Jumping directly to the Best Motherboard For i7 8700k would be the ideal choice, however, we have to discuss the background of i7 8700k. The Intel Core i7 8700K was in the vanguard of their vastly popular Coffee Lake processors. Intel fans were quite relieved with the release of 8700K because AMD seemed to be taking it home with their Ryzen CPUs. With 6 cores and 12 threads, the 8700K was one of the best options in Intel’s Coffee Lake lineup of processors. Claiming up to 30% better gaming performances when compared to the i7-7700k, the 8th Gen Intel Core Processor 8700K found itself in the homes of many enthusiasts wanting to up their setups. However, this good news came with a catch.
The 8700K is viable only with the motherboards housing the 300 series chipsets. The 8700K can handle overclocking like a champ, provided you have a cooler for I7 8700k. So why should you be limiting your Coffee Lake CPU’s capabilities with a meager motherboard? We’ve taken the liberty to gather for you the 5 best motherboards with the Z370 chipsets that are viable for your 8700K. The challenge is not just supporting the 8700K but letting you fully harness its power with a motherboard that can withstand the challenge.
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Our Picks for the Best Motherboards For i7 8700K
Choosing the type of motherboard for the i7 8700K, which is an enthusiast-class CPU, is not the easiest task when building your dream gaming machine. Since the CPU itself has is quite performance-focused and requires clean and stable power from the motherboard, it is only wise to choose the motherboards that have well-built power delivery systems and VRM components. Overclocking is another factor that comes into play in this decision, but our recommended best motherboard for i7 8700k should be able to handle that operation as well with varying levels of success.
|1||ASUS ROG Maximus X Code||Best Overall Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|| |
|2||ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero||Best Motherboard For Overclocking Core i7-8700K|| |
|3||GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Wi-Fi||Best Looking Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|| |
|4||MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC||Best Affordable Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|| |
|5||ASUS TUF Z370-PRO Gaming||Best Durable Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|| |
|Model||ASUS ROG Maximus X Code|
|Award||Best Overall Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|
|Model||ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero|
|Award||Best Motherboard For Overclocking Core i7-8700K|
|Model||GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Wi-Fi|
|Award||Best Looking Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|
|Model||MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC|
|Award||Best Affordable Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|
|Model||ASUS TUF Z370-PRO Gaming|
|Award||Best Durable Motherboard for Core i7-8700K|
Last Update on 2021-10-26 at 08:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Best Overclocking Motherboard for i7 8700K - ASUS ROG Maximus X Code
- Asus ROG Armor and a Pre-Mounted I/O shield
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 Compatibility
- 8+2+2 Power Phase Design
- Asus 5-way Optimization
- Impressive Design Language
- Incredibly Pricy
- Only One USB 2.0 Header Onboard
Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphics Output: HDMI, DisplayPort | Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | Audio: Realtek® ALC1220 codec | Form Factor: ATX
In the motherboard industry, Asus might just be the biggest name to date. Time and time again, they’ve proven why the Republic of Gamers tag is superior to all others. Intel’s Coffee Lake processors changed the game for many and Asus was among the first to jump on board and bring out their vastly popular (but a little pricey) Maximus line of motherboards. With dual-channel DDR4 RAM for up to 4133MHz, BIOS flashback, and many more, the Maximus X Code has made it to the very top of our list.
The Maximus X Code comes with an 8+2+2 phase power design with the CPU getting 8 phases and the integrated graphics cards and memory both receiving 2 each. The Code’s phase design honestly, is a bit overkill even for hardcore overclockers. With this lineup, Asus has opted for 10K Black Capacitors which have a lifetime of 10,000 hours if ran at a constant 105 degrees Celsius. Of course, your PC won’t always be turned on and neither will the temperature be that high so expect a much higher lifetime. The metallic M.2 heatsinks very efficiently dissipate heat and keep your motherboard cool. The power efficiency and the overall aesthetic work in unison to not just optimize load but temperatures as well using heat sinks or airflow.
The Maximus X Code is equipped with the exclusive ROG technology- the ROG Armor. The ROG Armor enhances the cooling of the Code motherboard while never compromising on the style. An ABS top cover with its high heat resistance prevents GPUs from overheating and thus stabilizing their performance. Additionally, a strong SECC backplate acts as a backbone to the PCB- preventing it from bending. With the Code’s efficient 8+2+2 phase design and the ROG Armor, the overclocking enthusiasts can rest easy and never stress about the Code reaching its limits. Another thing that the Code has to show is the dual 802.11AC antenna with MU-MIMO technology. With everything else that the Code has, don’t let the ROG Armor and the dual antennas slide by unnoticed.
