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The Intel Core i9-9900k is the most powerful CPU for its 9th Gen lineup, and can even be called as the world's best gaming desktop processor till date. It has a boost clock speed of 5GHz (highest boosted clock speed among all the Intel Core CPUs) with overclocking support, and there are 8 cores with 16 threads, which gives a 33% boost that the previous generation.

In terms of architecture, there isn't much change from the previous-gen processors. But with the performance it provides, the 9900k is an overkill for casual desktop users. Even for the high-end gamers, overclocking ahead of its 5GHz boosted speed wouldn't be necessary.

With a processor like the i9-9900k, it's really important to choose the correct components for the rest of the build, like proper cooling, adequate airflow in the cabinet, sufficient enough power supply unit, and more. It's always important to select compatible parts to make sure that the processor does not get bottlenecking issues. 

The first most important component after the CPU is to choose a motherboard, depending on what features you want like overclocking capabilities, etc. Here are the top 5 motherboards for the 9900k builds from highest to lowest price: 

The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS XTREME is the best motherboard for extreme overclocking of the i9-9900k processor. It uses a new innovative thermal design that keeps the processor at low temperatures under high gaming and application loads.

This motherboard supports high-frequency XMP memory, an OC Touch Panel, and a full SSD thermal guard for maximum full system performance. The three PCI-Express x16 slots are all surrounded by steel for supporting high weight graphic cards. Two of the top slots run at 8x speed and the third one supports only 4x speed, so Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire are only supported by the first two slots.

In memory terms, the Z390 AORUS XTREME supports 128GB of DDR4 memory which can reach a peak frequency of 4,400MHz. Three M.2 connectors, fixed SATA 3 ports (without any U2 connectors) are also present.

Key Features of the Z390 AORUS XTREME Motherboard

  • Has Support for the 9th and 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors

  • 4 DIMMs Slots for Non-ECC Dual Channel Unbuffered DDR4 Memory

  • Supports the latest Intel® Optane™ Memory Technology

  • More Phases means more stable Voltage Output and this motherboard has 16 Phases of the IR Digital VRM Solution along with PowlRstage

  • All new Thermal Design along with the Fins-Array Heatsink

  • NanoCarbon Baseplate and Direct Touch Heatpipe

  • Onboard Intel CNVI 802.11ac 2x2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi with All-new AORUS Antenna

  • 127dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with High-End ESS SABRE 9018K2M DAC, LME 49720 and OPA1622 OP-AMP, WIMA audio capacitors

  • AQUANTIA® 10GbE BASE-T LAN and Intel® Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed

  • Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 onboard

  • Exclusive RGB FAN COMMANDER and OC Touch for professional casemodders and overclockers

  • USB TurboCharger for mobile device fast charge support

  • RGB FUSION 2.0 with Multi-Zone Addressable LED Light Show design, support Addressable LED & RGB LED strips

  • Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP along with Multiple Temperature Sensors are available with the new Smart Fan 5 Technology

  • A Type-C Header at the Front for USB 3.1 Gen 2

  • Triple Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 interface with Triple Thermal Guards

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme

2. Asus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390 Gaming - $859

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390 is the best motherboard for i9-9900K in the micro ATX form factor. Along with double-capacity DDR4 memory support, four M.2 slots for proper SSD RAID storage, this particular motherboard is designed to provide you the same level of performance for your SFF builds as you would get from a high-end ATX build.

The Socket 1151 for 9th Gen, 8th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors is supported by this motherboard. It features a Dual-channel (4-DIMM) DDR4 memory and 16x PCI Express 3.0/2.0 lanes for supporting onboard graphics with dedicated chipsets and for a high level of performance.

The Maximus XI Gene has broken 10 world records while scoring the first position 11 times globally for the 8 core processor category. This motherboard is known for its high-quality components and the capability for withstanding below zero temperatures with liquid nitrogen and helium.

Key Features of the Asus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390 Motherboard

  • LGA1151 socket: Ready for 9th/8th Generation Intel® Core™ desktop processors.

  • Double-capacity DIMM: Optimized memory trace layout for dual 32GB DIMM support.

  • Perfected cooling: Dedicated water-cooling zones, M.2 heatsink, and flexible fan controls.

  • ROG DIMM.2: Vertically-installed dual-M.2 expansion card with heatsink for maximum cooling and performance.

  • Overclocker’s toolkit: Hardware-level controls to aid with subzero overclocking.

  • 5-Way Optimization: Automated system-wide tuning, providing AI overclocking and cooling profiles tailor-made for your rig.

