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Best Motherboard for Intel 11th gen Rocket Lake i9, i7 & i5 CPUs

Intel has geared up to reclaim the throne that it had lost to AMD’s recently released 5000 series CPUs. The 5000 series are an affordable yet powerful range of processors with a lucrative spec list that anyone would want to go with. Following the same strategy, Intel announced its 11th Gen Rocket Lake series to waive AMD’s dominance. Well, let us not talk about the comparison results here, wink!

Jokes apart, the Rocket Lake CPUs are a great deal with impeccable performance and brought the much-awaited PCIe 4.0 support to the Intel house. Also, there is an overall increase of 19% in IPC. All of these are effective only when paired with an equipotent motherboard. It is not that you throw in any board and your CPU works just fine. There are many factors to consider to best match their compatibility. To waive your effort and confusion, we have considered reviewing a few best motherboards for Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs.

Best Motherboards for Intel 11th gen i9, i7 & i5

All the products on our Best Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake Motherboards list are picked considering various factors whose list is mentioned at the end of this post. We would also like to let you know that we are not sponsored by any of the brands on our recommendation list. This review post is a result of our observations of the products. With that said, let us get you through our Best Motherboards for Intel 11th gen CPU – i9, i7 & i5 list without wasting another minute.

Intel Core 11th gen Rocket Lake CPU Support Motherboards List

Intel Core 11th gen i9-11900K

  1. ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero (WiFi 6E) Z590
  2. ASUS Prime Z590-A LGA 1200

Intel Core i7-11700K

  1. ASRock Z590 Steel Legend
  2. GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master

Intel Core i5-11600K

  1. MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming Motherboard
  2. GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX

Best Motherboards for Intel Core 11th gen i9-11900K Rocket Lake CPU

The Intel Core i9-11900K tops the 11th Gen CPU series list with eight cores and 16 threads and offers clock speeds up to 5.3 GHz. You might now seriously doubt its performance as the core count on the 11900K is less than that of the previous year’s Core i9-10900K that offered 10 cores and 20 threads. This is because of the Cypress Cove core architecture that Intel is boasting about. It is a debut architecture that the Rocket Lake CPUs are built on.

As per what Intel claims, though they are short on the core count, the 11th gen processors will still outperform the 10th gen processors with a decent margin. Also, there is a significant increase in IPC (instructions per cycle) by a margin of 19% compared to their previous generation processors. The Core i9-11900K processors are built using a 14nm process and have support for DDR4 RAM at 3,200 MHz. It also shares support for the much-awaited PICe 4.0 functionality with 20 lanes.

#1. ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero (WiFi 6E) Z590 Motherboard – Best Premium Pick

ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero (WiFi 6E) Z590 motherboard for intel i9 11th gen
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero (WiFi 6E) Z590

The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero is one of the premium options that are available for your Intel Core i9-11900K Rocket Lake CPU. It has adequate power to run the CPU at its best-overclocked settings. With dual Gigabit Ethernet and the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6 support, no more network bog downs.

ProductASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero Z590
CPU SocketLGA1200
ChipsetIntel Z590
Memory4 DDR4
Maximum memory capacity128 GB
M.2 slots4
SATA6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s
Connectivity2 x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Intel® Wi-Fi 6E
AudioROG SupremeFX 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC ALC4082
BIOS256 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS

ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero Z590 Motherboard Review

The device came decently packed inside a red and black colored box with the ROG logo and the branding on the top of the box. Opening the box, you will find the motherboard itself placed comfortably on top. Removing the board, you get to see a user manual, driver CD, a technical guide, a thank you card, and a few ROG stickers.

Below the paperwork, you will find a black box with a bunch of accessories in it. The accessory box includes a ROG keychain, an RGB extension cable, few front panel connectors, a bunch of SATA cables, WiFi antennas, an ARGB cable, and a graphics cardholder.

Speaking of the design, quality, and aesthetics, the motherboard appeared very premium for the first impression. It has an all-black design with a few splashes of chrome here and there. The board has a busy design with components and beasty heatsinks running all over. Like any other motherboard in the ROG line-up, the Maximus XIII Hero also has a ROG eye logo on the chipset heatsink that glows in RGB. Besides this, you also get to see another stunning RGB illuminance beneath the I/O shroud.

