The 7 Best Motherboards For i5-13600K In 2023 (Expert Reviews)
The brand-new Intel Core i5 13600K has hit the shelves, and that means it is time for an upgrade. The i5 13600K offers an extremely compelling value for money when it comes to gaming CPUs and Intel has really hit this one out of the park.
If you are building a new PC using this new Raptor Lake processor, choosing the best motherboard for i5 13600K can be a bit of a struggle. With the wealth of options available on the market, it may be challenging to narrow down your choice to the ideal motherboard that provides the best performance as well as value.
This is where our team of hardware specialists comes in. We have curated a roundup of the very best motherboards that are currently available for the Core i5 13600K. We have picks for every budget and use case, so you are sure to find something that works for you.
You can also consider our selection of the best motherboards for i9 13900K if you want some more premium options. Without further ado, let’s jump right into our picks.
The Best Motherboard for i5 13600K – Our Picks
|1||ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi||Best Overall Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|2||Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master||Best Premium Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|3||MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi DDR4||Best DDR4 Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|4||ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A||Best Looking Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|5||ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I||Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|6||MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi||Best Budget Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|7||ASUS PRIME Z690-A||Best White Motherboard for i5 13600K|| |
|Product Name||ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi|
|Award||Best Overall Motherboard for i5 13600K|
|Product Name||Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master|
|Award||Best Premium Motherboard for i5 13600K|
|Product Name||MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi DDR4|
|Award||Best DDR4 Motherboard for i5 13600K|
|Product Name||ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A|
|Award||Best Looking Motherboard for i5 13600K|
|Product Name||ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I|
|Award||Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i5 13600K|
|Product Name||MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi|
|Award||Best Budget Motherboard for i5 13600K|
|Product Name||ASUS PRIME Z690-A|
|Award||Best White Motherboard for i5 13600K|
Last Update on 2023-06-08 at 17:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why you should trust us
We live, breathe, and eat motherboards here at appuals.com. Whether it’s the latest Intel or AMD chipsets, we know our way around a motherboard. We’ve been reviewing them for years, and our experience shows in our detailed, comprehensive reviews. Our leading PC hardware expert, Hassam Nasir, boasts a tremendous experience in the field of motherboard reviews which spans back to the days when Nvidia used to add an extra SLI chipset to motherboards!
One can say that he loves to get into the nitty gritty details of PC hardware such as PCB analysis, VRM performance, memory/core overclocking potential, cooling potentials of AIOs, and the list goes on and on. His expertise does not come as a surprise, since he has been obsessed with PC hardware from the era of Opterons and Smithfield Pentium processors.
However, we don’t just rely on our experience – we also put every motherboard we review through a rigorous testing process. We test for stability, compatibility, overclocking potential, and more. Our team’s key expertise lies in the area of VRM testing, both for quality and long-term reliability. Of course, we also take into account the user experience when writing our reviews. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly option or the absolute best motherboard on the market, we can help you find what you need.
1. ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi
Best Overall Motherboard for i5 13600K
- Extraordinary VRM Design
- Attractive RGB Lighting
- Superb Features
- Five M.2 Slots
- Quite Expensive
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-7800+ | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 12x rear IO, 9x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 4x SATA | VRM: 18+1 Phase
We have the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi as the top choice since it falls more into the mid-range price category. It is not inexpensive by any means, but it is a more suitable choice for the Core i5 13600K than the flagship Z790 motherboards.
The finest aspect of this motherboard is that it offers almost all of the top features you would anticipate from more expensive Z790 motherboards but at a more affordable price. Thanks to its distinctive design aesthetic and amazing RGB execution, it also looks fantastic.
Keeping pricing to one side, we can safely say that the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming is one of the best motherboards for gaming on the Z790 platform.
Anyone who has ever used a Strix board can predict that there’s more to the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming than just aesthetics. The strong 18+1 phase power delivery system gives it robustness in addition to flair. Even at overclocked settings, its outstanding VRM design is more than capable of supporting the Core i5 13600K. The power delivery system is really amazing given the motherboard’s mid-range price point.
To keep the VRM stable and cool, ASUS has also taken the necessary precautions. Heat pipes help the two VRM heatsinks transfer heat more effectively away from the components. With ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi, VRM temps are not a concern.
