Intel's Core i5-10600K is a capable mid-tier processor, but you'll need an equally solid motherboard to really get the most out of the CPU. We've rounded up some of the best motherboards around for the Intel platform, allowing you to choose from the very best to get the most out of your components.
If you're looking for the best chipset to use with Intel 10th Gen processors right now, it would be the Z490. The ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming from ASUS is a great option with plenty of features, including 2.5Gb LAN and Wi-Fi 6, as well as a great power delivery setup for a reliable overclock-friendly PC build. Other ports include DisplayPort, HDMI, four USB 3.2 Gen 2 (three USB-A and one USB-C), two USB 3.2 Gen 1, and four USB 2.0.
This MSI motherboard comes rocking the same Z490 chipset found in our top ASUS recommendation, making it a good match for the Intel Core i5 processor. The MSI MEG Z490 Unify has a good price, solid 16-phase power delivery, ample VRM cooling, plenty of expansion, and more. On the rear, you'll find PS/2 ports, 2.5G LAN, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and a single USB-C 3.2 Gen 2x2 port.
Even if you're on a tighter budget, you'll likely still be able to pick up a motherboard with the Z490 chipset. The MSI MGP Z490 Gaming Plus offers excellent power delivery, cooled VRMs with some beefy heatsinks, as well as plenty of ports: PS/2, one USD 3.2 Gen 2 port, 2.5Gb LAN, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, Optical S/PDIF, and finally two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.
Time for the big one. This is a motherboard you likely won't need or have the budget to cover, but it would be nice to have one. You've got amazing overclocking support with stable power delivery and enough cooling for all the crucial components. There's also 5Gb LAN (as well as a 1Gb port), HDMI, four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, Optical S/PDIF, and even Wi-Fi.
For smaller PC builds, there's a good chance you'll be using an ITX case, which requires a motherboard of the same format. The ROG Strix Z490-I from ASUS is a compact package, including the same Z490 chipset in the larger motherboards here. Not only is it small, but you get a full PCIe slot for a GPU, as well as 2.5Gb LAN, DisplayPort, HDMI, four USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one being a Type-C), two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and a Wi-Fi 6 module.
Choosing the best motherboard
Why you can trust Windows Central
To get the most out of your Intel Core i5-10600K, you'll need to carefully consider a few factors when shopping for a motherboard. You must match the processor to the socket and chipset, making sure it's all compatible. Then look at the feature list. Does it have M.2? Will it allow you to overclock the RAM and CPU? Then there's the price, which should always be considered.
Our top pick is the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming. It's not the best motherboard for 10th Gen Intel processors, but it's also not the most expensive. It's our best overall recommendation primarily down to the price and available features, as well as build quality and chosen components. The VRMs are good, so too is the cooling, and you have a stellar platform for the Core i5-10600K.
However, if you want a little more, the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Z490 is ready to go. This board is a monster. ASUS went all out with the components used and the overall build quality and design. You have everything here required for an enthusiast-grade PC.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.