If you are going to build a high-performance gaming rig with core i9 12900k and looking for the best motherboard for i9 12900k then this guide is for you.
The new Intel Core i9-12900k has put up a storm in the market of mainstream processors. Intel has certainly brought forth a serious competition to the AMD Ryzen and significantly surpassed its predecessor the 8900K. It is the most awaited processor of recent time and has hit its mark with a bang.
Intel i9 12900k processor is a powerful processor and comes with 8 cores and 16 threads and can boost the clock speed up to 5.0 GHz.
The Intel i9 12900k is a powerful processor and it requires a powerful motherboard. To get the best performance, you need a good z690 chipset based motherboard. There are lots of Z690 motherboards available in the market by ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Asrock. So, it’s not easy to find the best one.
In this post, I have picked the top 8 best Z690 motherboards which are best for the i9 12900k processors. I have picked i9 12900k motherboards from most popular brands Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI.
Note: Don’t look at the ranking. All motherboards are good for the i9 12900k processor. Just pick a mobo based on the features you need and price.
Best Motherboard For i9 12900K
|#1 Gigabyte Aorus Master||Z690||ATX|
|#2 Gigabyte Aorus Ultra||Z690||ATX|
|#3 Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi||Z690||ATX|
|#4 Asus Rog Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)||Z690||ATX|
|#5 Asus ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING||Z690||ATX|
|#6 MSI MEG Z690 Unify||Z690||E-ATX|
|#7 MSI MEG Z690 ACE||Z690||ATX|
|#8 MSI MPG Z690 Gaming PRO Carbon AC||Z690||ATX|
Reviews of the best motherboard for i9 12900K
Here I have picked 7 ATX motherboards and 1 E-ATX motherboard. All motherboards are under $300 except MSI MEG Z690 Godlike. You will easily get a good motherboard for i9 12900k between $180 to $300 bucks.
1. Gigabyte Aorus Master – Editor’s Choice
If you are looking for a gigabyte motherboard for i9 12900k then at first, I have Gigabyte Aorus Master for you. This board is great for overclocking because of the powerful 12 +2 Phase IR Digital VRM.
Gigabyte has made a major impact by adding the advanced thermal design for powerful heat-sink up to 30%. For this the Z690 Aorus Master is loaded with the Fins-Array heat-sink, a direct touch heat pipe and a thermal base plate altogether making it very useful for pro gamers, overclockers, and computer enthusiasts.
The other ports of the device are well layered with Durable protection. Integrated I/O shield, memory armor, PCIe armor, back plate, etc are used for the strong foundation with the motherboard.
For durability of M.2 SSD drives, they infused with an advanced thermal solution. The M.2 triple thermal guard dissipates the heat and prevents the SSDs from overheating and throttling.
Coming on to the audio quality, the Aorus Master has the ESS SABRE ES9118 HiFi Soc and the latest Realtek ALC1220-VB codec is equipped for superior audio performance and Surround sound. Moreover, for enhancing your experience even further and to maintain the over-all power surge, the WIMA and Nichicon Fine gold capacitors are used.
2. Gigabyte Aorus Ultra
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Ultra is another exceptional motherboard from the house of GIGABYTE. It can be said that Z690 Aorus Ultra is second best motherboard for Intel i9 12900k after Aorus MASTER among other motherboards of GIGABYTE. Its price may be lower compared to the Aorus MASTER but in terms of performance it comes just as close. This motherboard has lot of features. Just like the Aorus Master, the Z690 Aorus Ultra is designed to provide performance with durability.
It posses the advanced thermal solution with multi cut heat sink tech connected with direct touch heat pipe. Moreover the thermal pads add to the heat sink with MOSFET cooling performance. This feature is desired by many pro gamers and enthusiasts which is only available on this series. The onboard WI-FI module with antenna provides speed up to 1.73 Gbps so that you can enjoy smooth video streaming and high quality gaming experience.
This motherboard is designed with 12+1 phase VRM which will provide all the power to motherboard’s core and the Intel i9 12900k chipset for incredible precision in performance. The digital controller is designed with PWM controller and DrMOS.
