So, you’ve decided to build yourself a PC. You’ve got a brand-new Intel CPU, memory, storage, power supply, case, and a graphics card. You just need a place to plug it all in.

Finding a good motherboard is an underrated part of the PC building experience. Sure, it’s not as flashy as a GPU, but it’s the component that connects everything together. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Intel designed the Z390 chipset to make motherboards that get the most out of their 8th and 9th generation CPUs. It’s an excellent chipset, but it can be hard to choose one board when there are so many different sizes, components, brands, and prices. That’s why we decided to put together this list of the seven best Z390 gaming motherboards!

Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 7 Best Z390 Motherboards

We’ve curated this comparison table of the best Z390 motherboards currently on the market. Check it out for a quick overview, and find an in-depth summary for each pick below.

ImageMotherboardForm FactorVerdictCost
GIGABYTE AORUS EliteATXBest Overall
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS MASTERATXBest Runner-Up
MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKEE-ATXBest Premium
MSI Z390-A PROATXBest Budget
GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS XtremeATXBest Premium ATX
GIGABYTE Z390 M GamingMicro-ATXBest Micro-ATX
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITXITXBest Mini-ITX

Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 7 Best Z390 Motherboards

Are you ready to see the seven best Z390 motherboards for gaming? Here we go!

1. GIGABYTE AORUS Elite

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Elite

The best Z390 motherboard overall

Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 12+1 | DIMM Slots: 4x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°

The GIGABYTE AORUS Elite doesn’t have the best VRM of any Z390. It doesn’t have the most features or the fastest network connection. What it does have is the highest value-per-dollar of any Z390 motherboard on the market by a mile.

The main thing we look at when gauging the value of a motherboard is price vs. overclocking capability. Not only does the Elite have the best VRM in its price point, it’s actually the same 12+1 phase VRM as the AORUS ULTRA, which is $90 more expensive and considered one of the best in its bracket. This is a massive boon to anyone interested in overclocking.

It’s far and away the best Z390 motherboard under $200 and one of the few at this price point that I would trust to overclock a 9900K. You can spend twice as much on a better VRM, but you’ll likely see a lot more performance by taking the money you saved buying this board and putting it into a better graphics card. That value makes it our pick for the best Z390 motherboard for gaming.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Affordable
  • Stylish design
  • Fantastic VRM
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Basic BIOS
  • Average PCB
  • Poor RGB control software

2. GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS MASTER

Z390 AORUS Motherboard

The best alternative Z390 motherboard

Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 12 | DIMM Slots: 4x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

We hope you like GIGABYTE, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of their products on this list. The Z390 AORUS MASTER is our second choice for the best Z390 gaming motherboard. It’s a couple of tiers higher than the Elite, and it has the features to prove it.

One of the biggest improvements is the upgrade to the much more efficient, 12 phase IR Digital VRM. The superior voltage regulator and cooling allow for higher CPU and GPU overclocking capabilities while using less power. It has a much better PCB than the Elite, which will allow for higher memory overclocking. You’ll also notice that this board comes with two M.2 ports (each with its own thermal guards) and three PCIe x16 slots.

While the Elite is our number one pick overall, we think the Z390 AORUS MASTER is the best Z390 motherboard for the i9 9900K.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Quality PCB
  • Feature-rich
  • Efficient VRM
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive
  • Some audio issues
  • Poor RGB control software

3. MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE

MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE

The best premium Z390 motherboard

Manufacturer: MSI | Form factor: E-ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 16+1+1 | DIMM Slots: 4x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

You’ve got yourself an Intel 9900K and the best graphics card money can buy. Now you want a motherboard that’s going to push those components to their absolute limits. The MSI MEG GODLIKE is the best Z390 motherboard for overclocking, due in no small part to its colossal 16+1+1 phase VRM.

Built for hardcore gamers, you can expect features like Killer xTend network extender, Triple Turbo M.2, Xtreme Audio DAC, and more. This board boasts four PCIe slots, four M.2 slots, six SATA ports, and so much more. Plus, it features Killer Wi-Fi AC 1550 for unbeatable connectivity and lightning-quick Mbps. It even has a mini OLED display for easy status monitoring!

