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Intel Z790 Motherboard Suggestions


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Hey guys, 

 

I may consider upgrading my system to adopt the DDR5 Platform after saving up a little and with the sale of my current core components will also offset the cost. So a new motherboard CPU & RAM. CPU & RAM are fairly easy selections but I feel it would be good to get some opinions on the motherboards. 

 

I am with AMD at the moment with the 5950X but considering a move over to Intel. It is likely I will opt for the 13900K/KS.

 

I have taken a quick look at the motherboards, I tend not to skimp on them as I tend to go with something that has a decent feature set and offers reliable overclocking. Being that onboard 10Gb NIC is a must for me, that already puts me in the £500-600 range straight away as the cheaper motherboards only come with 2.5Gb NIC's. I know....I am such a snob 😛. With my home network running mostly over 10Gb, it would be wild to gimp my PC.

 

The first motherboard from SCAN over here in the UK that fits the bill is the Gigabyte Intel Z790 AORUS MASTER. I will need to do some reading on it but Gigabyte has been a reliable brand for me in the past. 

 

I am avoiding Asus like the plague, and that is not just because of the bashing they have taken lately (and rightly so) but my last two attempts with "premium" Asus boards has been a sad affair. They fooled me twice, a third time I am not willing. 

 

If anyone here who has a Z790 motherboard has any suggestions, I would be glad to hear them. 

 

Many thanks,

E

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I have that gigabyte z790 aorus master board in my unraid file server with a 13700k.  The only issue I ran into was the xmp memory profile wouldn't work with two kits of ram installed (4x16gb).  I believe that's common with multiple kits, though.  Since I don't need fast ram in this system, I'm just running with whatever slow speeds it defaulted to.

 

I picked that board as it was the cheapest with a built-in 10Gb NIC.

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What happened to the laptop? 🙃

 

MSI and Asrock do seem like good brands, so it's worth checking them out as well.

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12 minutes ago, Andrew said:

What happened to the laptop? 🙃

 

MSI and Asrock do seem like good brands, so it's worth checking them out as well.

 

I was waiting for someone to bring that up. I am weighing up my options, I know while a laptop would be nice...the enthusiast in me may have buyers regret sometimes down the line.

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I had the EVGA Dark. Was a good board. If fine with 2 dimm slots may be up your alley, though idk how stock with EVGA is over on that side of the pond, oh and don’t run Zotac 30XX/40XX GPUs with it. 

 

While I worked with Asus for a couple of years, I have used them for a very long time. I can understand frustrations though. 

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anti-Gigabyte gang

 

+1 for EVGA. EVGA Z790 Classified has onboard 10 GbE, and it's only ~$50 more than the Aorus Master (at least in the US). and the best part is that it isn't Gigabyte

 

it's the board I was considering before I decided to wait for Intel 14000/AMD 8000 

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30 minutes ago, The Pook said:

anti-Gigabyte gang

 

+1 for EVGA. EVGA Z790 Classified has onboard 10 GbE, and it's only ~$50 more than the Aorus Master (at least in the US). and the best part is that it isn't Gigabyte

 

it's the board I was considering before I decided to wait for Intel 14000/AMD 8000 

Isn't 14th gen staying on Z790?

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8 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

Isn't 14th gen staying on Z790?

 

LGA 1851 supposedly. 

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5 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

Isn't 14th gen staying on Z790?

 

5 hours ago, The Pook said:

 

LGA 1851 supposedly. 

 

You know what, that is something I did not take into account again, Intel has a really bum upgrade path for CPU's as they really enjoy changing sockets....

