Best motherboards for i5-9600K builds

Gigabyte-Z390-Aorus-Pro

Intel’s Core i5 offering of 2019, the i5-9600K, is a very popular option for mid-range builds and offers impressive performance for a respectable price tag – looking to top the Ryzen 5 2600X as the king of value chipsets for 2019 CPUs. Many new builders have often decided between a previous generation i7-8700K or the current generation i5-9600K – and despite not having the higher core and thread-count of the i7-9700K – it still provides a serious punch of performance and is certainly worth considering.

If you have decided on a i5-9600K for your next build, then it’s important you pick a suitable motherboard to house the processor, and pick one depending on what you will use it for – whether it be hard overclocking (sufficient VRM cooling), feature rich (USB type C, number of ports) or perhaps for a small form factor build (mini ITX).

To start off, you will want to narrow down your motherboard selection to just Z370 or Z390 chipsets (make sure you update your bios first), with the main difference of the two being the Z390 is basically an updated version of the Z370 chipset, with the addition of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and VNVi support. We go into more detail about Z370 and Z390 compatibility here.

This article is a part of a series where we give our top motherboard recommendations for different processors, such as the i7-9700K and i9-9900K.

With that said, let’s get into our top recommended Z370 and Z390 motherboards for the Core i5-9600K processor in 2019. We have done a lot of research on forums (Toms Hardware) and Reddit /r/buildapc to get user recommendations, as well as our own experiences with the i5-9600K processor.


Our recommendations

AwardDesignModel
Best motherboard for overclocking i5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-Aorus-ProGigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
Best budget motherboard for i5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-Gaming-XGigabyte Z390 Gaming X
Best value motherboard for I5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-Aorus-ProGigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi
Best micro-ATX (mATX) motherboard for i5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-M-GamingGigabyte Z390 M Gaming
Best mini-ITX (mITX) motherboard for i5-9600KASRock-Z390-Phantom-Gaming-ITX_acASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac

Best motherboard for overclocking the i5-9600K

Asus Z390 Aorus Pro

When it comes to Z390 motherboards, Gigabyte have nailed their Z390 lineup for this generation of processors – with seriously impressive VRM quality (12+1 phase digital VRM), decent cooling as well as plenty of features for overclocking – this is the brand we would recommend when looking for a decent overclocking motherboard for the i5-9600K. Gigabyte for Z390 gives you the best chance of pushing past that 5Ghz OC with ease.

The best bang for your buck motherboard for OC’ing the i5-9600K is the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro, which has decent VRM quality and heatpipes for VRM cooling as well as for the M.2 drives – something the slightly cheaper AORUS Elite does not have. Spec wise, the Z390 Aorus Pro features everything you could want in 2019 – RGB, USB Type C header, Dual BIOS as well as Intel Optane support.

All in all , for price-to-perfromance, the Asus Z390 Aorus Pro is hands down the best motherboard for i5-9600k overclock builds, easily passing i5-9600K builds past the 5Ghz OC.


Best budget motherboard for i5-9600K

The best budget motherboard for the i5-9600K also comes from Gigabyte with the Z390 Gaming X – they have really nailed it with their Z390 lineup this year in terms of offering fantastic performance for such a respectable price. We wouldn’t recommend going for any Z390 motherboard cheaper than the Z390 Gaming X if you are planning on overclocking the i5-9600K – since anything cheaper will have a sub-par VRM and likely won’t even have any heatsinks for the VRM to provide sufficient cooling. One Reddit user was able to overclock the i5-9600K with the Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X to 5.2Ghz with ease at 1.35V – not bad at all.

The Z390 Gaming X features a 10+2 phase design, and supports Thunderbolt 3, RGB lighting as well as dual M.2. – as well as the usual features you see on Z390 boards (USB 3.1 Gen 2 headers).

This is by far the best budget motherboard for the i5-9600K that still remains highly capable despite its low end price.


Best value (feature-rich) motherboard for i5-9600K

The winner of the OC’ing the 9500K award also wins the best value motherboard for the i5-9600K – and this is the Gigabyte AORUS Z390 Pro WiFi. For most chipsets, the ASRock Taichi series has nailed it in terms of features but for the Z390 generation, Gigabyte is just doing a superior job in terms of VRM quality and features. The AORUS Z390 Pro offers a plethora of features for a great price including the following:

  • Stellar VRM, M.2 heatsinks and cooling
  • More headers and connectors than other Z390 brands
  • RGB header
  • Dual M.2
  • USB Type C
  • PWM/Smart Fan cooling
  • In built GbE WiFi

Best micro-ATX (mATX) motherboard for i5-9600K

For the Z390 generation of motherboards, there aren’t really actually a large amount of Micro-ATX motherboards for the i5-9600K that provide decent performance for a reasonable price. With that said, one of the few mATX motherboards for the i5-9600K that does have a decent VRM build and cooling again comes from the impressive Gigabyte range of Z390 motherboards, and this is the Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming.

This micro-ATX motherboard is built on a 10+2 phase VRM design and provides sufficient VRM cooling to allow for i5-9600K overclocks with ease – as well as plenty of features you would expect to see on high-end boards in 2019. USB Type C, Dual M.2, 4 fan headers are featured on this motherboard – and many builders even use this motherboard to house the i9-9900K – so that really is a testament to the quality of this motherboard.

If you’re yet to do a mATX build – why not check out our guide on our top micro ATX cases in 2019.


Best mini ITX (mITX) motherboard for i5-9600K

There is one ITX motherboard that really stands out in the Z390 chipset range, and that is the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac – a remarkable and capable motherboard at a seriously competitive price point.

The ASRock beats the competition in the mini ITX form factor with better VRM quality and cooling with functional VRM heatsinks, allowing for superior power delivery to the i5-9600K and components. Feature wise the ASRock really goes to town with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, Dual M.2. slots, Wireless GbE, as well as OC features such as an external clear CMOS on the rear. Overclocking the i5-9600K with an ITX setup, this is the mini-ITX motherboard to pair with the i5-9600K, hands down.

For those looking to build a SFF build with the i5-9600K, here are some great ITX case options.


Summary

AwardDesignModel
Best motherboard for overclocking i5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-Aorus-ProGigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
Best budget motherboard for i5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-Gaming-XGigabyte Z390 Gaming X
Best value motherboard for I5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-Aorus-ProGigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi
Best micro-ATX (mATX) motherboard for i5-9600KGigabyte-Z390-M-GamingGigabyte Z390 M Gaming
Best mini-ITX (mITX) motherboard for i5-9600KASRock-Z390-Phantom-Gaming-ITX_acASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
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