The 13th gen Intel processors, codenamed products formerly known as Raptor Lake, are here. The PC community has new products in the market that they need to choose from. The enthusiast class PC builders will be pleased with the products that all three: Nvidia, Intel, and AMD, have released so far, and there are still more to come this year.
The Intel’s Core i9 13900K is top-end offering by the company which belongs to the 13th gen. For it to run at its true potential, it needs a good motherboard to push it to the maximum. There are many motherboard options in the market, and it can be quite a hassle to choose from, so I am bringing you the list of the best motherboard for i9 13900K in 2023.
It goes head-to-head with AMD’s top-end 7950X and does fairly well. Based on the Intel 7 lithography, the processor boasts 24 cores and 32 threads and yells for a excellent performing CPU cooler to show its full power. Since it is based on the hybrid architecture by Intel, it contains the E and P cores.
There are 8 P cores and 16 E cores on the processor. The E cores have a base clock of 2.20 GHz and a boost clock of 4.30 GHz. The P cores have a base clock of 3.00 GHz and a boost clock of 5.80 GHz. The E cores are utilized in day-to-day tasks and apps, while the P cores are optimized for Gaming, giving you the max performance when coupled with a graphics card that is capable of keeping up with the processor.
|Best Flagship Motherboard ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO Read More||See On Amazon|
|MSI Z690 FORCE Wi-Fi Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Looking Motherboard Gigabyte Z790 AORUS MASTER Read More||See On Amazon|
|Editor's Pick MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Wi-Fi Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Value Motherboard ASUS TUF GAMING Z790-PLUS WIFI D4 Read More||See On Amazon|
|MSI Z790I EDGE Wi-Fi Read More||See On Amazon|
|ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO EVA EDITION Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Z690 Motherboard ASRock Z690 Taichi Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Gaming Motherboard MSI MEG Z790 ACE Read More||See On Amazon|
The TDP of the processor in normal conditions is 125W, and in turbo mode, it goes up to 253W, which means that only some motherboards out there will be able to run it at maximum potential. Mind you, and you need to choose the right motherboard to draw out the processor’s full potential and a suitable and powerful RAM kit to help in doing so.
You will need the motherboard with the necessary chipset, which can dish out every last bit of juice the processor can squeeze out and beyond. I recommend going with a motherboard with the Z790 chipset, designed to push the top-end Intel processors to the limit so you can get maximum performance in games or apps.
You will also need ample cooling on hand since these processors tend to run hot since they are powerhouses that ooze performance. You can check out the coolers you can connect with the Core i9 13900K over here. But anyways, without waiting further, let us dive straight into the list of motherboards so you can make an informed decision.
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We will take a deep look at the issues involving chipset compatibility when buying a motherboard. But first, what is a chipset in the first place? Chipset is basically an electronic component that relays communication between the CPU and the other components attached to the motherboard such as graphics card and RAM. Now that you have a brief idea of what a chipset is, let’s discuss how it influences your CPU buying decision and an overview of the most popular chipsets that work with Intel processors. Let’s dive right in.
CPU and Chipset
Both Intel and AMD CPUs are based on completely separate architectures. This means that the same chipset can’t work with processors from both companies. In other words, if your chipset works with a processor from AMD, it won’t work with a processor from Intel, and vice versa.
Chipsets don’t even work among all processors of the same company if they are of different generations. For instance, take the B150 chipset released in 2015. This chipset won’t work with our i9-13900K as this chipset was designed for older generation processors. Thus, you should very carefully consider chipset compatibility before buying your motherboard or processor to avoid wasting your time and money.
Which Chipset is Best for the i9 13900K?
Let’s have a look at the most popular chipsets that are compatible with Intel i9-13900K. Intel chipsets can be divided into three broad series: H, B, and Z. The Z series chipset is for high-end PCs like the one that you would build with an i9 13900K. As of now, the Z series chipsets compatible with the i9 13900K are the Z690 (requires BIOS update) and Z790.
The B and H are reserved for more mainstream use. Some of the B and H series chipsets, H610, H670, B660, are also compatible with your i9 13900K if you do a BIOS update. Whether you should do a BIOS update on these chipsets or go with the latest compatible chipset will be covered below where we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each chipset with the i9 13900K.