The presence of 5 Smart Fan technology features multiple temperature sensors that maintains the temperature of the motherboard giving stable performance. The Smart Fan 5 also allows the user to reflect the thermal sensors at multiple positions by interchanging the fan headers and monitor the temperature every second.
There is no USB charge booster offered in this motherboard. The front USB is 3.1 GEN Type C headers. For protection of these ports, they are layered with ultra durable protection. The only concern about this motherboard is the use of old BIOS, Gigabyte UEFI BIOS UI comes with controller but is not expected with such an advanced motherboard. It could be a small concern if you are not well accustomed with the BIOS setup.
Aorus ultra motherboard uses Full RGB LEDs for coloring with RGB controller so that you can design your motherboard with bold colors of your own choice. The triple M.2 with thermal guards the motherboard prevents bottlenecks and throttling of the M.2 SSD devices. The audio system is made better by the use of ALC 1220- VB for both rear, front giving superior sound quality without any distortion.
If you are not a serious game freak and don’t need extreme over-clocking features then this motherboard is perfect for you. With great stability, performance, solid VRM and decent over-clocking this is the best motherboard for i9 12900k in a medium to low price range.
3. Gigabyte Aorus PRO WIFI
The Z690 Aorus PRO WIFI motherboard is a middle end model of the Z690 series. Just like the Aorus Ultra, this Aorus PRO WIFI is also a great motherboard for VRM as its CPU power phase has 12+1 phase Digital VRM with DrMOS providing full power to the processor and other power hungry devices in the computer. Along 12+1 phases the Aorus PRO WIFI has additional 8+4 solid pin CPU power connectors for absolute performance.
The onboard Wave 2 Intel CNVi 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi with the antenna offers high speed connectivity without disruption on video streaming and online gaming. It can provide speed up to 1.73 Gbps.
For protection and durability of these ports are layered with Ultra durable protection like I/O shield, memory armor, PCIe armor giving a solid base. The dual M.2 slots are protected with advanced thermal guard to reduce the SSDs heating issues.
Advanced thermal design consists of multi cut heat-sink, heat-pipe and Smart Fan 5. The Smart Fan 5 has multiple sensors that allow the user to monitor the temperature and control the fans for superior performance on long run. Just like other Gigabyte Z690 Aorus motherboards the given BIOS software is outdated and not very user friendly.
The onboard RGB digital LEDs enhance the beautification of the motherboard and it can be controlled with RGB Fusion application. The ALC 1220-VB audio system provides quality sound experience with 114 dB front / 110 dB rear. There are lots of USB ports provided but possess the booster charging of devices.
Altogether the Z690 Aorus Pro WIFI is a big deal in a small value and is best for gamers and enthusiasts who like over-clocking, gaming etc. and the solid VRM design makes it a powerful motherboard for the Intel i9 12900k processor.
4. Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)
The Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero is truly a hero in terms of performance and a flagship motherboard. Products from the Asus do guarantees performance that is why Asus has a big name in the market of computers. Asus ROG MAXIMUS XI Hero provides superior connectivity with the onboard 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It has USB 3.1 GEN 2 ports and dual M.2 for fast expansion SSDs. The best feature added to this motherboard Revamped 5-way optimization technology that allows automated tuning and full manual control over the ROG UEFI BIOS. Moreover, it automatically fine-tunes every aspect like memory to audio that keeps up the speed working.
This VRM of the device is made with 4 phase dual stage MOSFETs and 8+4 pins are used to distribute power all over the system. For over-clocking the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero is equipped with BIOS, LLC levels, an onboard clock generator that generates dynamic clocks for the core and can increase the memory up to 5 GHz for tremendous gaming experience. The LN2 over-clocker a LED debug light is also added.
For cooling the system the motherboard has FanXpert 4 which provides dynamic cooling to the system using 8 PMW fan headers and thermal sensors. This fan can be monitored and controlled by the FanXpert 4 or UEFI BIOS. The DDR4 memory can produce 4400+ MHz over-clocking. The I/O shield is pre-mounted. There is a small issue with the M.2 slot as the manufacturer over tightens one of the M.2 slot screw. So you might need to loosen it before mounting.
