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Best Motherboards for i5 8600K

Taking the plunge on buying a CPU needs a lot of thought. Undoubtedly, the choice of motherboard is a direct consequence of the choice of your CPU. The motherboard is one of the quintessential parts of any system. This choice may not affect your frame rates or computer performance, but it does affect the overall stability of the system. Therefore, in this article, I have listed six MOBOs that caught my eye as potential centerpieces for your next PC.

6 Best Motherboards for i5-8600K

Product ImageNameForm Factor
Price Wi-Fi RAM Slots USB Ports
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING ATX $232✔️43 x USB 3.1
6 x USB 3.0
6 x USB 2.0
ASUS ROG Maximus X HeroASUS ROG Maximus X Hero
ATX$172✔️49 x USB 3.1
6 x USB 2.0
ASUS PRIME Z370-AASUS PRIME Z370-AATX$13248 x USB 3.1
6 x USB 2.0
ASRock Z370 EXTREME4ASRock Z370 EXTREME4
ATX $198✔️46 x USB 3.1
6 x USB 2.0
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7ATX$178410 x USB 3.1
4 x USB 2.0
MSI Z370-A PROMSI Z370-A PROATX$12048 x USB 3.1
6 x USB 2.0


1. ASUS ROG Strix  

Z370-E Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming

ASUS is no stranger to the motherboard space. Their ROG lineup of components is aimed at the enthusiast market. Hence, it laded with top-of-the-line features and overclocking support. Also, it’s highly customizable and is the near-perfect platform to get the best out of your I5-8600K

ASUS is no stranger to the motherboard space. Their ROG lineup of components is aimed at the enthusiast market. Hence, it laded with top-of-the-line features and overclocking support. Also, it’s highly customizable and is the near-perfect platform to get the best out of your I5-8600K

This MOBO comes in the standard ATX form factor. Thus, it is a perfect option for high and mid-tower builds. Besides, it is handily equipped with four RAM slots for a maximum of 64 GB RAM. A whopping 7 PCIe slots make it ideal for a multi-GPU setup.  

Furthermore, there are two M.2 storage expansion slots with one of them having its own heat sink. This helps with keeping the M.2 card running cool under loads.
This is coupled with six SATA ports for excellent storage flexibility. If you’re looking to push the i5-8600K to its limits, this product lets you do just that. Apart from this, ASUS has provided an ample array of air and water cooling options. My favorite feature is the inclusion of a USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller for the front panel as well.
At a listed price of under $200, this board gives you the best bang for your buck. Overclocking enthusiasts can benefit from the host of features at its disposal. In addition, the 3D printing features and full Aura Sync compatibility adds a new layer of personalization. The presence of only one lighting bar can be a problem for some. However, ASUS compensates for this by dotting the board with loads of RGB headers.

Pros

✔️ Inclusion of cooling for the notoriously hot M.2 cards
✔️ On-board Wi-Fi is a welcome addition
✔️ Ample cooling flexibility
✔️ USB 3.1 Gen 2 controllers in the front and rear
✔️ Price was slashed during the time of the review, giving it amazing performance

Cons

❌ Only one RGB element on the board – limited customizability
❌ OC performance was average
❌ At the launch price, it is not competitive in terms of performance


2. ASUS ROG

Maximus X Hero

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero

The Maximus variant of ASUS’ ROG line is the upper echelon of their motherboards. It caters to the bravest of overclockers who want to extract the maximum from their unlocked CPUs. If you are after an absolute, no-compromises setup, this product will not lead you astray.

This ATX board has all the bells-and-whistles you will need. This makes it an attractive option for an enthusiast-grade mid-tower PC. It has four RAM slots to give a maximum capacity of 64 GB. Moreover, six PCIe slots make a multi-GPU setup a breeze. Two M.2 slots and six SATA ports round up a pretty comprehensive array of storage options. There are also plenty of overclocking-centric features to assist you. A switch for LN2 mode, one-click overclock and a dedicated BIOS flashback button highlight the overclocking capability of the board. Continuing on its overclockability, ASUS has thrown in a healthy mix of cooling options to keep your system running cool. Just like in the Strix MOBO discussed previously, I am a fan of the included USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller. You can use USB type C devices on the front itself, instead of reaching to the back.