This is the latest and the greatest chipset released by Intel and is designed to work with i9 13900K and other 12th and 13th gen processors. This is the chipset to go for if you have the money. The chipset comes with support for PCIe 5.0, greater number of PCIe lanes, and latest generations of USB and Ethernet ports.
Thus, if you want to make the absolute best gaming PC using the fastest components like SSDs and graphics cards you should go with this chipset. Its main disadvantage is that it is expensive and doesn’t offer significant performance improvements over the Z690 which we discuss next.
The Z690 chipset can also support the i9 13900K if you do a BIOS update. It comes with features largely similar to the Z690, relevant features anyways, like PCIe 5.0, latest generation ports etc. The differences lie in the number of ports and maximum supported RAM speed (6400 MHz vs 6800MHz).
In terms of impact on real world gaming performance, there is not likely to be any, whether you go with the Z790 or Z690. The Z790 does offer better power delivery that may result in slightly better overclocking support, however, this is only marginal. Overall, in terms of value for money, Z690 motherboards make a more compelling offer than those based on the Z790.
B660 (and remaining chipsets)
B660 is a chipset that is generally reserved for relatively more modest, but still quite good, processors. Although, technically, it is compatible with the i9 13900K, via a BIOS update, we won’t recommend doing so for two reasons.
First, motherboards based on the B660 chipset feature power delivery systems that are inadequate for i9 13900K. This means that even if you manage to run your processor on it, it would never perform at its best potential because it doesn’t support CPU overclocking. The same ideas apply to the remaining chipsets, H610, H670. These chipsets are reserved for even lower powered processors.
The second reason is monetary. If you have the money to buy an i9 13900K, why would you skimp on your chipset? Therefore, we recommend that either you should buy a lower end processor or a higher end chipset if you want to get your money’s worth of performance.
So, you have bought your latest i9 13900K CPU and are wondering how to get your latest processor to shine like it’s supposed to without getting handicapped by your motherboard or its price? If so, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have shortlisted the best motherboards that we could find for the i9-13900K at various price points.
Besides these recommendations, we also provide a detailed motherboard guide that covers chipset compatibility and the factors you should consider when buying your own motherboard, should you decide to take that particular route. However, if all you want to know is a list of recommended chipsets for the i9 13900K, then you don’t need to go any further than the list provided below.
Best Motherboard for i9 13900K Reviews
ROG products are some of the highest in-demand products on the market, manufactured by none other than one of the biggest names in the computer industry known as ASUS. ASUS has been in this business for many decades and has provided all kinds of components for your computer, either on the budget-friendly level or on the luxury side.
Suppose you’re seeking something with an enticing set of features and performance that impresses the user right away and meets expectations, as well as with a distinctive and visually appealing design. In that case, the ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO is the one to consider. This is an ATX board designed by professionals, with a VRM design of 21 phases and 90A MOSFETs setup within a 20+1 configuration - it offers great and pleasing-to-the-mind performance and good enough room left for OC when combined with processors such as the 13700k and 13900k. Additionally, MOSFETs and VRMs are kept well cool with good and big enough heatsinks to provide an extra layer of peace for the user’s mind.
When it comes to the memory side of things, it comes soldered with four slots for the RAM to be installed and strong enough to bear overclocking to a staggering 7200MT/s and even higher when help is taken from the newly implemented Intel XMP 3.0. This helps a lot in attaining a significant increase in performance, and not doing so is a waste of investment.
Furthermore, the board has been impressively designed. It has an LED screen that additionally provides visual appeal to the motherboard and aesthetics by displaying the ROG branding, which can be customized accordingly. To further kick things off, it offers many distinct features to make it look and feel great in the hands of the buyer. First, like all new motherboards, it features WiFi6E wireless connectivity and dual x16 slots for newer GPUs with PCIe 5.0 tech integrated.
One of the 2.5 gigs supported Ethernet port, and three NVMe slots with PCIe Gen4, 2x extra PCIe 5.0 M.2 support via the ROG Hyper M.2 card. 2x thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, one Type-C port of Gen2, four of the Gen1 A-Type ports, and five with Gen2 integration along with CLR CMOS/flash BIOS button. After looking through all the facts, the ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO is the best motherboard for i9 13900k if you have decided to indulge yourself in the premium-grade world of PC components.