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The Code has a total of 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1, and 6x USB ports (2.0). In the memory domain, 4x DIMM DDR4 slots can entertain up to 64 Gigs of RAM and 4133MHz at overclocked. Similarly for expansion slots, you get 2x PCI-E 3.0 at x16, 1x PCI-E 3.0 at x4, and 3x PCI-E 2.0 at x1. One of the dual M.2 slots on the Code sits below the heatsink whereas the second has a vertical mount. The Maximus X Code shines bright in terms of not just performance but aesthetics and design as well. With the RGB headers, a new world of vibrant colors can be opened up. And lest you forget, all of these can be paired and synced with Asus Aura Sync so that your strips are illuminated in sync.
The Maximus X Code has everything you could ask for your i7 8700K processor and then some. With such an overkill board, be prepared to have a big chunk taken out of your wallet. But there is no denying that the Maximus X Code gets you your money’s worth and, on the surface, get everything right ultimately making it the best gaming motherboard.
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2. Best High-End Motherboard for i7 8700K - ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero
- A Beefy M.2 Heatsink
- Supports XMP profiles
- Solid VRM Thermal Performance
- Aggressive Aesthetics
- Loads of Connectivity
- High Power Consumption Under Load
- Design Might Not Match Every Build
Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphics Output: HDMI, DisplayPort | Wireless: 802.11 ac | Audio: Realtek® ALC1220 codec | Form Factor: ATX
By now, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that we’ve chosen the Asus ROG MAXIMUS X HERO as the second-best Z370 motherboard. After all, the Maximus X Hero is still one of the most popular ones for hardcore enthusiasts with an 8th Gen processor. By improving upon the existing IX Hero edition, Asus put together a fantastic board.
The Asus Maximus X Hero looks quite similar to the Code, following the same rectangular PCB with the iconic ROG shields and heatsinks. Underneath the black and gunmetal color scheme is an 8+2 power phase design. The Hero uses the same 10K black metallic capacitors and NexFET MOSFETS as the Code. While the 8+2+2 phase design of the Code is better, the Hero’s 8+2 design phase is sufficient enough for overclocking as well. As such, the Hero is powered by one 8 pin ATX connector for the processor. Asus has equipped the Hero with 6 SATA3 ports and similar to Code, has 2 M.2 slots with one being covered by a heat sink.
The M.2 heat shield is in between the PCI-E x16 slot with Hero having 2x PCI-E x16, 1x PCI-E 3.0 x6, and 3x 3.0/2.0 x1 PCIe slots. For memory, the Hero can support a maximum of 64 GB of DDR4 RAM with its 4 RAM slots. The Hero does have support for Intel XMP which predefines overclocking configurations to make everything easier.
The reinforced and integrated I/O shield has DisplayPort and HDMI port along with USB 3.1 Gen1 & 2. You can never go wrong with that. There is a Type-C connector in the I/O port however a Thunderbolt port seems to be missing from the Hero. As for the BIOS, you can find Clear CMOS and BIOS flashback buttons in the rear. And lastly, you can also find an Intel I219V LAN port with an anti-surge LANGuard for protection along with a standard audio box with gold plated ports.
As we’ve established by now that a gaming motherboard just is not complete without that customizable RGB lighting functioning. Besides, it’s well known by now that any product with RGB enabled gets an upgrade in its value. The ROG lineup motherboards have some of the brightest means of illumination. The Hero makes use of ROG’s Aura lighting controls which lets you match your aesthetics to your needs. Ranging from static and breathing presets to music affects a stream of light and tail, the Aura Sync lets you do it all. And with the portfolio of Aura-enabled hardware growing more and more, the options are limitless.
The Maximus X Hero is somewhat of a more affordable option compared to the Code but still is quite expensive. However, as many users have expressed, the Hero remains one of the best options for Intel’s Coffee-Lake processors, and for good reason. And as testings show, the 8+2 phase design proved sufficient for the most important feature “overclocking”. The Hero is good on that end as well.
