It has been quite a busy second half of the year with all three tech companies, AMD, Intel, and Nvidia, finally releasing the products that they had been working on. AMD released their 7000 series processors, Nvidia released their 4000 series GPUs, and Intel unveiled the newest 13th gen series processors to go head-to-head with AMD.
I have already stressed the importance of a motherboard in a gaming build over here. A wrong motherboard can adversely affect the performance of your PC components, even if they are the best ones. Just like that, a wrong CPU cooler can also affect your PC’s performance and would start doing thermal throttling. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean the most expensive motherboard will give you more frames than a cheaper one.
Choosing the right motherboard for your PC can be quite a hassle, so I am bringing you this list so you don’t have to do the extra work. Today we will discuss the mid-range processor by Intel and the best motherboard for i5 13600K in 2023.
|Best Valued Motherboard ASUS TUF GAMING Z790-PLUS WI-FI D4 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Budget Z690 MSI PRO Z690-A ProSeries Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Overall Z690 MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best B660M MSI MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best High-end Motherboard Gigabyte Z790 AORUS ELITE AX Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Powerful Motherboard MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI DDR4 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Quality Motherboard ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WIFI Read More||See On Amazon|
The Intel Core i5 13600K belongs to the 13th gen, and they have been codenamed the products formerly known as Raptor Lake. It features 14 cores and 20 threads with 6 P cores and 8 E cores and is based on the Hybrid architecture known as the Intel 7. The E cores’ base frequency is 2.60 GHz, and the boost clock is 3.90 GHz; the P cores have a base frequency of 3.90 GHz and a Boost clock of 5.10 GHz, which means that you will have access to an abundance of performance despite it belonging to the middle of the product lineup of the 13th gen.
The TDP of the processor is 181 W when in turbo mode, meaning that you will need ample cooling available on hand to draw out its full potential. The processor supports 128 GB of DDR5 RAM, which can be overclocked to 5600 MT/s. This means you will need a suitable pair of RAM and a board capable of hosting all the components, forming a perfect synergy amongst themselves to give you a good PC experience.
You should invest in a Z790 chipset motherboard for the best results, but those can be quite expensive. Since this is a budget offering by Intel, you should also go for B660 chipset motherboards, but there is a trade-off of memory overclocking in them. However, this way, you can save up for a more powerful graphics card. You can also check out our guide to choosing the best motherboard for your build. It contains the necessary information about the budget and premium motherboard for your Intel build. So without waiting further, let us dive into the list of best motherboards for Intel i5 13600K.
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Every processor is compatible with only a handful of the chipset with the required instructions to run that chip. The i5 13600K could work with 2 generations of motherboards with the same socket type and is built from the ground up to support these 12th and 13th gen processors. The chipsets like the H610, H710, B660, B760, H670, H770, Z690, and Z790 are all eligible to run with the processor above.
Each chipset has its pros and cons and is here to facilitate different categories of processors. In the case of the i5 13600K, the best chipset would be the Z690 and Z790. Both of them are made for unlocked processors like the i5 13600K, Z series chipset is a top-of-the-line one and comparatively holds the maximum number of features that boost the performance and its connectivity side.
But surely that doesn’t mean that it would only work with these chipsets - the processor will also work with any other chipsets above. However, those chipsets would not allow overclocking and various other features that come in handy. For previous generation motherboards like the 600 series, a BIOS update would be needed to run the new 13th gen processors.
Which Chipset is Best for the i5 13600K?
Even though the chip is compatible with many of them, it is important to pick the one with the best compatibility, allowing it to spread its full wings.
Let’s get into some detail, starting with the H610/H710 chipsets, both of which are from the entry-level budget category. The motherboards with these chipsets only come with 2 memory slots, a single NVMe slot, and no latest and high-end feature along with cooling for VRMs of any sort. This makes sense as they’re budget chipsets and cost less than any other compatible one, but they are unsuitable for an unlocked processor like the i5 13600K.
Moving forward to the B660/B760 and H670/H770 chipsets, these all are superior to the entry-level H series chipsets. These chipsets are available in both 2 and 4-DIMM slot configurations and feature high-end connectivity options like a Gigabit Ethernet port, superior Audio Codec, and even support for thunderbolt connections.
