We recently reviewed the best motherboards for the i9 12900K and that has brought us into looking at the best motherboards for the i7 12700K, considering how this is a great value offering at a lower price. Sure, the i5 12600K is also available but if you want a bit more headroom with the performance, this is a great way to get something that is good and will sort you out.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Buy the Best Motherboard for i7 12700K
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
How to Buy the Best Motherboard for i7 12700K
Now, finding the motherboard that is good for you is not at all a complicated thing. As a matter of fact, it is one of the easiest things that you can go through and if you genuinely are in need of something that delivers good performance overall, this is a great way to get started. However, it is not always that you end up with something that delivers solid performance; therefore, it is better to have some knowledge before you invest in the motherboard.
Now, I have always talked about how there is no shortage of good motherboards and that confuses all the users who are there for the first time as things can get complicated, to say the least. For now, let’s look at this handy guide that should help you buy the best motherboard for i7 12700K.
Understanding the Socket and Chipsets
I do understand that you just want to go ahead into the market and buy the motherboard that you can look at, but the thing here is that with so many offerings in the market, things can be confusing., Sure, they used to be very simple when Intel was the only player in the market but with AMD being a key player, things are only confusing for those who are not really that experienced.
Below is a helpful table that should help you with understanding various sockets and chipsets.
|LGA 1700||12th generation.||Intel Z690, H670, B660, and H610 (Alder Lake)|
|LGA 1200||10th and 11th generation.||Comet Lake (10th-gen): Z490, and Tiger Lake Z590|
|LGA 1151||8th and 9th-generation Intel Core||Coffee Lake (8th-gen): H310, B360, H370, Q370, Z370|
Coffee Lake (9th-gen): Z390, B365, B360
|LGA 2066||Skylake-X/Kaby-Lake X||X299|
|sTRX4||3rd-generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper||TRX40|
|sTR4||AMD Ryzen Threadripper||X399|
|AM4||AMD Ryzen, 7th-generation A-Series, and Athlon||A300, A320, B350, B450, X370, X470, X570|
This table is going to help you have a better understanding of the chipsets and sockets, as well. Always be sure that you are going for the latest offering as it is going to be a much better value and having the latest features is always a nice thing.
Once you have gone through the table and have a proper understanding, you can then move onto the other aspects that will help you get the right motherboard.
It is safe to say that whenever you are in the market searching for a motherboard, the one thing that you will be coming across a lot is going to be the form factor. Now, in its truest self, the form factor can just be addressed as the size of the motherboard and when you are buying a motherboard, you will come up against some really common motherboard sizes that are available with the most common being the following.
|Size||9.0 x 7.5 inches||9.6 x 9.6 inches||12 x 9.6 inches|
|RAM Slots||2||Up to 4||Up to 8|
|GPUs||Up to 1||Up to 3||Up to 4|
|SATA ports||Up to 6||Up to 8||Up to 12|
Some higher end motherboards are also available in E-ATX, but that is not as common so the chances of running into those motherboards are not as high. You also have to be sure that the form factor of a motherboard is also supported by the case you are going to use.
Whenever you are in the market trying to decide upon the type of motherboard you want, the one common and mostly overlooked thing relates to the expansion. Now, a motherboard on its own is not really something that one would worry about but when you are looking about expansion, this is important.
For starters, the first thing you need to be seeing is if the motherboard has the latest PCI standard, to a point that you do not want to go with something that does not deliver you a good experience.
You will normally run into motherboards with x1, x4, x8, and x16 motherboards, but the x4 and x16 are the most common slots. You will also run into motherboards with varying numbers of slots. So, it is always better that you are looking into how much expansion you need.
Additionally, you will also need to look into the number of M.2 slots, because that is another important factor if you are looking to go for faster storage, since no one really wants slower storage.
Speaking of expansion, I would also suggest that you are looking at a decent amount of fan headers on your motherboard. Why? Well, you would want to connect fans onto your motherboard so you can keep your system cool. Remember, the 12th generation processors are as fast as they are hot, so you do not want to be stuck with not enough fans in the system.
GPU and RAM Support
Moving further, you also need to start looking into the GPU and RAM support and how much do you want. Most people are going to be using one GPU since multi-GPU support in gaming is slowly being removed altogether. So, a single GPU is a must.