3. Most Well-Rounded Motherboard for i7 8700K - GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Wi-Fi
The Reasonable Choice
- Excellent Bang For The Buck
- Suitable Option for Medium Overclocking
- Attractive Aesthetics
- Reinforced RAM Slots
- Comes with ESD and Surge Protection
- Upright SATA Ports
- No Onboard Buttons
- Lack of Onboard Displayport
Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphics Output: HDMI | Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | Audio: Realtek® ALC1220 codec | Form Factor: ATX
With lists like these, we like to save the third spot for the most well-rounded and optimized product which offers as many premium features as possible while sporting a much friendlier price tag. GIGABYTE has a soft spot in our hearts for being a company dedicated to providing gamers with some of the best bang-for-buck products. The Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming is another affordable ATX motherboard with a fantastic design, Optane storage, and a decent amount of RGB customizations.
Despite being labeled as a more affordable and mainstream solution to the Z370 chipsets, GIGABYTE has actually equipped this board with some very decent aesthetics. The GIGABYTE logo and Aorus text light up along with some strips here and there- including the RAM slots. All of these are customizable and changeable via the BIOS or GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion app. It’s true that the Aorus Ultra Gaming’s design does not let it stand out that much, however, the aesthetics really spice up once it is turned on with the lights adding a fair bit of ambiance to it. Like most of GIGABYTE’s motherboards for the Z370 chipsets, the Aorus Ultra Gaming makes use of a 12+1 phase design for power delivery which should be adequate for all intents.
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The 4x DDR4 DIMM slots can let you install RAM of up to 64 GB which can be overclocked to 4000MHz. And overclockers should rejoice because this budget-friendly motherboard does support XMP profiles to make overclocking easier. Taking a quick rundown of the specs offered, we have: 1x DVI port, 1x HDMI port, 3x PCI-E 3.0 slots, 6x SATA connectors going up to 6Gbps, and 2 M.2 PCI-E x4 slots. In the connectivity department, the Aorus Ultra Gaming has 6x USB 3.1 ports, 6x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB Type-C port along with a legacy PS/2 connector. The initial version came without a Wi-Fi module however, the latest variants come equipped with an 802.11AC Wi-Fi chip.
GIGABYTE also equips the Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming with ESD and surge protection along with an anti-sulfur design. As a bonus, it comes with Intel’s Optane memory which Intel has really been trying to push for quite some time now. That is an added benefit that comes with this board and you can really make use of Optane if you’re building a PC with just an HDD. Overclocking on the Aorus Ultra Gaming is actually a charm with GIGABYTE’s software and BIOS. With this board’s smartly designed infrastructure, it manages to handle loads quite well. However, we did notice some high-temperature bumps that can be a bit alarming over longer periods of time. Additionally, overclockers require onboard buttons and a debugging LED but this board lacks those.
The GIGABYTE AORUS rightfully lives up to its appellation as a “gaming motherboard” with its heavy-duty performance at overclocked CPU speeds, pushing the system’s performance to its limits. All these compelling features are a telltale for the solid bang it will give for your money. We have to admit, the upright SATA ports were a little off-putting for us at the start but GIGABYTE Aorus Ultra Gaming showed robust performance and that’s something we must appreciate. Plus, you also get some amazing RGB lights for a budget-priced motherboard- and who’s gonna say no to that?
4. Best Value Motherboard for i7 8700K - MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC
- PCI-E and RAM Slots Are Reinforced
- Extremely Durable Components
- Understated Looks
- Attractive RGB Implementation
- Good Connectivity Options
- The Wi-Fi Card Is Not Integrated
- No Reset or Clear CMOS button
- Unintuitive RGB Software
Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphics Output: DP/HDMI | Wireless: N/A | Audio: AUDIO BOOST 4 with NAHIMIC 2+ | Form Factor: ATX
MSI is set out to add Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC to their impressive pedigree of remarkable motherboards under their banner. As we noted in our in-depth Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon Review, The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is similar in some areas to its Z270 predecessors. However, with more memory support, a 95W socket, a good VRM design, and WiFi connectivity, MSI improves upon previous models with this. Armed with military class-5 components, MSI helps instill some assurance in our minds about this board’s durability. However, in order for it to be worthy of being in your possession, it still has a lot to answer for. So let’s get started.