Unlike the H610/710 chipsets, these allow memory overclocking and have actual VRM cooling that assists in boosting to maximum default clock speeds. However, these chipsets still lack processor overclocking features and would only be recommended if you’re fine with stock speeds and do not want to speed a fortune on the motherboard.
Lastly, we are left with the Z series chipsets that come under the high-end category, which implies it’s one of the best. Both chipsets are built for the unlocked processors, and since we have an i6 13600K here, it would be a perfect fit for it as it supports overclocking on memory and CPU both due to the not neglected VRM quality and its cooling. These chipsets can handle enthusiast-level overclocking - however, that varies from variant to variant as these chipsets also come in somewhat budget-friendly options that do not allow overclocking to an excessive level.
Furthermore, these chipsets also come with the most numbers of fastest expansion slots and a lot of great and useful I/O ports at the back and headers to utilize them via a capable chassis. Such premium features are not cheap to manufacture, which is why Z series chipsets are the most expensive ones among all the other chipsets. Because of its premium features and support for overclocking, these chipsets would be the best to pair with the i5 13600K.
Best Motherboard for i5 13600K Reviews
ASUS has one of the largest audiences that are always ready to buy its product right on the spot because of the quality they provide, and then, of course, the brand name also matters a lot. TUF series components are one of ASUS’ hot-selling components, whether a motherboard or the GPU since they deliver great performance and more value per dollar.
Not everyone is a fan of RGB, and not everyone likes to have the latest and the most expensive hardware in their builds, so if you’re one of those, then TUF GAMING Z790-PLUS WIFI D4 is the kind of motherboard that falls in the criteria explained above. Additionally, to further lower the MSRP, the motherboard runs on DDR4 memory type instead of the new, fancy, and expensive DDR5 modules.
Nevertheless, it still accomplishes to delivers a seamless gaming and working experience with the 17 (60A) DrMos phases of power delivery. And the VRMs are arranged in a 16+1 configuration, which helps a lot in squeezing performance out of the CPU, whether it’s 13600k or any other unlocked Intel chip via overclocking, but you need a good CPU cooler. Besides that, even under heavy loads, the VRMs stay pretty cool due to the expanded heatsinks over them.
Furthermore, when we look at the memory side of the motherboard, we have 4x RAM slots of DDR4 memory type. Which can house a total of 128GB all at once, and additionally, the memory modules, like any other gaming motherboard, can be overclocked up to 5333MT/s on this board using the XMP-3.0 OC profile. This enables us to extract every ounce of power from the computer for optimal results.
In addition, the board is also engineered thoughtfully, especially the TUF GAMING branding over the I/O cover with the honeycomb touch makes it look greater without needing any heavy bit of RGB. To make the package seem more intriguing, the board also doesn’t fall short on exclusive features that set it apart.
It has WiFi 6, a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for the newer graphics cards, a Lan port with up to 2.5Gbps support, 4x M.2 PCIe 4 slots, 1x Gen2x2 supported USB3.2 Type-C port, 1x Gen2 USB3.2 Type-C port, 4x USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, 2x Gen2 USB3.2 Type-A ports, Realtek 7.1 surround HD Audio Codec, and a button on the rear side for flashing the BIOS. After considering all the factors, it is reasonable to conclude that TUG GAMING Z790-PLUS WIFI D4 is the best motherboard for i5 13600k if you have a limited fortune.
The MSI Pro Z690-A is one of the lower-priced Z690 motherboards. It has an ATX form factor and features the LGA1700 socket. It has a dark, simple-looking, and non-noticeable aesthetic. With a Z690 chipset, this motherboard is meant to support higher-end Intel 12th gen processors. The CPU power delivery setup consists of 14 phases. While some overclocking is allowed, those who want to push their processor to its limits will be disappointed.
The motherboard supports 128GB of DDR4 RAM running at a maximum speed of 5600 MHz. The DDR4 version is expected on this motherboard, considering its price. However, DDR5 is not necessary for most users in the first place and only adds to the price of the system without meaningfully improving the computing experience. So, no complaints from our side on the RAM front.