On the other hand, you also have to look into the RAM slots and how many are you populating. The most common one being the motherboard that comes with two RAM slots. The more you look into it, the better experience you will go through and there won’t be any complications, either.
Just take your time finding the right balance and you are good to go.
Do You Plan on Overclocking?
This is one thing that most of the times, people just overlook and I would never suggest anyone going through. For the simplest reason that if you do not want to overclock your CPU, you can simply go ahead and buy whatever motherboard fits your requirements and budget.
However, if you do have plans on overclocking the CPU, then I would highly suggest that you are buying a motherboard with a good power delivery phase because if you do end up getting something that is cheap and not good enough, you might not really have the experience you are looking to go for.
However, you must also remember that just because a motherboard is Z690 does not mean that it is great for overclocking. So, I would always recommend that before you buy the motherboard, you should check the power phases; the more the better.
(image credit: Amazon)
Form Factor: ATX. | CPU Socket: LGA 1700. | Chipset: Z690. | Memory Type: DDR5. | Power Phases: 20+1.
The first motherboard that we are looking at is from Asus and of course, when you are looking at Asus, you can expect some great quality from the company and honestly, they have never really failed to impress us and this time around is no different, either. If you genuinely have been waiting for a good motherboard, this is the way to go.
With that said, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is an excellent offering that I have reviewed a number of times. So, in case you have been looking for something that is good, this is the way to go and you are not really going to run into issues, either. However, I would highly suggest that before you look at this motherboard and change your mind, read this review and you will understand just why exactly am I reviewing it, in the first place.
Now, moving forward, the one thing that I ended up loving about the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is the fact that this is perhaps one of the most solid motherboards for anyone who wants to go ahead and do some overclocking. The 20+1 power phases on top of 90A delivery is impressive, to say the least. I did manage to overclock the i7 12700K and gained a respective and stable overclock, too. Sure, the processor does run hot but if you do have enough cooling capacity, you can really enjoy the overall experience it provides.
However, overclocking is not the only thing this motherboard excels at. I had an amazing time with the building process as the motherboard allowed me to carry on my tasks with ease and convenience, to a point that everything was lined up for me. Asus has added some nifty features that make the whole build process comparatively easy to a point that you do not have to stress over it at all.
Furthermore, you are also getting two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which might seem overkill to some but hey, I enjoy having more and more features and this is just going to make my experience better overall. The one thing that I genuinely enjoyed here is the fact that the motherboard has mounting holes that allow you to use LGA 1200 CPU coolers with ease. So, even if you do want to use one of your older coolers, you are good to go.
Honestly, my only issue is that the ethernet port on the motherboard is not as fast as some might prefer.
Overall, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero manages to deliver one excellent experience to a point that you would never really feel like you are buying something that is cheaply made. The motherboard is built for enthusiasts in every case and is not going to let you down.
- Excellent stability.
- Great overall build quality.
- Overclocks like a champion.
- Lots of add-ons to make the building process easy.
- Several gamer-oriented features.
- Ethernet speed is not as fast.
(image credit: Amazon)
Form Factor: ATX. | CPU Socket: LGA 1700. | Chipset: Z690. | Memory Type: DDR5. | Power Phases: 18+1.
The next motherboard that we are looking at is from Asus once again and there is a reason behind the popularity that Asus enjoys. For starters, the company is known for delivering some solid offerings throughout their entire history and we have never really run into any issues with the motherboards they offer, either. So, it is only fair that they are treated for the performance they provide.
The motherboard in hand is the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming and while some might be concerned over the performance considering how this is a more affordable motherboard, I can assure you that you should not let the price misguide you because even at a lower price, this still is one of the best motherboards that you can buy and I am going to tell you why.
For starters, despite being a more budget-friendly variant, the motherboard comes with 18+1 power stages and 90A; this allows the overclockers to actually go ahead and overclock their Core i7 12700K with ease. Sure, overclocking is not for everyone but at least it gives you an ability to go ahead and do that and that too, without any issues. I tested the i7 12700K in both overclocked and stock configuration and had zero issues with how the motherboard performed.
