To get the most out of your Intel Core i9-12900K, you will need the best motherboard with the Z690 chipset that your budget can cover. It's a powerful CPU, usually paired with similarly beefy components that will require an appropriately high-end board. We've rounded up the best motherboards for the Intel Core i9-12900K, allowing you to overclock this monstrous processor so long as you have adequate cooling.
The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is perfect for the Core i9-12900K. The VRM setup and power delivery design are exceptional, allowing you to overclock this CPU without power issues safely. Plenty of M.2 slots, PCIe 5.0 support, DDR5 RAM support, and a gorgeous design.
The ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming is a little more affordable without cutting down on the features. It features PCIe 5.0, DDR5 RAM, 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.
The MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi is a strong competitor to the ROG Strix. A similar power setup with full support for DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5.0, and a 2.5Gb LAN port. You can do some overclocking here, so long as you don't push it too far.
The MSI Pro Z690-A is a budget choice worth considering. DDR4 RAM support 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, a great starter option.
The ASRock Z690 Steel Legend isn't the most affordable, 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, PCIe 5.0 support, and M.2 slots for your OS, software, and games.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi is a compact ITX board supporting PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM with a 10+1 power delivery design handling a little overclocking. The 2.5Gb LAN and Wi-Fi are excellent for a small PC doubled up as a media center, paired with two M.2 slots for storage.
Choosing the best motherboard
You can't choose the wrong motherboard for most PC builds, so long as the socket and chipset match up and support the processor you wish to use. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is a fantastic foundation for a gaming or enthusiast PC. You can overclock the Core i9-12900K without issue and enjoy a powerful workstation for work and play. There's even a special "EVA Edition" for fans of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, which is naturally more expensive.
Suppose it's too far out of your budget (and let's be honest, not everyone has $600+ to drop on a motherboard). In that case, there's always the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming and MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi, which offer similar specifications and power delivery that let you build a competent PC. Even the budget-friendly MSI PRO Z690-A is worth considering, especially if you have DDR4 RAM. For smaller ITX builds, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi is one of the best motherboards for the Intel Core i9-12900K available.
Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
- Ben WilsonFreelance Writer
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