Regarding networking, the board features Intel’s 2.5G LAN chip, which is included in almost every mainstream motherboard, cheap and expensive. However, the disappointing part is that this motherboard has no Wi-Fi module. You need to shell out an additional twenty or thirty bucks for that. However, ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi, and most desktops won’t be moved around constantly from one place to another; it should not be too big of a deal.
Coming towards connectivity, the board features multiple USB ports of most mainstream Types and Generations. However, we are disappointed that there are still 4 USB 2.0 ports instead of all ports being the more popular USB 3.0 (or higher) ports. The Realtek ALC897 audio codec must be updated, especially at this price point. However, most users will not have any issues with sound quality. Just don’t buy any premium headsets while you use this motherboard.
So, in conclusion, should you buy this motherboard? While it might look cheaper than other Z690 motherboards, the specs are a bit too modest for people looking to push their PCs to their limits. But for people who want a working “good enough” motherboard, the $189.99 price tag is a little too steep. This motherboard might make sense as a placeholder until you buy a better system, but we won’t recommend it as a permanent solution.
Coming in at the rather steep price of $369.99, the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon Wi-Fi is one of the MSI’s pricier motherboards. As indicated in its name, it features Intel’s higher-end Z690 chipset. It has an ATX form factor which indicates that it has extensive real estate for adding extra peripherals. Regarding looks, the board has a dark theme, which may look clean to some but boring to others.
Now, let’s look at the performance side of things. The MPG Z690 features 20 75A power phases. From these phases, 18 are used to power the CPU, supplying a total current of 1350A, enabling you to overclock your latest Intel processor extensively. The board also features a large heatsink to absorb heat from these VRMs. However, overclocking is a standard feature in most Z690 motherboards. It is data storage where the MPG Z690 stands out, which we look into next.
While most motherboards typically feature 2 or 3 M.2 slots, the MPG Z690 Carbon features 5 M.2 slots! This means you can store many quickly accessible data on your computer. But not everyone can afford 5 1TB NVMe SSDs, can they? For those that can’t, the board also features 6 SATA-3 ports. While SATA is slower than M.2, it is still fast enough for most data transfer needs.
Being a higher-end motherboard, the MPG Z690 has support for DDR5 RAM. It features 4 DIMM slots and supports a maximum of 128GB onboard RAM. The maximum memory speed is also high at 6666 MHz. Both the CPU and RAM can be overclocked on this motherboard. Thus, if you decide to push your PC to its limits, this motherboard won’t change your plans.
Regarding the real I/O panel, you get the usual stuff featured in most motherboards. There are a total of 9 USB Type-A ports. Among these, 4 are USB 2.0, while 5 are USB 3.2 ports. A USB Type-C port also provides an ultrahigh bandwidth of 20 Gbps. There is also a DisplayPort and an HDMI port for video output.
So, what are our final thoughts on this motherboard? At $369.99, this motherboard is not geared toward mainstream gamers. However, if ultrafast performance and massive storage are your thing, this is one of the best motherboards you can buy.
The MSI MAG B660M Mortar WiFi DDR4 is a mid-range motherboard with everything you need but only some of what you want. Its black-and-white theme gives it a minimalist, clean look that only slightly stands out. It comes with an MSRP of $189.99, making it fall in the budget category of motherboards. The board is based on Intel’s B660 chipset and uses the Micro ATX architecture, which partly explains why it doesn’t have everything you would want. MSI also offers a warranty period of 3 years which is quite a respectable amount of time. Now, let’s take a closer look at the MSI MAG B660M.
Let’s start with performance. The board does not allow overclocking of the CPU but does allow RAM overclocking. CPU overclocking is impossible because the VRMs employed in the motherboard supply a maximum of 720A of current which doesn’t translate into enough electrical power to meet the demands of an overclocked CPU. That being said, the board still allows you to run the CPU at its maximum non-OC speed. The non-OC part is not too big of a deal since the 12th Gen processors this motherboard supports are already powerful enough in their own right to require being overclocked in the first place.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the MSI MAG features 3 PCIe lanes: (1) v4 x16, (1) v3 x4, (1) v3 x1. The number in the brackets indicates the number of slots, while the v’s and x’s indicate each PCIe slot’s version and generation, respectively. The v4 x16 slot is primarily intended for your graphics card. If you use AMD graphics cards and multi-GPU configurations are your thing, then the board also allows SLI using the AMD CrossFire Technology.