MSI has a history of producing powerful and reliable components for its customers and that tradition is still in operation as we see them introducing new stuff that is thoughtfully made to serve for a longer period of time. However, we’re going to talk about the MSI Z690 FORCE WIFI here more specifically. We would also do a little bit of comparison with its black edition which has a different name but the specs and most of the design choice resembles quite a lot.
The motherboard comes at a mid-range price of 350$ nowadays but still somehow offers better memory speed than the much more expensive ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO which tops out at 6.4GHz. While this Z690 FORCE WIFI allows you to go over the 6.6GHz mark at almost half the price. However, unlike the Z690 EDGE WIFI, this motherboard possesses a much more powerful VRM design having 18+1+1 phases. This was a significant upgrade for those who love to tinker with the clock speed multiplier in the BIOS. Another thing that MSI upgraded here is the PCB’s protection layers, the EDGE WIFI is built with 6 layers while this one features an 8 layers design for more reliability.
MSI didn’t really change the design but they did change its color to white, and the RGB also has minimal input only being present near the chipset. Moreover, like all other manufacturers, MSI also skipped Gen5 powered NVMe slot here and only provided 4x Gen4 and 1x Gen3 slots while Gen5 was present for the GPU slot which should’ve been skipped for an M.2 Gen5 instead. Other than that all other fancy ports like Gen1/2 Type-A/Cs are present including a 2.5Gbps RJ45 port. For around 350$, this board is a decent choice for the i9 13900K as it comes with almost all the necessary features as well as adequate VRM cooling.
AORUS has been a popular name in the gaming community for quite a while now. One of the key features of this specific sub-brand of Gigabyte is that it comes in all kinds of price brackets, be it budget, mid-range, or even high-end, so everyone can choose accordingly and get their desired products right in their rigs.
So, let’s talk about Gigabyte’s AORUS MASTER lineup, which comes in a premium price bracket and provides premium features, too, so it doesn’t feel like a rip-off product. To handle intense overclocking circumstances, the board has 23 phases of power delivery with MOSFETs rated at 105A and phases set in a 20+1+2 layout. Secondly, the thermal design is rather sophisticated, with several heatsinks utilizing DTHT, which means that the heatsinks are directly in contact with the MOSFETs and VRMs to keep them cool. The MOSFETs also have thermal pads with a rating of 12W/mK to stay in reasonable temperatures and not burn out after a heavy load has been put on them.
Before choosing RAM for the motherboard, let me tell you that this specific high-end model uses the latest DDR5 type of memory and can facilitate a maximum of 128GB of RAM to provide you with enough headroom to create a multitasker build for yourself as it comes with 4 DIMM slots. On the speed side of things, it is set at 4000MT/s by the manufacturers. However, a whopping 8000MT/s is easily attainable by OC’ing the memory kits using the Intel XMP 3.0 OC profiles - an improved and more refined version of the good old XMP OC utility.
Heading to the next section, it has a stunning appearance and numerous amazing characteristics. It includes an AORUS logo, which RGB illuminates all over the I/O cover, a physical quick flashing button, wireless internet connectivity with the latest WiFi6E, 10Gbps Ethernet support, and four NVMe of PCIe Gen4 and one with Gen5.
While looking at the rear side, it reveals two Type-C connectors with Gen2x2 tech and one with Gen2 only, seven of the Type-A being Gen2 supported and four being Gen1, and one x16 slot with PCIe Gen5 and the rest of the two with PCIe Gen3 connectivity that allows new cutting-edge technologies to be fully utilized on this board.
The board also features indistinguishable metal heatsinks that cover-up, protect the components below it, and leave an eye-catching look. Overall, it’s an excellent motherboard and one of the best available options when combined with an i9 12900k or 13900k CPU, and it could be titled the best motherboard for i9 13900k.
Coming at the rather steep MSRP of $480, the MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi is designed to work with the 12th and 13th generation of Intel Processors that feature the LGA 1700 Socket. We’ll see if this motherboard provides any meaningful upgrade over the Z690, which can also work with 12th and 13th gen processors but comes at the noticeably lower price of $370. The Z790 can support DDR5 memory at speeds of 5600MHz by default, a noticeable improvement over the 4800MHz provided by Z690.
