What is the best motherboard for an i9 processor?
10 months ago
What is the best motherboard for an i9 processor? If you’re looking to buy the i9 processor, you may have noticed that there are several different motherboard options that support it—but not all of them are equally good. One of the more popular motherboards is Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, and it’s an excellent choice if you’re building a gaming PC around your new i9 chip. So what makes this motherboard so special?
Budget (Under $200)
If you’re building a PC on a budget, we recommend either Intel’s B360 or H370 chipset motherboards. Both provide more than enough features to satisfy basic users and support up to two graphics cards. The B360 is better-suited for more expensive builds because it supports up to 64GB of RAM, but both offer plenty of expansion slots and a few USB 3.1 ports. They also feature integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, if that matters to you. Most importantly, they’re affordable: our top pick in each category costs less than $100 at most retailers.
Mid Range ($200-400)
Asus Z170 PRO GAMING. The Asus Z170 Pro Gaming is a great mid-range motherboard. It has everything you need to run your components and, in most cases, can handle upgrades down the road without problems. The cost is around $160-$180 and it comes with features such as 6x USB 3.0 ports (including 2x USB 3.1 gen 1 Type-A ports), 2x M.2 slots, support for 4 way SLI and CrossfireX GPUs and an integrated sound card with Creative Sound Core3D quad-core audio processor and other amazing things; all of which are very useful if you’re a gamer or anyone looking to create a high end PC/Laptop. This motherboard also supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM at speeds up to 3466MHz and even has built in WiFi capabilities that allow you to connect wirelessly through 802.11ac technology. Overall, if you want a solid board that won’t break your bank but still offers some pretty awesome features then I would recommend going with the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming Motherboard!
High End ($400+)
If you’re looking to build a high-end gaming PC, then Z370 isn’t necessary. You can use any X99-based board with your Skylake-X CPU and get equal results. However, if you want to future proof your system and support up to 28 cores (!) when Intel launches its Basin Falls platform later in 2018 then it might be worth spending that extra cash on a Z370 board (though they will also support Kaby Lake-X).
If you decide to go with either HEDT platform, then don’t skimp on your CPU. As we noted earlier in our guide, more cores does not mean better performance—you need faster cores for that—so buy as many physical cores as possible. For example, AMD’s Threadripper 1950X has 16 physical cores but only 3.4GHz base clock speed; Intel’s Core i9 7900X has 10 physical cores but a 3.3GHz base clock speed; and Intel's upcoming Core i9 7920X has 12 physical cores but only 2.9GHz base clock speed.
For that reason, we recommend going with Intel's Core i7 7820X or 7900X instead of AMD's Threadripper CPUs for multi-threaded workloads like video editing or 3D rendering where single core performance matters less than overall throughput from all available threads.