It’s the best MSI Z390 motherboard on the market. It’s more than 99% of us need to be honest, but when have PC builders ever been known for our restraint?

  • USERS LIKE
  • Best VRM
  • Feature-rich
  • Miniature OLED display
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive
  • Some RGB issues
  • Hard to find at MSRP

4. MSI Z390-A PRO

MSI Z390-A PRO

The best cheap Z390 motherboard

Manufacturer: MSI | Form factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 8 | DIMM slots: 4x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°

Want to get your hands on the best budget Z390 motherboard? You’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper one that can outperform the MSI Z390-A PRO.

The 8 phase VRM is downright respectable, and it comes with a few features that aren’t very common at this price point. The Turbo M.2 port gives NVMe SSDs up to 32Gb/s using PCIe gen 3×4. It also has plated heatsinks for improved heat dissipation and some decent audio processors. The board itself is simple, black PCB.

I don’t know if I’d stick an i9 in here, but there’s a definite value proposition to be made to a consumer looking for the best Z390 motherboard for the i7 8700k.

  • USERS LIKE
  • M.2 port
  • Affordable
  • Decent VRM for the price
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Cheap PCB
  • Vague instructions
  • Audible coil at startup

5. GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Xtreme

GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Xtreme

The best premium ATX Z390 motherboard

Manufacturer: ASUS | Form factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 16 | DIMM Slots: 4x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line performance but aren’t interested in the full-sized towers needed for E-ATX motherboards, then there’s still one great motherboard that can overclock with the best of them. The GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Xtreme is the only ATX motherboard with a VRM that can trade blows with the MSI GODLIKE.

It has a 16 phase VRM with a cutting-edge thermal design and a pretty hefty heatsink that’s more than capable of handling the heaviest overclocking loads. It also supports three M.2 drives and features 10GbE BASE-T LAN.

On a list that’s more than half GIGABYTE motherboards, this one reigns supreme.

The ROG Maximus XI Apex is another one to consider if you’re looking to find the best ASUS Z390 motherboard, though we should note that it only has two DIMM slots.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Great VRM
  • ATX form factor
  • Great memory overclocking
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Expensive
  • Hard to find

6. GIGABYTE Z390 M Gaming

GIGABYTE Z390 M Gaming

The best Micro-ATX Z390 motherboard

Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form factor: Micro-ATX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 10+2 | DIMM slots: 4x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°

Got limited space for a tower? A Micro-ATX form factor build might be just the thing you need. There aren’t many high-end options for Micro-ATX Z390 motherboards, but the Z390 M Gaming by GIGABYTE (this is the last one, we promise) is more than up to the task.

The M Gaming has a great 10+2 phase digital PWM design VRM. It has high-quality audio capacitors, two M.2 ports, six SATA III ports, and 1GbE LAN β€” pretty good for an mATX board.

It has a basic design, but it’s hard to complain at this price!

  • USERS LIKE
  • Affordable
  • Micro-ATX form factor
  • Good audio capacitors
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Cumbersome BIOS
  • Poor RGB control software
  • Mediocre memory overclocking

7. ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX/ac

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX

The best Mini-ITX Z390 motherboard

Manufacturer: ASRock | Form factor: ITX | Socket: LGA 1151 | VRM Phases: 5 | DIMM Slots: 2x DDR4 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°

We’ll be honest β€” there’s not a lot to choose from in the ITX form factor when it comes to Z390s. Still, the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX/ac provides at least one solid option for fans of the littlest-form factor.

This board has a 5 phase VRM, which is the smallest one on this list, but is quite impressive given the space ASRock had to work with. It features Gigabit LAN support, DIGI Power Design, full spike protection, and more.

As for durability? This motherboard boasts rugged hi-density gaming armor thanks to ASRock Super Alloy, which delivers unbeatable protection. The matte black design is enhanced by Polychrome SYNC that polishes off the look for a high-end feel.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Affordable
  • Decent VRM
  • Intel Gigabit LAN
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Hard to find
  • Limited RGB
  • DIMMs draw too much power

Honorable Mentions

Here are some Z390 motherboards that didn’t quite make the list, but had some exceptional features for specific use-cases:

What is a Z390 Motherboard?