Naturally, the Strix Z790-E has a ton of high-end features as well. With five M.2 slots and four SATA connectors for your drives, the storage suite is very capable. A 2.5 GbE LAN port and WiFi 6E are used for networking, which is pretty typical for this price range. Although given the pricing, we would have preferred to see a 10 Gigabit port on this motherboard.
As can be expected, there are numerous high-speed USB ports and different display options available on the back I/O. You even get an internal Thunderbolt header which is a nice touch. This motherboard has excellent connectivity features overall, as one would anticipate from a premium ASUS product.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi has absolutely remarkable aesthetics. The layout is clean and contemporary, with silver and red accents on a black PCB. This board’s RGB lighting stands out since it is hidden beneath a translucent panel that covers the I/O cover. This enhances the lighting effects and lends some personality to the board.
Additionally, the Aura Sync application offers a selection of settings for controlling the lighting effects. We do not like the general usability of this particular software, however, and it can be considered bloatware due to its performance impact.
A similar ASUS option was selected in our roundup of the best motherboards for Ryzen 5 5600X as well.
In conclusion, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi fulfills several requirements. Since it doesn’t really have any disadvantages in any single area, it is a rather well-rounded motherboard. One thing to take into account is that, in the grand scheme of things, it is still a quite pricey motherboard.
Nevertheless, it is among the best in its class and offers fantastic features and reliable performance. This is unquestionably one to take into account if you’re searching for the best overall motherboard for i5 13600K.
2. Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master
Best Premium Motherboard for i5 13600K
- 10 Gigabit Networking
- Supreme Power Delivery
- Great for Overclocking
- Superb Features
- Extremely Pricey
Form Factor: E-ATX | Chipset: Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-8000 | Video Outputs: DisplayPort | USB Ports: 14x rear IO, 9x internal | Network: 1x 10 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 4x SATA | VRM: 20+1+2 Phase
The Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master is one of the top premium motherboards for the Core i5 13600K, which is why it is our next choice. It is jam-packed with features that let you get the most performance possible out of your new CPU as well as memory. The Z790 chipset supports Intel’s most recent processors, and the robust VRM has the power to handle even the most demanding of CPUs.
The VRM is the most crucial element in CPU overclocking, and the AORUS Master excels in this area. On the Z790 platform, this 20+1+2 phase power delivery system is one of the most durable we have ever encountered. With this VRM, the i5 13600K can be overclocked to competitive levels while remaining stable and cool.
Additionally, for optimal heat dissipation, Gigabyte has provided two sizable VRM heatsinks coupled with a heat pipe for cooling. The heatsinks have a myriad of fins, which further increases the surface area.
Memory compatibility is yet another feature that expands its set of overclocking tools. As of the time of writing, the Z790 AORUS Master has the highest official memory compatibility rating of the current generation of Z790 motherboards, at up to 8000 MT/s.
Likewise, in the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master, you will find almost every feature in the book. For networking, it supports 10 GbE LAN and Wi-Fi 6E, making it the perfect choice for workstation users and creative professionals. Moreover, it provides several storage options, including four SATA interfaces and five M.2 slots for all of your NVMe drives.
Gigabyte also offers 14 rear USB ports, which is almost unheard of in desktop motherboards. This feature set is almost too good to be true, and may even be overkill for the i5 13600K.
When choosing a motherboard, you must also take the design into consideration. The RGB lighting and well-designed aesthetics of the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master are both quite remarkable. Unlike many high-end motherboards, the RGB lighting is pleasant and does not feel overpowering.
The board’s overall design is subtle and may blend well with any style of PC build. Even an office PC or workstation build can use this motherboard with a few tweaks to the RGB lighting.
More premium Gigabyte motherboards can be found in our list of the best motherboards for i7 12700K.
In essence, the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master is one of the best motherboards available for the i5 13600K and offers the highest level of quality. This is undoubtedly one to take into consideration if you want the highest overclocking performance and are ready to pay top bucks.
One of the very few drawbacks we can see with this motherboard is unquestionably the price. It is a really high-end motherboard, especially for the i5 13600K, so it can be labeled the best premium motherboard for i5 13600K as a result.
3. MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi DDR4
Best DDR4 Motherboard for i5 13600K
- Value Oriented Option
- DDR4 Support
- Excellent Power Delivery
- Understated Looks
- No RGB Lighting
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-5333 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 7x SATA | VRM: 16+1+1 Phase
We also wanted to include a DDR4 variant in our motherboard roundup for the i5 13600K, since this combination makes a lot of sense from a value perspective. Our pick for the best DDR4 motherboard for i5 13600K is the MSI MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi DDR4. Slightly annoying naming convention aside, the board packs quite a punch and actually competes with boards much more expensive when it comes to features.
A similar MSI option was also selected in our roundup of the best motherboards for i5 12600K.
The 16+1+1 phase VRM setup is particularly interesting, as it is quite a robust bit of kit for the price. Tomahawk boards are quite popular for this reason and the Z790 variant keeps the trend going. The Core i5 13600K is a perfect partner for this particular board as you can overclock the CPU to your heart’s content and the board will be able to keep up with it.
MSI has also paid attention to the thermal solution for the VRMs. The heatsink assembly is extraordinarily large and has multiple fin stacks, with a heat pipe as well. This cooling solution is more than adequate for the power delivery components of this board and the VRM setup stays cool and stable even under extender loads.
As it is a Z790 motherboard, the Tomahawk is embellished with all the modern features. The board offers four M.2 slots as well as seven SATA ports for your storage drives, and networking is handled by a combination of WiFi 6E as well as 2.5 GbE LAN. As mentioned before, this particular variant supports DDR4 memory at up to 5333 MT/s, which is the sweet spot of both performance and value.
The rear I/O is also fairly populated, with 10 USB ports of various speeds and generations. MSI has also provided HDMI and DisplayPort outputs on the rear I/O, which can come in handy when troubleshooting. There is really not a lot missing in the feature set of this particular motherboard.
Our selection of the best motherboards for Ryzen 5 7600X also has more options worth checking out!
MSI has taken an interesting approach when it comes to aesthetics. They have pivoted the Tomahawk series to an all-black design which is quite understated and subtle. This particular variant also follows the same design scheme, and it looks really decent. You don’t get any gaudy design elements or over-the-top RGB lighting, but the look of the board is still quite remarkable.
This motherboard would be an ideal fit for all-black or stealthy builds that are quite popular nowadays. It does not have any RGB lighting, however, which might be a controversial choice given your standing on the matter. In our subjective opinion, however, the board looks quite attractive in its simplicity.
All things considered, you can’t really go wrong with the MSI Z790 TOMAHAWK WiFi DDR4. It does not have any obvious weaknesses, and the overall feature set is quite compelling for the price. You might consider the DDR4 memory generation and the lack of RGB lighting as a drawback but those are pretty minor considering the overall package.
4. ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A
Best Looking Motherboard for i5 13600K
- Nice Aesthetics
- Good Storage Options
- Relatively Affordable
- Decent VRM Design
- Limited Rear I/O
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-5333 | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 10x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 6x SATA | VRM: 16+1 Phase
One of the top Z690 motherboards available is the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A, which falls into the mid-range price category. It is a fantastic option for gamers and enthusiasts alike because it provides top-notch features and performance at a fair price. Even though there are a few cutbacks here and there, the entire product is still rather excellent.
Be sure to check out our selection of the best motherboards for Ryzen 9 7950X as well for more ASUS motherboards.
In order to power the newest Intel CPUs on the Raptor Lake architecture, the ROG Strix Z690-A utilizes a 16+1 phase VRM design. This VRM can supply clean, consistent power to processors like the i5 13600K, even when they are overclocked. This power delivery configuration stands out due to the premium components and adequate cooling.
Even extended loads are not a problem for the ROG Strix Z690-A, which has a few sizable heatsinks for heat dissipation. As a result, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A’s VRM is quite well-rounded, offering excellent power delivery and overclocking capability.
Gaming and PC hardware enthusiasts will appreciate the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A motherboard’s many features, which are outstanding. The board comes with four M.2 slots as a start, allowing for more storage space and higher data transfer rates with high-speed NVMe drives.