If your wallet is no constraint, there is little stopping you from purchasing this. Notably, it won PCGamer’s ‘Motherboard of the Year’ in 2017. All this is to say that ASUS has done a brilliant job with this product. With exemplary integration with Aura Sync and mounts for 3D printed parts, you can make your PC truly your own. My bottom line is this: you cannot go wrong in picking this MOBO for your next build.

Pros

✔️ Suited for extreme OC
✔️ Full RGB customization options
✔️ On-board Wi-Fi is a welcome addition
✔️ USB 3.1 Gen 2 controllers in the front and rear
✔️ Ample cooling options

Cons

❌ Features are a little overkill for the i5-8600K
❌ Expensive



3. ASUS Prime

Z370-A

ASUS PRIME Z370-A

This is yet another board from ASUS, clearly showing their dominance in all price categories. Their Prime Z370-A is a solid product, albeit confusingly priced at the time of review. Nonetheless, it is a product worth checking out.
This ATX board is a compelling product if you’re looking for a full or mid-tower build. As is the case with the previous boards, this one too has four RAM slots.  

It has one more PCIe slot when compared to the ASUS ROG Maximus Hero. It supports two M.2 SSD’s with a heat sink provided for one of them. As a result, you get reliable storage performance at all times. Furthermore, it has six available SATA ports for a maximum of 8 mass storage devices. This should satisfy almost all use-cases. I am also a fan of the one-click overclock feature that makes overclocking accessible to everyone. However, at a listed price of over $250 (at the time of writing this review), the lack of LN2 support is puzzling. Cooling options are plentiful with support for air and water cooling builds.


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At the listed price, I would have liked to see more from this product. It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of features and performance/$. Overclockability is its strength, but there are one too many flaws that cannot be accepted for the price. I would suggest that you keep a watch on the price of the product. If ever the price nears the $200 mark, it occupies a commanding position in terms of value.

Pros

✔️ RGB lighting offers a unique aesthetic
✔️ USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller in the rear I/O panel
✔️ Easy OC for beginners
✔️ Ample air cooling flexibility
✔️ Solid XMP overclock

Cons

❌ Not competitively priced
❌ Only 6 USB ports in the rear panel


4. ASRock

Z370 EXTREME4

ASRock-logo

ASRock Z370 EXTREME4

This product is a refreshing change from the previous ASUS products. This is ASRock’s foray into the high-end motherboard market. In the high-end MOBO market, you are spoilt for choice, and this just muddles it up further. Ultimately, the decision boils down to the trade-offs you are willing to make for the price.

This is yet another ATX board that suits full and mid-tower builds. It has a maximum RAM capacity of 64 GB. It has six PCIe slots with three of them being x16. Hence, the cards can utilize the extended bandwidth available. For the price, this is something you must expect to see in a MOBO. Storage options are exceptional with a whopping eight SATA ports to go along with two M.2 storage slots. Thus, even the storage-junkie in you can rest easy, knowing that you can fit in about as much storage as you might need. The inclusion of Thunderbolt support caught my eye. It sets itself apart from the rest of the competition and adds a little more value for money. Finally, adequate cooling options are provided all over the board to sustain low temperatures even under high loads. 

ASRock has tried to take aim at the big boys sitting atop the MOBO market. It is priced as such and has features to match the price tag. The lack of onboard WiFi is disheartening, but improved storage capabilities and an above-average overclocking performance make up for it. In short, if you’re not a ROG loyalist, there is no reason to not look in the direction of ASRock’s flagship offering.

