Best Intel Z690 motherboards 2024

The best motherboards using the Z690 chipset support a move up to the LGA 1700 socket standard for the 12th, 13th, and 14th generations of Intel Core processors (CPU), bringing cutting-edge DDR5 memory support and PCIe 5.0 lanes for the latest graphics cards (GPU). 

Despite Z790 motherboards offering extras like faster memory clock speed support, Z690 hardware remains popular and generally more affordable. Just be sure you get a Z690 board with DDR5 memory support for better future-proofing unless you plan on sticking with DDR4 for awhile.

We've collected a bunch of Z690 motherboards from a range of prices and features to help you get the perfect centerpiece for your next PC build. Whether you're an enthusiast or a casual user, there's a Z690 motherboard for you right here.

Choosing the best Intel Z690 motherboard

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MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi motherboard (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Building a computer for Intel Core processors using the LGA 1700 socket — including 12th, 13th, and 14th Gen chips — means you need to know what motherboard to buy. Our top pick is the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon for anyone who wants a powerful motherboard with overclocking support, PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 compatibility, and Wi-Fi 6E.

In our MSI MPG Z690 Carbon review, it was noted that "it has pretty much everything you'll need without unnecessary bloat or inflated price. I'm talking dual PCIe 5.0 slots, DDR5 support, five M.2 slots, 2.5Gb LAN and Wi-Fi 6E networking, and an 18+1+1 power delivery design that can handle an overclocked Intel Core i9-12900K."

We've also included plenty of alternatives to fit your budget and required specs, like the affordable PRO Z690-A DDR4 Wi-Fi from MSI. The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming is also less than $200 despite DDR5 RAM support and PCIe 5.0 compatibility.

For enthusiasts pushing their rig to the max, the ASUS ROG Maximus Formula and ROG Maximus Hero are some of the best Intel Z690 motherboards available today. They're great boards for overclockers, with heatsinks ready to handle fine-tuning and wireless networking hardware.

Should you upgrade to a Z790 board instead?

Motherboards with the Z790 chipset differ from Z690 in a few ways. They were released alongside 13th Gen Intel CPUs, but it still works with 12th and 14th Gen hardware. The Z690 chipset came with 12th Gen chips, but it will work with 13th and 14th Gen chips.

The PCIe lane setup is different, with Z790 sacrificing some PCIe 3.0 lanes for more PCIe 4.0. Z790 boards also offer support for higher memory speeds, which might be crucial to your build. For many people, however, a Z690 board will be more than enough.

If you're using a Z690 board with a newer Intel chip, like from the 13th or 14th Gen lineups, you might need to hit the motherboard with a BIOS update. Beyond that, in many cases you'll be able to find a Z690 motherboard at a better price than its Z790 successor.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it. 

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