Best motherboard for Core i7-12700K Windows Central 2021
The Intel Core i7-12700K is a unique processor in that it sits slap bang in the middle of the more affordable Core i5-12600K and the overkill that is the Core i9-12900K. Still, we're going to be recommending the same best motherboards, all using the Z690 chipset with a mix of DDR4 and DDR5 support, depending on your preference.
- Best overall: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming
- Runner-up: MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI
- Best performance: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
- Best budget: MSI PRO Z690-A
- Best DDR4: ASRock Z690 Steel Legend
- Best ITX: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi
Best overall: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F GamingStaff pick
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming is the sweet spot for the Core i7-12700K. It has PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM support, a 16+1 power delivery design, high-quality components, 2.5Gb LAN, Wi-Fi 6E, plenty of USB ports, and a striking yet subtle design. It's also the successor to one of our favorite boards for 11th Gen processors.
Runner-up: MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI
If you're not a fan of ASUS motherboards or want something a little different, we would recommend checking out the MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI. You've got a similar power setup with full support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0. The 2.5Gb LAN port and other highlight features like high-quality components are worthy additions to an already excellent package.
Best performance: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is complete overkill for the Core i7 processor, but if you feel as though you will upgrade the chip down the line and want to keep to this generation, it's a worthwhile investment. The VRM setup and power delivery design are exceptional, allowing you to safely overclock even a Core i9 without power issues. There are plenty of M.2 slots, PCIe 5.0 support, DDR5 RAM support, and a gorgeous design.
Best budget: MSI PRO Z690-A
You don't have to settle for less when wanting to save some pennies. The MSI PRO Z690-A is worth considering when building a more affordable PC. Because it's cheaper than other motherboards, you're getting DDR4 RAM support which may be a bonus for anyone with leftover modules. It has an 8+4 power delivery design with PCIe 5.0 support and plenty of USB options.
Best DDR4: ASRock Z690 Steel Legend
The ASRock Z690 Steel Legend isn't the most affordable motherboard for 12th Gen processors, but it does offer support for DDR4 RAM, which may be handy for anyone moving from older platforms. It has a 13 phase power delivery design with 2.5Gb LAN, Wi-Fi, enough M.2 slots for your OS, software, and games as well as PCIe 5.0 support.
Best ITX: ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi
The Core i7 would be ideal for smaller and more compact PC cases since it doesn't require heavy-duty cooling. The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming Wi-Fi supports PCIe 5.0, DDR5 RAM, has a 10+1 power delivery design with high-quality components, and can even handle a little overclocking. The 2.5Gb LAN and Wi-Fi are excellent for a smaller PC that can double up as a media center, and you've got two M.2 slots for speedy storage.
Choosing the best motherboard
It'll be a challenge to mess up your decision-making for a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700K motherboard. While it may have an impressive 12-core setup, this processor can easily get by on less expensive motherboards. The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming is our go-to mid-range board for this processor, thanks to its impressive power setup and feature list.
If you have some fancy DDR4 modules you wish to save and use again, which should save hundreds compared to buying new DDR5 RAM, there are motherboards with the Z690 chipset that supports DDR4 like the budget-friendly MSI PRO Z690-A.
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