Are you looking for the perfect motherboard for your Intel Core i7-12700K?
The Intel Alder Lake CPUs are a fantastic option for those looking to build high-end gaming rigs or run overclocked hardware setups. With that said, you’ll need an excellent motherboard to take full advantage of these parts.
Intel has introduced a new LGA-1700 socket, which means no previous generation will be able to support the newer platform.
In addition, the support for DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen6 has been enabled by Intel since they won a long-lost battle against AMD. If you would like to use the previous generation of intel chipsets, then please take a look at our guide on ‘Best Motherboards for i7-11700K’. There are all sorts of important details included below, which we believe will make things easy.
Best motherboards for Core i7-12700K Our Picks
There are certain factors that need to be considered when looking for the right motherboard compatible with i7-12700K.
The Core i7 12700K is an energy-greedy processor, so it would be best to go with a motherboard that has strong power delivery mechanisms in order to utilize the maximum potential of this CPU.
Choosing the best motherboard for, 12700K can be daunting because there are so many factors to consider when making this purchase. There needs to be good LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity, DDR5 support, and also options for M.2 drives as well as attractive aesthetics.
Considering the points mentioned above, we have compiled a list of some of the best Z690 motherboards that would be perfect for pairing with an i7 12700K. Let’s take a look at these models.
How we choose the best motherboard for Intel Core i7 12700K
With the motherboard being one of the most vital components in a computing system, it is imperative for consumers to pay attention to particular details when shopping for one.
Manufacturers of PC parts are notorious for making it hard for consumers to know what they’re getting. With this in mind, VRM design is always at the forefront of our thinking when building PCs. Putting a powerful Core i7, 12700k into a budget motherboard can lead to problems, so we’ve carefully selected these motherboards based on features such as power delivery and fan headers.
The differences between these motherboards are important for us to understand. Motherboards offer tons of different features including PCIe Gen 5, WiFi-6E and 10Gb Ethernet – all you need to do is make sure you buy one with these high-end specs.
Aesthetics are an influential factor for many enthusiasts. Everybody wants a good-looking set-up with red, green, and blue motherboards, so they can have an aesthetically pleasing system when the game.
We also considered the price tags of each product and its overall performance when ranking them.
Considering all these factors, we will evaluate the best motherboards within each category. Let’s get started.
Asus TUF Z690-Plus Wifi D4
|Memory:||4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR4-5333|
|USB Ports:||8x rear IO, 7x internal|
|Network:||1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Best for DDR4 builds
- Decent VRMs
- Great Value
- Unpleasant RGB
- Limited SATA ports
The Asus TUF Z690-Plus Wi-Fi motherboard has been known for being consumer friendly with its motherboards, while still having the edge over competitors in terms of how long-lasting they are and how much they can do. The user of this board won’t have to worry about running out of bandwidth because it supports up to 64GBs worth of DDR4 modules, which don’t take up too much room and also won’t go bad over time.
The ASUS Z690-Plus is an affordable option to the pricey models of ROG motherboards. Though this board lacks some features such as onboard Wi-Fi, it still offers decent overclocking on Core i7 12700K processors thanks to its high quality voltage regulators.
Take a look at what we’ve compiled below of the best motherboards you can use with an Intel Core i7-7700K in 2022.
Talking about the power delivery on the TUF Z690 Plus, we get a satisfying 14+1 power phase with durable capacitors for stable power.
At Asus, branding has always been a priority. Good-looking colours can be seen emitting from the upper right and lower right sides of the motherboard, with ASUS’ name plastered across both logos—one for their motherboards and another for products under TUF Gaming brand. The heat break isn’t very big, but it does have Z690 written on it along with TUF Gaming underneath that.
It seems to me that ASUS places great emphasis on aesthetics. With its motherboards, you can see the brand’s style shining through via the bright LED lighting emitting from all sides—upper left and right, bottom left and right – even going so far as to decorate their Z370 chipset heat sink with a matching TUF Gaming logo. This excellent design is stylish without being ostentatious or cluttered, allowing for an elegant yet eye-catching appeal.
Comprehensively, the TUF Z690 Plus Wifi is one of the most appealing DDR4 motherboard options available in the market. It’s a cost-effective option for gamers who prioritize quality and performance over price. Buyers should give it serious consideration if they want something worthwhile.
