Before Intel announced the Core i9-13900KS, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and the i9-13900K competed head-to-head to achieve the title of the best performer. However, Intel has surprised the community by bringing a solid product that changed the game for AMD. The LGA1700-compatible Core i9-13900KS is considerably better than the Core i9-13900K because of the superior silicon wafer, which allows the Core i9-13900KS to achieve better speeds of up to 6 GHz without even overclocking.
So, for such a beast of a processor, you will need the Best Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS, and this article encompasses all those motherboards. Before hopping on directly to motherboards, let’s see what specifications we get from the Core i9-13900KS.
The i9-13900KS comes with 24 cores, including 8 P-cores and 16 E-cores, 32 threads, and a turbo frequency of 5.8 GHz. Coming to the caches, the i9-13900KS possesses an L1 cache of 80K, an L2 cache of 2MB, and an L3 cache of 36 MB. The max turbo power rating of the processor is 252W, which equals the i7-13700KF rating.
Here are our top picks summarized and compared to each other in a table.
Last update on 2023-03-20
Best Motherboards For i9-13900KS
Undoubtedly, the Core i9-13900KS is currently the best processor in the market. But to run the best CPU in the market, you would need a robust motherboard with a strong base to function fully. One of the reasons behind that is its high power draw, which requires a motherboard with high-quality power management to support the Core i9-13900KS fully.
There are tons of motherboards available in the market from well-known brands manufacturing these motherboards, and sometimes it becomes very hard to know which one is the best. Keeping all those things in mind, we have reviewed several motherboards in multiple categories and came up with the titles such as the best high-end, best overall performing, or the best value motherboards so that you can get an idea of your final build performance.
These are our picks for the Best Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS:
- GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX
- MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WIFI
- ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI
- ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE
- ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WIFI Mini
- ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO
Also Read: 6 BEST Z790 Motherboards
GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX
Best Overall Motherboard For i9-13900KS
Chipset: Intel Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-7600+(OC) | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 9x USB 3.2, 8x USB 2.0 | Network: 1x Realtek 2.5GbE LAN, Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 | Storage: 4x M.2, 6x SATA
- 16+1+2 power phases
- Value for money
- PCIe 5.0 x16 slot
- No USB 4 Thunderbolt port
GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX may not be among the most expensive Z790 motherboards, but it is one of the best all-rounder motherboards you’ll find for i9-13900KS available in the market. The Z790 AORUS ELITE AX is a midrange Z790 motherboard with many notable quirks and features to keep you on your toes.
Almost all motherboards in the GIGABYTE’s AORUS ELITE AX line-up have a similar look and feel. Like others, the Z790 AORUS ELITE AX is covered in a splash of black with the AORUS branding on the I/O shield and M.2 thermal guard. Although its aesthetics are not unique, it looks splendid.
The GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX features a top-tier VRM design and ensures the maximum overclocking performance of the Core i9-13900KS; it has a 16+1+2 Hybrid Digital VRM design with 70A Smart Power Stages. Where 16 VCore Twin Phases release the full potential of multi-core CPU performance, 1 VCCGT phase sustains CPU-integrated GPU performance, and 2 VCCAUX phases that supply stable power for CPU-integrated PCIe and Memory controller. On top of that, fully covered MOSFET heatsinks having up to 4x larger surface area than traditional heatsinks combined with 6mm heat pipes and 7.5 W/mK thermal conductivity pads enhance thermal efficiency for a smooth performance experience.
The motherboard also offers many high-speed storage options; you get 4x M.2 slots and 6x SATA ports, but sadly all M.2 slots are based on PCIe 4.0, and none of them support PCIe 5.0. But PCIe 4.0 M.2 drives justify the price tag of GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX, and it’s not like PCIe 4.0 is slow in any way. Furthermore, M.2 Thermal Guard III keeps the M.2 drives cool and breezy at all times, which reduces throttling and bottleneck caused by the high-speed and large capacity of M.2 SSDs, especially under a heavy workload.
The Z790 AORUS ELITE features a 2X Copper PCB, which has a high thermal conductivity and a low impedance, effectively lowering the components’ temperature. Furthermore, all memory routing is tucked inside the PCB inner layer and covered by a thick ground layer to guard against outside influence. Additionally, thanks to low-loss PCB material, the signal loss inside the PCB is significantly lower, and DDR5 high signal transmission speed is maintained.
Also Read: BEST DDR5 RAM
Regarding the latest and greatest graphic cards, the Z790 AORUS ELITE AX hits the right spot and offers a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot, in addition to a PCIe 4.0 x16 and a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, where PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 slots are running at x4. If you only want to use one graphic card, install it in the x16 slot to get the most out of it. The cutting-edge GPUs that manufacturers will produce in the next years will be compatible to the fullest extent with PCIe 5.0 Design, which allows doubling the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0. On top of that, the stainless-steel PCI-e shielding from GIGABYTE offers increased tensile strength.
The GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX supports up to 4x DDR5 memory modules, supporting up to 128GB of total system memory; you can get a maximum of 7600 MHz frequency on each DIMM module when memory overclocking. If you are into memory overclocking, all you need to do is make sure the memory modules you select are XMP capable, and the XMP function is enabled on the AORUS ELITE AX motherboard, and you will be able to boost your memory frequency up to 7600 MHz for blazing fast memory performance.
The GIGABYTE AORUS ELITE AX delivers an up-to-date networking solution with WiFi 6E 802.11ax for wireless networking and 2.5G LAN that provides up to 2.5 GbE network connectivity. Additionally, AORUS ELITE AX provides midrange USB connectivity; it includes 10x USB ports on the back panel and 7x USB ports through internal headers, with the latest port on the rear panel being USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 aside from 3x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, 5x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports and 8x USB 2.0 ports.
What We Liked:
What’s not to like about the GIGABYTE AORUS ELITE AX? Pretty much everything you get in this midrange package is top-notch. The sturdy 16+1+2 power phases give you decent overclocking headroom and a plethora of cooling features to keep you relaxed and free of worry. Besides, you also get a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot that will have you covered for a few generations of upcoming GPUs. With the GIGABYTE AORUS ELITE AX, all your requirements will be addressed in a price tag that will not make you broke, thus ranking it as one of the Best Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS.
What We Disliked:
For a midrange motherboard, there’s not much to complain about the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX; we could have used a PCIe 5.0 M.2 drive and a USB 4 thunderbolt port. But needless to say, this would have increased the price tag, which could push it out of the midrange segment and make it out of budget for many enthusiasts among our audience.
Why We Picked It?
To cater to the needs of a broader audience, a jack-of-all-trades i9-13900KS motherboard seems a necessity, and after inspecting many motherboards that could satisfy this category, we selected GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX to be the highlight of this article, as it stands out the most among them with a pretty decent price tag. It has everything a gamer could need and more, thus making it an amazing choice for all the latest Intel processors.
Who’s It For?
Anyone searching for a decent motherboard for the Core i9-13900KS that performs great in all categories and depicts a clear image of an all-rounder motherboard can count on the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX for all his wants and needs.
VerdictGiven its outstanding features, the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX is undoubtedly the Best Overall Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS. It is an excellent choice for any performance enthusiast who needs a great motherboard for the i9-13900KS processor at a reasonable price tag.
Read Our Full Review Of The GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX Motherboard.
MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi
Best High-End Motherboard For i9-13900KS
Chipset: Intel Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-7600+(OC) | Video Outputs: HDMI | USB Ports: 13x USB 3.2, 4x USB 2.0 | Network: 1x Intel 2.5Gbps LAN, 1x Intel Wi-Fi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA
- 19+1+1 power phases
- PCIe 5.0 support for Expansion and M.2 slots
- 8-layer PCB
- No USB 4 Thunderbolt port
Here comes the MSI, flashing around its high-end Z790 motherboard for the latest Intel processors like Core i9-13900KS. The MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi comes filled to the brink with exciting features; let’s break it all down and learn exactly why it deserves to be ranked among the prominent Core i9-13900KS motherboards.
Who doesn’t love MSI’s iconic dragon logo? Right upon unboxing, we are met with the blazing fire of this dragon. The logo appears on the pre-installed I/O shield with the integrated RGB lighting, and thanks to MSI’s Mystic Light, you can control all your RGB lighting from a single spot. The motherboard is covered in matte black with some minimalistic patterns here and there, giving it a decent vibe.
The MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi delivers a solid punch with a completely digital direct 19+1+1 phases power design with 19 phases of VCPU power phases having smart power stages of 105A. Due to MSI’s Core Boost Technology, dual power connectors, and aggressive VRM architecture, a completely digital power design enables quicker and undistorted current supply to the CPU with pin-point precision and can sustain optimal performance even under heavy load. The 8-layer PCB delivers greater bandwidth, faster transfer rates, and dependable circuit transmission; it comes with IT-170 Server-grade PCB material and 2 oz Thickened Copper.
When it comes to high-speed storage options, you will be glad to know that the Z790 CARBON WiFi is equipped with a total of 5x M.2 slots, out of which the second M.2 slot supports PCIe 5.0 x4 while the rest of the 3x slots support up to PCIe 4.0 M.2 drives. Additionally, the SSDs are cooled using a double-sided M.2 Shield Frozr and an expanded heatsink, eliminating throttling and enabling them to perform to their full potential. Furthermore, SSD installation is made quick and easy by MSI’s ingenious EZ M.2 clip, and 6x SATA connections are accessible for individuals who want to boost their storage capacity.
The beastly MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi also requires efficient cooling solutions to ensure trouble-free operations. The premium 7W/mK MOSFET thermal pads and extra choke thermal pads help in maintaining the overall thermals of the motherboard along with the Heavy Plated VRM heatsink that also covers the higher MOSFETs for excellent efficiency, combine that with the extended heatsink with enhanced surface area for thermal dissipation and we get a complete cooling package to support the ultimate performance of Core i9-13900KS. A direct-touch heat pipe connecting the two MOS heatsinks allows for more extraordinary heat transmission.
