Best Motherboard for Intel i5 10600K


Intel Core i5-10600K is among the most popular processors right now, and it is extensively considered by budget gamers since it comes at a low price and offers excellent performance. The processor comes with six cores, and unlike the previous Core-i5 processors, this processor comes with Hyper-Threading enabled, which is why it has twelve threads. Since it is a K-series processor, it comes with an unlocked multiplier which allows the users to overclock the processor as long as they are using a compatible motherboard. 

Speaking of motherboards, there are tons of motherboards in the market for this processor. Using an H-series or B-series motherboard won’t do justice to this processor, and that is why we will be listing only the Z490 chipset motherboards in the article. The Z490 chipset is one of the most powerful chipsets for Intel processors right now and most of the motherboards based on this chipset cost over two hundred bucks. This article will be looking at some of the best motherboards coupled with the Core i5-10600K.

Award Model Price
Best Budget Motherboard for i5 10600K GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS ELITE AC CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best ATX Motherboard for i5 10600K ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Mid-Range Motherboard for i5 10600K MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Overall Motherboard for i5 10600K MSI MEG Z490 Unify CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Enthusiast Motherboard for i5 10600K ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best M-ATX Motherboard for i5 10600K ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING (WI-FI) CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Premium Motherboard for i5 10600K GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Overclocking Motherboard for i5 10600K MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews

Quick Buying Tips!

Buying a motherboard is not an easy task, and that is why we are listing some of the best tips that should be considered by the users to assist them in buying a great motherboard.

VRM: VRM stands for Voltage Regulator Module, and it is one of the most significant motherboard components. This module is used to provide stable power to the motherboard, and if the VRM is not powerful enough, you will not be able to overclock your processor to its full potential. The VRM is also responsible for handling the power delivery to the memory, and memory is a significant component in determining the overall performance of a system.

Connectivity: I/O stands for Input/Output, and the rear of the motherboard has most of the I/O ports and connections. Most high-end motherboards come with the latest USB ports, primarily USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. Apart from the USB ports, you can check the audio ports or even the audio chipset since it dramatically affects the audio quality. Some of the motherboards provide WiFi as well, and thankfully, the Z490 chipset has built-in support for WiFi, which is why you will see WiFi antenna outputs at the rear I/O of the motherboard.

Aesthetics: The looks of a product are always subjective, but there are always things that attract the masses. One of such things is RGB lighting, which has shaken the whole PC community in the past few years. It feels like a sin not to have RGB lighting on the motherboard since most other components come with RGB lighting and graphics cards, RAM kits, etc. Apart from RGB lighting, most high-end motherboards come with cool-looking I/O covers and chipset heat-sinks, enhancing the overall feel of the system.

Best Motherboard for Intel i5 10600K Reviews

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS ELITE AC (Image credit: Amazon)

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS ELITE AC

Best Budget Motherboard for i5 10600K

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS ELITE AC is the mainstream motherboard by GIGABYTE, and it is less pricey than the ROG STRIX Z490-E but pricier than the MSI MPG motherboard we have listed. The overall features of this motherboard make it an excellent choice for those who are interested in overclocking but don’t want to go overboard.

GIGABYTE has used a black PCB in combination with gray and silver-colored heatsinks and covers. The VRM heatsinks are gray, while the chipset heatsink is silver. Both the heatsinks have aggressive metallic texture on them, while the I/O cover is plain black. The M.2 heatsinks are plain black and look a bit odd in combination with the chipset heatsink.

The four DIMM slots are reinforced with metal, just like the AORUS XTREME motherboard, while one of the PCI-E X16 slots is reinforced as well. There is a total of four PCI-E slots; two X16 ones and two X1 ones. The motherboard uses 12+1 phase power stages, which are more than enough to handle a Core i5 processor.

The rear I/O of the motherboard consists of 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 2 x SMA antenna connectors (1T1R), 1 x HDMI port, 1 x RJ-45 port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, and 5 x audio jacks.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING (Image credit: Amazon)

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING

Best ATX Motherboard for i5 10600K

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING is the mainstream Z490 motherboard by ASUS, and it is priced lower than the flagship MAXIMUS series motherboards. The price of this motherboard makes it affordable for those who are ready a considerable amount of money for the latest features.

Although not as good as the APEX model, the design of this motherboard is undoubtedly attractive. The cutouts on the VRM heatsink feel really attractive, while there is a lot of RGB lighting on the I/O cover and the chipset heatsink. The chipset heatsink is connected with the VRM heatsink via a thick heatpipe, which seems to improve the overall cooling potential of the motherboard. 

There are four memory slots on the motherboard with a maximum clock rate of 4800 MHz. There are six PCI-E slots on the motherboard, which is pretty interesting for a Z490 chipset. Three of the PCI-E slots are X16 slots, with two of them being reinforced with metal. The rest of the PCI-E slots are X1 slots. 