MSI Z690-A PRO WIFI
|Memory:||4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400 & DDR4 5200|
|USB Ports:||9x rear IO, 8x internal|
|Network:||1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Best Budget Z690
- Both DDR4 and DDR5 variants are available
- No RGB
- Weaker connectivity
The budget beast comes with robust VRMs that can handle the 12700K at its max overclocking speeds. Thanks to MSI for doing their job flawlessly—if you’re looking for affordable motherboards, then do take a look at what we’ve compiled in our list of the best motherboards for i5 processors!
The Budget Beast comes with robust VRMs which can handle overclocking speeds of up to, 12700K thanks to MSI. This motherboard has been designed for those who want a budget build and is also worth checking out if you are looking for great motherboards for Intel Core i5 11500.
The MSI Z690-A Pro is a budget motherboard for those who don’t want to take shortcuts when it comes to quality. With its 14+1+1 power phases and 55A power delivery, this board will keep up with Intel’s 12700K no matter how fast you are pushing it.
The medium-sized heat sinks cool the VRMs on this affordable motherboard when it is used for everyday computing tasks such as web browsing or watching videos.
DDR4 and DDR5 memory modules are supported on the Z690-A Pro motherboard. The main advantage of this board is its lightning fast DDR5 module which supports up to 6,400 MHz speeds while the less expensive option can reach speeds of 5,200 MHz when using a high speed DDR4 module with maximum capacity reaching 128 GB.
One issue with the USB connectivity is how few ports are available on the Z690-A Pro board. In all there are only 8 USB ports, which poses a challenge for those who need to connect many devices externally. Another good feature about this board is that it includes Wi-Fi which you don’t find often at its price point, along with an Ethernet port that supports 2.5Gbps speeds.
Aesthetics don’t matter much when the laptop is meant for high level performance. The Z690-A Pro doesn’t have any flashy RGB lighting, but it has a sleek appearance of black and grey textures that add a nice touch to its style. Plus, the lack of RGB lights may appeal to some buyers who want something plainer than what they would see with other laptops out there.
With its affordability and great features, MSI Z690-A Pro is a worthwhile purchase for budget conscious consumers. For those looking to save some money but still receive the benefits of a great board, MSI has made an excellent decision by introducing this product at such a low price point.
ASUS ROG Z690-E
|Memory:||4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400|
|USB Ports:||12x rear IO, 7x internal|
|Network||1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Marvelous Connectivity
- Spot on Aesthetics
- Supreme performance
- Quality VRMs
- No 10Gbps Ethernet Connectivity
- Price is a bit high
To say that ASUS ROG has a good reputation for making premium motherboards would be an understatement. But their expertise doesn’t end there, as they also know how to make visually appealing boards, loaded with powerful features and specs no one can go wrong with.
Asus did an excellent job making sure this motherboard could keep up with the CPU. With 18+1 power phases, rated at 90A, it would be hard to find another board capable of powering the 12700K at its max speed.
Large VRM heatsinks will keep your PC from overheating even when playing intense games for hours on end. However, voltage modifications would need to be made in order to reach those high speeds.
Asus has introduced an exceptional feature of Hyper M.2 card for NVMe Raid that supports four M.2 drives, making it exclusive to this motherboard and unavailable in any other motherboard within the same price range.
Even though an Ethernet connection may not be what most people are looking for, the 2.5Gbps ethernet should suffice. Although some Wi-Fi users might not want to go back to a slower WiFi connection, they will find that it won’t matter as they can use the Wi-Fi 6E instead.
Though the price may seem high as compared to other choices, this product offers premium features that you will not find anywhere else.
The engaging aesthetics of the Z690-E may be worth your consideration. The bulky heat sink finished with a brushed aluminium makes it stand out from the crowd; while customizable RGB via Aura Sync offers an opportunity to tailor color schemes according to individual desires.
All in all, this motherboard is a sweet spot for most overclocking enthusiasts because of the great power delivery system which was designed to make sure the components were able to function at top-performance levels.