Another great aspect of the ROG MAXIMUS HERO is the use of Asus Optimem ll increases the efficiency of the motherboard by carefully maps the signal pathways. For enhanced over-clocking T-Topology layout is also added. With the presence of AURA Sync one can easily personalize the motherboard’s addressable headers with RGB multiple color lighting synchronization and the connected devices which supports Aura Sync.
Asus has used S1220 codec with Supreme FX integrated audio solution for neutral detailed sound. For realistic sound through gaming headset the front panel output is driven by dual OP amps. Another little drawback of these is the absence of anti-static bag for support.
The Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero is a powerful motherboard that is designed for over-clocking and performance. The gaming experience on this motherboard can be matched by very few in a mid price range. It is the best value for money motherboard you can have for your i9 12900k processor.
5. Asus ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING
The Asus ROG Strix Z690-E gaming is a flagship motherboard of the Strix series for gaming enthusiasts. There are many similarities between this ROG Strix Z690-E and MAXIMUS XI HERO. To maximize the speed and connectivity 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac onboard Wi-Fi is provided along with dual M.2 ports for SSDs. Moreover USB 3.1 Gen 2 is also provided in the motherboard. The memory slot provided is DDR4 with O.C of 4266+ MHz. The 5 way optimization has been revamped for the Z690 series so that it not only can give dynamic control over the system but also intelligently over-clock the CPU based on smart prediction and thermal telemetry. With this new AI suite over-clocking results are made easy which is a desirable feature for pro gamers.
The VRM of this mother board is 4 phase dual stage VRM. The cooling system of the ROG Strix Z690 series is also tremendous. The motherboard is configured with FanXpert 4 or UEFI BIOS. Along with these there are dedicated PWM/DC fan headers for cooling the CPU and water-cooling setups as well. The presence of Asus Optimum ll provides more stability to the DRAM over-clocking. For enhanced protection, ROG I/O shield is matte black and is pre-mounted for faster installation.
Gamers Guardian adds longevity with safe slots, ESD guards and DRAM Over current protection. The design of the ROG Strix motherboard is DIY friendly that ensures the safety of the whole device with Safe slots for stronger base and device retention. The Q-DIMM clips are super in securing the memory modules. The MemOK II fixes the boot failures during the over-clocking phase.
In audio section the same S1220A codec is used with Supreme FX for dynamic sound with detailed signature. The pristine audio output is great for gamers using headphones and microphones. The design is also enhanced manifold with the Asus AURA Sync RGB lighting. This application allows the user to personalize the coloring of the motherboard and can be synced with other sync enabled Asus products.
This motherboard from Asus is decent motherboard for moderate users. The price is little bit more compared to other motherboards having similar attributes. But in terms of performance and stability it will never give up on you.
6. MSI MEG Z690 Unify
The MSI MEG Z690 GODLIKE is indeed a beast of motherboard that offers performance like a GOD, hence the name. No other motherboard can even match its performance in terms of hardcore gaming and high level professional works. Joining hands with the i9 12900k it creates a paradise for gaming enthusiasts. Although the price is very high but if you want unmatched performance then this motherboard is for you.
For super speed and connectivity it uses the Killer tech Wireless AC 1550 Wi-Fi along with 2 x Killer E2500 LAN. There are dual USB 3.1 Type C Gen 2 front ports. There is a turbo U.2 SSD port for high speed data transferring, triple turbo M.2 with M.2 Shield Frozr (thermal pads). With all this features the user is certain to have extreme high speed gaming experience. The motherboard is loaded with functions like extra BIOS button, CMOS button, and game boost button to choose one of 8 preset functions for performance. The memory slot is steel plated for durability and has over-clocking speed up to 4600+ MHz.