Stable delivery of power from the motherboard to the CPU is important, especially when one wants to overclock their processor. To enable that, the Z790 Carbon WiFi features 19+1+1 VRM power phases. However, this is slightly higher than the 18+1+1 setup provided in the Z690.
The Z790, like most modern motherboards, has embraced the reality of diagnostic beeps becoming a relic of the past and features an LED displaying alphanumeric error codes to precisely point out any compatibility or connection problems if, for instance, your monitor is not working properly, significantly reducing the time taken to troubleshoot.
The motherboard has a plethora of USB ports of every generation and type for a total of 10, significantly expanding your connectivity options while offering support for ultrafast data transfer rates with the Gen2x2 Type C port.
An interesting feature of the Z790 worth mentioning is the Smart Button on the motherboard’s backside that can be programmed to do multiple things, like running your computer in Safe Mode, for instance. Gone are when you had to restart your computer multiple times because you couldn’t remember the particular combination of keys required to enter Safe mode.
So, does the massive dent made by Z790 on your finances justify calling it the best motherboard for the i9-13900K? We don’t think so. As with most high-end products, the infinitesimal performance difference between the Z790 and the already expensive Z690 is not worth the extra hundred bucks. If milking every single ounce of performance from your CPU without any regard for cost is not your thing, we recommend you stick with the Z690.
TUF GAMING is ASUS' less RGB-focused and more discrete lineup of motherboards that thrives on delivering a decent enough experience on a budget. ASUS is keen on manufacturing budget and decently priced components to meet the demand of the majority of the gaming community, which can’t afford to buy the higher-end models from the same or similar company.
TUF GAMING Z790-PLUS WIFI D4 is the one to look at if you’re seeking a motherboard to feel like an upgrade after purchasing but also stays light on the wallet and appears attractive. The board is based on a DDR4 memory type to keep prices low. However, it still provides a smooth and powerful experience with 17 (60A) phases of Dr.MOS featured VRM power delivery design set up in 16+1 configuration - to deliver great performance and to overclock headroom when combined with i7 13700k or i9 13900k processors. Besides that, MOSFETs and voltage regulatory modules are also controlled in terms of temperature by relatively large heatsinks, even under high loads.
Being a budget board makes the user curious whether the manufacturers have compromised on the RAM department; fortunately, we have DDR4-type memory running through the board here with a maximum capacity of 128G or 32G x4. They can also be OC’ed up to 5333MT/s (tends to vary) using the Intel XMP 3.0 overclocking profile. This allows us to get every ounce of power from the pc for maximum performance.
The computer mentioned above main board is thoughtfully designed, with a TUF GAMING symbol on the metal heatsink of the I/O for extra attractiveness. Moreover, it boasts many different characteristics, making it indistinguishable from its competitors. It comes with features like the first and foremost common one, which is WiFi connectivity, a PCIe Gen5 supported x16 slot, an ethernet port with 2.5gigs speed support.
Four PCIe Gen4 supported NVMe slots, one of them Gen2x2 Type-C port, and one with Gen2 support only along with two of the same with Type-A connectivity, four Gen1 Type-A ports, HD Audio Codec from Realtek with 7.1 virtual sound support along with a dedicated button for flashing BIOS. And after analyzing every detail, it is fine enough to conclude that the board named ASUS TUF GAMING Z790-PLUS WIFI D4 is the best motherboard for i9 13900k only if the user has a tight budget but still wants to explore new tech.
The MSI Z790I EDGE WIFI comes at a bold price tag of 360$ and aims to provide a better experience than its last generation counterpart which was the Z690I Unify. And here we’re exactly going to discuss those aspects of the motherboard which would tell us whether it’s a worthy purchase for your i9 13900K or not.
Like all other iTX form factor motherboards, without a doubt, this one also incorporates 2x RAM slots to keep things as much compact as possible and not cause fitting or clearance issues in iTX cases. What we see here is that we get support for faster memory modules in the same DDR5 category. To be more specific, we can utilize memories with speeds as high as 8000MHz and more which of course depends on the memory modules as well. As for the capacity, in those 2x present slots, you can shove up around 64GB in total meaning 32GB in each.