  • Gaming connectivity: Intel Gigabit Ethernet, four M.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, and CNVi 2x2 802.11ac Intel integrated Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support for lightning-fast data transfers.

  • Gaming audio: High-fidelity sonics that draws you deeper into the action, with SupremeFX and Sonic Studio III.

  • Synchronized RGB lighting technology: Works with a vast portfolio of Aura Sync-capable PC gear and includes support for Philips Hue.

  • Gaming durability: ASUS SafeSlot, patented pre-mounted I/O shield and premium components for maximum durability

Asus ROG Maximus XI Gene Z390 Gaming

3. ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming - $309

The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E motherboard is specially designed for the 9th and 8th gen Intel Core processors for maximum connectivity and speed., and DRAM overclocking stability. It features Dual M.2 with heatsinks, USB 3.1 Gen 2, SATA 6Gbps, HDMI, DDR4 4266Hz+, onboard 802.11AC Wi-Fi, and ASUS optimum II along with support for multiple GPUs - Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFireX. It also has Aura Sync RGB lighting support.

The Gamer's Guardian from ASUS makes sure that the components have a long life by using safe Slots, ESD guards, and an overcurrent protection for the DRAM.

Key Features of ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Motherboard

  • LGA1151 socket for 9th/ 8th Gen Intel® Core™ desktop processors

  • Aura Sync RGB: Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear, including addressable RGB strips

  • Comprehensive cooling: Dual onboard M.2 heatsink, water-pump header, fan-extension header, and a MOS fan with bracket

  • 5-Way Optimization: Automated system-wide tuning, providing AI overclocking and cooling profiles tailor-made for your rig

  • Gaming connectivity: Dual M.2 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C connectors

  • Gaming networking: Intel Gigabit Ethernet, Intel 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, LANGuard and GameFirst

  • Gaming audio: SupremeFX S1220A teams with Sonic Studio III to create an aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action

  • Easy DIY: Pre-mounted I/O shield, ASUS SafeSlot, and premium components for maximum endurance

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming

4. Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro - $190

AORUS Gaming Motherboards are known for their M.2 technology for maximizing the system potential. Along with this, the GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro also provides thermal protection for the M.2 SSD components. This helps prevent bottlenecks and throttling of the M.2 SSDs as they operate in high-speeds. The heat that is generated from such high-speeds is taken care of by the M.2 Thermal Guard.

This particular motherboard has a 12 + 1 phase digital CPU power design including the digital PWM controller and DrMOS. These precisely provide power to the motherboard components which require the most power. It also boasts of an integrated I/O shield which increases the durability of the entire build. In terms of processing ability, this motherboard can easily support frequencies of 4133MHz and above.

Key Features of Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro Motherboard

  • Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs

  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

  • 12+1 Phases Digital VRM Solution with DrMOS

  • Advanced Thermal Design with Multi-cuts Heatsinks and Heatpipe

  • ALC1220-VB Enhance 114dB(Rear) / 110dB(Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors

  • Intel® Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed

  • RGB FUSION 2.0 with Multi-Zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Addressable LED & RGB LED Strips

  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP

  • Front USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ Header

  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards

  • Multi-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design

  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power With a Simple Click

Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro

5. Gigabyte B365M DS3H - $73.99

The H370/B365/B360 Motherboards support Intel's latest Optane technology. This technology increases storage performance from traditional mechanical drives. The storage is fueled by Optane that acts as a cache drive, which in turn gives a speed boost. 

Smart Fan 5 from Gigabyte keeps the entire system cool to protect the performance during a full load gaming session or a long duration video rendering. On top of that, it also gives its users the option to interchange fan headers for different thermal sensors at different locations, along with support for PWM and Voltage mode fans.

For gaming enthusiasts, the GIGABYTE Motherboards offer many features to enhance the virtual reality gaming experience. Technologies like NVMe support by M.2 or U.2 help for the same. Other features of this motherboard include the resistors that are equipped with an Anti-Sulfur Design which further increases the durability of the board.

Key Features of Gigabyte B365M DS3H Motherboard

  • Supports 9th and 8th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors

  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4

  • New Hybrid Digital PWM Design

  • High-Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting

  • Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 X4 & SATA interface

  • RGB FUSION supports RGB LED strips in 7 colors

  • GIGABYTE Exclusive 8118 Gaming LAN with Bandwidth Management

  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save the Power as Easy as One Click

  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP

  • Anti-Sulfur Resistors Design

  • Ultra Durable™ 15KV Surge LAN Protection

  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™

Gigabyte B365M DS3H

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