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Personally I would select a motherboard that has option for extreme DDR5 OC, preferably 8000+ on QVL. I was looking at the MSI MPG EDGE WIFI Z790 mini itx or the newer Z790/B760 boards.  Also the Z690 Unify-X has been dropping in price lately which is a good ram overclocker.

for ATX i would go for either MSI or gigabyte, Z790 Tachion or Master, AERO G looks good, or MSI EDGE series. Asus maybe the Z790i mITX they can do 8000+ 

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46 minutes ago, kaliz said:

Personally I would select a motherboard that has option for extreme DDR5 OC, preferably 8000+ on QVL. I was looking at the MSI MPG EDGE WIFI Z790 mini itx or the newer Z790/B760 boards.  Also the Z690 Unify-X has been dropping in price lately which is a good ram overclocker.

for ATX i would go for either MSI or gigabyte, Z790 Tachion or Master, AERO G looks good, or MSI EDGE series. Asus maybe the Z790i mITX they can do 8000+ 

 

Thanks, I will look over some of those. Something that just made me laugh though, I checked out the EVGA Z790 Dark, while I know the core purpose of that board is for overclocking, it sort of made me laugh they did not include a single Gen 5 M.2 slot, but they felt it important to keep the serial port for old school mice and keyboards. 

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I actually like that they still have PS/2 ports. I'm not some extreme overclocker that's disabling my USB controllers to free up that last little bit of system resources, but I do have some vintage mechanical keyboards that I still like to use occasionally. 

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22 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

Isn't 14th gen staying on Z790?

 

22 hours ago, The Pook said:

 

LGA 1851 supposedly. 

 

16 hours ago, ENTERPRISE said:

You know what, that is something I did not take into account again, Intel has a really bum upgrade path for CPU's as they really enjoy changing sockets....

 

think I lied and @Sir Beregond was right. I think 14th gen mobile is Meteor Lake and 14th gen desktop is going to be Raptor Lake-S? then it might still be on LGA 1700. 

 

in either case I'm waiting for Meteor Lake before I upgrade, boo refreshes. 

 

 

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So, while I said no Asus....Annoyingly, out of the bunch right now, the Asus ProArt seems to have the best balanced feature set so far. It has a really up to date external I/O feature set which no other board is offering and unlike some of the boards in a similar price range has 2x GEN 5 M.2 slots and 2x GEN 5 PCie x16 Slots. I am not planning to do heavy overclocking, it comes with a smaller 16+1 Power Stage at 70 Amps but unless someone says otherwise, I cannot see that being a huge limiting factor here. With time being low and Overclocking being less of a priority these days (Yes I said it), I think it could be a winner at its price point, currently £559. I am not really looking to keep upgrading the motherboard as it is one of those items I think should last a few gens before you "Have" to swap it out. Though that is still a question mark with Intel with there socket changes, that being said the Pro Art is also available on AM5.

 

After taking a look at virtually all the boards, they all seem to have rather annoying nuances, such as only 1x PCIe 5 M.2 slot, which they think is OK to make up with by providing an additional add-in card, or only 1x PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot....with the rest being PCIe 3.0. I am looking at you Gigabyte Aorus Master, which ironically on the surface looked like a decent board until you check under the hood. Though, they are not the only guilty ones.

 

The MSI Godlike is also a weird one, while you are paying for some gimmicks like the integrated screen etc, at £1100+ I would expect more that ONE...yes ONE Gen 5 M.2 slot. All the other 6 M.2's are Gen 4. I know the board has more focus on Overclocking and increased memory speed compatibility but I would have hoped for a more logical layout. 

 

Not sure if it is me, but the way GEN 5 for PCie has been utilized on some of these boards is dumb at best. I would understand it at the lower priced segment, but in the £550+ market or at the more wild £1100+, that is absolute bull.

 

Perhaps I am just grumpy!

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1 hour ago, ENTERPRISE said:

t has a really up to date external I/O feature set which no other board is offering and unlike some of the boards in a similar price range has 2x GEN 5 M.2 slots and 2x GEN 5 PCie x16 Slots. 

 

After taking a look at virtually all the boards, they all seem to have rather annoying nuances, such as only 1x PCIe 5 M.2 slot, which they think is OK to make up with by providing an additional add-in card, or only 1x PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot....with the rest being PCIe 3.0. I am looking at you Gigabyte Aorus Master, which ironically on the surface looked like a decent board until you check under the hood. Though, they are not the only guilty ones.

 

not really the board makers fault, no? 

 

if you want >1 PCIe 5.0 NVME slot, then you'd be stuck running your GPU at x8 and you'd need PLX to split x8 into x4/x4 (along with it disabling your 2nd x16 slot). 