So, what are our final thoughts on the MSI B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4? As a micro ATX form factor motherboard, it does not have many expansion slots. If you are an enthusiast gamer who pushes everything to its limits, this may not be the best option for your needs. However, if your requirements are similar to those of most people, this is an excellent motherboard at a (relatively) affordable price.
AORUS Elite AX is Gigabyte’s low-cost solution for the massive AORUS series-loving community who love to own one but can’t due to the high prices of those products. AORUS Elite AX provides the same premium feel but offers fewer features to keep itself from reaching a high-end motherboard-like price tag.
People often dream about purchasing something that looks good, performs well, and costs less; in this scenario where you need a motherboard for your new PC build, the Z790 AORUS ELITE AX seems like a fine choice. It is the most affordable choice in the AORUS z790 chipset lineup, as it contains 19 (70A power stages) phases of power supply VRMs placed in a 16+1+2 architecture to withstand harsh overclocking conditions.
Second, the thermal design is rather advanced, with many heatsinks employing Gigabyte’s DTHT (direct touchpad heatsink tech) and thermal pads with a thermal conductivity rating of 7.5W/mK to maintain the VRM cool under severe conditions like gaming and other intensive tasks.
In terms of the memory side of things, the board can, with no trouble, happily accommodate 128GB of DDR5 memory in its available 4 slots. Generally, like any other motherboard, by default, the RAM speed on this board is 4000MT/s; however, that can easily be bypassed and reach up to 7600MT/s through overclocking with the XMP 3.0 profile to get the most out of your RAM kits.
The board has stunning build quality and appearance and numerous amazing features, but unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any heavy RGB lighting. However, it does come with WiFi six connectivity, an Ethernet port to handle up to 2.5Gpbs of transfer easily, 4x NVMe slots of PCI-e4, and an x16 PCIe 5.0 slot to support and allow the new generation of graphics cards to operate at their max potential. While on the other hand, the back I/O panel includes 1x Type-C USB3.2 with Gen 2x2 compatibility, 1x USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, 2x USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, and 5x USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports.
Last but not least, the board is fully covered in numerous custom-designed heatsinks to hide and save up the components attached to the motherboard underneath – giving it a visually attractive appearance. The board’s non-RGB nature makes it look both distinctive and subtle. Overall, it’s a great motherboard and one of the best motherboards for an i5 13600k or 12700k CPU, and it could be labeled as a great option.
TOMAHAWK is one of MSI’s most capable but reasonably priced motherboard series. It offers many features but is fairly priced and aims to keep its stealthy appearance without RGB, which creates more options for non-RGB lovers. This strategy of still offering non-RGB motherboards is successful, as most people around the globe still hate having RGB in their builds.
MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI DDR4 is a mid-tier motherboard from MSI’s Z790 board series that provides premium build and best-in-class performance in the mid-tier budget category. Because of its 18 (90A) phases of power delivery VRMs set in a 16+1+1 layout, the motherboard offers ample overclocking headroom. Heat spreaders with Direct Touchpad Heat-pipe technology and 7W/mK-rated thermal pads are set up over the VRMs and MOSFETs to ensure unsurpassed performance.
Aside from that, the board features four DIMM slots and can accommodate up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM rather than DDR5 RAM to save expenses while still providing a flawless experience. Overclocking options allow you to increase RAM speed to 5333MT/s and higher. In addition, the board has XMP 3.0 overclocking profiles from which you can select based on your requirements and hardware limits.
Nonetheless, the board has been finely built and covered with dark grey heatsinks to enhance the appearance of your build, and it offers a long list of unique features that add even more value and make it a more tempting option to consider. The board includes a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for next-generation graphics cards, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, and onboard 2.5Gbps Ethernet, as well as 4x PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, 1x USB 3.2 Type-C with Gen2x2 support, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, 4x Gen 2 USB 3.2 Type-A ports, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 7.1 high-definition audio, a dedicated CLR CMOS and BIOS flash button.