Powerful processors like the i9 13900K demand way more power than budget-friendly chips. This is why MSI has kept the same 10+1+1 power phase design as it was pretty effective. MSI also has reused the active cooling design here to keep all those hot MOSFETS and VRMS under reasonable temperatures. And for those who don’t know, an active cooling solution as in the name means cooling down the components with fresh air with the help of a small fan to keep the air in circulation.
Another thing to note here which is pretty rare is the space available to insert 3x M.2 drives at once. This usually wasn’t the case in the past and you were stuck with either 1 or 2 slots at most. In this motherboard, two of them are running at Gen4 speeds while one runs at Gen3, and for the PCIe x16, we get a Gen5 x16 slot. This is great but wish we would have gotten a Gen5 M.2 slot instead of the GPU one as there is no graphics card currently available that utilizes the Gen5. For the backports, we get the new usual ones like the Type As with Gen1 and Gen2 speeds and a single Type C with Gen2x2, etc.
ASUS has been known for making some of the best stuff for gamers and has collaborated with many companies in the past. After a bit of silence, they’re back and this time it’s with the 90s famous anime called Evangelion which has a really big fanbase all over the world that would happily pick one of these.
ASUS chose one of their high-end motherboards to slap the Evangelion vinyl all over the motherboard, and it’s none other than the ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO. This limited-edition motherboard is based on the Z690 chipset that supports Intel’s 12th and 13th generation of processors and can help chips like the i7 and i9 pull out some great level performance with the right cooler and overclocking settings as it owns 20+1 power phases on its surface.
With that being said, the motherboard, just like the normal Z690 MAXIMUS HERO also runs with DDR5 memory that can be tuned up to 6.4GHz or more and also has the same number of slots which are 4 apparently. In terms of the I/O, the story is the same here as well, and the difference only we can notice on this limited-edition motherboard limits itself to cosmetics and does not offer any improvement in performance or connectivity. But the already present I/O isn’t bad as it has ports like Gen2 and Gen1-based Type As and Cs. Also can’t miss out on the Gen5 and 4-powered GPU and NVMe slots.
The present LED on the heatsink is custom designed to show Evangelion artwork that looks fantastic overall and enhances the motherboard’s appearance to the maximum. If we compare it with the normal Z690 HERO, it only cost 50$ more which sounds like a dream come true for Evangelion fans. You can pick this up for your i9 13900K to as the 50$ increment in the price for a much cool-looking motherboard really justifies itself.
ASRock is a Taiwanese manufacturer that produces PC motherboards, industrial-level PCs, and graphics cards. ASRock sells motherboards in two price ranges: entry-level and high-end. Taichi is an ASRock top-tier motherboard series that offers premium features and unmatched performance.
If you’re looking for a high-end motherboard with enticing features and one of the best-looking designs, the ASRock Z690 Taichi is the one to get. This ATX board from an underestimated manufacturer speaks volumes about its quality; it includes 20 (105A) phases of Dr.MOS power delivery VRMs to give remarkable performance and enough overclocking headroom for CPUs such as the 12900k or 13900k. Besides that, the VRMs are cooled by some of the best heatsinks on the market, with a thermal conductivity rating of 7W/mK, keeping them cool even under heavy loads.
Nevertheless, the board does not fall short in aesthetics, as it is covered in many tailored heatsinks that cover up and cool the components beneath. Aside from that, what distinguishes this motherboard from others is the incorporation of clock gears, which work and are not a gimmick. The list of features is quite extensive and somewhat unprecedented in some ways, as it includes not one but two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, two USB4 Type-C thunderbolt ports, and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.
Two PCIe Gen4x4 M.2 two PCIe Gen3x2 M.2, two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, a Killer 2.5Gbps Lan, four USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec for quality audio output, and a dedicated BIOS flash button. The motherboard also has a GPU sag bracket for bulkier cards, such as the RTX 3090 or 4080.