 

could be looking at this wrong but I assume that's the case: 

 

Z790 Chipset: More I/O Than Z690, But Same Performance - Intel Core  i9-13900K and i5-13600K Review: Raptor Lake Brings More Bite

 

 

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1 hour ago, ENTERPRISE said:

So, while I said no Asus....Annoyingly, out of the bunch right now, the Asus ProArt seems to have the best balanced feature set so far. It has a really up to date external I/O feature set which no other board is offering and unlike some of the boards in a similar price range has 2x GEN 5 M.2 slots and 2x GEN 5 PCie x16 Slots. I am not planning to do heavy overclocking, it comes with a smaller 16+1 Power Stage at 70 Amps but unless someone says otherwise, I cannot see that being a huge limiting factor here. With time being low and Overclocking being less of a priority these days (Yes I said it), I think it could be a winner at its price point, currently £559. I am not really looking to keep upgrading the motherboard as it is one of those items I think should last a few gens before you "Have" to swap it out. Though that is still a question mark with Intel with there socket changes, that being said the Pro Art is also available on AM5.

 

After taking a look at virtually all the boards, they all seem to have rather annoying nuances, such as only 1x PCIe 5 M.2 slot, which they think is OK to make up with by providing an additional add-in card, or only 1x PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot....with the rest being PCIe 3.0. I am looking at you Gigabyte Aorus Master, which ironically on the surface looked like a decent board until you check under the hood. Though, they are not the only guilty ones.

 

The MSI Godlike is also a weird one, while you are paying for some gimmicks like the integrated screen etc, at £1100+ I would expect more that ONE...yes ONE Gen 5 M.2 slot. All the other 6 M.2's are Gen 4. I know the board has more focus on Overclocking and increased memory speed compatibility but I would have hoped for a more logical layout. 

 

Not sure if it is me, but the way GEN 5 for PCie has been utilized on some of these boards is dumb at best. I would understand it at the lower priced segment, but in the £550+ market or at the more wild £1100+, that is absolute bull.

 

Perhaps I am just grumpy!

 

+1 for ASUS from me, too. I've only used ASUS motherboards in every build I've done, once I had the money to build my first pc in 2009.

 

I went AM5 and am an early adopter of the 7900X3D. For gaming, it's amazing. When I first got it, it took like 45 seconds to post fully training memory, but they've fixed that now (I had similar issues with Zen 3 and a Crosshair VIII Hero when it launched).

 

However, you would be getting a board and platform that is essentially EOL except for the Raptor Lake refresh in October, supposedly, and the BIOS and platform should be mature enough that you won't have teething issues.

 

In my family we still have a working Z170 and Z270 ASUS boards, one is in my mom's gaming rig (she plays very simple games like Bejeweled 3 and Mahjong solitaire), and the Z170 is in my brothers low end gaming rig with an i3-6100. I know the Z270 is a ROG Strix but the Z170 is a mid tier board that he wanted because it lights up orange lol and his build is is in an old orange Corsair case. I also have a 2011 Crosshair V Formula (AM3+), FX-8350 and G.skill Trident X DDR3 2400mhz that works great in storage, planning on trying to sell it here eventually.

 

Anyway, point I'm trying to make is that they've all been rock solid and still run and I have never had problems with ASUS boards requiring an RMA or board catching fire etc.

 

If you're just going to run some memory at XMP and let the thing boost on it's own you'll probably be fine with that board.

 

Hope this helps, that's my 2 cents.

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I wouldn't call myself an Asus fangirl but we do have a TON of Asus products in the house and have had great luck with them. The 3D modeling rig I built for my roommate has been running a ProArt X570-Creator since we last refreshed it with the 3090s and it's run 24/7. We also have a couple of the ProArt calibrated monitors and they are really nice. Both my AM5 setups have Asus boards (the Crosshair Gene admittedly has issues with the 2.5g NIC but that's a common issue with Intel i225-v). The z790-I I just picked up works great so far. 

 

Point being, I wouldn't totally write them off. Especially the ProArt series since it's more aimed at being a no nonsense line of quality parts without the L33T G@M3R BS and ROG tax.

