Motherboards are the centerpiece of any computer and finding one that suits your need can be hard. The motherboard can vary significantly in price and features. While most people can get away with buying what looks good within budget, it is best to choose your board depending on your needs.
Before choosing a motherboard, first identify the feature set that is important to you: WiFi, OC capabilities, dual Ethernet, M.2 slots, etc. Researching before buying will ensure you get the best bang for the buck.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a simple list of Z690 boards that we believe to be relevant:
– DDR4 boards for those looking for something familiar,
– Small Form Factor boards for SFF bro who like compact builds
– Enthusiast boards for users pushing the limits of hardware, getting the best mobo money can buy
– Productivity Boards for more professional and powerhouse users.
What to look out for: Form Factor, Dimm Slots, Connectivity, IOs and other nice to-haves.
- While most Z690 boards are overbuilt in power delivery, there are still some that stand out. Some boards have a great price-to-performance ratio, while others have overkill VRMs. CPU overclocking is the best way to squeeze more performance from your CPU, and power delivery is a crucial component for OCing. You can find our article here for an in-depth look into how power delivery on the motherboard works.
- The 3 most common topologies are T-Topology, Daisy Chain Topology, and 1 DIMM per Channel Topology (1DPC). 1DPC remains the top choice for overclockers. For more on how different Topologies work you can refer to our article on the topic.
- This heavily depends on individual needs, but it is always good to have a wide range of options available to you in the case of expansion. Be it in networking, storage, or USB devices.
- Motherboards tend to come in 3 form factors, ATX boards which are the largest of them all, and then Micro-ATX which is a step-down, and then Mini-ITX boards which are the smallest of the bunch. Some popular enthusiast boards tend to come in the E-ATX form factor, which stands for Extended-ATX, usually used to have more add more ports or buttons on the board.
- Extra features are often down to preference, but features like POST codes, a Safe boot button, or at least jumper and even On-board buttons which usually comes in high-end boards only are a must-get for some users. Many of these features can also be used for overclocking, while more niche, it may still be something to look into.
MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4
PRO series helps users work smarter by delivering an efficient and productive experience. Featuring stable functionality and high-quality assembly, PRO series motherboards provide not only optimized professional workflows but also less troubleshooting and longevity. The MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 offers great value for money, while not sacrificing any overclocking performance.
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 white and silver scheme motherboard is designed with boosted power delivery and optimized cooling to cope with the demands of powerful 12th Generation Intel Core processors. Along with Wi-Fi 6 and PCI Express 5.0 for superfast transfer speeds and storage, ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 is ready to take the helm of your clean and neat white gaming gear.
MSI MPG Z690 Edge WiFi DDR4
The MPG Z690 EDGE WIFI DDR4 delivers a powerful Intel 12th Gen Core ready platform that supports a broad spectrum of the state-of-the-art system processors and gaming hardware. For gaming connoisseurs looking to upgrade their motherboard across the board, the MPG Z690 EDGE WIFI DDR4 is the premium choice.
MSI MEG Z690I Unify
The MEG series seeks to transcend current gaming products, the flagship model designed to push the limits of what an extreme gaming series can be. Combining the strengths of our existing arsenal with new innovative technology; this results in significant improvements in operational and gaming efficiency. The MSI MEG Z690I Unify is MSI's ITX offering and a little brother to Unify-X motherboards.
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi 6E
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi 6E is the perfect backbone for gamers who pursue ultimate performance out of Intel 12th Gen CPU mini-ITX PC build. With boosted power delivery and innovative cooling utilizing a skived-fin design, ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi 6E is the perfect compact platform for your next gaming battle station.
EVGA Z690 DARK K|NGP|N
EVGA DARK motherboards blaze the trail for other boards to follow, and the Z690 DARK K|NGP|N is no exception. The ability to destroy world records is insignificant next to the power of a 21-phase VRM and a 10-layer PCB- capable of driving the most powerful powerful 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors.
MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X
The MEG series seeks to transcend current gaming products, the flagship model designed to push the limits of what an extreme gaming series can be. Combining the strengths of our existing arsenal with new innovative technology; this results in significant improvements in operational and gaming efficiency. The MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X is MSI's offering to the Enthuasists who wants a board that push the absolute limits of their hardware.
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Apex
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Apex(WiFi 6E) is the premiere overclocking platform for extreme OC enthusiasts looking to unlock the full potential of 12th generation Intel Core processors. Its optimized layout,enhanced power delivery and control, and striking design with a myriad of customization options will appeal to overclockers, gamers, and PC builders alike.
ASUS ProArt Z690-Creator
The ASUS ProArt Z690-Creator WiFi 6E perfects the art of performance, empowering creativity and maximizing the computing power of the latest 12th Generation Intel Core processors with powerful hardware and software, efficient cooling and lightning-fast connectivity, including Thunderbolt 4, 10 Gb and 2.5 Gb onboard Ethernet, and WiFi 6E.