Intel’s 600-series motherboards have come up with a lot of new features such as DDR5 memory and PCI-E 5.0 slot. The prices of these high-end motherboards are quite higher than the previous-generation motherboards, especially when we compare these motherboards with AMD’s latest motherboards for Ryzen 5000-series processors.
Intel Core i5-12400 is one of the cheapest processors from the 12th generation and the performance of this processor is not so different from the 11th-generation Core i5-11400, as there are no additional efficient cores here. The overall configuration of the processor is the same as the i5-11400, providing six cores and twelve threads. In this article, we will check the best motherboard for i5 12400, so stay tuned.
The processor shares the same socket as other 12th-generation processors despite having the older core configuration, thus it must be coupled with 600-series Intel motherboards, mainly the B660 and H670. Those who are thinking to upgrade the processor later to something like i7 12700K can also buy the Z690 motherboard, and those who are short on a budget should consider buying an H610 chipset motherboard.
|Editor's Pick MSI Pro Z690-A ProSeries Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Overall MSI PRO B660-A Read More||See On Amazon|
|Runner Up ASRock Steel Legend Intel Z690 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Budget Pick Gigabyte B660M DS3H Read More||See On Amazon|
|Entry-Level Pick ASUS Prime H610M Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Gaming ASUS Prime H670-PLUS Read More||See On Amazon|
The 600-series chipsets are compatible with both DDR4 and DDR5 memory, which is why it is up to the particular model whether the motherboard provides support for DDR5 memory or not. The DDR5 motherboards are slightly more expensive than the DDR4 motherboards, and the improvement in real-world applications is not significant for an average user.
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MSI Pro Z690-A ProSeries
MSI Pro Z690-A ProSeries
Reasons to Buy
- PCI Express 5 slot.
- Affordable price.
Reasons Not to Buy
- Doesn’t support DDR5.
- Limited overclocking ability.
Soon after the release of Intel’s 12th Generation of Processors, MSI released their four motherboards of the requisite Z690 chipset. The motherboard that we are reviewing today is the MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4. An entry-level motherboard of the ATX form factor, it comes at an affordable price tag of $240. It is a simple motherboard with minimal fluff like RGB lighting.
Like most motherboards in this price range, this one too lacks support for the new and extremely expensive DDR5 RAM modules, which are overkill for most users anyways. The board contains 4 DDR4 RAM slots with a maximum capacity of 128GB, which can be overclocked to speeds of up to 5200MHz.
Although this motherboard is cheap, this does not in any way result in the performance sacrifice of even the fastest Core i5 12400K. That being said, support for overclocking of processors is limited as the Voltage Regulation Modules, or VRMs, start running hotter as clock speeds increase.
The power stage solution that MSI employed in this motherboard is the 14+1+1 Alpha & Omega AOZ5016QI power driver modules configuration to provide smooth and stable power to the CPU and memory, respectively. The board also comes with 4 M.2 slots for housing the latest SSDs and 6 SATA ports in case you want to attach multiple hard drives.
The included PCI Express 5.0 slot, with its huge bandwidth of 128GBps, ensures that the components, mostly the graphics card, that are mounted on top of it work at their maximum limits without any hindrance.
MSI already has a strong reputation for quality motherboards among PC enthusiasts. So, our verdict is that its affordable price and a PCIe 5 slot make it one of the best motherboards for the i5 12400. The lack of support for DDR5 is not too big of a deal and this board can easily allow the CPU and GPU to be pushed to their limits to play modern AAA titles at very high frame rates.
MSI PRO B660-A
Next up on the list is another motherboard that has been designed by MSI, who are always on product lists like these because they dish out quality products that are well received by both the consumers and us reviewers.
The MSI PRO B660-A is focused on delivering a productive and efficient experience to the users. MSI has designed the PRO series product lineup to deliver stable functioning and combined that with high-quality assembly. It comes with a robust VRM unit that is covered by two large heatsinks so you can tinker and tweak your processor although not by a lot. It comes with 4 DIMM slots that can host 128 GB of DDR4 RAM which is capable of hitting clock speeds of 4800 MHz.
