may include H310, B360, H370 and Q370 chipsets if you just want to create a budget, home or office building.

Expansion Slots

The number of expansion slots on your motherboard is another important factor that will determine how many components you can install. Most motherboards these days offer multiple slots for things like a graphics card, sound card, and hopefully some M.2 drives for SSDs.

However, if you plan to run additional components like an additional graphics card, you will have to look at motherboards with enough expansion slots. It’s also a good idea to check how many high-speed I / O lines your motherboard can handle.

Available Ports

If you intend to connect multiple devices to your computer at the same time, the number of ports available is another factor to consider. The last thing you want is to plug in some basic peripherals and find there’s no room for the one else you need.

It’s a good idea to think about how much you usually use simultaneously so you can only focus on motherboards that are right for your needs.

Some of the most common ports to look out for are:

  • USB Type-C
  • USB 3 / USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • USB 3.1 Gen2
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort
  • Lightning 3
  • Audio ports
  • PS / 2 ports

Form Factor

The aspect ratio simply relates to the size of the motherboard. Most motherboards will be available in one of the five different types listed below. Each of these aspect ratios will offer a different number of ports and slots depending on their size. For example, the smallest motherboard will likely have fewer RAM slots, while the larger ones will typically have four.

The Best Motherboards For Intel Core i7 9700k Processors

best z390 motherboard

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming PRO Carbon

intel Mid-High Builds





Advanced Intel Builds

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero

When it comes to choosing products that are worth recommending, we like to test them ourselves where possible. When that isn’t possible, we thoroughly research each component and browse through online reviews and benchmarks until we’re happy to find the best possible options.

Intel Core i7-9700K Overclocking Detailed

The Intel Core i7-9700K was tested on a Z390 motherboard (unnamed due to the NDA) but managed to hit a cool 5 GHz with 1.4V on all 8 cores. It was said that the chip obtained by Elchapuzasinformatico was not such a good copy and even using STIM (Solder Thermal Interface Material) the temperature rose to around 90C (with the voltage set to Auto). It’s clear that setting the voltage to Auto would result in higher values ​​that are inconsistent and would result in much higher temperatures than what manual overclocking setups would give.

At the same time, it is stated that the motherboard had a very early BIOS and the updated version could further reduce consumption by about 1.2V at the same 5GHz speeds, which would also result in lower temperatures of 60-70 degrees Celsius.

The ninth generation will be compatible with the existing 300 series and the new Z390 motherboards. Here are some of the key features of the upcoming squad:

  • The first powerful Intel Core i9 s-series processor for desktop computers
  • Up to 8 cores
  • Compatible with Intel Z390 chipset
  • Thermally Conductive Soldering Material (STIM)
  • Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 port and integrated Intel Wireless-AC
  • Up to 16 threads, 5.0 GHz, 16 MB cache, and 40 PCIe platforms (16 CPUs + 24 PCH)
  • Compatible with all Intel 300 series chipsets
  • Supports Intel Optane memory and Intel Optane SSD
  • Thunderbolt 3 support

Specs have been listed, but there is currently no information about the pricing that can be expected around October, roughly the same time as the official announcement. Expect more pricing and performance details for these new 6-core and 8-core Intel mainstream components in the coming months.

It is rare for ASUS to produce sub-standard hardware, the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is proof enough of this. If you’re used to cheap PC hardware, you might not be a fan of this motherboard.

Intel Core i7 9700K performance

Is it Hyper-Threading or is the two extra cores having the biggest impact on gaming performance? No wonder the cores of the moons are equal to the yield of the moons. There is simply no substitution to put even more processing power into the chip.

Mostly, anyway. And frankly, the performance gains aren’t particularly dramatic. When benchmarking games in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Total War: Warhammer 2, Far Cry 5, and Civilization VI, the i7 9700K outbid the i7 8700K’s six cores by just a few frames per second. All in all, this represents about a 4% increase in overall performance in our benchmark suite over the i7 8700K.

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And when we talk about the mediums, the i7 9700K reaches 0.3% and the 99900K. To hell with Hyper-Threading. Even with double the number of threads and a slight clock leap, the i9 9900K did not manage to get a significant advantage over the i7 9700K, which lingered in a single i9 frame in almost every Civilization VI title bar.

Perhaps an outlier, but in the Civ i9 9900K it inexplicably underperformed the i7 9700K in an average of three runs. All while maintaining the advantage of the AI ​​during the turn.

This largely illustrates the reluctance of current game engines to run on all cores shared with them. Buying a multi-core CPU right now exclusively for gaming tasks is a hope for the future of gaming engine development more than a performance craving right now. Needless to say, it’s better to spend your money on the true power of gaming graphics: the GPU.

But it is in the loads that favor more cores that the i7 9700K manages to stretch its legs a bit. And I really mean it when I say a little.

In full power, based on all the cores of the Cinebench R15 series, the i7 9700K is able to outperform its hexacore by just 100 points, scoring 1,486 points to 1,386 on the i7 8700K. In single-threaded tests, this difference approaches just 3 points. And just when you think these two extra cores have Hyper-Threading on the ropes, the 3DMark Firestrike and 3DMark Timespy tests lean towards extra threads over the real deal.

Intel Core i7 9700K verdict

Intel Core i7 9700K verdict

With the inclusion of the brand new, higher Core i9 processor, the i7 9700K remains in a rather ruthless position. This isn’t the best power chip: it’s the i9 9900K. And it’s not the best chip for high-end gaming: that idiosyncratic accolade now belongs to the 8th Gen i7 8700K.

However, with top-notch gaming chips it is one of the best in terms of numbers alone. It pierces the nose of the i7 8700K and is so close to the i9 9900K that any performance achieved by a high-end chip is seemingly negligible. But who really spends so much money on a CPU for a simple game? If all you crave for fps is much better to go for a simple 6/6 Core i5 processor and spend a ton of extra cash on a higher tier graphics card.

Top of the stack: Read our Intel Core i9 9900K review

And from a multitasking or mega-tasking perspective, as Intel says (e.g streaming, capturing, and gaming simultaneously), the returns are minimal, if any. In various CPU-intensive workloads, the i7 9700K is slightly ahead of its six-core predecessor, although it still lags behind the money-less i9 9900K or, perhaps most importantly, the price-conscious Ryzen 7 2700X from AMD.

As the stocks of the i7 8700K diminish and the value shifts in favor of the latest chip, the i7 9700K will become the de facto choice for gamers. But it has not yet reached this tipping point.


For now, whether you go for the i7 9700K or the i7 8700K, it’s all based on the concept of a future correction. Yes, that forgotten phrase, often used as a justification when building a new PC to buy something you don’t actually have any use for, is a grace to save the i7 9700K. At the rate we gain computing cores, games may soon be making good use of your entire CPU. When that day comes, these two physical cores can be a bit more efficient.

Power. And probably not for a while. With Sunny Cove finally bursting 10 nautical miles by the end of the year, you’ll likely feel some serious architectural FOMO before that day anyway. Before you know it, you’ll be purchasing a brand new quantum processor with your cosmic money and an endless cycle of future security resets.

With AMD on the 2019 warpath – which is set to release Zen 2 mid-year – Intel’s lingering Coffee Lake processors must have been some of the most convincing. But it’s not like that. While you can get a slight performance boost with the i7 9700K, the price is linear. For gamers and advanced users (except those requiring HEDT platforms), cheaper Intel or AMD chipsets are much better suited.

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