Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Scott Krager
The core i7-10700K is the latest high-end CPU and a part of the Intel’s new Comet Lake desktop processor lineup.
Although based on the infamous 14nm microarchitecture, it offers noticeable improvement over the now-older i7-9700K thanks to higher base/ boost frequencies and thread count.
And it’s not limited to 9700K only as 10700K holds a good edge over AMD Ryzen 7 3700X as far as the gaming performance is concerned.
It outperformed the 3700X in almost every game we played.
However, this advantage is limited to only gaming and some other single-threaded applications. In multi-threaded productivity apps, R7 3700X still holds a sizable lead over the 10700K.
So, whether you should go for the 3700X or 10700K would entirely depend on your usage.
If gaming is your main focus, 10700K is the way to go. And if you’re someone who spends a lot of time on PC playing around with those productivity apps, along with some occasional gaming, Ryzen 3700X is still the better option.
Best Motherboard For Intel i7 10700K
In order to get the most out of your 10700K, you need other PC components to be capable as well.
The topic we have today is the best motherboards to pair up with 10700K.
Since all the 10th gen processors consume a lot more power as compared to their predecessors, Intel has launched a new CPU socket (called LGA 1200) as well. This new socket has more pins to ensure the efficient power delivery to the new CPUs.
The LGA 1200 comes with Z490 motherboards which means that all the previous-gen boards are incompatible with 10th gen CPUs, and you must have a new motherboard in order to put any of these new processors into your PC builds.
Best Motherboards For Intel i7-10700K Review Guide
Now without any further ado, let’s start our review.
Asus Strix Z490-E Gaming: Check Price On Amazon
Costing almost 300 bucks, Asus Strix Z490-E offers the middle ground between the slightly affordable Asus TUF series and high-end MAXIMUS series, and is good for someone who wants a high-end touch in a normal budget.
From design, it looks like a typical Asus motherboard: Black PCB, Black heatsinks, and some RGB branding on the I/O shroud and the PCH heatsink is what you’ll get here.
It offers three PCIe x16 slots of which the top two are steel-reinforced, and three PCIe x1 slots. There’s an M.2 slot below each of the top two PCIe slots and both of them are covered with heatsinks. One downside I found in this layout is that it makes installing M.2 SSD in the first slot difficult especially if you’ve already installed graphics card on the board.
For conventional storage, we have six SATA ports located on the bottom-right side of the board.
The I/O panel has everything you can demand with 2.5 G Ethernet, WiFi 6, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A and C being the highlight. However, it would’ve been better if there were more USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports instead of those 4 outdated USB 2.0 ports.
The amount of RGB implemented here is good but I didn’t like the ROG logo on the PCH heatsink because it’ll eventually be covered if you put a large GPU in your rig. So it makes the whole thing pretty useless.
Strix Z490-E comes with an 8-phase VRM setup in a parallel power-stage design. Since two Vishay SIC639 power stages run for each phase, it allows the board to double the power-delivery without actually using any doubler.
In short, you’re getting 16 power stages (14 for the VCore and 2 for the SoC).
Each of this power stage can support 50A of current, which makes the maximum power output of the motherboard to 800 A. All of this makes CPU and RAM overclocking really easy here – although ASUS has not included any OC-friendly feature out of the box.
Overall, the Strix Z490-E is a great motherboard and offers a good value for its price, with some shortcomings in the form of just two M.2 slots and difficult installation process on the first M.2 slot.
MSI Z490 Unify: Check Price On Amazon
The next motherboard we have in this roundup is MSI Z490 Unify.
It sits in the middle of the MSI’ Z490 motherboard hierarchy, and is geared for enthusiast builders despite being way cheaper than its two high-end siblings – MSI Z490 GODLIKE and Z490 ACE.
It comes with a black/silver PCB and black heatsinks, and easily blends well with any dark themed PC build out there.
The first thing you’ll notice here is the socket area which is open enough to make room for even the bigger air coolers. Next is the large VRM heatsink that extends over the I/O panel. There’s a small fan that pushes the air out of the motherboard through holes in the rear I/O shroud, and further cools the VRM area.
As far as the VRM is concerned, you get a 16-phase power phase design in a (8×2)+1 with 8 doubled phases for Vcore and 1 for the SoC. Each of those stages carry a maximum power of 90 A, which makes the total Vcore power output at 1440 A.
This is the reason why you won’t find any better VRM solution in this price range.
The I/O panel has usual suspect in the form of 2 antennas ports for WiFi, 2.5 G internet, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A and C ports, S/PDIF out, and BIOS flashback button etc.
It comes with three steel-reinforced PCIe x16 3.0 slots and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The top two of those x16 slots are PCIe 4.0 ready which means you can use the new standard if Intel release such capable CPUs in future.
The current 10th gen processor don’t offer this feature but it’ll most likely come with 11th gen Rocket Lake models.
For storage, MSI Z490 Unify has three M.2 slots (one above each x16 slot) and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports.
Overall, MSI Z490 is a great bang for its buck. In fact, it’s the best motherboard you can have with your i7-10700K in terms of value.
You get solid CPU and memory overclocking, full coverage for M.2 slots, and a High-end VRM setup. The only small downside I can think of here is the no RGB despite being labelled as a gaming motherboard.
With that being said, no RGB is actually a plus point for some folks out there.
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master: Check Price On Amazon
Best High-End Motherboard For Intel i7 10700K
Aorus Master is the second most expensive model in the Gigabyte’s Z490 motherboard hierarchy, only behind the Z490 Xtreme, and promises to bring some features of its pricier siblings.
Right at the first glance, Z490 Aorus Master feels premium. I mean you can’t really ignore all the hardware Gigabyte has put in the VRM area.
To be specific, I am talking about the two proper heatsinks with fins (unlike other boards where you just get a metal chunk labelled as heatsink), a heatpipe, and copper metal plates etc. This setup cools the 14-phase 90A digital power design of this board.
There are other heatsinks too, that cool down the chipset as well as the M.2 mounts, and they collectively make the Aorus Master look very solid.
In order to provide voltage stability for more power-hungry processors, you get an additional 8-pin power header, along with one regular 8-pin header.
On the right side of the DIMM slots, there’s a BIOS debug LED and some onboard power controls, both of which can be really handy for some people out there. Speaking of the DIMM slots, they’re fully armored – just like all of the three PCIe x16 slots.
For extra stability, Z490 Aorus Master also comes with a rear plate which also acts as a secondary heatsink.
Like other things here, I/O panel has everything you can ask of in a modern motherboard in the form of 2.5 G Ethernet, WiFi 6, gold-plate audio jacks, SPDIF Out, and huge amount of USB connection (including Type-C).
The CMOS clear button is welcome addition because it allows you to reset your BIOS in case you ever make any mess.
Overall, Aorus Master Z490 is a high-quality motherboard. Yes, coming in at almost 400 bucks, it slightly falls into the “enthusiast” category but totally get what you pay here and there’s isn’t any big flaw I could in this motherboard.
In simple terms, it’s the best top-end motherboard for Intel i7-10700K.