The Z790 CARBON WiFi has 3x expansion slots: a PCIe 5.0 x16 with a maximum bandwidth of 128GB/s, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, and 1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. You get the most out of the ground-breaking SMT (Surface Mount Technology) PCI-E slot, which lowers interference and electrical noise, fully supports the PCIe 5.0 signal and ensures even the heaviest GPUs stay securely attached to the motherboard.
Along with the above-stated specifications, MPG Z790 CARBON has 4x DDR5 DIMM slots for memory modules having a maximum frequency of 7600 MHz+ when overclocked and a capacity of up to 128GB. It also sports WiFi 6E and 2.5Gpbs LAN for quick networking, in addition to 17x USB ports, of which two are USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type C, one on the front and the other on the rear panel; other USB ports include 4x USB 2.0, 4x Type A USB 3.2 Gen1, 6x Type A USB 3.2 Gen2, and 1x Type C USB 3.2 Gen2.
What We Liked:
The MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi appears to have everything one could want, including 5x M.2 slots, one of which supports PCIe 5.0, a rocking 19+1+1 VRM architecture, a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for the newest GPUs, 10 Gbps Super LAN, and a slew of cooling features that combine to make it stand among the best motherboard options in the market for Core i9-13900KS.
What We Disliked:
There’s nothing not to like about the MSI MPG Z790 CARBON; although we would have been happy to see a USB 4 thunderbolt port in this motherboard, it is somewhat disappointing that MSI didn’t include it, especially in this price range.
Why We Picked It?
After carefully reviewing a few high-end Z790 motherboards, we carefully selected the MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi to be crowned as the most high-end motherboard for i9-13900KS, as it is not so expensive to make it a deal-breaker and provides value for money with all the perks of the latest high-end Z790 motherboard including PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and PCIe 5.0 slot for M.2 drives.
Who’s It For?
The MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi is perfect for those looking for the high-end Z790 motherboard for their Core i9-13900KS; it has all the latest features to keep you busy, except a Thunderbolt 4 port. If you are looking for something more specific than this one, you should check out the best overclocking motherboard on this list.
The MSI MPG Z790 CARBON WiFi features a great VRM design, making it a dream come true for passionate overclockers. Combine that with an array of cool features and the latest technology you can get in a motherboard, and you have the Best High-End Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS.
ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI
Best White Motherboard For i9-13900KS
Chipset: Intel Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM 128GB, DDR5-7200+(OC) | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports:15x USB 3.2, 3x USB 2.0 | Network: Realtek 2.5 GLAN, WiFi 6E | Storage: 5x M.2, 8x SATA 3
- PCIe 5.0 x16 support
- Great aesthetics
- Bluetooth 5.3 support
- Fewer PCB layers
ASRock is one of the most recognized motherboard manufacturers that are very popular among PC geeks; they have earned the respect of their consumers by bringing them quality hardware. There is one thing many people might not be aware of: ASRock also develops graphics cards, monitors, and mini PCs. Their motherboards are also a part of their great productions.
The ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI is an example of why ASRock is a great brand for motherboards. It isn’t only an overall well-performing motherboard and has the perks of a great-looking motherboard. There are some weak points, too, that we will discuss later in our review, but it is surely worth checking the motherboard if you are an aesthetic lover.
ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI has a 16+1+1 phase VRM design rated at 60A and comes with 1x 24-pin ATX power connectors and 2x 8-pin 12V power connectors. It also possesses DrMOS design which features the Smart Power Stage technology that helps monitor each phase’s current and temperature. The Z790 STEEL LEGEND has 6 2oz Copper PCB layers for its PCB design; they aren’t enough for the Core i9-13900KS, but the 2oz copper layers back up that part a little bit as it can provide higher energy efficiency for overclocking while maintaining the temperature. The Z790 STEEL LEGEND doesn’t offer much for cooling solutions except for the M.2 heatsink and some fan and water pump cooling headers; these headers include a 4-pin Fan Connector, 1x 4-pin CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector, and 5x 4-pin CHASSIS/Water Pump Fan Connectors.
The RAM capabilities include 4x DIMM DDR5 support with a protection circuit for strong physical strength, which is an impressive addition. The overclocking frequency for this DDR5 RAM is 7200MHz+ with a memory capacity of 128GB; the overclocking speed is slightly less than other motherboards in the same category.
The storage options consist of 8x SATA 3 ports and 5x M.2 slots, including 1x Blazing M.2 PCIe Gen5x4 and 4x Hyper M.2 PCIe Gen4x4 slots. For graphics, we have 3x PCIe x16 slots, which contain 1x PCIe 5.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, and 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot with AMD Crossfire support, allowing you to connect multiple GPUs on your system to enhance its graphics capabilities. ASRock did a great job here by including the SMT type PCIe 5.0 x16 having a bandwidth of 128GBps.