When it comes to power capabilities on this device, ASUS has finally shifted to ISL based M13H instead of the ages-old Digipower M12H. To address precisely, it uses the ISL69269 controller which is a 12 phase controller that is usually found on premium high-end motherboards.

Unlike most motherboards that use phase doublers, Asus made use of two sets of the same components each running in a 7+1 phase configuration. So, technically, it has a 14+2 phase power configuration rated for a total of 90 Amps delivery. This makes the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero an ideal choice for overclocking enthusiasts.

As far as memory is concerned, it has four memory slots placed right to the CPU socket. The DIMM slots are DDR4-5333 and have a combined capacity of 128 GB. On the storage line, the device has six SATA III ports with a maximum transfer speed of 6 Gb/s. Asus boasts four M.2 slots on this device of which two operate at PCIe 4.0 x4 while the other two have support for PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives.

The board features excellent thermal management solutions with beefy heatsinks covering all the components. It has an active cooling fan on the chipset that helps keep the thermals in control. The M.2 slots on the device are also covered with robust heatsinks to prevent throttling especially when operated in higher frequencies.

On the rear panel on this device is a busy place with two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, two Wi-Fi 6E Antenna connectors, six USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, an HDMI output, audio ports including a SPDIF connector, BIOS flashback port, buttons to flash BIOS and clearing CMOS.

ASUS used a SupremeFX ALC404082 HD audio codec paired with an ESS Sabre9018Q2C DAC to produce an immersive audio experience on the board. When it comes to connectivity on this device, it has dual Gigabit Ethernet ports to ensure uninterrupted connection along with support to Wi-Fi 6E functionality onboard.

There are a few other miscellaneous features that make this board DIY-friendly. They include the Q-Code feature that displays a two-digit error code on-board to help make troubleshooting easier. Also, on-board power and reset buttons come in handy for tinkerers.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality and design
  • Decent connectivity options
  • Solid networking
  • RGB lighting and headers
  • Better support for Intel Rocket Lake CPUs and PCIe 4.0
  • Ample USB ports
  • Excellent power output and overclocking capabilities
Cons
  • Priced high
  • Board feels bulkier and demands a spacious cabin

ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero – Verdict

The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Z590 has everything to meet the demands of the processor, be it for peripheral support or power handling capabilities. However, compared to most other 11th gen MOBOs in the market, the Maximus XIII seems to be on the pricier side for its offering. Nevertheless, you cannot go wrong with your choice if you are a serious tinkerer or an overclocking enthusiast.

With support to 128GB of memory and ample SATA and M.2 ports, the device stands out. ASUS had the DIY enthusiasts in mind while designing this board, the Q-Code feature and the BIOS flash functionality are proof.


#2. ASUS Prime Z590-A LGA 1200 Motherboard – Best Affordable Z590 MOBO

ASUS Prime Z590-A LGA 1200 Motherboard for Intel i9 11th gen MOBO
ASUS Prime Z590-A LGA 1200

The ASUS Prime Z590-A offers industry-class features at an affordable price. From connectivity to networking it has everything that you would typically expect from a modern-day motherboard. The design and build quality of this board makes this one of the finest Intel 11th gen motherboards that we have tested so far.

ProductASUS Prime Z590-A
CPU SocketLGA1200
ChipsetIntel Z590
Memory4 x DIMM, DDR4
Maximum memory capacity128 GB
M.2 slots3
SATA6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s
Connectivity1 x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Audio“Realtek S1220A 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC
BIOS256 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS

ASUS Prime Z590-A Motherboard Review

The device comes packed neatly in a dark blue box opening which will reveal the motherboard itself on the top along with the paperwork to provide complete details about the board. Moving on, you get to see a bunch of accessories including SATA cables, panel connectors etcetera.

As far as the first impression is concerned, the ASUS Prime Z590-A feels premium on the eyes and has pretty decent design aesthetics with a black and white theme. It appears tough, strong, and durable, thanks to the 6-layered PCB. The device also feels a bit congested with a lot of components placed generously across the board. Sitting comfortably at the top middle area is the LGA 1200 CPU socket surrounded by power components and beefy heatsinks.

