best motherboard for kaby lake

best motherboard for kaby lake

Best Z270 7th-Gen Kaby Lake Motherboards

A “tick, tock” cycle has been used by Intel since the late 1990’s to release processors. Each tick represents a new architecture, which provides groundbreaking new technology that makes our computers more capable, powerful, and competent. A tock cycle represents them refining a platform to the utmost in order to maximize its performance.

They’ve adopted a new approach now. There are three main categories of development teams, each focusing on improving the process, architecture, and optimization. As a result, there has been mixed results. Some CPU generations, such as the upgrade to Haswell several years ago, have seen significant improvements in many applications. Others, however, haven’t done so as well.

Known by many reviewers as Kaby Lake, Intel’s 7th generation processor series is a grand slam. The first release of Kaby Lake processors was aimed at ultra-mobile platforms, and it is a grand slam for Intel. Today, desktop versions of these chips are available, which consume as little as 4.5 watts of power, making them one of the most energy-efficient in the world. In addition to being so power-efficient, the cores are capable of pushing technology to its limits.

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ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula~best motherboard for kaby lake

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ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula

As a company, ASUS has been putting its hardware at the center of enthusiast systems since the early 1990s. Computer systems had been much more restrictive in the past. ASUS hardware broke down boundaries, providing system builders with options unavailable elsewhere. Today, they’re more like gatekeepers. You can take ASUS boards out of the box, but you decide whether to use them. This motherboard gives you the ability to customize your system to your own personal tastes, if you are a tweaker.


It’s a real treat for anyone who’s never seen a Maximus board before. The blacked-out appearance of the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula is striking, but not too intense. There is a sharp line and raw contour design illustrating the aggressive performance this board is capable of by covering most of the board’s delicate components with anodized aluminum frame. The design is almost symbolic in many ways. If you select the right components, you’ll have yourself a serious piece of equipment without even realizing it. It’s one of those things you won’t notice unless you know what you’re looking for.

Supported Hardware

It is compatible with 7th generation Intel CPUs and accepts socket LGA 1151 CPUs like all boards using the Z270 chipset. Despite being rated for overclocking, the ram can be pushed to 4133 MHz with overclocking mode enabled. It supports DDR4 memory, and can support a maximum of 64GB, or 16GB per slot. Seeing a board rated for overclocking should demonstrate just how high of a standard this board is held to.

It features Intel HD graphics, but gamers won’t be satisfied with that. Nvidia users can use one, two, or four PCIe x16 slots for dual or quad SLI. AMD supports one card, two cards, or quad SLI. There are three PCIe single lane slots and a second dedicated x16 PCIe slot for peripherals. In a configuration that includes four graphics cards, the x16 peripheral slot will not be available since it shares the bandwidth with the GPUs.

The board gives you 6 SATA III channels, and two M.2 slots that give you a maximum bandwidth of 32GBs. You should reserve the first SATA port for your boot drive because the M.2 slots do share bandwidth with it. If you aren’t using a boot drive, you don’t use the first slot. It is important to reserve the 5th and 6th SATA ports as well as the second M.2 slot, since they share bandwidth.


You have provided three USB 3.1 ports along with six USB 3.0 and six USB 2.0 ports (as headers on the main board). USB 3.1 is becoming increasingly common, so it’s essential that high-end motherboards support it. Featuring Intel I219-V chipsets that have demonstrated excellent performance and rock-solid reliability in stressful environments, the motherboard has a full suite of networking equipment included on it. Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi is handled by the motherboard. In terms of ping speeds, this is a fantastic choice for gamers. Its dual channel MU-MIMO capabilities make it ideal for pairing with a high-end router like the Netgear Nighthawk X10.

Additionally, you get Bluetooth 4.1 through Intel’s controller, as well as audio from Realtek’s ALC 1220. The latter has an upgraded SD conversion DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) from Sabre, giving it better audiophile performance. Also related: best motherboards for Ryzen 7000


You can expect this board to pass your tests with flying colors if you plan to run stock hardware with it. But just how far can it be pushed? ASUS advertises the board to reach a 5 GHz overclock. But then again, every board has this potential when the right conditions are met.