Moving to the USB section, we get a total of 18x USB ports which is another splendid thing about the Z790 LEGEND STEEL. These ESD protected USB ports include 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2, 1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen2, 12x USB 3.2 Gen1 and 3x USB 2.0 ports. The network features include WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 support, and Realtek 2.5G Ethernet for LAN support.
The aesthetics section is the best part of ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI and is the main reason it is the most aesthetically pleasing motherboard you’ll find for i9-13900KS. The Z790 STEEL LEGEND comprises a base black PCB and white or steel-colored covers for heatsinks. At some points, we can also see white and grey camo designs on the motherboard. This design gives the Z790 STEEL LEGEND a new look and boosts its aesthetics. Additionally, the Z790 has built-in RGB illuminations and additional RGB headers with Polychrome RGB Sync support, making it the number one choice for aesthetic lovers.
What We Liked:
One of the most likable things about the ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI is its expansion slot support; the combination of PCIe 5.0, PCIe 4.0, and PCIe 3.0 x16 slots is commendable. The high-speed graphics data transfer capabilities of the Z790 STEEL LEGEND with AMD Crossfire support make it a beast. Bluetooth 5.3 also adds to the list, which provides fast data transfer for Bluetooth connections. However, the motherboard’s aesthetics are also appreciated, as it has one of the best looks for motherboards and has some decent specs to handle Core i9-13900KS.
What We Disliked:
There aren’t many things to dislike about the ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI, but one thing that seemed to disappoint us the most is the number of PCB layers in the motherboard, considering its usage with Core i9-13900KS. These fewer PCB layers can cause trouble when using it at max turbo speed or while overclocking the Core i9-13900KS.
Why We Picked It?
The primary reason for picking the Z790 STEEL LEGEND would be its eye-pleasing looks that can win the hearts of aesthetic lovers the moment they see it. Not only the aesthetics but the motherboard is also well-performing, making it the Best White Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS.
Who It’s For?
The ASRock Z790 STEEL LEGEND WIFI is the dream motherboard for users who prefer looks alongside adequate performance. Although, it doesn’t mean that the Z790 STEEL LEGEND is bad at performance. It is mostly famous for its looks but also has the perks of top-of-the-line motherboards.
Z790 STEEL LEGEND is a great-performing motherboard and has one of the best looks when it comes to motherboards. The overall specs and 3x expansion slots, and PCIe 5.0 support are great additions, but the users will have to compensate for the fewer PCB layers.
ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE
Best Value Motherboard For i9-13900KS
Chipset: Intel Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM 128 GB, DDR5-7200+(OC) MHz | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 10x USB 3.2, 6x USB 2.0 | Network: Intel 2.5 GbE LAN | Storage: 5x M.2, 8x SATA
- PCIe 5.0 support
- 2x x16 slots alongside AMD Crossfire
- Low price
- No Bluetooth and WiFi support
- Weak power design for Core i9-13900KS
The next motherboard produced by ASRock under discussion is named ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE and is one of the best budget motherboards you will find to use with Core i9-13900KS for several reasons.
ASRock has maintained the name of its brand by bringing us the Z790 RIPTIDE, which has all the amazing features that should be in a motherboard capable of fairly running the Core i9-13900KS. The best part about ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE is that it is different from those over-expensive motherboards in the market as ASRock has kept the price reasonable so their customers with a low budget can also enjoy their amazing products. Surely the motherboard’s quality would be low when we compare it to those high-end motherboards in the market, but for this price range, it still offers the most necessary features to run your Core i9-13900KS.
If we take a look at the power delivery features, we get 14+1+1 Power Phase Design along with the DrMOS technology, which is a power stage solution to provide higher current for each phase, hence resulting in better performance compared to the traditional MOSFETs. There are also 2x 8-pin high-density power connectors featured with the ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE, which ensure smooth power delivery.
For the PCB design, the motherboard has a 6-layer PCB with 2oz copper thickness, capable of maintaining lower temperatures. To take care of overheating, Z790 RIPTIDE possesses a 4-pin fan connector and a 4-pin water pump connector, which you surely might need considering the 13900KS’ TDP.
In the RAM section, the ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE supports 4x DIMM DDR5 RAM, on which protection circuits are implemented, at an incredible overclocking frequency of 7200MHz and a memory capacity of 128GB. The storage slots in the Z790 RIPTIDE consist of a total of 5x M.2 slots, where there is 1x Blazing M.2 PCIe Gen5x4 slot and 4x Hyper M.2 PCIe Gen4x4 slots providing a transfer speed of 64GB/s, and 8x SATA 3 slots rated at 6Gb/s. The Hyper Gen 4×4 socket can not be populated with the Blazing Gen 5×2 socket. The reason behind that is the Blazing M.2 slot will have to divert itself to x8 lanes for data transfer, which was not the initial purpose of its design.
For graphics, the Z790 RIPTIDE offers 3x expansion slots, including 1x PCIe 5.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, and 1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The PCIe 5.0 x16 and PCIe 4.0 x16 slots also support AMD Crossfire technology, making it a prominent bang for the buck motherboard for i9-13900KS. There is also support for a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot through which you can connect WiFi modules, sound cards, and other devices.
The ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE supports 16x USB ports, including 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 2x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen2, 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen1, 6x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen1 and 6x USB 2.0 ports. The connectivity features include Intel 2.5 GbE LAN support; the motherboard doesn’t come with WiFi and Bluetooth support; the board will require a separate network card for WiFi and Bluetooth if the user wants wireless capability on their systems.
ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE is minimal in looks; blue accents with grey and black colors and minimal design, along with ASRock branding on the heatsinks, give it a pleasant look. There are also lightning ports on, RGB headers, a separate addressable RGB header, and Polychrome RGB Sync support for RGB lovers.
What We Liked:
ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE is a great motherboard with all the necessary features that make it an astonishing Core i9-13900KS entry into the market. The best thing about this motherboard is that it includes PCIe 5.0 x16 and PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, which are also AMD Crossfire enabled. It also has a low price of around $250, which is another plus point as you can enjoy all the amazing features offered by the Z790 PG RIPTIDE at a reasonable price.
What We Disliked:
One of the things that ASRock could have improved in the Z790 PG RIPTIDE is the lack of built-in WiFi and Bluetooth support, and you will have to make arrangements for them separately. Another disappointing thing about Z790 PG RIPTIDE would be the weak power phase design, as this can hold you back from overclocking your Core i9-13900KS to its fullest; you might have issues with the power design reaching 6 GHz.
Why We Picked It?
There are some drawbacks to the ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE, but if we look into the best value category for Core i9-13900KS, this motherboard surely deserves to be on the top. We say this because of its incredible features while maintaining a decent price tag.
Who’s It For?
Users considering buying a mid-range motherboard for their Core i9-13900KS with all the necessary features should look forward to purchasing this product. You will face issues while overclocking your Core i9-13900KS and have to compensate for the connectivity features, but if you can compensate for that, this motherboard is for you.
In the end, the ASRock Z790 PG RIPTIDE is a great motherboard and is the Best Value Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS. There are some dislikeable things, like the lack of built-in connectivity features or weak power phase design, which might bug some users, but if we look on the positive side, the overall specs of the Z790 PG RIPTIDE aren’t that bad and are surely worth a check considering its price.
Read Our Full Review Of The ASRock Z790 PG Riptide Motherboard Review.
ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi
Best Mini-ITX Motherboard For i9-13900KS
Chipset: Intel Z790 | Memory: 2x DIMM 64 GB, DDR5-7600+(OC) | Video Outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB Ports: 8x USB 3.2, 5x USB 2.0 | Network: 1x 2.5 GbE LAN, WiFi 6E | Storage: 2x M.2, 4x SATA
- PCIe 5.0 support
- Thunderbolt 4 support
- 10-layer PCB
- Weak VRM design
- It might require aggressive cooling
When we think of extreme gaming tech and products, one of the names that immediately comes to our minds is ASUS. They have always provided high-quality products to their consumers worldwide and consistently worked on improving them over time. Their commitment to providing top-notch products has boosted their sales for GPUs, Laptops, monitors, and motherboards. It makes ASUS one of the most reliable brands for motherboards and is one of the reasons ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi is our top choice for the Mini-ITX category.
Besides many other ASUS motherboards, the ROG STRIX Z790-I has great features encapsulated in a Mini-ITX form factor and is a great match for the Core i9-13900KS. Some things may be a disappointment for users looking for high-end options to overclock their Core i9-13900KS, as some of the primary features of the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi Mini might hold them back from doing so. It may also not be suitable for aesthetics enthusiasts as they will have to compensate for the looks.
Nonetheless, we still get a decent performance from the Z790-I, which can be worth your money. Users just seeking a decent Mini-ITX don’t need to look any further because we assure you that the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi will be a perfect choice.
ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi Mini has a 10+1+1 VRM design, with each power stage rated at 105A; it could have worked better if we used the Z790-I with a low-power demanding processor than the Core i9-13900KS. There are also 2x 8-pin ProCool II power connectors which ensure safe contact with the PSU. The motherboard uses high-end chokes and alloys, which can withstand higher temperatures.
As for the PCB design, there are 10 PCB layers which is an impressive addition as there won’t be any meltdown issues with the Core i9-13900KS. The motherboard also has M.2 heatsinks and VRM heatsinks; the VRM heatsinks take care of high temperatures and dissipate the heat to keep the VRM cooled down. The STRIX Z790-I consists of a CPU fan header and an AIO pump fan header to facilitate the cooling features further.
Coming to the memory section, the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi can support 2x DIMM DDR5 RAM slots, supporting a maximum capacity of 64GB, overclockable to 7600 MHz+ frequency, which is an impressive feature for a Mini-ITX motherboard.
