If you want to create the ultimate gaming and productivity PC, you'll want to use the Intel Core i9-11900K. This monstrous processor has more cores than you'll know what to do with, but you'll need a capable motherboard to serve as a solid foundation to get the most out of it. This is where our collection of recommendations for best motherboards for the Intel Core i9-11900K come into play.
Our top pick is the excellent 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. We reviewed the AMD X570 version of this board and it was brilliant. 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.
The Gigabyte Z590 AORUS ELITE AX comes in at a close second. 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 i9.
This board would usually be considered overkill for Core i7 processors and below, but since we're using a Core i9-11900K the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero comes into its element. It's expensive, but it's a monster if you plan to overclock the CPU and other components. 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.
You don't have to pay much for a Z590 motherboard. The ASUS PRIME Z590M-PLUS is a good foundation for a PC build, coming in at less than $200 and 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 want a mini-ITX motherboard for a compact PC chassis, the MSI MEG Z590I UNIFY is a solid choice. This is a seriously compact motherboard, smaller than ATX and microATX, allowing it to fit inside a smaller case. Even though it's smaller than other motherboards, it still supports DDR4-5333MHz RAM, PCIe 4.0, Thunderbolt 3, 2.5Gb LAN, and Wi-Fi 6.
Choosing the best motherboard
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Intel's Core i9-11900K is a great processor for gaming and productivity. The CPU allows you to get plenty done without experiencing degraded performance. If we were to recommend a single motherboard to be chosen as the foundation for a capable PC build, it would be 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. Then you have the all-out best of the best, which is why the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero costs considerably more.
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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.