There are two M.2 slots on the motherboard, one of which uses the chipset heatsink for cooling while the other has its own heatsink. The rear I/O provides 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2  (3 x Type-A+1 x USB Type-C), 1 x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button(s), 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks, and ASUS Wi-Fi module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v5.0).

MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI (Image credit: Amazon)

MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI

Best Mid-Range Motherboard for i5 10600K

MSI is a great competitor of ASUS and GIGABYTE and designs a lot of mighty motherboards. MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI is a mainstream motherboard based on the Z490 chipset and costs a lot less than the previous motherboards we have listed.

The design of this motherboard is pretty simple. The whole color theme of the motherboard is black, having a black PCB, black heatsinks, and black I/O cover. There is RGB lighting under the chipset heatsink while there is a white MSI Dragon logo on the I/O cover. 

There are four memory slots on the motherboard, and the maximum supported clock rates are 5000 MHz, the same as the Z490 AORUS XTREME. There are two PCI-E X16 slots and two PCI-E X1 slots on the motherboard, with the topmost X16 slot being reinforced with metal.

There are two M.2 slots and six SATA III ports on the motherboard, while at the rear, you get 5 x audio jacks, 1 x S/PDIF optical out, 2 x antenna outputs, a LAN port, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, an HDMI port, a DP port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, and a PS/2 port.

MSI MEG Z490 Unify (Image credit: Amazon)

MSI MEG Z490 Unify

Best Overall Motherboard for i5 10600K

MSI MEG Z490 Unify is similar to the ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E in terms of pricing and overall features. The higher price of this motherboard compared to the MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE seems worth it for enthusiasts and content creators. 

The design of MSI MEG Z490 Unify doesn’t seem much different from the MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE. The color theme is black, with black heatsinks and an I/O cover, although there is a brushed metallic texture on the heatsinks. There is a large MSI DRAGON logo on the I/O cover, having a shiny texture. 

There are four DIMM slots and five PCI-E slots on the motherboard. Three of the PCI-E slots are X16 slots, and all three slots are reinforced with metal. There are three M.2 slots here, and one of them uses the chipset heatsink while the other two use their heatsinks. 

The rear I/O of the motherboard offers 5 x audio jacks, 1 x S/PDIF optical out, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, 2 x antenna outputs, an RJ45 port, a PS/2 port, a BIOS Flash button, and a Clear CMOS button.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX (Image credit: Amazon)

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX

Best Enthusiast Motherboard for i5 10600K

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX is a unique motherboard, and you probably won’t see many motherboards like these in the market. ASUS ROG MAXIMUS series is designed by ASUS as a top-notch Intel-platform motherboard series, and the APEX models are one of its finest, following the Extreme models. 

The design of this motherboard is just out of the world. There is a lot of unique design here, as you can see. First of all, the large I/O cover has RGB lighting in a diagonal shape, while the chipset heatsink follows the pattern without RGB lighting. There is an RGB-lit ROG logo on the chipset heatsink. The large cutout at the right side of the motherboard feels like an innovative idea to handle the SATA ports.

There are two DIMM slots on the motherboard, which is mainly due to an advantage in overclocking scenarios. This limits the maximum memory to 64 GB, while the supported memory clocks are up to 4800 MHz with overclocking. The motherboard supports three M.2 slots, two of which are usable through the ROG DIMM.2 Module that fits next to the DIMM slots.

As for the PCI-E slots, there are four PCI-E slots on the motherboard, and two of them are X16 slots, both of which are reinforced with metal. At the rear, you find 

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (red), 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (black)Type-C, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (blue), 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button(s), 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v5.0, 1 x PS/2 keyboard (purple), 1 x PS/2 mouse (green), 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s), 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 1 x Clear CMOS button(s), and 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks. The motherboard uses ROG SupremeFX 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A, which is one of the best chipsets by Realtek.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING (WI-FI) (Image credit: Amazon)

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING (WI-FI)

Best M-ATX Motherboard for i5 10600K

ASUS is at the pinnacle of motherboards manufacturing and has a vast market share. ASUS ROG STRIX motherboards are well-known for providing top-notch features while having an attractive price. ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING (WI-FI) is a powerful motherboard with a micro-ATX form factor but does not compromise on the performance or features whatsoever.

The motherboard’s design holds a bit of similarity to the mini-ITX ROG STRIX motherboards, with the I/O cover providing a large RGB-lit ROG logo. There is STRIX written on the I/O cover, which is RGB-lit as well. The VRM heatsinks on the motherboard are massive; however, the chipset heatsink is not that large. 

The motherboard has four DIMM slots, enabling the user to utilize up to 128 GB of memory while the maximum supported memory clock rates are up to 4800 MHz with overclocking. There are three PCI-E slots on the motherboard, and two of them are X16 slots. The topmost X16 is reinforced with metal so it can handle heavy graphics cards. There are two M.2 slots between the PCI-E slots, and one of them is covered with a thick heatsink. There are six SATA III ports on the motherboard like most other mainstream motherboards.