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master
|Memory:||4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400|
|USB Ports:||11x rear IO, 9x internal|
|Network:||1x 10 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Powerful 22 Phase VRM
- Support for 10GbE LAN
- Superb Overclocking
- Costly Motherboard
- Audio isn’t that great
Master of the Z690 boards make our list because Gigabyte does not disappoint with their performance and quality when it comes to these large motherboards.
This motherboard comes with all the features you need at an affordable price – and even more than what it has advertised. The Intel i7-12700K does not have any problems delivering some of the fastest clock speeds on this board thanks to its impressive VRM (voltage regulator module).
The Z690 Aorus Master is loaded with power delivery features including nineteen phases which provide a solid one hundred and five amps for overclocking. Widely spaced heat sinks keep things cool while the VRM heatsink makes sure you can spend hours gaming without worrying about melting down.
Network connectivity is top-notch with the Gigabyte Aorus Master. The use of 10gbps Ethernet for fast internet speeds and Wi-Fi 6E for even faster connection rates makes this computer one of the best available. Audio quality was not up to par when compared to other computers which did make some noticeable difference, though it still performs admirably.
Aesthetics are never left out of the equation when Gigabyte is at stake. The huge heatsink makes it ultra-cool, which captures the user’s interest and keeps them coming back for more. Remember that an E-ATX can become a hassle for some people if they have access to only a Mid-Tower chassis, so get something big enough like a Full Tower instead.
Overall, this product lives up to the expectations of what a top-rated motherboard should be. Its only downfall is its price, which can be too expensive for some people, but one can compromise on certain specifications because this product has many qualities that make it worth it in spite of the other areas where it falls short. It would make an excellent second choice if you’re looking for the best product within this category.
MSI MPG Carbon Wifi
|Memory:||4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6666|
|USB Ports:||10x rear IO, 7x internal|
|Network:||1x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Great Value
- Finest Overclocking
- Nice Looking RGB
- Better DDR5 speeds
- Looks same as previous carbon models
- Could’ve added more USB ports
The MSI Performance Gaming Lineup is an excellent choice for those seeking premier performance. Intel Core i7 12700K processors can yield high-level results while the overclocking potential of the MPG Z690 Carbon is remarkably robust.
From its power delivery system to its many features, the MSI Z690 Carbon Wifi will delight any enthusiast.
The MSI MPG Z690, while being very similar to other models of motherboards available on the market, is a model worthy of note because of its power delivery capabilities. The 18+1+1 phase VRM with 75A power stages allow for maximal CPU overclocking.
The Z690 carbon board features hefty copper heat sinks for cooling the VRMs and keeping them from overheating during long gaming sessions. At a competitive price point, it also packs an excellent power delivery system which makes it perfect for overclocking Intel processors.
The Carbon is one of the best RTX cards on the market because it supports relatively high DDR5 speeds up to 6666MHz. If you pair this card with an even more powerful GPU, such as the RTX 3080, you’ll get some of the fastest and most powerful graphics available today.
This motherboard offers enough connectivity and storage for everyday use because it comes equipped with great features. The newest PCIe Gen 5 and five x M.2 ports work alongside six SATA ports to meet consumers’ needs – the W-Fi 6E and 2.5GB LAN connection make up for any lack of USB ports when meeting internet requirements.
This motherboard shares the same aesthetic design as others with its MSI logo sitting on top of its chunky armor, it has a black color scheme. The RGB job is accomplished very nicely – yet again the lighting on the MSI dragon logo looks attractive against its dark background. There are some high quality looking heat sinks covering over both sides of its PCB – giving it a sense of exclusivity for those who want more than just function out of their motherboards.
The Z690 Carbon motherboard is a complete product that can be picked over many expensive motherboards. The overclocking capabilities are the primary highlight of this board so hardcore overclockers will find this board as their top pick.
Gigabyte Z690-I AORUS Ultra
|Memory:||2x DIMM, 64GB, DDR5-6400 & DDR4 5333|
|USB Ports:||8x rear IO, 7x internal|
|Network:||1x 2.5GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Best Mini-ITX option
- Good VRMs
- Good price
- Only up-to 64GB Ram
- RGB doesn’t look great
Gigabyte never fails to create products for those who are passionate about small form factors. As the Z690I motherboard is an amazing addition to Gigabyte’s latest chipset lineup, it’s sure to please even the most demanding of users.