Most importantly, the motherboard includes four DIMM slots that can handle up to 128GB of DDR5 memory. Similarly, using the Intel XMP 3.0 overclocking settings, RAM modules can be overclocked to 6400MT/s or higher. This enables us to procure every last bit of power from the system to achieve peak performance. Therefore, it’s a heck of a motherboard with many compelling feature sets and can be dubbed the best motherboard for Intel Core i9 13900k when you want the absolute best for your build with no sacrifice on quality and performance on a budget.
The computer hardware manufacturing business isn’t easy, and not everyone is capable enough to do it as it takes a team of dedicated people and PC enthusiasts to produce something that they will love it as well as the target audience - PC gamers or corporates that rely on computers for their business. And MSI is one such industry that keeps innovating new things and bringing something fresh to the table with the over-the-top build quality and after-sale support. ACE is one of MSI’s high-end lineup of motherboards which we will be taking a look at, and quite in-depth while we’re at it.
When you’re looking for a motherboard to fill up your build with great and high-end components that check all the boxes, whether the aesthetics department, endurance, or performance, the MSI MEG Z790 ACE has covered you in all of them. Being an E-ATX board that too thoughtfully made for gamers and a power delivery system designed in a 27 phases configuration, which is further organized in a 24+1+2 layout, the motherboard holds impressive OC potential for CPUs like the 12900k or 13900k.
Moreover, the VRMs are cooled down by expanded heatsinks with MSI’s Direct-contact technology, which helps it offer exceptional thermal results while under high loads. Secondly, it has 7W/mK rated thermal pads for the MOSFETs to stay well under the safe temperature limit.
Heading further into the details, we can see that it has been wonderfully designed to add to the aesthetic bit of your PC and has a broad list of intriguing features that don’t sound good but are also practical. This motherboard houses a PCIe 5.0 x16 port for the GPU, not single but dual 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, one M.2 slot of PCIe 5.0, four M.2 slots of PCIe 4.0, one Type-C with USB 3.2 and Gen2 tech, two thunderbolts 4 port, seven Gen2 Type-A ports of USB3.2, 7.1 HD audio codec from Realtek, and physical buttons for clearing CMOS and flashing BIOS.
In the end, how can we forget about the memory? For that, there’s nothing to worry about as well because it comes baked with four RAM slots with MSI armor protection to accept and run a massive 128GB of DDR5 memory - with OC headroom to multiply their speed to a wild 7800MT/s and more depending upon the quality and limits of the memory kit you’ve bought.
Other than that, Intel XMP 3.0 overclocking is also integrated into this board, allowing you to go beyond default performance settings. While giving my final remarks, all I can say is that it’s a great board for enthusiasts and high-end budget gamers, which automatically means that it can be called the best motherboard for i9 13900k if you’re someone who wants to go all crazy and don’t want to compromise at all on the hardware.
How to Buy a Motherboard for i9 13900k
Now, we will discuss the main factors that you should consider when buying a motherboard for i9 13900K. We will start with the most important factor, chipset, and then we will move on to discuss the component features included in all motherboards that may influence your purchase decision. So, let’s begin.
Buying the right chipset for your i9 13900K is going to be of crucial importance when building your latest gaming PC. There are multiple chipsets available in the market that are compatible with the i9 13900K. However, compatibility is not enough. You also want a chipset that doesn’t bottleneck the performance of your i9 13900K.
As of now, the latest chipset released by Intel that is compatible with the i9 13900K and most 12th gen Intel processors is the Z790. If you want a hassle free experience and money is not an issue, then you should simply go with motherboards with this chipset as they have everything you need to let the i9 13900K work at its best.
If you want the best value for your money and don’t mind passing on a few unessential goodies, then the Z690 (after a BIOS update) is also an excellent option for the i9 13900K. However, we wouldn’t recommend going below this level in the chipset lane. That is, don’t buy B660, H670 or H610 if you want to get the most out of your i9 13900K.
RAM and DIMM Slots
DIMM slots are the horizontal bars on your motherboard which have a space in which you plug in your RAM. Most motherboards have 2-4 DIMM slots and support a maximum RAM of 64-128GB depending on the number of DIMM slots. DDR5 is the latest RAM standard. However, DDR5 based RAM sticks are highly expensive, which means the DDR4 is still the most popular standard.