To the right of the CPU socket, you get to see three DDR4 dual-channel DIMM slots with cumulative support up to 128 GB and support frequencies up to 5333 MHz. ASUS has incorporated its patented OptiMem II technology that effectively improves memory frequency margin and reduces crosstalk.

Speaking of the power on this device, it offers a solid VRM network running in 14+2 configuration to deliver the power and efficiency that the latest processors demand. The motherboard has 8+4 pin connectors which ASUS claims are their proprietary ProCool connectors to help deliver current better.

Speaking of the thermal management on this device, ASUS has done incredible work here. They have incorporated multiple temperature sensors on the board to continuously monitor the thermals. There are ample headers to connect 4-pin PWM/DC fans. Also, there is a dedicated header that can supply over 3 amps of current for a high-performance PWM or DC water pump and AiOs.

The VRM network is backed by two massive VRM heatsinks and thermal pads to help effectively dissipate heat from the MOSFETs and chokes. On the other hand, the M.2 slots are also covered in massive heatsinks to prevent your storage drives from throttling during sustained transfers.

If you are like me who fancy RGB lighting in your builds, the board has a funky RGB lighting emitting from the chipset heatsink as well as the I/O shroud. You can choose from a variety of functional presets or set a custom lighting effect using the Aura Sync software. Besides this, the board also hosts ample RGB headers to power your RGB LED strips and integrate them with the Aura Sync software.

Talking about the storage on the ASUS Prime Z590-A 11th Gen Intel Motherboard, it offers three M.2 slots with heatsinks to help prevent throttling and thermal rundown especially when running at higher frequencies. Besides these, you also get to see six SATA III ports with a maximum data transfer speed of 6Gb/sec.

When it comes to PCIe, the board offers three full-length PCIe slots with two of them operating at PCIe 4.0×16 and x8/x8 while the other is operating at PCIe 3.0 x4. All the PCIe slots are reinforced to withstand additions like heavy graphics cards and other bulkier peripherals.

On the back I/O, you get to see two display outputs one of which is an HDMI 2.0 while the other is DP 1.4 both of which can output a resolution of 4096×2160 @60Hz. Below the display outputs are the four 2nd gen USB ports with a maximum transfer rate of 480 Mbps. Moving on, you see 5x 3.2 2nd GEN USB plus, including 2 type C (10 Gb/s each). One of the Type-C runs in a dual-channel configuration and exhibits a transfer rate of up to 20 Gb/s.

Going down, you get to see Intel’s I225-V 2.5Gbps LAN controller which is going to be a great addition to your build. In the audio area, you have an S1220 REALTEK audio codec which is isolated from other components of the PCB to help minimize static interferences and improve signal quality. ASUS has incorporated two-way AI noise cancellation on this board which effectively uses a deep-learning database to reduce background noise from the microphone and incoming audio.

Pros
  • AI noise cancellation feature
  • Ample connectivity options
  • Best in class design and build quality
  • DIY friendly design
  • Affordable
  • Excellent thermal management
  • Ample power capability
Cons
  • No onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support

ASUS Prime Z590-A LGA 1200 MOBO – Verdict

The ASUS Prime Z590-A is one of the best affordable Intel 11th gen motherboards that we have tested so far. From the build quality, feature set to design, the Prime Z590-A competes with the most renowned flagship motherboards in the market. It has ample juice to run the latest Intel processors at overclocked frequencies. ASUS’s renowned UEFI BIOS makes the board more intuitive and tinker-friendly.

If you are looking to build a decent gaming PC using Intel’s i9-11900K CPU, look no further than the ASUS Prime Z590-A motherboard.


Best Motherboards for Intel Core i7-11700K (11th gen) Rocket Lake CPU

The Intel Core i7 has a separate fan base right from the Skylake generation for it is the affordable yet premium in the Intel range of processors. Breaking the speculations, Intel has finally rolled out the i7-11700K which turned out to be a decent performer. It is built on the same 14 nm architecture as its predecessor Comet Lake CPUs. The 11700K has 8 cores and 16 threads which are also the same as that of the 10700K processor. However, Intel claims that their new Cypress Clove technology makes the 11th gen processors more efficient despite being the same number of cores.

The processor comes with a base frequency of 3.80 GHz and exhibits a maximum turbo frequency of 5.10 GHz. It has a TDP of 125 W and a cache memory of 16 MB. The bus speed on the chip is 8 GT/s.