There are ten rear USB ports in total (including two USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectors) for connectivity, along with Intel WiFi 6 and 2.5 GbE LAN for speedy networking. The default memory compatibility speed on this motherboard is just 5333 MHz for DDR5, which is one of the few complaints we have with it.
The board’s distinctive design and color scheme might be its most alluring feature. The ROG Strix Z690-A exhibits ASUS’ commitment to the ROG theme with its sophisticated design language. White and black make up the majority of the color palette, with glimpses of blue scattered over the board. The contrast of the white and blue colors on the ROG board looks beautiful and is unusual.
Naturally, the board has RGB lighting as well, which can be personalized using the Aura Sync application. This board will look fantastic in the currently very popular white-themed setups. With this board’s design, ASUS has done a phenomenal job. It earns the title of the best looking motherboard for i5 13600K in our roundup.
In conclusion, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A is a superb motherboard for anyone wishing to build a powerful gaming PC without spending a fortune on the motherboard. It is fairly priced, has a ton of features, and has fantastic VRM performance. In a world with motherboards that are extremely boring to look at, its distinctive design also adds something new.
5. ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I
Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i5 13600K
- Great for Compact Builds
- Decent Networking
- Attractive Design
- Limited Expansion
Form Factor: Mini ITX | Chipset: Z690 | Memory: 2x DIMM, 64GB, DDR5-6400 | Video Outputs: HDMI | USB Ports: 9x rear IO, 5x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 2x M.2, 4x SATA | VRM: 10+1 Phase
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I is the finest mini ITX motherboard you can consider for the i5 13600K on the outgoing Z690 platform. Compact gaming PCs are currently quite trendy, and if you’re searching for a high-end, small Z690 motherboard with all the bells and whistles, this is one of the best possible options. It also stands out from the crowd because of its distinctive design.
The ROG Strix Z690-I’s 10+1 phase arrangement and superior components make the VRM fairly durable. This guarantees stable power delivery, even while overclocking Raptor Lake CPUs that are more demanding. Although the VRM is not as powerful as some of the more costly ASUS motherboards, it still does a great job.
Large metal heatsinks are used to cool the VRM, which aids in controlling temperatures. Almost any 13th Gen CPU can be handled by the Strix Z690-I, however, there are practical limits to its power that should be respected. The Core i5 13600K is the perfect partner for this particular motherboard in this case as it is already one of the best CPUs for gaming out there.
As can be judged from its price tag, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I is a high-performance mini-ITX motherboard with a rich feature set and exceptional networking options. The motherboard has two M.2 slots for super-fast storage, WiFi 6 compatibility for lightning-fast wireless rates, and a sturdy 2.5 GbE LAN port, making it perfect for compact form factor PCs.
The motherboard also offers a wide range of connectivity options, including rear HDMI and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports for connecting high-speed peripherals. The Strix Z690-I, however, has the same drawbacks as mini-ITX motherboards in general due to their constraints. You get limited expansion slots, and the upgrade path in terms of memory is fairly underwhelming as well.
Gamers are always concerned with a product’s appearance, and the motherboard is no exception. Consumers will like the sleek and contemporary look of this motherboard. The RGB lighting adds a dash of elegance while maintaining the classic gaming aesthetic of black and silver.
The I/O section of the motherboard is also covered by a shroud, which looks nice and keeps the PCB organized. The ROG eye, which has become a recognizable design element in gaming devices, is included in the corner of the I/O cover.
Our selection of the best mini ITX motherboards for i9 9900K can also be helpful for users of that platform.
If you’re searching for a high-performance mini ITX alternative, the ROG Strix Z690-I is unquestionably one of the best mini ITX boards available and should be on your list. Due to its amazing power delivery scheme, it boasts high overclocking capability and a rich feature set that is uncommon in a mini-ITX board.
The ROG Strix Z690-I is a terrific choice and our pick for the best mini ITX motherboard for i5 13600K, with the only drawback being that it is relatively pricey.
6. MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi
Best Budget Motherboard for i5 13600K
- Quite Affordable
- Acceptable Power Delivery
- Good Networking Options
- No RGB Lighting
- Few Rear USB Ports
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400 | Video Outputs: HDMI and DisplayPort | USB Ports: 6x rear IO, 9x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 4x M.2, 6x SATA | VRM: 8+4 Phase
The MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi is one of the finest affordable motherboards currently available. Its reasonable price and capable feature set make it a desirable choice for gamers searching for a 13th Gen motherboard on a budget. The Z690-A WiFi is still a very respectable Z690 motherboard overall despite some small-scale cost-cutting.
This particular motherboard was also chosen in our selection of the best Z690 motherboards.
The MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi’s VRM, which is quite robust and easily capable of supplying adequate power to whatever CPU you could throw at it, is the first thing to note. All of the 8+4 phase VRM’s components are of a high caliber, and the cooling setup, which includes sizable heatsinks that perform a great job of dissipating heat, is more than enough.
You can be confident that your Core i5 13600K CPU will receive the power it requires for stable overclocking because the VRM performs a superb job of staying cool even while being under load. However, you have to keep the voltages within a reasonable level with this motherboard.
The MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi is a very capable motherboard made specifically for gamers when it comes to features. The board includes Wi-Fi and a 2.5 Gigabit LAN networking suite. Additionally, it has six SATA connectors for additional storage and four M.2 slots for your NVMe SSDs.
The board has six rear USB ports, which is a rather limited number for a modern Z690 motherboard in terms of connectivity. Although you may expand your connectivity using the internal headers, we prefer to see extra high-speed USB ports on the rear I/O.
The MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi is a relatively well-designed motherboard with subdued aesthetics, which brings us to the topic of appearance. Black and white are the predominant colors, with hints of silver here and there. The board complements stealthy black builds well, although it might not look ideal on other gaming PCs.
The board is noticeably devoid of RGB lighting, which is practically a requirement in today’s gaming motherboards. You might want to steer clear of this one if you enjoy RGB lighting. On the other hand, the board’s construction quality is actually rather excellent.
Another budget offering from MSI was also selected in our shortlist of the very best B550 motherboards on the market.
In conclusion, the MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi is a very capable low-cost Z690 board that fulfills many requirements. The total package is extremely impressive for the price, despite a few minor compromises, and should be taken into account by most PC builders.
If you’re a gamer looking for a black motherboard to go with your build, the MSI Pro Z690-A is a perfect option. Of course, the board deservingly earns the title of the best budget motherboard for i5 13600K in our roundup.
7. ASUS PRIME Z690-A
Best White Motherboard for i5 13600K
- Attractive White Theme
- Quite Inexpensive
- Mediocre VRM Cooling
- Limited Rear I/O
- Lack of WiFi
Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: Z690 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6000 | Video Outputs: HDMI and DisplayPort | USB Ports: 8x rear IO, 7x internal | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN | Storage: 4x M.2, 4x SATA | VRM: 16+1 Phase
The ASUS PRIME Z690-A, one of the most affordable Z690 motherboards on the market, is our final pick of the day. It’s a fantastic choice for anyone seeking a reasonably priced motherboard for the i5 13600K. The PRIME Z690-A is one of the most underappreciated Z690 motherboards due to the wealth of alternatives available, but it is definitely one to consider.
On the subject of value-oriented motherboards, don’t forget to check out our selection of the best B450 motherboards as well.
The PRIME’s VRM components are not the finest in the industry because it is a value-oriented motherboard. With the exception of a handful of the most demanding SKUs, it is nevertheless adequate for the majority of the Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake portfolio. However, you can count on the 16+1 phase VRM to manage the Core i5 13600K fairly reasonably, even when overclocked.
Furthermore, the VRM’s substantial heatsinks are connected via a heat pipe to provide adequate cooling. The board’s thermal performance isn’t as good as some of its ROG brethren, but it’s still usable for most CPUs in Intel’s lineup.
Being a budget motherboard, the ASUS PRIME Z690-A makes certain sacrifices in terms of feature set. The PRIME Z690-A does have a 2.5 GbE LAN port for fast networking, but the version we chose does not include WiFi. We believe that using this cost-cutting approach on a Z-series motherboard in 2023 is unacceptable and ASUS should have included onboard WiFi on this motherboard.
