Getting the best performance from the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors means you need the best Intel LGA 1700 motherboard. Our roundup of Z690 chipset boards has the best selection for your Alder Lake CPU, from money-saving budget options to high-end premium performance and a mixture of RAM support.
Highly recommended in our MPG Carbon Wi-Fi review, this is a killer board from MSI. Simple overclocking in the BIOS means pushing your Alder Lake CPU to its limits. On top of two PCIe Gen5 slots and five M.2 sockets, it has DDR5 memory and Wi-Fi 6E support.
Dropping to Wi-Fi 6 instead of 6E, the AORUS Pro is a great alternative. Supporting DDR5 memory and sporting four M.2 sockets, this is another board well suited for overclocking with reliable VRM temperatures. Coupled with 13 USB ports total, the AORUS Pro is feature-rich.
ASUS includes Wi-Fi 6E, PCIe 5.0, and two M.2 sockets in this fantastic Mini-ITX motherboard, plus two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports for faster-than-ever external storage devices. Standing tall next to its larger counterparts, this is a great compact option.
Stick with DDR4 memory to save some cash so you can splash out on the Alder Lake CPU instead. Including onboard Wi-Fi 6 support, four M.2 sockets, and a USB-C port, this is a capable board that can handle the latest Intel processors without issue.
Supporting overclocking to an extreme degree, ASUS has included robust heatsinks to help keep your rig from melting. Onboard Wi-Fi 6E, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, five M.2 sockets, and a 10Gb Ethernet port make for an ultra-fast board. The ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is the king of the hill.
Choosing the best Intel LGA 1700 motherboard
Building a new computer to take advantage of the latest generation of Intel processors begins with the motherboard. Alder Lake chips get along just fine with any of our Z690 boards, with our review of the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi proving it to be the best overall choice. If you don't mind dropping the wireless tech a touch from Wi-Fi 6E to Wi-Fi 6, then the Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Pro is a fantastic alternative with minor changes to the feature set.
If you want to push your rig to its limits, then the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is one of the best motherboards available, ready for almost anything you throw at it. If you don't plan to overclock your Alder Lake CPU, then the Formula is overkill, so best to leave this one to the enthusiasts. Mini-ITX builds have a great option in the ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-I Gaming Wi-Fi, keeping things compact without sacrificing features.
Ben Wilson is a freelance writer working for Windows Central with technical expertise and a background in electronics retail. Fueling a technology and video game obsession with coffee, you can usually find him behind one screen or another.
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.