The MSI MEG Z690 GODLIKE also has a customizable OLED display onboard for displaying system status, debug codes, hardware monitor and etc. The MSI MEG Z690 GODLIKE uses 16 phases VRM gives extreme performance with i9 12900k processor. The LN2 cooling system works very fine with the extreme over-clocking. This heat-sink system is very solid giving the whole setup required stability and precision.
Coming on to the lighting, it uses Mystic light infinity for personalizing the PC with 16.8 million colors and 29 effects through the Mystic light app. The RGB LEDs or RAINBOW LEDs can be stripped with addressable headers for coloring the PC. Moreover other devices connected to the motherboard can be synced with Mystic light Sync. The audio output jack is thumping 6.3. It uses the ESS AUDIO DAC with ESS amplifiers. The 32 bit or 7.1 HD audio output has built-in audio processors, amplifiers and WIMA capacitors giving a extremely realistic sound experience.
Hands down it is the best motherboard for i9 12900k processor by far in market. All the features offered make the MSI MEG Z690 GODLIKE a hardcore gaming beast. The motherboard provides a heavenly gaming experience and makes the user feel like a GOD.
7. MSI MEG Z690 ACE
This motherboard from the house of MSI is designed with precision for hardcore gamers, extreme over-clockers and power hungry enthusiasts. This motherboard is also loaded with lots of features making it one of the desirable motherboard.
For connectivity it uses the same Killer tech, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi along with 1 x Killer E2500 LAN, used in MSI GODLIKE. The front ports are dual USB 3.1 Type C Gen 2. Triple Turbo M.2 slot comes with M.2 Frozr joins the SSDs heat-sink and prevents the throttling and bottlenecks during high speed data transfer. But only one heat-sink is given for 3 M.2 slots. CMOS, BIOS flashback buttons, power button, reset button and Over-clocking knobs are provided on the body. The over-clocking speed can range up to 4600 MHz.
Mystic light infinity offers 16.8 million colors and 29 effects to personalize the coloring of RGB addressable headers. The audio codec uses 7.1 HD audio with Nachimic 3 and uses 6.3 audio jack.
This motherboard is designed especially for hardcore gaming so one can have superior gaming experience without any doubt.
8. MSI MPG Z690 GAMING PRO CARBON AC
This is a lower end motherboard from MSI but still can be very good competition for its associates. PRO CARBON AC has the potential to satisfy the need of gamers and over-clockers. The over-clocking feature includes 11+2 VRM phase with 8 PWM fan headers for keeping the system cool. A water pump header with 2 amp provides full thrust over the pump. As a lower end device the motherboard consumes more power than others.
It can over-clock up to 4400 MHz. There are 2 x M.2 turbo slots with speed up to 32gb/s and has M.2 Shield Frozr. Heat-sink pipe is attached to the second M.2 port keeping it cooler while high speed data transferring. It uses Intel Gigabit LAN and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for connectivity speed of 1.7Gbps with the MI-MIMO tech. The I/O shield is pre installed for protection from the damage caused by electrostatic discharge and longer durability. The device is not equipped with any power, reset or over-clocking buttons which can be an issuse.
With the Mystic light app one can choose between 16.8 million colors and 17 LED effects to design your PC lights. For audio the MSI MPG CARBON AC uses the ALC1220 audio codec with Nahimic 3 for powerful immersive audio quality. The dedicated amplifiers and capacitors add to the overall sound experience of the gamers.
MSI MPG Z690 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is a decent motherboard with very little features but offers a very stable performance. It is best suited for amateur to moderate gamers.
I hope I am able to help you to find out the best motherboard for i9 12900k. In my opinion Gigabyte Aorus Master would be perfect if you wannaa i9 12900k motherboard by Gigabyte. Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero is another great option. And if you love MSI then you can go for MSI Godlike if you odn’t have any budget issues. But if you have limited budget then gof for MSI MEG Z690 ACE.
Mike is an Editor & Writer at Engageexpo covering Technology, Smart Home Gadgets, and Gaming. He reviewed Gaming Gadgets, Accessories, Pc & Electronics Components, and Smart Home Gadgets. He is also an Avid Gamer and Building Gaming PC since 2009.