Z390 Motherboard

Z390 motherboards are built to work flawlessly alongside Intel’s 8th and 9th generations of Coffee Lake CPUs. They’re designed specifically for high-end builds, offering features like updated I/O connectivity, built-in Wi-Fi, and more. This ensures robust performance and cutting-edge hardware compatibility.

How Do Z390 Motherboards Work?

The Z390 motherboard layout features a unique chipset, or circuit design, that integrates with Intel Coffee Lake processors and controls the flow of information between the different computer components. And since it’s part of the Z series lineup, the motherboard and chipset are designed explicitly with overclocking in mind.

Z390 IO

Overclocking allows you to run your CPU at maximum speed, often exceeding the official speed grade. This delivers maximum performance, allowing you to use software and play games at top settings. The main component to look out for when it comes to overclocking is the VRM, or voltage regulator module. The VRM controls the energy levels and stability of power distribution to your CPU and GPU. A good VRM is vital to good overclocking.

Benefits of a Z390 Motherboard

Let’s take a look at a few of the top benefits you can expect from the best Z390 motherboards:

  • Cutting-edge performance. Given the technology found in the best Z390 motherboards, you can expect incredible speeds and optimal performance.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi. Z390 motherboards incorporate CNVi link, a built-in technology that delivers lightning-fast Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2. As data transfer speeds pick up, you need the technology to match. Fortunately, Z390 motherboards feature USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports for enhanced connectivity options.
  • Maximum overclocking potential. The Z series is all about overclocking, and the best Z390 motherboards deliver some of the most powerful capabilities on the consumer market.

And that’s not all. Depending on the board you choose, there are several other impressive features to enjoy, like onboard illumination, built-in software options, powerful audio configurations, and more. But which board is best?

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Z390 for Your Setup

Closeup Best Z390 Motherboards

Socket Compatibility: First, it’s essential to consider compatibility. The boards on our list all use standard LGA 1151 sockets, which are compatible with 8th and 9th gen Intel processors, from i5 to i9.

Price: Finding the best Z390 motherboard for your budget is the top priority. Buying a high-end motherboard and then skimping out on your CPU, GPU, or power supply will ultimately do more harm than good. 

Size: What size is your case? Motherboards are designed to fit in specific-sized cases. As an example, an ATX motherboard won’t fit in a Micro-ATX case, but a Micro-ATX motherboard will fit in an ATX case. This isn’t generally recommended, though, as motherboards designed for larger-form factor typically have more features. It’s best to get a board made to fit your case to get the most out of the space.

VRM: This is the big one. VRM, or voltage regulator module, is the thing that controls how much power is sent to the various components connected to your motherboard. It’s the single most important aspect of choosing a motherboard if you’re interested in overclocking your CPU or GPU.

Features: Some motherboards have built-in Wi-Fi, some have more M.2 ports or higher speed LAN. Others can hold more RAM or have better audio. GPUs, RAID cards, Wi-Fi cards, capture cards, and SSDs all rely on PCIe slots for high-speed connectivity. Check what features are available on each board and compare them to your needs.

Network Connectivity: Not all ethernet ports are created equal. Most Z390s can handle one gigabit-per-second, but some of you may need more than that. 10 GBE LAN can be essential for high-speed applications.

IO: This isn’t the highest thing on the list, but make sure your new motherboard’s IO has enough connections (and the right kind) for everything you need. 

Brand: Branding is another thing to consider. Certain brands like ASUS and MSI use native RGB-controlling software. You might think about matching your motherboard with a same-brand GPU to get the most out of that synchronized control. ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, and ASRock are all reputable manufacturers.

Appearance: Pick the one that you think will look best in your system. Aesthetics should always be second to performance, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering.

Our Process

For this guide on Z390 motherboards, our writers spent 10 hours researching over 20 of the most popular options from brands big and small. After comparing this data, we then read over 200 user reviews and narrowed our list down to the top 7 Z390 motherboards on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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Further Reading

We hope you’ve found the perfect model for your setup! Feel free to tell us more about your experience with any of the motherboards on this list. Don’t forget to keep up with the High Ground team for more gaming rig roundups and rankings.

Happy gaming!