We wanted to find out not if 5 GHz was possible, but if it was likely. If so, what additional hardware would you need to do so? We chose to overclock the CPU by just modifying the multiplier and vCore. Our test was designed to create a realistic environment, not a best-case scenario, since experienced overclockers are likely to be able to push the board past our limits.

In a 24-hour stress test, the board reached 5.1 GHz with 3200 MHz memory, but it could not keep it stable. With better memory and additional time, we likely could have pushed this OC even further. With 3.75 vCore and 5.0 GHz, performance was rock solid. At a minimum, we now know ASUS’ claims are accurate.

Bonus Features

In most cases, high-end motherboards come with extra software and features that enhance user experience. ASUS isn’t a slouch in this regard either. A high end water block is built directly into the board, showing that they intend to cater to overclockers who want to push their board to its limits.

It features an EZtuning wizard and a hardware monitor, making it possible to overclock your system without ever booting it. This is perhaps the most advanced UEFI on the market. If you’ve ever had to reboot hundreds of times, you know how painful it is, and ASUS’ EFI simplifies the process so much that you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.

Additionally, ASUS offers a complete suite of packages for people wanting to 3D model their board. You can use these models to make custom water blocks if you’re at a level where custom water blocks are going to be necessary. It’s clear that competitive overclockers will use this board, but it’s something not everyone will need.

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ASUS Prime~best motherboard for i7 7700k

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ASUS Prime Z590-V LGA 1200

In addition to being designed for overclockers, ASUS boards can be used by users who want boards that optimize themselves automatically, even on stock settings, to get the best performance. Besides saving you money, this board will let you squeeze every ounce of performance from your system without voiding it. And why is it the best motherboard for i7 7700k? Its design.


ASUS sacrificed water blocks, but they didn’t sacrifice the cool design. Even though aluminum water blocks are great looking, air cooling is terrible. ASUS Prime’s main PCB is embellished with stylized lines that fill in the blank spaces and give it an attractive appearance. The board is neatly arranged with all of the caps and components lining up in a linear fashion. In comparison, the cover over the northbridge retains more of a squared-off design, unlike the I/O cover, which has a white aluminum frame and abstract styled lines to help it stand out.

Supported Hardware

PCIe 3.0 slots can operate in one of two modes, 1/16 or 1/8. This is ideal for modern SLI since cards usually have bridges that go between them, and 16 channels in total are required.

In addition to the second x16 slot, you have four x1 slots, which are great for simple add-on cards and low-performance peripherals.

A total of 64 GB of RAM can be used on this board. The maximum rated OC for memory is 3866 MHz, so it’s not the fastest on the market, but it’s adequate for most users. You’ll be able to upgrade your memory, once it’s available, once it’s available in a few years. Although it’s designed for 7th generation Intel processors, it’s also fully compatible with 6th generation processors. The board can be run on older hardware, and you can upgrade it as necessary.

Two M.2 slots and six SATA ports are provided for storage. There is no need to use SATA mode for M.2 drives nowadays if you’re using M.2 drives anyway. The first M.2 slot can be used either in SATA or PCIe mode. Legacy compatibility with existing drives should only be used for this.


Besides VGA and DVI-D, the motherboard supports multiple VGA devices, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4a, and DVI-D. If you add a Blu-Ray drive, you can see full 4K video with HDR.


In the beginning, we thought we might hit a wall, since this isn’t sold as an overclocking board. Instead, we found just the opposite. In a matter of a few tweaks, we were able to get the same overclock as the Maximus IX. However, there are a few things to note. First, overclocking on this board isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. We also had to tweak a little more. But as enthusiasts know, performance is addictive. As you build your system, you may not intend to overclock. But once you get to know your hardware better, you’ll be eager to see what it’s capable of.

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ASUS Strix~best motherboard for kaby lake

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ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming AMD

Our first board was designed for those who wanted to squeeze as much performance as possible from their hard drive, while the second board was designed for those who wanted to set it and forget it, with overclocking as an added bonus. There are a few additional features in this game, but they are mostly gaming-specific.