For storage, the motherboard provides 2x M.2 slots, including 1x M.2 PCIe 5.0 x4 slot and 1x M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 slot, and 2x SATA ports. The graphics options include 1x PCIe 5.0 x16 Safeslot (x16, x8/x8). The PCIe 5.0 support in both storage and expansion slots is an impressive feature and is one of the reasons why the ROG STRIX Z790-I is an excellent Mini-ITX option for i9-13900KS.
The ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi contains 7x Rear USB ports, including 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, 3x USB Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 and 2x Type-A USB 2.0 ports. There are also 2x Type-C ThunderBolt 4 ports featured on the Z790-I, which can deliver up to 40 Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth and display up to two external 4k outputs. The front panel contains a 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connector that supports 1x USB Type-C and a 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 header with two additional USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. ASUS had provided this motherboard with additional USB ports through their RPG FPS-II card, which, when joined to the motherboard, provides users with 3x USB 2.0 ports and 2x additional SATA 6Gb/s ports. The network features include WiFi 6E technology for ultra-fast wireless connections and Intel 2.5G Ethernet for speedy LAN connectivity.
Lastly, it’s not that flashy when talking about the aesthetics of the ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING. The overall looks of the motherboard are good, with a black base and a bit of gold plating on some points along with the golden STRIX logo, but there aren’t any built-in RGB features in the motherboard. The motherboard has a unique feature known as ROG Strix Hive; this triangular device comes with the motherboard and provides features like restarting the PC, a Flash BIOS button, and more. It also has connectors so you can attach your mouse or keyboard for easy access; it connects to your PC through a Type-A to Type-C wire that comes with the motherboard.
What We Liked:
ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi is an excellent Mini-ITX entry for i9-13900KS for many reasons. One of its features that we liked is the support for PCIe 5.0 expansion and M.2 slots providing high data transfer speeds. The 10 PCB layers are also an impressive addition to providing a strong foundation for the board and preventing a meltdown. Another thing would be the Thunderbolt 4 support, which works as a high-speed USB port and a 4k output display port.
What We Disliked:
The one thing that disappointed us the most about the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi Mini is its weak VRM design. The VRM design is pretty good in general, but combining the Z790-I with the Core i9-13900KS will keep the processor from performing to its fullest. The cooling features aren’t too great either, as there aren’t any thermal pads, and the motherboard might need some to keep itself cooled down.
Why We Picked It?
ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi Mini is a great Mini-ITX motherboard with Core i9-13900KS and is the primary reason we picked this motherboard. There are some performance comebacks, but the features offered by the ROG STRIX Z790-I are the best in the market.
Who’s It For?
The ROG STRIX Z790-I is worth checking for users who can compensate for the weak VRM part of this motherboard. There aren’t any more highlighting drawbacks other than that, and it can be a great choice for your Core i9-13900KS.
Lastly, we would say that the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-I GAMING WiFi is a fine choice for a Mini-ITX motherboard as it has all the necessary features which make it the Best Mini-ITX Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS. Its most highlighting features are the PCIe 5.0 and Thunderbolt 4 support. But remember that it also has a weak VRM design which might seem inadequate when used with the Core i9-13900KS.
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO
Best Overclocking Motherboard For i9-13900KS
Chipset: Intel Z790 | Memory: 4x DIMM 128GB, DDR5-7800+ (OC) | Video Outputs: HDMI port, Intel Thunderbolt port, VGA port | USB Ports: 15x USB 3.2 ports, 4x USB 2.0 ports | Network: WiFi 6E, Intel 2.5 GbE LAN | Storage: 5x M.2, 6x SATA
- 2x PCIe 5.0 x16 slots
- Dual channel DDR5 7800 MHz+
- Robust 20+1 VRM
- No PCIe 5.0 x4 slot
- Quite Expensive
Next up on our list is the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO motherboard, and it is one of the solid overclocking options for i9-13900KS you can find in the market. The reason it made it to our list will become clear once we go through its specifications. The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS HERO is an ATX form factor motherboard and one of the most well-equipped motherboards in the market, able to face the extremities of the latest Core i9-13900KS processor.
Moving on to the memory specifications of ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO, it has 4x DDR5 Dual channel x288 pin RAM slots that can support a total RAM capacity of up to 128 GB. These RAMs are overclockable and can have a memory speed of more than 7800 MT/s when overclocked.
The VRM design on this motherboard is a solid 20+1 teamed power stage design that can handle a current of 90A per power stage; this VRM can provide stable power to a monstrous CPU like i9-13900KS. The VRM also has 2x Dual ProCool II (8+8) power connectors made of high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors. Expansion slots for this motherboard consist of 2x PCIe 5.0 x16 Safeslots and 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot that supports x4, x4/x4 mode. ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO comprises a solid expansion slot setup you won’t find in many Z790 motherboards.
As for the storage slots, it has 3x PCIe 4.0 onboard M.2 slots that can deliver impressive read and write speeds of 8 GB/s. The motherboard also has 2x ROG Hyper M.2 card slots placed above a large heatsink to keep them cool. One of the ROG Hyper M.2 card slots supports PCIe 5.0 x4 and PCIe 4.0 x4, and the other M.2 card slot supports only PCIe 4.0 x4. It also has 6x SATA III ports for storage which provide a data transfer speed of up to 6Gb/s.