 

Also, why are you so hung up on Gen 5 SSDs? Yes it's cool to flex the big numbers but in real world usage Gen 3 or 4 will be more than plenty for the next 5+ years. Hell, most people can barely tell  the difference between SATA and gen3 SSDs in todays workloads. By the time having gen5 storage really matters, you will need a whole platform refresh anyways. 

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I'd like to offer an alternative to your point on SSDs, with real-world use case examples.

 

I had the Samsung 980 Pro in my 12900KS/z690 system, and whenever Forza Horizon 5 would load the cars before the race, my game would stutter, 100% of the time at 4K. No matter what.

 

Fast forward to now, I have the 990 Pro, not even a world-beater, and I literally never get stuttering on loads now. Ever. 

 

So I do find value in the newer SSD's, especially for games where it has to load heavy textures and stuff.  For example, I ran the tests on 3dMark, and I got such a high score on the Storage benchmark that the system suspected I was cheating and made me re-run.

 

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12 minutes ago, Fluxmaven said:

I wouldn't call myself an Asus fangirl but we do have a TON of Asus products in the house and have had great luck with them. The 3D modeling rig I built for my roommate has been running a ProArt X570-Creator since we last refreshed it with the 3090s and it's run 24/7. We also have a couple of the ProArt calibrated monitors and they are really nice. Both my AM5 setups have Asus boards (the Crosshair Gene admittedly has issues with the 2.5g NIC but that's a common issue with Intel i225-v). The z790-I I just picked up works great so far. 

 

Point being, I wouldn't totally write them off. Especially the ProArt series since it's more aimed at being a no nonsense line of quality parts without the L33T G@M3R BS and ROG tax.

 

Also, why are you so hung up on Gen 5 SSDs? Yes it's cool to flex the big numbers but in real world usage Gen 3 or 4 will be more than plenty for the next 5+ years. Hell, most people can barely tell  the difference between SATA and gen3 SSDs in todays workloads. By the time having gen5 storage really matters, you will need a whole platform refresh anyways. 

Yeah now that my Crosshair VIII Hero is in my wife's rig, her OS is running off an 860 Evo SATA and it boots fast and loads programs quickly.

 

There's a very minor speed difference/OS loading faster in my rig, which has a 512GB 970 Evo that I got when I first built my Zen 3 setup - not realizing the 970 Evo was only PCI-E 3.0 while the Crosshair VIII Hero supported PCI-E 4.0.

 

Other than higher numbers in CrystalDiskMark I doubt you'd be able to tell the difference between 4.0 and 5.0, but I can understand wanting to upgrade to the newest thing available, too.

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10 minutes ago, TonyBombassolo said:

I'd like to offer an alternative to your point on SSDs, with real-world use case examples.

 

I had the Samsung 980 Pro in my 12900KS/z690 system, and whenever Forza Horizon 5 would load the cars before the race, my game would stutter, 100% of the time at 4K. No matter what.

 

Fast forward to now, I have the 990 Pro, not even a world-beater, and I literally never get stuttering on loads now. Ever. 

 

So I do find value in the newer SSD's, especially for games where it has to load heavy textures and stuff.  For example, I ran the tests on 3dMark, and I got such a high score on the Storage benchmark that the system suspected I was cheating and made me re-run.

 

WWW.3DMARK.COM

Intel Core i9-12900KS Processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti x 1, 32768 MB, 64-bit Windows 11}

 

Doesn't the 990 Pro have like a super high failure rate and there was a news thread about it a while back?

 

Either way- I also play FH5 and have it on my rather cramped 512GB 970 Evo. Are you talking about your car spinning on the podium with your character on it before a race? As I get stutters pretty badly when that goes on. (I play at 3440x1440 144Hz Freesync and it still stutters a decent amount when that happens).

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11 hours ago, ENTERPRISE said:

So, while I said no Asus....Annoyingly, out of the bunch right now, the Asus ProArt seems to have the best balanced feature set so far. It has a really up to date external I/O feature set which no other board is offering and unlike some of the boards in a similar price range has 2x GEN 5 M.2 slots and 2x GEN 5 PCie x16 Slots. I am not planning to do heavy overclocking, it comes with a smaller 16+1 Power Stage at 70 Amps but unless someone says otherwise, I cannot see that being a huge limiting factor here. With time being low and Overclocking being less of a priority these days (Yes I said it), I think it could be a winner at its price point, currently £559. I am not really looking to keep upgrading the motherboard as it is one of those items I think should last a few gens before you "Have" to swap it out. Though that is still a question mark with Intel with there socket changes, that being said the Pro Art is also available on AM5.