The overall design is another thing that I love a lot here, so if you have been wanting something that looks good, this is a great way to get started. Asus has done a good job at keeping the VRM temperatures under control and you have a lot of goodies that you can just get started with. For starters, you get an M.2 add-in card if you want to expand the storage even further and the connectivity is modern, too.
If you are someone who wants an uncompromised USB availability, the backside of the motherboard is loaded with all the connectivity you could want. I also love the fact that Asus is now implementing a quick release system for the M.2 and PCIe slots that allows you to go tool-less and that is something impressive.
Moving onto the downsides, I really did not think that there is something severely wrong with the motherboard. The pricing might be on the higher side for some but other than that, the motherboard delivers on more than one front.
Overall, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming is an excellent motherboard that can easily outperform other similarly priced motherboards. For anyone who wants good performance, the motherboard is an excellent alternative that is not going to cost you more than what the competition is charging you.
- Manages to remain stable even when overclocked.
- Good VRM temperature.
- Lots of accessories included.
- The Asus Q-Release for M.2 and PCIe slots is amazing.
- Looks amazing.
- Not built for everyone.
Best Value Motherboard for i7 12700k
(image credit: Amazon)
Form Factor: ATX. | CPU Socket: LGA 1700. | Chipset: Z690. | Memory Type: DDR5. | Power Phases: 18.
We are finally looking at something that presents itself as a great value offering and is made for people who want to have a good overall experience. The good thing about motherboards from MSI is that there have been excellent options that are available in the market, and you can choose from a wide range of options that range from something affordable, to high end.
The MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI is more or less in the middle of the road and while it does come in the middle, it does not mean that the performance you are going to get out of this motherboard will be lacking in any way. As a matter of fact, the overall performance is excellent to a point that I have had a pleasure using the motherboard in almost all the cases. Sure, it is not the fastest gun in town but hey, the performance it delivers is plenty and promising.
Now, I am going to start talking about all the good that this motherboard does right away. I can tell you that if you are looking for something that is good in delivering solid performance and that too, without any confusions, this is it. You are getting 18 direct power phases, which are enough to drive the Core i7 12700K and on top of that, deliver some solid performance, too. The surprising thing here is that you can actually achieve a fairly decent overclock on the processor, as well. Without having to worry about instability, and that is one thing that makes this motherboard a great option overall.
For those who are looking for the latest wireless connectivity, the MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI also brings support for Wi-Fi 6E, which is always good to see, and two PCIe Gen 5.0 slots are also present. For those who want more and more storage, you get access to 5x M.2 sockets, which should be more than enough for most users.
As far as other connectivity is concerned, you are getting RGB headers as well as ample fan connectors, so you are all sorted on that front.
On the flipside, the MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI does have a few issues, but nothing that is going to break the overall experience. For starters, the 75A power stages might not be enough for enthusiasts, and the ethernet is limited to just 2.5 Gb.
Overall, the MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI surprisingly manages to strike a perfect balance between performance, value, and looks. Wherein, the motherboard has excellent stability, it looks great, and more importantly, it actually brings an amazing value on the table. All three things combined are not as easy to achieve.
- Still offers decent CPU overclocking.
- Latest wireless connectivity.
- Dual PCIe Gen 5.0.
- Plenty of M.2 slots.
- Good RGB support.
- 75A is not enough for enthusiasts.
- Ethernet is only limited to 2.5 Gb.
Best DDR4 Motherboard for i7 12700k
(image credit: Amazon)
Form Factor: ATX. | CPU Socket: LGA 1700. | Chipset: Z690. | Memory Type: DDR4. | Power Phases: 13.
Next up, we have something from ASRock on the table and it should not come as a surprise that the company is known for delivering some excellent motherboards. It does not matter if you are willing to splurge all your money or want to be on the more conservative side, ASRock has you covered and it does a great job at that, as well.
The motherboard in question is the ASRock Z690 Steel Legend, and for those who do not know, this is an excellent mid-range offering from the company that aims to deliver a top of the line experience for everyone who is looking to build a new computer. ASRock has always been among the best brands for me and this just goes to show that the company is not going anywhere.