The motherboard comes with 2x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C USB ports that can deliver up to 40Gbps transfer speed. A Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port on the front panel with Quick Charge 4+ technology can make the port charge devices with up to 60W of power. The remaining USB ports consist of 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2, of which 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 are Type-A ports and 1x is a Type-C port. It also has 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports on the rear and 4x USB 2.0 ports on the back.
The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO consists of a WiFi-6E card that provides a bandwidth of 6 GHz and an Intel 2.5 Gb LAN socket with a maximum LAN speed of 2.5 Gbps. There are three different display ports for this motherboard, 1x HDMI port and 1x Intel Thunderbolt port, and 1x VGA port.
The motherboard comes with RGB lights known as Polymo Lighting that uses the Intel Double Connect technology; you can change the lighting of the logo in different styles. The black aesthetics of the motherboard with the customizable Polymo Lighting for the ASUS logo give this motherboard a satisfying vibe. ASUS provides overclocking features like AI Overclocking technology, the AEMP II (ASUS Enhanced Memory Profile II), and XMP for memory overclocking.
The motherboard has multiple temperature sources that keep tabs on the motherboard’s temperature through the Armory Crate application. Also, applications like the Game First VI and AI Suite 3 allow the user to keep track of stats like network bandwidth, voltage, and power; these features help boost gaming performance while maintaining system stability.
What We Liked:
The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO motherboard has a lot of high-end specifications like 7800 MHz+ DDR5 Dual channel RAM, the integration of 2x PCIe 5.0 x16 slots for GPU, and top-of-the-line USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports for connecting devices, which makes it one of Best Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS. These are just internal specifications, but extra things like the AI Overclocking and AEMP II with XMP technology for memory overclocking make it a good choice for many enthusiast gamers.
What We Disliked:
Even though the motherboard has a lot of good features, there are a few things that ASUS could improve. One of them is the absence of a PCIe 5.0 x4 slot; even though there are PCIe 5.0 x16 ports, if they had added a PCIe 5.0 x4 slot instead of the PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, it would have more utility. Also, the motherboard is expensive, which may make it unreachable for most buyers.
Why We Picked It?
Considering the hardcore specifications of Core i9-13900K, ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO was the most probable and likable choice we had on our hands, considering the spec sheet it provides. You get a lot of stuff like the top-tier DDR5 RAM, the perfectly designed VRM, and the out-and-above AI overclocking technology in just one box, which excites gamers worldwide.
Who It’s For?
From the looks of it, anyone can agree that it is one of the top-tier motherboards you will find in the market. The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO motherboard is for individuals who are deeply invested in the latest technology, the gamers out there who need the best gear possible for their games or those who want to have future-proof devices. One thing is for sure you need a lot of money if you are going for a build that uses this motherboard.
The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z790 HERO is an exceptionally well-built motherboard that contains all the features required by a gamer for uninterrupted gaming. The motherboard’s overclocking features are second to none, thus titling this motherboard the Best Overclocking Motherboard For Core i9-13900KS.
Intel K vs. KS Processors
Intel, a tech giant with experience producing powerful processors for over half a century, released its latest Raptor Lake series. It includes the i9-13900KS processor, which we will discuss in detail, but first, we must know the difference between the K and the KS variant of Intel’s processors.
The “K” variant of the processors launched by Intel are unlocked processors, meaning that they are overclockable and generally the best in the series from the lineup. Overclocking means users can increase the processor’s clock speed per requirements beyond its speed limit to improve performance. The boost in clock speed is especially good for gamers, as they can maximize their gaming experience by overclocking their processors and getting extreme performance out of it.
On the other hand, the “KS” variant of Intel’s processors is also unlocked, but due to silicon binning, they can achieve better frequencies than the base “K” variant. With the help of a superior silicon wafer, Intel achieved the 6 GHz without overclocking the Core i9-13900KS; these processors are a choice for those who want to avoid getting into the hassle of overclocking the processor to get very high clock speeds.
In short, the K variant of Intel allows a user to overclock the processor manually, while KS processors are more stable for overclocking; countering heat generation due to high TDP in overclocking might help achieve more benchmarking results. Besides that, there is no significant difference between the two.
Our Motherboards Selection Criteria
Selecting a motherboard can be difficult sometimes, especially with an expensive processor, which you want to avoid messing up with and want stable performance output.
Intel has launched its Raptor Lake lineup comprising different processors capable of high-speed processing and data transfer, considerably better than the Alder Lake series; therefore, they require a suitable motherboard.
The Core i9-13900KS, having 24 cores and 32 threads, is capable of heavy processing, and it is mandatory to have a motherboard that can help you attain extraordinary performance.
For choosing a motherboard, we at Tech4Games have prepared a practical guide on how we selected a reliable motherboard for a beast like i9-13900KS that helps you take off the discomfort of damaging your processor.