Thankfully, it can be fixed easily by picking up any one of the best PCIe WiFi cards out there.
In addition to several SATA ports for conventional hard drives and SSDs, it also features four M.2 slots for fast NVMe SSDs. The PRIME Z690-A has a total of eight rear USB ports, which is also a limited number in terms of connectivity. The addition of a Thunderbolt 4 port on the back I/O, which is unusual for inexpensive motherboards, is a nice touch.
Speaking of budget offerings, you can also explore our selection of the best budget AM4 motherboards for AMD options on a strict budget.
The ASUS PRIME Z690-A is a true beauty in terms of appearance. This may be regarded as the motherboard’s distinguishing quality, and it is unquestionably a selling point. The motherboard has a minimalist and fashionable appearance that is enhanced by its all-white color scheme. The board is a perfect match for contemporary white-themed gaming PC builds, which are growing in popularity right now.
The board also has RGB lighting that is adjustable to generate a variety of styles. The placement and layout of the RGB zones were also carefully considered. We consider the ASUS PRIME Z690-A the best white motherboard for i5 13600K on the market right now.
All things considered, the ASUS PRIME Z690-A is an excellent board for anyone seeking a high-quality Z690 motherboard without going over budget. It works fairly well in terms of power delivery and has all the features you would want in a good board. The ASUS PRIME Z690-A provides excellent value for the Core i5 13600K and is one to consider.
How we picked and tested
Finding the very best motherboards for any single CPU can be difficult, but the Core i5 13600K presents a bit more of a challenge. The motherboards in question must be able to support one of the most demanding CPUs available.
However, the task of choosing the finest motherboards for this CPU exudes nothing but enthusiasm from our highly qualified team of hardware experts.
Since pairing a locked motherboard with an unlocked CPU like the Core i5 13600K makes little sense, we only included Z-series motherboards in our roundup.
Of course, the VRM design of the relevant motherboards is where we begin. We’ve established that the Core i5 13600K is quite a demanding CPU and that it requires excellent VRM quality in order to perform to its fullest.
Additionally, the features provided by the motherboards were given top emphasis. Of course, a modern gaming and productivity-focused PC is not complete without the newest networking and storage technologies.
Although it’s a very subjective topic, we also gave aesthetics a lot of attention. Nevertheless, we monitored community opinions on the motherboard designs and changed the ranks as necessary.
The price, or more particularly, the price-to-performance ratio offered by the boards, presented the ultimate difficulty in selecting the motherboards. The newest Z790 motherboards are by no means inexpensive, but some have better value proposals than others.
Our skilled group of hardware specialists did a thorough job of testing. To create an empirical and objective conclusion on the board, the team thoroughly investigated every aspect of the motherboards.
To be more specific, we conducted comprehensive VRM testing by monitoring the temperatures of the boards’ VRMs while a Core i5 13600K processor was overclocked and kept in a closed chassis for prolonged periods of time.
We have put up a thorough and in-depth list of the top motherboards currently available for the Core i5 13600K, taking into account the results of our testing.
Core i5 13600K vs. Ryzen 5 7600X
The battle of the mid-range CPUs is now tighter than ever. The Core i5 13600K and the Ryzen 5 7600X are the latest options from Intel and AMD respectively in this category, but which one really comes out on top?
According to initial benchmark results, the Intel Core i5 13600K leads the Ryzen 5 7600X in almost all gaming scenarios. In fact, the i5 13600K often ties the departing Intel flagship, the Core i9 12900K, which is quite a feat in itself. There is no question right now that the Core i5 13600K is the fastest gaming CPU in its price class.
The trend carries on when we consider productivity applications. Although the lead is a bit more varied in this category, the Core i5 13600K can still be labeled as the “better buy” for productivity. Neither of these CPUs is actually designed for heavy productivity workloads, however.
Intel’s offering is a bit more expensive at MSRP than the Ryzen 5 7600X, but pricing is highly variable at the time of writing. Taking both CPUs at face value, the Intel Core i5 13600K still seems like a much better buy in terms of value for money.
You can pair the Core i5 13600K with much cheaper Z690 motherboards (or even the locked B and H-series options), and you can use more affordable DDR4 memory with this CPU. This offsets the small price premium that Intel is demanding over the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X.