As far as the thermal solution matter the board comes with Extended Heatsink Design, MOSFET thermal pads rated for 7W/mk, and M.2 Shield Frozr technology that will make sure that the temps stay down and the hardware performs at the optimal level. Turbo USB 3.2 Gen 2 is included with the board so that you get the fastest USB speeds. AMD crossfire is also supported and the PCIe slots come fitted with steel armor for longevity. The features of this motherboard are excellent and this is why we recommend it as the best motherboard for i5 12400.
To take care of your storage needs it comes with two M.2 slots and 4 SATA 3 ports that will take care of your storage needs. To boost the performance, it even comes with Core boost technology that allows for faster current and undistorted current delivery to the CPU allowing you to push the CPU past its limit and overclock it, which is an exclusive feature of the board.
The board comes with a simple black and white color scheme and it is built for function and workflow so there aren’t a lot of color scheme options but it more than makes it up for it by the options and features it provides, besides these motherboards have been designed for professional and productive workflows and not for gamers and RGB lovers.
Also, it’s included in a price-to-performance sector of motherboards since it is designed for mid-range processors like the Core i5 12400 and overall, it’s a good board that fulfills the purpose it has been designed for.
ASRock Steel Legend Intel Z690
Reasons to Buy
- PCI Express 5 slot.
- 2.5GBps LAN platform.
Reasons Not to Buy
- Doesn’t support DDR5.
- Average audio quality if you use premium headsets.
The ASRock Steel Legend Z690 is a mid-tier motherboard, coming at an MSRP of $240. It comes with support for Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake series of processors via the LGA1700 socket. The board includes four memory slots which can house up to a total of 128GB of RAM. Our one quip with this board is its lack of support for DDR5 which is provided by ASUS Prime Z690-A LGA 1700 which has a similar price. However, since most users already use DDR4 RAM because it is good enough compared to the much more expensive DDR5, you are not losing much in going with this board.
ASRock has used the highly efficient DrMOS power stage solution with this board, which ensures lower heat generation resulting in superior CPU performance by providing stable overclocking.
The Audio on this board is the Realtek ALC897 7.1 Channel HD Audio Codec which is okay for most everyday usage. However, if you are investing in premium quality, hi-impedance headphones from brands like Sennheiser or Sony, you won’t be getting their full value if you couple them with this board.
If you live in an area with extremely fast LAN speeds and want to make full use of them, then ASRock has your back. With its Dragon 2.5GB/s LAN platform, you can rest assured that your motherboard won’t be any hindrance in making use of these speeds. These speeds can really come in handy if you are a competitive gamer or regularly create and upload 4K content.
There are lots of PCI Express slots on this board. Notably, a PCIe 5.0x16 slot is also included. This is the latest in the series of interface standards and has a bandwidth of 128GBps, twice as high as the bandwidth of PCIe Gen 4. This enables it to remove any bottlenecks in the way of today’s fastest ray-tracing graphics cards, for instance.
So, is this the best board to use alongside your i5 12400? While it does not support the DDR5 standards, we don’t think this is a strong enough reason to reject this board, outright. Overall, this is a very good motherboard for mid-tier gamers.
Gigabyte B660M DS3H
Let’s start the series with a solid entry from Gigabyte who have taken upon themselves and personally made it a mission to deliver quality products that don’t fail you and live out their lifespan without giving you any trouble.
The GIGABYTE B660M DS3H is a capable board that comes with 6+2+1 Hybrid phases digital VRMs with a MOS heatsink that will help keep the temps down and help the processor boost those clocks. It comes with 4 DIMM slots that are capable of hosting 128 GB of DDR4 RAM that can be overclocked to 5333 MHz. The B660M chipset supports the LGA 1700 socket which means that it has been designed to run the 12th gen processor by Intel.