It would be more than safe to say that the ASRock Z690 Steel Legend is built for people who are trying to get the best value out of a motherboard. I tested it extensively with the i7 12700K and during those tests, the motherboard worked without a hitch and performed adequately. I was able to achieve a modest overclock as well, even though I was scared due to just 13-power phases, but overall, the motherboard did not run into major stability issues. However, I would not suggest that you are pushing the motherboard to its limits. The overall performance remained excellent.
You are also getting support for PCIe 5.0 and all the other latest and greatest connectivity that you would want such as Wi-Fi 6e. However, you have to understand that this motherboard only supports DDR4 but manages to go as high as 5,000 MHz when overclocked. Another thing that I really love about the ASRock Z690 Steel Legend is the white and silver color scheme; if you have been looking to build a white PC, this motherboard should definitely be on the list for that.
In my testing, I never really ran into several issues, to be honest. However, the DDR4 might put some people off but other than that, you are looking at an excellent motherboard overall.
In conclusion, I find the ASRock Z690 Steel Legend one of the best motherboards that you can buy in the market. If you have been on the lookout for something that just works without a hitch, then this is the motherboard that you should be going for.
- The performance is excellent.
- Allows for a moderate overclock.
- Latest connectivity support including PCIe 5.0.
- The white/silver combination looks amazing.
- DDR4 might be off-putting to some.
Best Budget Motherboard for i7 12700k
(image credit: Amazon)
Form Factor: ATX. | CPU Socket: LGA 1700. | Chipset: Z690. | Memory Type: DDR5. | Power Phases: 14+1+1
The last motherboard that we are looking at is for those who are not in the mood to spend a lot of money and for all the right reasons. Every now and then you want to buy something that is not expensive at all. For instance, you are just a user who is looking for an entry to the 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs but you are not looking to spend money. Well, MSI has you covered.
More precisely, the MSI PRO Z690-A is the motherboard that I am looking at. I handpicked the motherboard for a very simple reason that this right here is an affordable offering that you can buy and have a great experience, too. Sure, it is not the flashiest of motherboards but the performance it delivers is more than enough in all regards and it certainly lives up to the name, as well. So, if you have been wanting something solid but inexpensive, this is the way to go.
Now, I did spend a good amount of time with the MSI PRO Z690-A and honestly, my experience has been good. I would not say that I went to an extreme overclock with this motherboard but hey, the i7 12700K paired just fine with the MSI PRO Z690-A and that is what’s important here.
Furthermore, you are also looking at an excellent value for money through and through in terms of the overall performance of this board. For starters, this is among the cheapest Z690 motherboards available in the market and you would be happy to know that it is available in both DDR4 and DDR5 variants, which allows you to save an extra few bucks by going that route.
Furthermore, for anyone who is looking to get better RAM experience as well as other connectivity, the motherboard has ample ports and slots. So, you do not have to worry that you may have cut corners when getting this.
The overall looks of the board are good enough as it would suit anyone who does not want to have a lot of lighting or aggressive looks, and the build quality remains exceptional for the price.
If I am to complain about something, it would only be that MSI could have added a few more advanced features, but that is about it.
Overall, it should not come as a surprise that the MSI PRO Z690-A is an excellent budget motherboard that delivers great performance and truly lives up to the essence of getting what you pay for.
- Excellent performance.
- Runs moderately cool.
- Remains stable.
- Stealthy looks.
- Available in both DDR4 and DDR5.
- Mostly barebone set of features.
It is safe to say that the Intel Core i7 12700K is one of the hottest processors in the market from all angles. Which means that if you have been wanting to get the best performance and experience in general, this is the processor that you should be going for.
However, we always should remember that a good processor needs a good motherboard or you are in for a lacking experience. This is a common mistake that most people go through time and again. The whole purpose of this roundup is to help the users who are stuck in a rut when it comes to making the right decision. Because of course, getting confused in the market is the last thing anyone wants and getting the wrong motherboard because of the sheer confusion is even worse.
With this round up, I have curated the perfect list of all the great motherboards that you can buy for the i7 12700K. These motherboards range from budget offerings, to value, and to the highest end options so your overall experience does not get sour and you can actually pick up a nice motherboard.