Overall, it’s a good board to consider on a mid-range budget. Due to its cutting-edge technology, it can be referred to as the best motherboard for the i5 13600k. If you do not want to enter enthusiast-level overclocking, you want something reasonable on a budget.
The Steel Legend motherboard line from ASRock offers premium features and unsurpassed performance without costing you a fortune. This makes it a tempting choice to consider while browsing over the motherboard category for your PC build.
If you’re searching for a mid-range motherboard with fascinating features and one of the best-looking designs, the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend is the one to get. This is an ATX board from an underrated manufacturer with 18 (60A) phases of power delivery VRMs arranged in a 16+1+1 arrangement to give a great performance and considerable overclocking headroom for high-end CPUs like i7 13700K. Aside from that, the VRMs are kept cool even under extreme loads by some of the best heatsinks on the market, with thermal pads with a reasonable thermal conductivity rating.
Nonetheless, the board is visually appealing, wrapped in multiple custom heatsinks with a white camouflage design that conceals and cools the components beneath. Aside from that, the incorporation of an integrated GPU sag bracket distinguishes this motherboard from others.
The list of features is quite lengthy and, in some ways, unparalleled, as it includes 1x PCIe 5.0 x16 slot, WiFi 6E connectivity via the M.2 WiFi card, 1x PCIe Gen5x4 Hyper M.2 slot, 4x PCIe Gen4x4 Hyper M.2 slots. And on the motherboard’s rear, it includes 8x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, a Killer 2.5Gbps Lan, and Realtek ALC897 Audio Codec for quality audio output.
The motherboard, most notably, contains four DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 128GB of DDR5 memory. Using the Intel XMP 3.0 overclocking presets, RAM modules can be overclocked to 6800MT/s and higher. This enables us to extract every last bit of power from the computer to achieve peak performance. Consequently, we can state that it’s a terrific motherboard with an abundance of fascinating feature sets, and it’s the top option when you want the best for your build without sacrificing quality or performance on a budget.
How to Buy a Motherboard for i5 13600K
Research the i5 13600K and any processor before purchasing its motherboard. These important aspects could lead to a great find or purchase depending on whether you’re going for new or used.
Chipsets are integrated into the motherboard, and they are usually either 1 or more than one, like 3-4 controllers combined that decide everything and how they will work. Every chipset has a limited capacity for instructions that also impacts the potential of the components.
Entry-level chipsets are usually the weakest and have very limited memory, which restricts most of the power. Other features the components could support if paired with a motherboard with a higher-tier chipset.
As for the i5 13600k, it also supports several different ones since it’s an unlocked chip - the best chipset for this processor is the Z690 and the Z790 due to their support for overclocking and other useful features.
RAM and DIMM slots
DIMM slots, RAM slots, or Memory slots whatever you name it - are the slots that house your memory sticks. Most commercial motherboards come with either 2 or 4 DIMM slots. As for the capacity, each DIMM slot can handle 32GB of RAM, which implies 128GB if the motherboard has 4 slots.
One thing to add is that the motherboard that features 4 DIMM slots also costs more than the motherboard with 2. It all comes down to your personal preferences and budget on which one to get.
Look at the spec sheet of the motherboard you’re interested in and check how many expansion slots it offers and what generation they should be on your to-do list. Expansion slots are necessary, especially when you’re a gamer or want a PC for productivity or technical work.
The motherboard you’re going for should have adequate expansion slots to meet your needs. The more and more of the latest generation expansion slots, the more expensive the motherboard will be.
Graphics card support should be up to the mark to get the best out of your GPU. The motherboard has various PCIe slots; some feature PCIe Gen3, some with Gen4, and some with the latest Gen5. So, ensure you have the best compatible support for it if you have the latest graphics card, like the RX 6500 XT, that is best suited with a PCIe Gen4 slot; otherwise, you will lose some performance.
The motherboard connects different components and provides users with as much connectivity as possible. Motherboards now offer various connectivity options for the fastest transfer rate possible and high-quality Audio and Video output.
Like everything else, these options are also necessary and tell a lot about the quality and practicality of a motherboard. Hence, keep a check on this one before making a purchase decision; also, remember that these features impact the price of a motherboard.