The Intel 12th and 13th Gen processors, fortunately, come with support for both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM. Both DDR4 and DDR5 are supported in Z690 and Z790 based motherboards, but not simultaneously.
Although high speed RAM can be helpful, RAM by itself doesn’t affect PC performance. It only acts as a bottleneck on CPU performance. Therefore, your gaming FPS won’t be noticeably affected whether you go with the DDR4 and DDR5. You are better off investing that extra money in your GPU, instead.
Expansion slots are ports on your motherboard that can be used to extend the functionality of your motherboard by adding extra components like graphics cards and SSDs. In the past, there used to be numerous types of expansion slots like the AGP, CNR, PCI etc. Modern motherboards however mostly only feature PCIe slots.
The number and type of PCIe slots you get depends on how much of a premium you are willing to pay for your motherboard. Almost all popular gaming motherboards feature a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot and a few other slots with a lower version number and lane count.
Some motherboards based on the Z690 and Z790 chipset also come with support for PCIe 5.0. However, like DDR5, this one too is overkill for most users as even PCIe 4.0 is still fast enough for even the latest GPUs like the RTX 4090 to ever become a bottleneck in data transfer speeds between CPU and GPU.
It would be a shame to spend a hefty sum of money on a CPU as expensive as the i9 13900K, only to find yourself stuck with a motherboard that can’t house the latest graphics card. Although most motherboards are compatible with most of the popular graphics cards, like before, compatibility is not enough.
The latest graphics cards like the RTX 4090 are designed to work with huge amounts of data to be displayed on the monitor, and this capability is severely limited if your motherboard is underwhelming. Besides transfer rates, these graphics cards have very high power requirements, ranging in the hundreds, and sometimes even exceeding 300W. This means that the GPU would always perform at a lower level than it is designed to.
These factors combined means that you should reserve some of your cash for a motherboard that is capable of supporting both your high-end CPUs and GPUs.
Connectivity, in the context of motherboards, means the hardware that is available in the motherboard for connecting with other devices or computers. These include ports such as Ethernet and USB, headphone jacks, PCIe slots etc. Connectivity is not a significant point of consideration when you are buying a motherboard for i9 13900K, as most motherboards come with similar connectivity options.
Some motherboards may come with extras like USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, LAN 2.5G etc., but often these have little to do with your gaming performance and don’t significantly influence your overall computer experience. These may come in handy, however, if you transfer a lot of data between different drives or upload huge 4K videos to YouTube. In such a case, if you have a high-speed internet, then you would be better off with a motherboard that allows you to take full advantage of it.
Final Words for Best mobo for i9 13900K
It’s time to wrap everything up as we have already discussed each motherboard in detail that tells everything about either of them. All of them fit well with the behemoth of a chip, the i9 13900K. Let’s finalize stuff here and see which one is for you.
Starting from the extreme high-end level, you get to see ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO, MSI MEG Z790 ACE, and Gigabyte Z790 AORUS MASTER. All 3 of them offer top-end features and one of the best overclocking experiences for those who want it on the CPU and Memory. Although the Z790 AORUS MASTER falls just a little behind the other two it’s a great pick overall because of the lesser price tag. In case you’re looking for a Z690 chipset, we’ve got you covered there too with likes of ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO EVA EDITION, MSI Z690 FORCE WIFI, and ASRock Z690 Taichi - all of them are some of the decent value options and the MAXIMUM HERO is the limited edition motherboard that has a different vibe to it and provides visuals and performance simultaneously. The rest of the two is also great and would let you save some bucks for other components.
Going back to the Z790 chipset, but to a more affordable category of it - here we have ASUS TUF Z790-PLUS WIFI D4 and MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi. Either of them are more budget-friendly options that would save you some money because of the cut-down in some of the features like enthusiast-level overclocking and other connectivity options such as a 10Gbps Lan port, a number of thunderbolt ports, etc. One last category is still left and it’s for those who love small form factor builds, therefore the MSI Z790I EDGE WIFI is also present in the list. The motherboard looks appealing and delivers an excellent performance which implies that even after having a small form factor, it doesn’t compromise on the performance. All 9 motherboards are great in their own way and wouldn’t hold the i9 13900K back.