#1. ASRock Z590 Steel Legend – Best cheap Z590 MOBO

ASRock Z590 Steel Legend – Best cheap Z590 MOBO
ASUS Prime Z590-A

The ASRock Z590 Steel Legend is by far the cheapest 11th gen motherboard that we have tested in our lab so far. Despite being cheap, ASRock hasn’t skimped on any of the features. It has everything that you would typically find in premium motherboards except for a few compromises.

ProductASRock Z590 Steel Legend
CPU SocketLGA1200
ChipsetIntel Z590
Memory4 DDR4
Maximum memory capacity128 GB
M.2 slots3
SATA6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s
ConnectivityIntel WiFi-6E AX210 (802.11ax, 2×2, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, BT 5.2)
Realtek Drason RTL8125BG (2.5 GbE)
AudioRealtek ALC897
Expansion Slots(2) v4.0 x16, (x16/x0 or x16/PCIe 3.0 x4)
(2) v.4.0 (x1)
Form factorATX

ASRock Z590 Steel Legend 11th Gen Motherboard Review

The motherboard came in a nice icy white colored box with the ASRock branding on the top along with the model’s name printed. It is mentioned on the box that the board supports Intel 1th Gen processors. All of its features were printed at the back of the box along with a preview of the board and its back I/O panel. A flap opens from the side of the box opening which should reveal another box. We have the ASRock Z590 Steel Legend sitting at the top of the second box. Moving on, we also get a quick installation guide, a support CD, two SATA cables, a graphics card holder, two standoffs for M.2 sockets, and four screws for M.2 sockets.

I’m very much impressed by the design and build quality that this board possesses. It comes in a black PCB with a grey and white stenciled pattern all over. Contrasting the motherboard, are the heatsinks and the shrouds that come in grey/silver colors. The Steel Legend should comfortably blend well with most build themes.

Like most other modern motherboards, the Steel Legend also features onboard LED lighting. There is an “S” that glows on the I/O shroud while the chipset heatsink and right edge of the board light up as “STEEL LEGEND”. What is more beautiful is the entire right edge lighting up in RGB colors. All of these can be controlled using ASRock’s Polychrome RGB software.

Speaking of the power on this device, the device is quite capable with 14-phase Dr.MOS VRM. The VRMs are broken down into 12+2 configurations where 12 stages are meant for Vcore while the remaining 2 are for SOC. ASRock hasn’t used phase doublers on this board. Instead, it had gone with the Richtek RT3609BE for the CPU VCore while Renesas RAA229001 controls the SOC. There is ample power on this board to power even the latest 11th generation CPUs from Intel without any hassle.

Sitting comfortably at the center of the VRM network is the LGA 1200 socket which is the same socket that is seen in the older Z490 motherboards as well. It is the same for both the 10th and the 11th gen Intel processors. Lying next to the socket are four DRAM slots that cumulatively support up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM at speeds up to 4800+.

On the PCIe front, we have two full-length slots with the top one being PCIe 4.0 x16 while the other one remains as PCIe 3.0 x4. If you are considering using a bulkier GPU in your build, we recommend sliding it in the first slot as it is the only reinforced PCIe slot to help protect from shearing and EMI.

When it comes to storage on this board, there are three M.2 slots with the top one and the bottom one covered under a heatsink. Besides M.2, you also get to find 6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/sec.

There are a total of seven 4-pin fan/pump headers distributed across the board. Speaking of the power, the CPU/Water Pump and Chassis/Water Pump support a maximum of 2A/24W while the CPU fan connector supports up to 1A/12W. Also, there are four RGB headers with support to both 12V and 5V RGB and ARGB strips.

In the audio circuitry area on the board, you find the four Nichicon audio caps, and a Realtek ALC897 codec is used. The ALC897 is a budget codec, nevertheless, it would suffice the needs of most users. You also get to see a POST status checker at the bottom of the board. Instead of using a seven-segment display, ASRock has gone with four different LEDs labeled CPU, Boot, RAM, and VGA that stays lit when the POST stops at one of these.