Aspiring Mini-ITX users won’t regret buying the Z690I as it will provide them with all the power needed in such a small device. They’ll be able to go as far as they want without having to worry about overheating!
The power delivery system of the Z690-I Aorus Ultra is exceptional. With a 10+1+2 VRM Design, it has an impressive 105A power stage to accommodate processors like the Intel i7-12700k.
The Z690-I has been released in both DDR4 and DDR5 versions. The DDR4 variant can provide memory speeds up to 5333 Mhz whereas the faster DDR5 edition is capable of reaching 6200 Mhz even when running only 2 DIMMs at a time. This may result in an issue for those looking to increase their computer’s capacity for RAM later on but 64GB may satisfy some needs now.
With five M.2 drives, this mini creature won’t be left wanting when it comes to storage; while also boasting a satisfyingly fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet port and Wi-Fi 6E compatibility via an optional adapter. 8 USB ports round out the impressive array of available connections for a Mini-ITX motherboard, allowing you to connect all your essential peripherals without hunting for cables or adapters.
Examining the looks, the brushed aluminum creates an eye-catching finish for the motherboard. The RGB lighting is nice but expecting anything more from such a powerful device wouldn’t be fair at all.
This small-scale motherboard is the undisputed king of all boards. It’s clear that you can’t get a better option out there when looking at how much it has to offer, not many other alternatives come close enough or are even equivalent in comparison to what this board has got – hands down our number one choice for Mini-ITX motherboards if you’re using an Intel Core i7 2700K.
MSI MEG Z690 ACE
|Memory:||4x DIMM, 128GB, DDR5-6400|
|USB Ports:||8x rear IO, 10x internal, 2x Thunderbolt 4|
|Network:||2x 2.5 GbE LAN, 1x Wi-Fi 6E|
- Excellent VRMs
- Features Thunderbolt 4
- Supports 8K display
- Two Ethernet ports
- Too Pricey
- Lesser USB ports
MSI’s Z690 ACE offers something for every kind of gamer. At this price point, you really can’t go wrong with what it has to offer.
The Ace dominates the motherboard market in terms of VRM design and robustness. It also comes at a hefty price – only worth considering if you are unwilling to spend money on anything else.
MSI impresses me with their CPU overclocking capabilities. Not only did they use a 12700K Core, but they managed it very well. Thermal quality is amazing because MSI never compromises anything when they design. There are 19+1+2 phases power design and 105A power stages which contribute to this success even further.
If you are interested in CPUs from generations past, then have a look at this article about the best motherboards for i9-11900K.
The motherboard was made with high-quality robust VRM heat sinks which are sufficient for enthusiasts to perform heavy tasks without being stressed.
MSI has done an excellent job in providing a new Thunderbolt 4 port for fast external connections. For internet connectivity, a set of two 2.5GbE ports with Wi-Fi 6E have been installed.
Aesthetics-wise, the motherboard has everything an enthusiast needs – a snazzy design with flashy heats inks that contains an MSI logo and touch of gold on its armour. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at it because it just looks so good or if you want to see what’s inside – one cannot keep their eyes away from such an enticing sight.
If you’re looking to play games, the MSI Z690 Ace is a splendid choice. It’s a true masterpiece from MSI, and it would be our pick for the best enthusiast board for people using Intel Core i7-12700K processors.
Best Z690 Motherboard – Buyer’s Guide
There are many differences between the chipsets of the newly released 12th Generation Alder Lake lineup. Knowing these key distinctions will ensure you select the right processor for your needs.
Z690: The Z690 chipset is the most current generation that supports high-end overclocking capabilities and comes equipped with a fast data-transfer capability. With this, it offers up to 28 PCIe lanes for great graphics cards support and is capable of providing 12 usable PCIe Gen 4 lanes.
H670: The H670 is a mid-range chip that cannot overclock CPUs, but memory can be overclocked for some improved speed. There are twelve usable PCIe Gen 4 lanes, and the DMI 4.0 x8 link gives it its total of 24 PCI Express lanes.
