Buying a Motherboard for Intel Core i7-9700k Processor


To better accommodate the requirements of the Intel Core i7-9700K processor, you need a motherboard with a 300-series chipset and an LGA 1151 socket. Chipsets made by Intel are used in boards used for Intel CPUs. Each chipset comes with a unique set of capabilities. But they also support capabilities and features for you to use them. So before you choose one, make sure it does have those capabilities and features.

The “K” in the model name of this processor means this CPU is an unlocked one that supports overclocking. For this, you need a board with the Z370 or Z390 chipset to meet the requirement of overclocking. And for creaking a capability with Intel 11th Gen processors, you can choose from any of the 300-series chipsets: Z370, Z390, B365, H370, H310, and B360. They come with a diverse range of functionalities. Although the Q370 chipset can also make a pair with this processor, it is for business use cases. Therefore, it is limited to being available in stand-alone motherboards.

What Other Considerations You Should Consider

Considering only a socket type, and chipset is not enough for selecting the best motherboard for the 9700K processor. In addition to this, there are some other things you must keep in mind before selecting one. These considerations will go a long way in determining the best chipset to use. Click here for in depth motherboard reviews for i7 processor.

1: Video Output Port

The model name lacks an “F” which is an indication that this model comes with integrated graphics support. Therefore, you must ensure that the motherboard you choose must have a video output port such as HDMI if you intend to use integrated graphics. Even if while connecting your monitors with graphics cards, integrated graphics can be of sufficient help in fixing and troubleshooting graphics card problems.

2: Memory Overclocking

Memory overclocking is mandatory if you want to overclock DDR memory such as via an XMP profile.

3: Storage: SATA Ports, and M.2 Slots

NVMe M.2 cards are the fastest and latest form of SSD storage. Therefore, what you need to make sure is that your board features enough slots. The Q370, Z370, and Z390 chipsets support the most PCIe 3.0 lanes which means that boards that have these chipsets are probably to have the most *4 NVMe M.2 slots available.


Another thing that you should consider in your motherboard for the 9700K is a sufficient amount of connectivity options. The following options are mandatory:


You must ensure that your board has enough USB ports at the desired speed. The Q370 and Z390 support the most USB ports at USB 3.2 1*1 (5 Gbps), and USB 3.2 2*1 (10Gbps) speeds. The models that need high bandwidth rates will be limited to high-resolution video devices, and storage devices.


Another thing is the audio ports that your board must have. For instance, if you own a surround sound system, your product must feature center, and rear speaker ports. And if your audio device requires an optimal input, a motherboard with this port will be a necessity. As an alternative, you can buy a separate USB, or PCIe sound card to add additional port types such as RCA or optical.

Form Factor

Typically motherboards come in any one of the three form factors. For a desktop PC, ATX is the most commonly used motherboard form factor. In addition to this, you can also consider MicroATX or Mini-ITX form factors for building a mini-PC. Here you should keep in mind an important thing smaller form factors have fewer RAM slots, fewer PCIe card slots, and do not support many storage devices. That is the reason, this smaller MicroATX, and Mini-ITX form factors are backward compatible with standard ATX form factors. What they use is a subset of the ATX mounting holes. Further, Mini-ITX motherboards can also be used in MicroATX cases. So, your computer case should be compatible with the form factor of your motherboard.

PCIe Expansion Slots

The Q370, Z370, and Z390 chipsets come with the most flexibility by allowing multiple PCIe 3.0 graphics cards in the dual *8 configuration. On the other hand, other options of chipsets are limited in flexibility with only a single PCIe 3.0 *16 slots.

Selecting a CPU Cooler

1: Thermal Dissipation

The TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating of a CPU cooler indicates how much heat your device can dissipate in watts. If your cooler is unable to keep your processor cool enough, it may minimize the speed of your CPU. As a result, the cooler of your CPU will run at full speed. Intel CPU specifications name this power dissipation number as “Maximum Turbo Power,” and “Processor Base Power.” The 9700K processor comes with a TDP of 95 watts. Even with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a processor, a cooler can still work. However, if this is the case, the processor will slow down to a lower frequency to cool itself down. Without adequate cooling, the processor cannot maintain or achieve maximum turbo speed.

Types of Coolers

Air coolers use a combination of fans and heatsinks. They are the loudest and the cheapest.

1: Closed-Loop Cooler (CLC)

Being a type of liquid cooler, a CLC is also called an All-in-One (AIO) cooler. These coolers come with a more straightforward setup in a single pre-built package. Although these coolers ensure a better TDP performance at lower noise levels, they take more space and are expensive. Their ability to cool your processor and noise level depends on the number and sizes of the fans, and the liquid cooling solution’s radiator size.

2: Open-Look Coolers

Although they are also a kind of liquid coolers, you build them yourself. Due to this, there is more flexibility in their built but it can also be complicated to set them up. Moreover, they also give you the flexibility of cooling additional devices such as graphics card’s GPU.

In short, these are some considerations that you should think of before you choose a motherboard for your Intel Core i7-9700K processor.

Faisal Sheikh