There is nothing more popular among gamers than a slick looking motherboard, according to a quick glance at the current gaming hardware. With the ASUS Strix, they’ve maintained the blacked out look they’re famous for, but added some light swishes of color that bring the board to life. A board such as this may have an attractive design, but what matters most is its performance.

Supported Hardware

There are all the usual suspects here: 7th generation Intel processors, 64GB of memory at 3866 MHz, six SATA channels, two M.2 slots built in. The fact that the motherboard supports Quad SLI and Crossfire is surprising for a motherboard of this price range. As a result, gamers can get the graphics performance they desire at an affordable price.


An Intel I219-V chipset provides high-speed WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as dual USB 3.1 ports on the back. Our favorite feature is the high-quality audio output. As one of the best integrated audio systems available on the market, the ROG SupremeFX uses audiophile grade capacitors and an advanced S1220A HD DAC for the ultimate gaming experience.


This board is capable of overclocking up to 4.9 GHz. We’re likely to be able to overclock even higher, but we’d be pushing it. It’s main problem is ram speed. Our CPU can go a little faster, as we’ve seen several times. The board has no difficulty reaching its CPU OC rated, but going beyond it would probably require some serious tweaking.

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 Gigabyte Aorus Gaming ~best motherboard for kaby lake

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best motherboards for i7-12700k
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Master ATX Motherboard

Aorus is the brand that Gigabyte has created to try and break into the high-end market after it has dominated the budget motherboard market for so long. Their first few products received a lot of positive reviews, but will they be able to maintain their momentum with this latest model?


One of the most attractive motherboards on the market is the Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 5. The sharp yet husky angles on the chipset covers attract most of your attention when off, but once you turn it on, virtually all of the ports light up like Christmas trees. An RGB lighting kit could easily make this the most attractive motherboard on the market if used in conjunction with it.

Supported Hardware

Designed to support overclocking of 4000 MHz+, the single phase DRM feeds the four DDR4 memory slots. We’ll be interested to see what our tests reveal. If you combine a 6th or 7th generation Intel processor with 64GB of memory, you can install up to 64Gb of memory. There are four channels shared with your peripherals in SLI, so you can use up to four graphics cards.


There are more connectors on this board than the standard ones if you’re looking for USB 3.1. The platform currently has 2 USB 3.1 ports, but there is a header on the board to allow you to reroute them to the front if you wish.

In addition to that, it comes with a SoundBlaster audio card, which makes it perfect for surround sound gaming. Finally, it supports 802.11ac MIMO, so it remains competitive with higher end boards.


This is another one of the boards that’s included automatic overclocking. However, we found this one to be slightly conservative with its overclocking, limiting itself to 4.7 GHz. It’s not astonishing, but at least you know it’s safe to overclock using the automatic feature. Our overclock of 5.0 GHz was easily achieved once we took things into our own hands. It did take some fiddling, but it wasn’t hard to accomplish.

Which Z270 7th Gen Kaby Lake Motherboard is the Right One For Me?

In many ways, these boards are comparable, as you can see from the results. If you are looking for the ultimate in performance without sacrificing performance, you have two choices. Among the top performing motherboards on the market, the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula Motherboard is also easy to overclock, making the process much simpler than its competitors. For good results, you’ll need to know what you’re doing with MSI XPOWER Gaming Titanium.

ASUS Prime offers some of the best performance on a stock board if you don’t plan on overclocking. ASUS Strix comes with a built-in overclocking knob that does all the work for you, and it performs surprisingly well, so if you’re just avoiding it because you’re not interested in getting into the nuts and bolts of an overclocking hefty OC, it is perfect for you. There are no standout features on these boards, but you’re sure to find the Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 5 more appealing. Not only is it packed with top-tier features, but it also has a stylish light show!

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Final thoughts on the best motherboard for kaby lake

kaby lake motherboard compatibility is one factor you need to consider when choosing motherboards. Not all motherboards are compatible with Kaby Lake CPU. Every CPU have different power requirements and the number of pins it has. Therefore, kaby lake motherboard compatibility is an issue you need to take seriously.

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