B660: In addition to having an integrated dual-channel memory controller, the B 660 supports overclocking the memory frequencies but lacks any features for CPU or GPU overclocking. It has a total of 14 PCIe lanes which consist of six usable PCIe Gen 4 lanes, four from its DMI 4.0 x4 chipset link and two from its PCH 2.
H610: is an entry-level chipset that does not support overclocking or the latest PCI standards. It has a limited number of PCIe lanes with none available for use, which makes it unsuitable for high-intensity tasks such as gaming. The H610 should only be used in office settings due to its limitations and lack of modern features.
Price and Value
Motherboard prices can differ for many reasons. A high-priced motherboard does not automatically make it the best one, but people need to take several things into consideration before they buy one. Our Z690 list will definitely give you some pointers about what matters most when purchasing a motherboard.
DDR4 vs DDR5
Some may find it difficult to choose between DDR4 and DDR5, since they are both supported by Intel in the new Alder Lake line-up. However, there isn’t much of a noticeable difference between the two generations when it comes to performance.
Motherboards are often made specifically for certain types of RAM (e.g., DDR4 or DDR5). For this reason, it may be necessary to purchase two separate motherboards if only one supports the type of RAM you need – so keep this in mind when shopping around!
Users are now faced with a difficult decision: DDR4 or DDR5. While the price of DDR5 is quite steep at this time, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in terms of performance.
The faster DDR4 ram is available in speeds of 5333 MHz with a CAS Latency of 22 while the DDR5 comes at higher speeds of 6000+MHz though it has a lower latency that makes it less attractive for now since prices are high.
As much as DDR5 has potential, it might not be worth buying just yet, since there are no guarantees that they will improve in the future. But while we wait for this possibility to become reality, I think DDR4 memory sticks look like a great deal for anyone who wants them now and doesn’t want to miss out on this opportunity because they don’t have any leftovers from when DDR4 was popular.
The Z690 series offers many network features. Supporting 10Gbe LAN on some motherboards alleviates any potential problems for users who require high speed connections at all costs. Wi-Fi 6E support and single or dual 2.5 Gb ELAN supports meet the needs of most people.
USB connections have been a necessity for motherboards since the dawn of personal computing. Most new Z690 variants offer plenty of USB ports with Type-C connectors that are able to transmit data at speeds up to 20Gbps.The addition of Thunderbolt 4 ports has been made in previous generation’s and newer generation motherboard to transfer data from external device at very fast speeds.
Storage and PCIe slots
If a consumer is purchasing a motherboard for their gaming or office needs, storage should never be a problem. The Z690, in particular, does exceptionally well at avoiding these problems because it has an abundance of M.2 NVMe ports – perfect for those looking for NVMe SSDs these days. Those who want PCIe Gen 5 support will be pleased to know that it was introduced with Intel’s latest Alder Lake series.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy DDR5 or DDR4?
The decision between DDR5 and DDR4 is entirely dependent on the consumer. The performance gains from DDR5 are negligible at this point due to its higher price tag, which would make it unwise for now. Consumers will be better off sticking with current standards – so long as they’re willing to wait – while DDR5 matures in the future.
What chipset supports i7 12700K?
The Intel Core i7-12700K CPU is supported by three different chipsets – the Z690, H670, and B660. Only the Z690 supports CPU overclocking though – so if you want that feature make sure you buy a motherboard with this particular chipset. The PCIe support offered in the Z690 includes 28 lanes of max PCIe Gen 4 connections, with 12 usable lanes being good enough for storing M.2 NVMe SSDs at full speeds during heavy loads without slowing down other devices connected to your system when they need access.
Is the i7 12700K worth buying?
If you’re an enthusiast looking for top-tier processing power, then the Core i7, 12700K is worth considering. It boasts higher clock speeds than comparable processors like AMD’s Ryzen 2nd Generation processor and Intel’s own Kaby Lake chips – making it the fastest gaming CPU available right now.
Is PCIe 5.0 better than PCIe 4.0?
In theory, the new PCIe 5.0 specification has a lot to offer over its predecessor (PCIe 4.0) with 50% more bandwidth available at 16GB/s. However, as there are not many devices capable of taking full advantage of this enhanced spec yet, it is difficult to judge if this version will have any major impact in performance terms anytime soon.