Pros

✔️ Excellent storage options
✔️ Customizable RGB lighting 
✔️ Thunderbolt support is a welcome addition
✔️ Reasonable overclocking capabilities
✔️ Solid overall build quality

Cons

❌ No Post-Code readout to help overclockers
❌ For the price, onboard Wi-Fi should have been included


5. GIGABYTE

Z370 AORUS Gaming 7

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7

The Aorus line of motherboards is Gigabyte’s flagship product stack. It packs a punch in terms of features and compromises on very little. Hence, the attractive price tag invites you to take a look at what it has to offer, for your i5-8600K build.

Gigabyte’s ATX MOBO comes with four RAM slots for a theoretical limit of 64 GB. It supports XMP profiles for memory overclocking greater than 4133 MHz. Similar to most other boards in this roundup, there are six PCIe slots for expansion cards. Three M.2 slots are the highlight of the storage options. With the decreasing $/GB value of SSDs, the three M.2 slots can be populated with high-speed storage for a better experience. This in addition to the standard six SATA ports that I have come to expect from a board of this size. Overclocking performance is solid and it is assisted by features like Turbo-B clock. Moreover, there are ample fan and pump headers for cooling flexibility. I dig the inclusion of USB 3.1 Gen 1 port for the front panel. This enhances the overall experience of the user. 

Gigabyte has compromised on very little in this product. While the high launch price might not justify some compromises, the listed price offers great value for money. The RGB lighting is surreal and you can achieve a pretty significant overclock on your unlocked CPU.

Pros

✔️ Excellent upper mid-range option
✔️ 3 M.2 slots at this price is a good addition
✔️ USB 3.1 Gen 2 controllers for front and rear I/O
✔️ Full RGB customization 
✔️ Ample cooling options

Cons

❌ Lack of internal USB headers
❌ There is more value to be found at the launch price

6. MSI

Z370-A PRO

MSI Z370-A PRO

This board is for those who are on a shoestring budget. MSI catered this board to businesses looking to utilize the power of the 8th generation Intel processors without entirely breaking the bank. While it does not come with any fancy RGB lights or extreme overclocking performance, this board is a worthy contender if you’re looking for a cheap option that gets the job done.

This board is for those who are on a shoestring budget. MSI catered this board to businesses looking to utilize the power of the 8th generation Intel processors without entirely breaking the bank. While it does not come with any fancy RGB lights or extreme overclocking performance, this board is a worthy contender if you’re looking for a cheap option that gets the job done. 

This ATX MOBO offers a no-frills option to an amateur builder or business. It still comes with four RAM slots to cap the maximum possible RAM at 64 GB. Depending on your use-case you can populate the six PCIe slots with expansion cards of your choosing. Importantly, MSI has even managed to include an M.2 slot for high-speed storage. I was pleasantly surprised to see this given the lowly price point. Add to that, the standard array of six SATA ports and storage is no longer a concern. Overclocking is certainly possible, but you’re not going to break any records with this board. 

If you’re after a no-nonsense platform to house your i5-8600K, the MSI Z370-A Pro offers that at a budget. It has a good array of storage flexibility with a bonus of one M.2 slot. In essence, go for this board if you are just taking your baby steps into PC building, or if you are someone who does not care much about flashy lights and extreme overclocks.

Pros

✔️  Great option for budget-conscious builders
✔️ Inclusion of M.2 at this price
✔️ Overclocking is possible, although not aggressively

Cons

❌ Customizability in the form of RGB lighting is the trade-off

Conclusion

The boards discussed here pretty much fall in the same price bracket and hence there is not much differentiating one from the other. Consequently, brand loyalty and other components you plan on putting in your system can play a critical role in your choice. 

Finally, all of this boils down to your use-cases. Are you a serious gamer? Are you a creative professional? Or are you just a casual user? The answers to these questions will give you a ballpark estimate of where you should start with.

Mark is our in-staff writer based in Sacramento. He loves movies and probably hates the music that you like. You can tell him everything you despise about his reviews via email MarkHackett@gotreviewed.com.

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