The VRM of the motherboard is quite powerful, and its cooling solution is pretty massive as well, which is why you will not be suffering from any power issues, especially when using a mid-range processor like Core i5-10600K.

The rear I/O of the motherboard provides 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2  (1 x Type-A+1 x USB Type-C), 1 x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button(s), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1  Type-A, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module, and 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks.

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME (Image credit: Amazon)

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME

Best Premium Motherboard for i5 10600K

GIGABYTE AORUS series motherboards gained a lot of popularity some years ago due to intriguing designs, and the latest AORUS series have further improved the design and features. GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME is the flagship motherboard by the company, and this motherboard is quite similar to the ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX in terms of overall features and value.

The design of this motherboard seems much better than the APEX model. There is a glossy look on the I/O cover and the chipset heatsink with beautiful RGB lighting. The heatsinks cover the whole area below the processor socket, adding a lot to the overall presentation of the motherboard. 

The four DIMM slots are reinforced with metal, having a shiny look on them, while the same can be said about the three PCI-E X16 slots. The VRM has a fin-style heatsink, which relatively provides better than the standard heatsinks you would find on most motherboards. The maximum supported memory of this motherboard is 5000 MHz, which is mind-blowing.

The motherboard provides three M.2 slots, where each of them is fitted with heatsinks. There are two audio chipsets on the motherboard, where the front panel uses Realtek ALC1220-VB codec+ESS ES9218P DAC, and the rear panel uses Realtek ALC1220-VB codec+ESS ES9018K2M DAC+TI OPA1622 operational amplifier. The motherboard uses 16+1 phase power stages, which means that it can handle any processor thrown at it when it comes to power delivery.

The rear I/O of the motherboard consists of 1 x Q-Flash Plus button, 1 x Clear CMOS button, 2 x SMA antenna connectors (2T2R), 2 x Thunderbolt 3 connectors (USB Type-C ports, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (red), 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 1 x HDMI port, 2 x LAN ports, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, and 5 x 3.5mm audio jacks.

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE (Image credit: Amazon)

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

Best Overclocking Motherboard for i5 10600K

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE is the best motherboard by the company and is quite similar to the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME and GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME. This motherboard is primarily aimed towards extreme enthusiasts and high-end content creators.

The design of this motherboard feels very futuristic. There is a large RGB-lit MSI Dragon logo on the I/O cover, while there is RGB lighting on the chipset heatsink. There is an OLED panel at the right side of the DIMM slots, which is called Dynamic Dashboard II. The DDR4 Steel Armor and PCI-E steel Armor make the motherboard shiny apart from increasing the durability of the slots. 

There are three PCI-E X16 slots, three M.2 slots, and six SATA III ports on the motherboard. The motherboard comes with an MSI M.2 XPANDER-Z add-in card, which can be used for additional M.2 devices. 

The rear I/O of this motherboard is the most extensive of all the motherboards on the list. You get 5 x 3.5 mm audio jacks, 1 x S/PDIF optical out, 2 x antenna outputs, a 2.5G LAN port, a 10G LAN port, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, a BIOS Flash button, and a clear CMOS button.

Conclusion

In this article, we have summed up some of the best motherboards that can be used with Core i5-10600K. The motherboards will work fine even if you upgrade the processor to a Core i7 processor. MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE, ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII APEX, and GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS XTREME are the top-tier motherboards designed for extreme users. 

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING (WI-FI) is a high-end motherboard designed for micro-ATX cases. ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E and MSI MEG Z490 UNIFY are high-end motherboards that are targeted towards high-end overclockers. MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI and GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS ELITE AC are mainstream Z490 motherboards perfect for daily usage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Z-series motherboard worth buying for i5-10600K?

There are indeed many cheaper motherboards available for Intel Core i5-10600K. Still, since this processor has an unlocked multiplier, you will not be able to overclock the processor on such a motherboard, whether an H-series motherboard or a B-series motherboard.

Difference between stock and overclocked 10600K?

Intel Core i5-10600K has a stock clock of 4.1 GHz with a Turbo clock of 4.8 GHz. However, the 4.8 GHz Turbo clock is valid only for a single core, and when it comes to an all-core Turbo boost clock, the processor has a clock of 4.5 GHz. However, with a Z-series motherboard, you can overclock the processor to over 5 GHz on all cores, and doing the math, you can get around 10% to 15% improvement in performance.

Difference between high and low-end Realtek chipsets?

Motherboards have been using the Realtek audio chipsets for a long time, and modern motherboards use either the ALC1200 or ALC892 chipset, depending on the price. The motherboards with ALC1200 chipset provide a higher SNR ratio, which results in a cleaner sound, and not only that, such motherboards are often fitted with EM shields for better SNR.

Atif Liaqat
Atif Liaqat
Computer Enthusiast