The ASRock Z590 Steel Legend comes with a pre-installed I/O panel as most other boards in the market these days. ASRock has preserved the ages-old PS/2 port for plugging in a traditional keyboard/mouse. You find both HDMI and Display port for sending the video out to a monitor. You also find audio connectors along with a SPDIF connector at the bottom. There are a total of six USB ports of which two are USB 3.2 Gen2, two are USB 3.2 Gen1 while the other two are USB 2.0. For the connectivity, you get to see a Realtek Dragon 2.5 GbE port along with two connectors for the onboard Wi-Fi 6 antenna.

Pros
  • Solid connectivity
  • Excellent design aesthetics
  • Decent thermal management
  • Good VRM network
  • Cheap Rocket Lake motherboard
Cons
  • Should have thought of Dual LAN
  • Limited PCIe x16 slots

ASUS Prime Z590-A – Verdict

The ASRock Z590 Steel Legend is the cheapest Intel 11th Gen motherboard that we have tested so far. It has ample power stages to power the latest processors. The board features sufficient heatsinks and shrouds all over to keep the thermals in constant check. However, ASRock could have thought of including an additional PCIe x16 slot. Nevertheless, it is still a decent choice as most of us use a single slot for graphics.

If you are an enthusiast looking for a decent 11th gen Z590 motherboard, your search must end here as the ASRock Z590 Steel Legend has everything that you would typically expect from a modern motherboard.


#2. GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master – Best Higher Mid-Range Board

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master
GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master

The Z590 AORUS Master is a trendy new board from Gigabyte built on the latest Z590 chipset to cater full support to the newly launched Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake series CPUs. It comes with a hefty price tag, minus that this board is a masterpiece.

ProductGIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master
CPU SocketLGA1200
ChipsetIntel Z590
Memory4 DDR4
Maximum memory capacity128 GB
M.2 slots3
SATA6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s
ConnectivityIntel WiFi-6E AX210 (802.11ax, 2×2, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, BT 5.2)
Aquantia 10GbE LAN chip (10 Gbit/5 Gbit/2.5 Gbit/1 Gbit/100 Mbit)
AudioRealtek® ALC1220-VB codec
Expansion Slots(2) v4.0 x16, (x16/x0 or x8/x8

(1) v3.0 x4
Form factorATX

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master Rocket Lake Motherboard Review

Opening the box packaging of the Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Master, you should be greeted with a bunch of stuff. The board itself sits on the top, installation guide, user’s manual, Wi-Fi Antenna, G-connector, four SATA cables, Sticker sheet/Aorus badge, screws for holding M.2 slots, two temperature probes, a microphone, and an RGB extension cable.

The board is extremely well built with a matte-black PCB that hosts black and grey shrouds and heatsinks. It appears that Gigabyte has taken good care of the thermals on this board as you see beefy heatsinks lying all over the board covering almost every component that you find. You can see the Aorus Eagle branding on the chipset heatsink that lights up when powered. Also, more RGBs are lying near the rear I/O shroud all of which can be controlled comfortably from the Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion 2.0 application.

Moving forward, we have the LGA 1200 CPU socket sitting comfortably at the top middle area of the motherboard. Surrounded is the whopping 19-phase VRM network setup for powering up the Vcore and SOC on the board. Gigabyte made use of the Intersil ISL6929 buck controller managing up to 12 discrete channels. They have made use of a phase Doubler which can cumulatively produce a whooping 1,620A of power output. The phase Doublers and the MOSFETs used here are ISL6617A and ISL99390B respectively.

Immediately to the right of the CPU socket and VRM network on the board, we get to see four DDR4 DRAM slots with cumulative support of up to 128 GB. All of these are reinforced to waive shearing and ensure durability.

For the expansion and storage on this board, Gigabyte has incorporated three full-length PCIe slots, three M.2 sockets, and six SATA III ports. However, only the first and the second are configured to PCIe 4.0 with the primary being configured in x16 while the secondary is configured at x8. The third slot runs at PCIe 3.0 x4 speeds. On the M.2 front, the top one supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 devices up to 110mm long while the second and third sockets have support for both SATA and PCIe 3.0 x3 modules up to 110mm long. Speaking of SATA ports, the included six ports are configured to SATA III protocol with a maximum transfer rate of 6Gbps.