Further features of the board include Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guard, Rear SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 TYPE-C® for Fast and Versatile Connections , High-Quality Audio Capacitors, and Audio Noise Guard. As far as the thermal solution on the board matters along with the VRM heatsink and NVMe thermal guard it also comes with Smart Fan 6 Features Multiple Temperature Sensors, Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP that will help you monitor the temps and tweak the fan curve so that the processor performs at an optimum level.
It also comes with PCIe 4.0 x16 and PCIe 4.0 x4 slots so you can have access to fast data transfer speeds. It comes with USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and 4 x SATA 3 slots that will take care of your storage and peripheral connectivity needs.
As far as the aesthetics of the board are concerned, since it’s a mid-range board it is built for function. Although, the proprietary RGB technology, RGB fusion 2.0 gives you quite a bit of control over setting a visual color scheme of your PC that looks appealing. Nonetheless, it’s a great board for i5 12400 that is able to get the maximum out of the processor.
ASUS Prime H610M
Asus do a lot of research as to the needs of the community and they always deliver which is why next up on the list is another motherboard from the Asus Prime lineup but instead of the H670 chipset we have the H610M chipset motherboard that you can also pair up with a Core i5 12400.
This motherboard is for those PC builders that like to build their PC in compact cases and are very mindful of the space that their PC takes, hence the smaller casing. The form factor is the micro ATX but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come packing with features. The H610 Prime is designed to keep your rig cool and stable under intense loads which is why they come fitted with multiple onboard heatsinks and many hybrid fan headers which can be configured using the Fan Xpert 2+ software or via the UEFI BIOS.
Other notable features include the 32Gbps M.2 slot, Intel 1 Gb Ethernet, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for connectivity. It features 2 DIMM slots that can host up to DDR4 RAM which can be clocked to 3200 MHz. To take care of your storage options you get 4 SATA 6Gb/s ports which are more than enough to hook in enough HDDs that will be able to store all your data.
There is even a V-M.2 (Key E) for Wi-Fi so the board comes packed with features and options despite its small form factor. With the intuitive advanced mode in the UEFI interface of the BIOS, you get serious tweaking options for your PC giving you complete control over your system.
Even though it’s a budget entry and has a small form factor it doesn’t lack in the looks department. While the color scheme has been set to a simple black and white it comes with the Asus proprietary Aura Sync technology complete with Gen 2 of addressable RGB headers that let you set the visual color scheme of your PC that helps you showcase your PC without getting embarrassed.
All in all, it’s the top budget motheroard that has rightly earned its place on this list. Pairing it up with a Core i5 12400 will help you draw out the processor’s full potential and you won’t be held back by any kind of bottleneck.
ASUS Prime H670-PLUS
If there is a company that has proved consistent when delivering PC components of the highest standard as well as versatility in their product lineups then Asus always comes to mind from entry-level to the high-end, enthusiast-grade they have designed products fitting every budget range.
The ASUS Prime H670-PLUS is an ATX form factor motherboard that contains the LGA 1700 socket that is designed to host the 12th gen of Intel processors. It comes with 8 power phases that will make sure that your processor is uninterruptedly getting ample power delivery so that it can stay cool and work optimally. It contains 4 DIMM slots that can host 128 GB of DDR4 RAM that can be clocked to reach speeds past the 5 GHz mark.
In the thermal department, the motherboard comes with a VRM heatsink, M.2 heatsink, PCH heatsink, hybrid fan headers, and Fan Xpert 2+. The board provides you with ultra-fast connectivity options such as PCIe 4.0 slots, three M.2 slots, Realtek 2.5Gb Ethernet, and Thunderbolt™ 4 header support. Multiple USB 3.2 Gen 2 type A along with a Type C port are also present on the board and it comes with a range of performance tuning software that allows the user to extract the maximum horsepower out of their PC.
As far as the aesthetics matter the color scheme has been set to a simple black and silver, although since the board comes from Asus, the proprietary Aura Sync technology is made accessible by the presence of multiple RGB headers present on the board that gives you complete control over setting the color scheme of your PC to your liking making the motherboard worthy of its place in this list of these budget motherboards.