Intel's Core i7-11700K is a very good processor for gaming and productivity, but you'll need an equally good enough motherboard for you to take full advantage of what this desktop-class CPU can deliver. We've rounded up the best motherboards for the Intel Core i7-11700K that cover enthusiasts, gamers, and those on a tight budget.
Our top pick goes to the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming, which is one of the company's finest mid-range offerings for Intel's 10th and 11th Gen series of processors. This board introduces the Z590 chipset, which unlocks full support for PCIe 4.0, and you get the same excellent ASUS BIOS from other top-tier boards. Other highlight features include Wi-Fi 6E, 14+2 power stage design for stable overclocking, DDR4-5333+ RAM support, dual Intel 2.5Gb LAN, Thunderbolt 4, and four M.2 SSD slots.
Coming in as a close second pick is the excellent Gigabyte Z590 AORUS ELITE AX. This motherboard, like others in our collection, also comes with the Intel Z590 chipset. We're looking at a 12+1 power phase design, as well as support for PCIe 4.0 and speeds of up to 5400MHz for DDR4 RAM. Finally, there are numerous USB 3.2 ports on the rear for expansive PC builds. It's a great choice for a Core i7.
An Intel Core i7 really doesn't push the boat much compared to an i9, which is where the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero comes into play. It's expensive, likely overkill for most PC builds, but it's a monster if you plan to upgrade the CPU later. This board uses a 14+2 power stage delivery design with high-quality chokes, capacitors, and other components for stable overclocking. Other highlights include 5Gb LAN, two M.2 slots, Wi-Fi 6, high-quality audio, and plenty of RGB headers.
There are some Z590 motherboards out there that don't cost a lot and the ASUS PRIME Z590M-PLUS is a ... prime example. This motherboard comes in at less than $200, which can be considered budget territory for the Z590 chipset. It does, however, come with an 8+1 power phase design, high-quality components, Fan Xpert 4 for a quiet and cool PC, as well as all the rear USB ports you'll need.
If you're going for a small and compact PC chassis, you'll want something like the MSI MEG Z590I UNIFY. This is a Mini-ITX motherboard, meaning it's smaller than ATX and microATX, allowing it to fit inside a smaller case. It supports DDR4-5333MHz RAM, PCIe 4.0, Thunderbolt 3, 2.5Gb LAN, and Wi-Fi 6.
Choosing the best motherboard
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If you needed to pick one best overall motherboard for the Intel Core i7-11700K, we'd recommend going with the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming. It's one of the best Intel Z590 motherboards, but it's also priced competitively, packing plenty of features at a reasonable price.
The mid-tower isn't the only form factor for building capable systems. If you wanted to build a PC that's a little more unique, the MSI MEG Z590I UNIFY will fit inside the more compact PC cases that can also handle the best graphics card. This board rocks the same chipset as our top Intel recommendations but loses a few features because of size restrictions.
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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.
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