Related Read: How We Test Motherboards
The Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) is a component in a computer’s motherboard responsible for regulating the voltage provided to the CPU by the power supply; its main job is to provide an adequate voltage required by the CPU and other components, ensuring that the CPU is getting clean and stable power. It is a deciding factor, especially for gamers, because a strong VRM won’t overheat crazily, and when overclocking, it will provide power with maximum throughput alongside steadiness.
For a beast-like processor Core i9-13900KS, it can produce a heavy amount of heat. It is an essential factor in buying a motherboard because irregular voltage can damage the internal parts of your system, which can cost you a considerable amount of money.
VRMs vary from motherboard to motherboard, but some solid designs aren’t light on the pocket. Keeping in mind the price and the importance of VRM, we have selected the best motherboards that can provide you with the best performance spending a little money.
Intel’s i9-13900KS is a high-performance processor with a base clock speed of 3.2 GHz and a Max Turbo Speed of 6 GHz. As Intel’s been the preference of gamers, this processor is specifically designed for gamers that push the limits of the processor, getting an extreme amount of performance out of it; it also attracts avid overclockers who’d want their CPU to go above and beyond the benchmarking heights of 6 GHz.
The i9-13900KS has a high overclocking potential and is capable of having its clock speed increased by the user to a desired level. By overclocking, the processor can release a heavy amount of heat as this processor has a TDP of 150W; an efficient cooler is very important, which can help dissipate the heat and maintain the computer’s temperature.
One important thing to remember is that overclocking can increase the risk of damaging the internal hardware connected and may shorten the system’s lifespan. For safer overclocking, a good CPU cooler, a robust power supply, and CPU temperature monitoring are necessary to avoid exceeding the specified temperature limit.
Heatsink – Cooling
Intel’s 13900KS is capable of overclocking and high processing, which also means that it might generate a lot of heat. Here, the heatsink comes into play, which helps dissipate the heat quickly, maintaining the temperature to output optimal performance. Other cooling systems, like cooling fans and liquid cooling solutions, also play an essential role in maintaining the system’s temperature; for i9-13900KS, you might need solid water cooling and custom loops to cool the CPU adequately.
The heatsink must be considered according to the case size, as it may create a problem for you while assembling. Furthermore, noise can also be a deciding factor, as some fans can produce a lot of noise when running at high speeds. Motherboards with cooling systems lie in different price ranges, but it is wise to go with a cooler that fulfills the system’s requirements and isn’t costly.
Keeping in mind the heat generated by the Core i9-13900KS, we chose the righteous motherboards that will help you attain best of the performance from your computer while keeping the processor cool and staying on budget.
Also Read: Best CPU Coolers For i9-13900K
Features are an important factor on which the motherboard’s price relies; one should choose a motherboard with various features, which can help if you consider upgrading your system in the future. Some of the mandatory features in the motherboard are extra expansion slots and M.2 NVMe SSD support, which can provide better data transfer speeds than SATA ports.
Latest USB interfaces like USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports are also great as they may enhance the data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt 4 support can also be a great feature as it can boost the data transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps. Overclocking features such as voltage control or temperature monitoring can also be essential in a motherboard, as 13900KS is as good as gold for overclocking.
Intel launched the i9-13900KS from the Raptor Lake series but shocked the people with its price as it was tuned a notch up compared to the i9-13900K, the predecessor from the same series. The processor we are talking about retails at a whopping price tag of around $1000, which means that one could quickly expect to let go of everything to buy a processor.
For such a hefty-priced CPU, investing extravagantly in the motherboard will leave you nowhere except on the losing side, whereas you could find better options at a better price; you can save the extra money and buy some other components with them.
Spending too low on a crucial component like a motherboard can also destroy the user experience and damage the computer’s internal components, which may be a heavy loss to you. Spending the right amount of money on the motherboard and buying peripherals or other components with the remaining money can be helpful.
While keeping an eye on the requirements of Core i9-13900KS, we chose the best motherboards that will satisfy your needs and provide bang-for-the-buck performance.
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The i9-13900KS and the i9-13900K both have the same amount of cores and threads, but due to silicon binning, the i9-13900KS can achieve higher frequencies than the 13900K, which can be up to 6 GHz without overclocking. There’s also a huge difference in prices as Intel’s 13900K costs around $600, whereas the 13900KS retails for around $1000. If you’re an avid overclocker with the budget to spend on an expensive cooling solution, i9-13900KS comes in your domain; you won’t need it otherwise, as i9-13900K already provides top-notch performance.
Yes, Intel’s newly launched 13th-generation processors support DDR4; users thinking of an upgrade won’t have to spend money on the RAM to upgrade it. However, you won’t be able to get that superior performance that you can achieve using DDR5 memory, as Raptor Lake CPUs support DDR5 RAM too.
The Core i9-13900KS has a TDP of 150W, 25W more than the i9-13900K, which implies that it’ll generate a lot of heat while processing. If you use it for overclocking, you certainly need liquid cooling or custom water loops for your processor to help dissipate heat and give you a quality output.
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