The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a finely crafted-looking board that you will certainly like right out the box. With some carbon-fiber-styled components here and there, the name also reflects what this board entails. It is powered with a 10+2 phase design with 10 phases for CPU and 2 for memory. We’ve previously witnessed motherboards with a 12 phase design be somewhat ideal for overclocking. And that’s the case with this board as well. We’ll be getting into overclocking soon but you ought to know that with its single BIOS and lack of reset or clear CMOS buttons
Its 4x DIMM slots will let you install up to 64 Gigs of RAM which can go up to 4000MHz in overclocked. The DIMM slots are metallically reinforced to add a bit of strength around them for more durability. And that’s always appreciated. There are 3x PCI-E x16 slots along with 6x SATA3 ports and 2 M.2 slots. These PCI-E slots come equipped with MSI’s Steel Armor technology for reinforcing. For the audio and wireless options, MSI uses the Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec and uses an external Intel WiFi card. And lastly, the rear I/O port comprises of 1x PS/2 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 6x USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort, and HDMI port along with the standard RJ45 and audio box connections. All pretty straightforward.
Overclocking with the Z370 Pro Carbon AC is a bit of a tricky road. While that big chunk of a heatsink does help in keeping temperatures low, they can still get quite high. Additionally, the power consumption levels even in idle modes rise up to high levels and vary quite a lot. That’s not a good sign because you want consistency. Getting to 5Ghz is easy to maintain, provided you have a decent cooling solution. However, any more than that and you risk raising some concerning alarms. The overclocking results of the Z370 Pro Carbon AC show that it is just not the best choice for that.
The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is packed with features that are ideal for mid-end PCs. However, at such high a price, you’re really not getting the performance and results you would hope for. It rocks a $200 price tag whereas Asus TUF Z370 Pro-Gaming will cost you half that. And the TUF Z370 Pro Gaming motherboard is not a bad choice either for mid-end usage. It’s true that this Z370 board has a better VRM design but if you’re looking for a board for overclocking, you should look into the 3 boards above. Still, when push comes to shove, you can end up satisfied with the MSI Z370 Pro-Gaming AC however, you can get other boards for much friendlier price tags that offer almost similar performance results.
5. Best Affordable Motherboard for i7 8700K - ASUS TUF Z370-PRO Gaming
- Affordable Option
- Durable Components
- Comes with Optane And M.2 Storage Options
- Dual M.2 Slots
- Average VRM Design
- Lack of RGB Lighting
- Fixed Yellow Accents
Socket: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphics Output: DVI-D/HDMI | Wireless: N/A | Audio:Realtek ALC1220S 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC | Form Factor: ATX
ASUS is widely known for the reliability and diversity they give to their products, raising it to the level of “Number one motherboard manufacturers in the world” over the years. In fact, enthusiasts have been picking sides in the ASUS vs MSI debate for years now when it comes to motherboards. We’ve already talked about Asus’s motherboards in this article however, the TUF Z370 Pro Gaming is one we just can’t look past. Before ROG took over, the TUF lineup of motherboards were Asus’s knights in shining armor. But don’t let that get you down because the Z370 Pro Gaming rocks itself with a very attractive pricetag while rocking the TUF armor.
The TUF Z30 Pro-Gaming is another good motherboard which sports a black color with yellow accents around it. However, there are no RGB zones for those looking to spice things up. That can limit the flexibility a little bit, the black and yellow color pattern is pretty neutral as it allows this motherboard to blend in with almost any setup. There are RGB lighting headers present but that’s about it. As for the build, folks familiar with the ROG lineup motherboards will note that the build quality is not as promising. However, Asus has still done a pretty good job with it. It is powered up with a 4+2+1 phase design which, as far as overclocking goes, isn’t anything reassuring.
The TUF Z30 Pro-Gaming motherboard has 4x DIMM slots for memory support of up to 64 Gigs at 4000MHz (OC). Pretty much the standard for Z370 chipsets. Along with 3x PCI-E x16 slots, it also has 2 M.2 slots for PCI-E x4 Gen3. And, this motherboard can support Nvidia 2-Way SLI and AMD 2-Way CrossFireX technology for multi-GPU. Asus makes use of Realtek ALC1220S audio chipset for this motherboard which is fairly common, as we’ve seen by now. For storage, along with the M.2 ports you also have 6x SATA3 ports and Intel’s Optane Memory. And lastly, in the rear I/O section, you have 6x USB 3.1 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, DVI-D and HDMI ports, an RJ45 connector along with the standard audio box.
