If you're interested in a 12th Gen Intel Core processor, you'll need compatible hardware. We've gathered the best Intel Z690 motherboards to take advantage of the features in this chipset, including DDR5 RAM support for super-fast memory.
MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi
The best performance for your money, the MPG Carbon Wi-Fi is suitably impressive. Overclocking is simple in BIOS, so you can (carefully) push your CPU to its limits. It supports DDR5 RAM and Wi-Fi 6E, and includes two PCIe 5.0 slots and five M.2 sockets. Simply the best Intel Z690 motherboard.
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Pro
Dropping the wireless tech ever so slightly from 6E down to Wi-Fi 6, the AORUS Pro is the choice for runner-up. Still touting DDR5 RAM support and four M.2 sockets, it's another motherboard with strong VRM for overclocking. 13 USB ports total means ample connectivity for devices.
ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-I Gaming Wi-Fi
Considering the Mini-ITX form factor, ASUS has crammed an impressive feature set into this petite board. Features include Wi-Fi 6E, PCIe 5.0 slot, and two M.2 sockets for the internals. Two external USB-C and Thunderbolt 4 ports support the latest and fastest external hard drives, making this tiny board a big deal.
MSI MAG Tomahawk WiFi DDR4
Best for DDR4
The MAG Tomahawk sticks with DDR4 RAM, supporting speeds of up to 5200MHz overclocked. Built-in Wi-Fi 6, four M.2 sockets, and USB-C bolster this board as a competitive choice should you lean towards dual-channel DDR4 memory.
MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 WiFi
On the cheapest end is the PRO Z690-A, a fantastic budget board from MSI. Save a bit of cash with DDR4 RAM that you might already own, and enjoy the built-in Wi-Fi 6 support, four M.2 sockets, and USB-C. A capable Z690 motherboard for a bargain price.
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula
If you want the best, you need the ROG Maximus Formula. With tremendous support for overclocking to the absolute limit, ASUS includes sturdy heatsinks to keep overheating risks at bay. Features Wi-Fi 6E and DDR5 RAM support, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, five M.2 sockets, and 10Gb Ethernet. A killer board.
Choosing the best Intel Z690 motherboard
Building a computer for 12th-generation Intel Core processors means choosing the best motherboard to match. Alder Lake chips are compatible with any of these Z690 boards, with the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi coming out on top as the best overall choice for its cutting-edge tech and reasonable price. We've also included plenty of alternatives to fit your budget and required specs.
For enthusiasts pushing their rig to the max, the ASUS ROG Maximus Formula is one of the best Intel Z690 motherboards available today. This board is for overclockers, with heatsinks ready to handle fine-tuning and backed up by tremendous 10Gb LAN and onboard Wi-Fi 6E networking hardware.
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.
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