Gigabyte hasn’t compromised on the quality of the board. With most of the boards we have reviewed, we observed that only the primary PCIe slots are reinforced. This is even the same with most premium boards. However, Gigabyte hasn’t compromised here. We get to see reinforcement on all the DIMM slots as well as PCIe slots. Also, the M.2 slots are backed up with a double-sided heat sink design that should effectively cool the drives, keep thermals in range and prevent throttling and bottlenecks especially while running at overclocked frequencies.

There are a total of ten fan headers and four RGB LED headers distributed across the board. According to what Gigabyte has claimed in its manual, each CPU fan and pump header support 2A/24W. Of the four RGB LED headers, two are of 3-pin ARGB while the remaining two are 4-pin RGB headers, all of which can be controlled using the Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion 2.0 application.

Speaking of the connectivity on this board, it features a Wi-Fi 6E integration onboard along with an Aquantia based 10GbE Ethernet functionality. Gigabyte uses Intel WiFi-6E AX210 for the Wi-Fi controller whereas Aquantia AQC107 is used for powering the 10Gbps Ethernet. Surprisingly, Gigabyte has also gone premium in the audio section on this board. It made use of the Realtek ALC1220-VB codec along with an ESS Sabre ESS 9118 DAC and audiophile-grade WIMA and Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors to ensure an immersive audio experience.

The rear I/O on this board is a busy place with a total of 10 USB ports, a DisplayPort, 5 gold plated analog plugs for audio output alongside a SPDIF connector, a 10 Gbps Ethernet port, and two connectors for plugging in the Wi-Fi antenna. You also get to see a Clear CMOS button and a Q-Flash button which have become mandatory for modern motherboards.

When it comes to misc. on the board, you find a 2-character debug LED display for Power on Self-Test (POST) verification, a 2-pin header provision for plugging-in a temperature probe, a super silent chipset fan, 8mm heat pipe to effectively remove excessive heat makes this device stand out the competition.

Pros
  • Excellent power capabilities
  • Premium Audio
  • 10 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E support on-board
  • Dual BIOS
  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Reinforcement on almost all slots
Cons
  • Lack of PCIe x1 slots
  • Dual LAN should have been of a more help
  • Pricing obviously

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master – Verdict

The Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Master is the best 11th gen motherboard that you can find on the market today for your Intel Rocket Lake range of CPUs. It might seem a bit overpriced for a normal user but if you are a power user aiming at making the best out of your 11th gen processor, you have a way with the Aorus Master. The build quality, design aesthetics, and PCB design are excellent.

Double-sided M.2 heatsinks and dual BIOS are exclusive to this board which we find rarely. The 10 Gbps Ethernet is yet another addition to this nifty piece of hardware along with the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E support. Be it for an enthusiast or a professional overclocker, I would suggest the Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Master any day.


Best Motherboards for Intel Core i5-11600K (11th gen) Rocket Lake CPU

The Intel Core i5-11600K is yet another decent performer in the Rocket Lake CPU lineup that Intel has announced recently. It offers a base frequency of 3.9 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz. The device ships with 6 cores and 12 threads which is the same as its predecessor 10500K. As per Intel’s claims, there is a significant change in the fabrication process as they have shifted to the new Cypress Cove core architecture. However, they still stuck to the ages-old 14nm process.

Though Intel had announced that there is backward compatibility for the Z460 motherboards with a BIOS update, we would still recommend you go with the latest MOBOs with out-of-the-box support to the 11th gen processors. For your convenience, we have listed out a few Intel 11th gen motherboards for the Core i5-11600K Rocket Lake CPUs.

#1. MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming Motherboard – Best Premium Choice

MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming Motherboard for i5 11th gen CPU
MSI MEG Z590 ACE

The MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming Motherboard is one of its kind with an impeccable balance between features, performance, and design aesthetics. However, it comes with a hefty price tag that reserves itself for enthusiasts who are aiming at extreme gaming builds. If you don’t mind spending a fortune on a motherboard, this board can add up a lot of power and potential to your build.

