If you're planning to build a new PC around Intel's 13th Gen i5-13600K processor, you'll hear no complaints from us. The Raptor Lake CPU comes in cheaper than its primary AMD Ryzen competitor and is arguably the best all-rounder for the mid-range category, supporting both DDR4 and DDR5 memory speeds. Your motherboard options range from the balanced Z690 chipset to cutting-edge Z790 variants, and even a B660 board suits a budget spec.
The same motherboard we used in a test bench for our Intel Core i5-13600K review, the Z690 Carbon supports DDR5 memory alongside five M.2 slots for storage. Ready for overclocking with an 18+1+1 design, this modern board even supports the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard.
A more affordable alternative that uses previous-generation DDR4 RAM, the PRO Z690-A is perfect for anyone sticking with their current memory. 8+4 power delivery for overclocking plus PCIe 5.0 support and plenty of USB options make it a worthy choice.
If upgrading to the latest DDR5 memory, the Z790 AORUS Elite AX ticks similar boxes to MSI's Z690 board. An upgrade to a 20+1+2 power delivery comes with 14 USB ports for accessory-heavy spaces and onboard Wi-Fi 6E alongside a 10GbE port.
Another DDR4 alternative from MSI, this time with the new Z790 chipset. Sporting a 16-phase power delivery with PCI 5.0 support and 4x M.2 sockets for rapid storage. You still get Wi-Fi 6E, but a slight drop to 2.5G LAN.
MSI offer yet another affordable alternative with our budget pick, the B660M Mortar. Connectivity options are slim, but the price drops to match. You still have 2x M.2 sockets and 6x SATA ports, but they're PCI 4.0. Move your older components over to save cash.
Choosing the best motherboard for Intel Core i5-13600K
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Building a PC around the fantastic 13th Gen i5-13600K CPU gives you a wide range of options, from a budget-conscious mid-range rig to an enthusiast-level powerhouse. The MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi sits comfortably in the middle of almost every category with a reasonable asking price south of $400.
The Raptor Lake processor also supports modern motherboards like the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Elite AX, touting the latest chipset alongside DDR5 RAM support for a similar price. Of course, you can push the boat out with a more extreme pick like the ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, which competes with some of the best motherboards if you can afford it.
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Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @email@example.com to ask questions or share opinions.