With motherboards sporting a friendlier price tag, overclocking performances usually take a hit. And although the TUF Z370 Pro-Gaming is quite a well-balanced and rounded board for gamers, it can’t handle overclocking all that well. With its 4+2+1 phase design, this TUF motherboard can’t handle high loads all that well. Even with a cooling solution installed, the temperatures rose up to about 70-80 degrees Celsius with the 8700K overclocked. Overclocking without an efficient cooling solution, well we’ll leave that to your imagination. Additionally, this motherboard is quite power-hungry with its consumption going up to over 260W in high load at stock settings when paired with high-end components. All of these should raise some alarms for you if you are planning on overclocking your 8700K.
Originally, ASUS labeled this motherboard as the “budget board”, yet it encompasses all the required features and performance levels that typify a high-end system. Sure, it does not have the over-the-top features like Asus’s Maximus lineup, but it is still a pretty solid board. And despite the lack of RGB, the black and yellow scheme has its own charm about it that some might like. For a budget board, the TUF Z370 Pro-Gaming is a decent choice and you’ll surely be able to reap the benefits of an 8700K processor with this board.
Best Motherboards for i7 8700K - FAQs
The motherboards that officially support the Core i7-8700K include the motherboards with the Z390, Z370, Q370, H370, B365, B360, and H310 chipsets. The motherboards that use the Z-series chipsets, z370 and z390, are generally superior to those that use the B, Q, or H series chipsets and have extra features such as unlocked overclocking support, etc. Since the i7-8700K is an enthusiast-class CPU, it makes sense to purchase a Z-series chipset motherboard with this particular processor.
No, the Z490 chipset is not compatible with the i7-8700K. Since the Z490 chipset came together with Intel’s 10th generation of processors, way after the release of the 8700K, Intel did not decide to support the venerable 8th generation flagship on the new chipset. Another simple reason for this move is that the Z490 motherboards use the LGA 1200 socket which is physically different from the LGA 1151 socket that the i7-8700K uses. Thus, it is physically impossible to install an 8700K in a Z490 motherboard.
The i7-8700K uses the LGA 1151 socket which is the socket Intel used for all the 8th generation of processors. LGA stands for “Line Grid Array” and it basically signifies that all the gold contact pins are situated inside the motherboard socket, rather than being attached with the CPU itself. The number “1151” denotes the total number of the pins that were present inside the socket, therefore completing the codename LGA 1151.
In a nutshell, yeah! The i7-8700K is still a pretty great gaming CPU in 2021. Now it isn’t going to top any benchmark charts when compared to 9900k like it did when it was first released, but it still holds its own against the mid-range competition from AMD and even the mid-range offerings from subsequent Intel generations. It also holds its own pretty well against the Core i7 8086K, a special CPU from the same generation. Its 6 cores and 12 threads are nowhere near the limit of being saturated by modern games, and the overclocking pedigree from Intel means that you can even squeeze out some extra performance if you have decent cooling and a solid motherboard.
Factors To Consider Before Purchasing
Motherboards are among the most critical components of a gaming or workstation PC as they offer a base platform for you to lay the foundation of your particular build. Since they don’t contribute directly to the performance numbers you may see on your screen, it is really easy to forget their importance and to either under-spend or over-spend on your board. Striking the perfect balance is essential in this process, as it would secure the safety and reliability of your build for years to come, while also providing an excellent value proposition.
One of the factors that you should keep in your mind while making a purchase decision has to be the upgrade path that you can expect from your investment. Oftentimes, a motherboard is not the component that is holding back the performance of your particular build, so people tend to use the same motherboard for a long time. In such cases, it is important to plan ahead and choose a platform that would not only unlock the full potential of your current CPU but would also give you a path to upgrade to subsequent generations in the future.
Features and Connectivity
Nowadays, marketing jargon and meaningless catchphrases are plentiful in the motherboard market and one needs only to have a look at the back of the motherboard retail box to find them. However, there are some features that are actually useful and therefore, should be considered in the purchasing process. Features like the inclusion of Wi-Fi, better connectivity with 2.5 GbE or even 10 GbE LAN ports, solid onboard audio, BIOS Flashback, CMOS Clear, and onboard Boot/Reset buttons are all quite important and offer a ton of convenience down the line. DIfferentiating gimmicks from features is an essential part of the buying process as outlined by our guide on how much you should actually spend on a motherboard.
In order to further explore the multitude of factors that are involved in the purchase decision for a motherboard, you should check out our comprehensive motherboard buying guide. Following the guidelines listed in our guide would ensure that you make the perfect motherboard choice for your particular use case.
This was our best motherboards for i7 8700k guide, don’t be hesitant to share your feedback in the comments.