 

After taking a look at virtually all the boards, they all seem to have rather annoying nuances, such as only 1x PCIe 5 M.2 slot, which they think is OK to make up with by providing an additional add-in card, or only 1x PCIe Gen 5 x16 slot....with the rest being PCIe 3.0. I am looking at you Gigabyte Aorus Master, which ironically on the surface looked like a decent board until you check under the hood. Though, they are not the only guilty ones.

 

The MSI Godlike is also a weird one, while you are paying for some gimmicks like the integrated screen etc, at £1100+ I would expect more that ONE...yes ONE Gen 5 M.2 slot. All the other 6 M.2's are Gen 4. I know the board has more focus on Overclocking and increased memory speed compatibility but I would have hoped for a more logical layout. 

 

Not sure if it is me, but the way GEN 5 for PCie has been utilized on some of these boards is dumb at best. I would understand it at the lower priced segment, but in the £550+ market or at the more wild £1100+, that is absolute bull.

 

Perhaps I am just grumpy!

Motherboard are just in a weird spot these days. Feature wise, the tiering makes no sense anymore. Stuff you used to get on $150 motherboards are now $600 motherboards.

 

As for ASUS. I know they've been in some heavily publicized drama recently, but as far as I am concerned that kinda crap happens with all the big brands whether ASUS, MSI, or Gigabyte every so often. Doesn't feel like anything new to me. As for your own experiences, that's different and I totally understand that. Personally I had a slew of really bad experiences with both MSI and Gigabyte boards around 2007 and 2008 and have run exclusively ASUS boards ever since. Aside from one P55 boards that had some oddities with Crossfire, honestly I've had rock solid performance out of them. And this is ranging from P45, P55, X58, Z97, H97, X570 boards from ASUS.

 

  

8 hours ago, Fluxmaven said:

Also, why are you so hung up on Gen 5 SSDs? Yes it's cool to flex the big numbers but in real world usage Gen 3 or 4 will be more than plenty for the next 5+ years. Hell, most people can barely tell  the difference between SATA and gen3 SSDs in todays workloads. By the time having gen5 storage really matters, you will need a whole platform refresh anyways. 

I agree. Honestly as a gaming rig I just went with Gen 3 drives. Gen 4 drives are cheaper now, but I didn't see a point in any tests I saw and you likely won't until Direct Storage really becomes mainstream.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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23 hours ago, neurotix said:

Doesn't the 990 Pro have like a super high failure rate and there was a news thread about it a while back?

 

Either way- I also play FH5 and have it on my rather cramped 512GB 970 Evo. Are you talking about your car spinning on the podium with your character on it before a race? As I get stutters pretty badly when that goes on. (I play at 3440x1440 144Hz Freesync and it still stutters a decent amount when that happens).

 

 

Yeah the spinning pre or post race. Its gone with the 990.

 

I do see some users reported deterioration. I didnt see any of that performance hit myself so far.

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Thanks for that. I'd get a new drive and need more capacity except I'd have to reinstall and extensively tweak Win10 as well as Linux. I do a lot to both to strip them down and speed them up, so it's not something I really want to do atm.

 

Anyway, sorry for derailing the discussion. The FH5 thing is interesting though.

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On 17/06/2023 at 10:01, The Pook said:

anti-Gigabyte gang

 

+1 for EVGA. EVGA Z790 Classified has onboard 10 GbE, and it's only ~$50 more than the Aorus Master (at least in the US). and the best part is that it isn't Gigabyte

 

it's the board I was considering before I decided to wait for Intel 14000/AMD 8000 

100% this. You'll have to wait for z890 for more mature PCI-e 5.0. 

On 17/06/2023 at 10:32, Sir Beregond said:

Isn't 14th gen staying on Z790?

No. The refresh will, but not 14th gen. 

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