The main advantage of the Ryzen 5 7600X in this comparison is its upgrade path. The AM5 platform will be around for at least 3 more years as promised by AMD, so we should see a few more Ryzen generations on that particular socket.
That luxury is not available to Intel 13th Gen buyers, as this is the last CPU generation on the LGA1700 socket.
DDR4 or DDR5 – Which is better?
Like the departing 12th Generation, Intel’s 13th Generation of desktop CPUs (codenamed Raptor Lake) supports both DDR4 and DDR5 memory. For potential consumers looking to acquire a motherboard for their brand-new Core i5 13600K CPU, this poses a problem.
The new Z790 motherboards are available with DDR4 and DDR5 versions, much like Z690. Though distinct models that support each memory generation are available, a specific motherboard cannot use both DDR4 and DDR5 memory at the same time. As a result, you will need to decide between the two technologies when buying your motherboard.
DDR4 memory has an established history and the benefit of being more affordable. Currently, DDR4 memory kits are significantly less expensive than comparable DDR5 memory kits, which is an advantage in terms of value. Moreover, the performance gap is not that large at the time of writing. Additionally, DDR4 motherboards for the Z690 and Z790 platforms cost less than the DDR5 versions.
Looking over to the alternative, the most recent memory technology for desktop PCs is DDR5 memory. Currently, DDR5 memory offers somewhat better performance in productivity and gaming than DDR4, but this difference will only widen as DDR5 memory develops and becomes more efficient.
Additionally, DDR5 modules consume less power since they operate at a lower voltage than comparable DDR4 modules. This memory technology also has the advantage of future-proofing, since you can use this memory kit with future generations of both Intel and AMD CPUs.
This makes the picture a bit clearer. If you have DDR4 memory lying around, then go ahead and use it for now. However, if you are building a new PC from scratch, DDR5 memory makes a bit more sense.
Shopping for a motherboard can get really tedious and complicated. The matter is made even worse by the useless marketing material and gimmicky jargon that is rampant on manufacturers’ product pages. Moreover, it can be really confusing to decide how much should you actually spend on a motherboard.
Fret not, however, as we have compiled a quick guide that will get you up to speed on all the basics of buying a motherboard for your Core i5 13600K CPU.
It often gets overlooked, but the VRM of the motherboard is actually one of the most crucial components of a PC. The motherboard’s VRM (or voltage regulator module) is responsible for supplying power to the CPU, and the quality of the VRM can directly affect the overclocking potential and stability of the system.
A good VRM should have a high number of power phases and use high-quality components. When it comes to VRMs, more is usually better. The importance of a quality VRM for overclocking should not be understated, especially in the wake of power-hungry CPUs such as the Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake.
For a midrange CPU such as the Core i5 13600K, the power demands might not be that insane. However, don’t let its value-oriented position fool you. This particular CPU can also be pretty demanding when it is overclocked and all the limits are removed.
In addition, VRMs tend to generate a lot of heat, so it’s important to choose a motherboard with effective VRM heatsinks that can effectively dissipate heat. You will be surprised by the number of motherboards on the market that do not have effective VRM cooling solutions.
Taking into account expert reviews as well as user feedback is the best way of judging the quality of a VRM setup without testing it.
When it comes to building a PC, the motherboard is one of the most critical components. It serves as the foundation for the entire system, and all of the other parts must be compatible with it. As such, it is essential to carefully consider all of the features that a motherboard offers before making a purchase.
In terms of features, one important factor to consider is networking. If you plan on using your computer for gaming or streaming, then you will need a motherboard with built-in WiFi or LAN. For a modern PC with the Core i5 13600K as its brain, you will want WiFi 6E capability as well as a 2.5 GbE LAN port at the very least.
Another factor to consider is storage. If you want to be able to install multiple storage drives or use M.2 NVMe SSDs, then you will need to make sure that your motherboard has the necessary storage connectors and ports. Nowadays, it is also important to consider the speed of the M.2 slots and the PCIe generation that they support.
Finally, you should also consider the number and type of USB ports that are available. If you want to be able to connect multiple peripherals and devices, then you will need a motherboard with plenty of USB ports. You should also consider the speed and generation of the USB ports available on the rear I/O.
By taking the time to consider all of these factors, you can be sure that you select the best motherboard for your needs.
Value for Money
Just like with any other product, value is an important consideration when it comes to buying a new motherboard. While price is certainly a key factor, it’s also important to consider the value for money and the bang for the buck factor. In other words, it’s important to find a balance between price and performance.
There are a lot of different motherboards on the market, and it can be tempting to buy the most expensive option. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best value for money. Nowadays, motherboards are actually packed with useless gimmicks and features that are not even useful for 5% of regular gamers.
Especially for a value-oriented part such as the Core i5 13600K, it makes even more sense to shop in the midrange for motherboards. You have to find the sweet spot in the price range that offers the best features for that particular price. It may not be the most expensive option or the cheapest, but it will be just right for your build.
It’s important to do your research and find a motherboard that offers the best combination of price and performance. With so many options available, you’re sure to land on a motherboard that’s perfect for your needs.
Design and Aesthetics
The design of a motherboard can be just as important as its performance. After all, no one wants to build a high-powered gaming rig only to have it look like a jumble of wires and metal. Fortunately, there are plenty of motherboard options on the market that cater to design-conscious consumers.
Modern boards often feature eye-catching colors and RGB lighting patterns that can add a touch of style to any system. In addition, many manufacturers offer customization options that allow users to choose their own color schemes and lighting effects through downloadable software.
As a result, there is no need to sacrifice aesthetics for performance when choosing a motherboard. With so many great options available, it has never been easier to build a PC that looks as good as it performs.
The upgrade path that you receive when using the Core i5 13600K to build a new system is another factor to take into account here. Any system you build, regardless of platform, should take the upgrade path into account, but with this particular CPU it is slightly more crucial.
The Raptor Lake series of Intel CPUs is the final official series of CPUs for the LGA 1700 socket. Intel only keeps a socket around for a maximum of two CPU generations, and this one is at its end. You won’t be able to upgrade your Z690 or Z790 motherboards to newer CPUs because Intel won’t support any more CPUs on this specific socket (and consequently the chipsets).
The 13th Gen Intel processors are the last option for the current Z790/Z690 motherboards. Later on, if you want to update to a newer CPU (like Intel’s 14th Gen), you will also need a new motherboard.
Furthermore, DDR5 memory will probably be the only type supported by the upcoming Intel generation. This is yet another aspect of future-proofing to take into account. You should save the inconvenience of changing your memory kit in the future by purchasing a DDR5 memory kit now for your 13th Gen machine.
This aspect is also one area where the Intel 13th Gen CPUs fall behind their AMD competition, the AMD Ryzen 7000 series.
Therefore, before making a final decision on the motherboard, it’s crucial to take the system’s future upgrade path into account. If you are still unsure about your motherboard choice, don’t worry. With the help of our comprehensive motherboard buying guide, you can be sure to find a motherboard that fits both your budget and your needs.
Best Motherboards for i5 13600K - FAQs
You can definitely use i5 13600K on Z690. The 13th Generation Intel CPUs are compatible with the 600 series motherboards that were released for 12th Generation CPUs, and vice versa. Both the 12th and 13th Generation CPUs use the LGA 1700 socket.
The i5 13600K is better than Ryzen 5 7600X when it comes to gaming, according to initial benchmarks. The two CPUs trade blows in productivity tasks, and the Ryzen 5 7600X has the advantage of a future proof platform as well as a slightly cheaper price tag.
The Z790 chipset cannot be considered future proof since Intel will not support any more CPU generations on this particular chipset. In fact, Intel is moving away from the LGA 1700 socket altogether, so the next generation of Intel CPUs will not be compatible with Z790 or Z690.
You don’t really need a Z790 motherboard for i5 13600K. The CPU can also be used on the older Z690 platform. Moreover, you can also use this CPU on B and H-series motherboards, but that is not advisable since those chipsets do not support CPU overclocking.
The i5 13600K comes very close to the Core i9 12900K in gaming performance. It does match the outgoing flagship in a couple of gaming scenarios, but that is not enough to declare it the winner. This performance jump is still quite a feat in itself.