ProductMSI MEG Z590 ACE
CPU SocketLGA1200
ChipsetIntel Z590
Memory4 DDR4
Maximum memory capacity128 GB
M.2 slots4
SATA6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s
Connectivity1 x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210
Audio5+ Optical S/PDIF (Realtek® ALC4082 Codec + ESS SABRE9018Q2C combo DAC)
Expansion Slots3x PCIe x16 slots

MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming Motherboard Review

The box packaging itself feels premium with MSI’s branding on the top. Opening the lid is the motherboard itself wrapped inside an anti-static plastic bag. Below the board is the accessory bag which has all the stuff needed for the setup. It includes an antenna for the built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, 4 good quality SATA cables, 1 to 2 RGB LED Y cable, Corsair RGB LED cable, Rainbow RGB LED cable, a DP to mini-DP cable, some screw sets for M.2 sockets, and a thermistor cable.

You also get to see a user manual, a quick installation guide along with a USB drive that has all the required drivers, a cleaning brush, and a few stickers. It is thoughtful of MSI to include a screwdriver set that you would fall in need of while installing the motherboard.

The board itself feels extremely premium on eyes with a pitch-black and gold design with splashes of chrome here and there. It feels a bit bulkier with beefy heatsinks covering most parts of it. There is a metal plate at the bottom that covers most of the board. You get to see the MEG and ACE names stenciled in gold on the VRM heatsinks along with the MSI’s renowned dragon logo on the I/O shroud. All of these illuminates in RGB when the board is powered on. The chipset heatsink also features a beautiful RGB illumination under it.

The board boasts a 16-phase direct VRM layout with 90Amp power stages. It features a Renesas ISL69269 (X+Y+Z = 8+2+1) PWM controller that powers the eight-phase doublers (Renesas ISL617A) which again feeds power to the 16 90A Renesas ISL99390B MOSFETs for the Vcore. This configuration yields an effective power output of 1440A which is incredible and is most capable of powering almost anything that you would typically throw at it.

Speaking of the thermal management on the board, the MSI MEG Z590 ACE Gaming motherboard features multiple temperature sensors across the board to watch the thermals closely. MSI had done an incredible job on this board towards thermal management. The VRM network has a large heatsink design on either side that extends to the chipset cooler using a copper heat pipe.

The board features an LGA 1200 CPU socket which makes it an ideal choice for Intel’s latest Rocket Lake line of CPUs. To the right of the socket are four DIMM slots that have cumulative support of 128 GB of DRAM. The DDR4 DRAM has the support for 4400+ which is more than a thing for most people.

Moving down the lane we have five PCIe slots of which three are full-length and are reinforced to prevent shearing especially when they are to accommodate bulkier graphics cards. The other two slots are configured to PCIe x1. But only the topmost full-length slot supports PCIe 4.0 x16 while the second and third are limited to PCIe 3.0.

On the storage note, you have six SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s. It also has four M.2 slots of which the top slot has support for PCIe 4.0 x4 modules up to 110mm. The SATA ports on the board share support for RAID 0, 1, and 10.

You get to see plenty of ports on the rear I/O area. These include eight USB Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports with speeds up to 40 Gbps. On the display out front, you have mini display ports and an HDMI 2.0 port. There is a provision for attaching an external antenna for the on-board Wi-Fi controller along with a 2.5 GbE port. It is thoughtful of MSI to include a CMOS clear button and a BIOS Flashback button. The good thing is that you don’t even need to have a CPU installed on the board to flash the BIOS.

Pros
  • Looks and design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Incredible power capabilities
  • Ample of headers
  • Wi-Fi 6 support onboard
  • Premium audio
Cons
  • Hefty price tag

MSI MEG Z590 ACE MOBO – Verdict

The MSI MEG Z590 ACE is one gem of a motherboard with premium features. I was very impressed by its aesthetics. For sure it adds that futuristic look to your gaming builds. The only downside of the board is the price tag attached to it. We have mixed feelings looking at the price tag at first. However, once we started testing the board out, we felt that this Intel 11th Gen motherboard is worth the price.

What makes this device stand its competitors is its design and connectivity features. Although this board lacks a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C port, it is still acceptable as we are getting the faster Thunderbolt 4 ports.


#2. GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX – Best Mid-range Motherboard

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX – Best Mid-range Motherboard
GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX Intel 11th gen rocket lake cpu motherboard

The Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Pro AX is one of the mid-range Intel 11th gen motherboards available on the market with features equivalent to most premium flagship boards. If you are looking to build a minimalistic yet powerful machine using the latest Rocket Lake processor from Intel, the Gigabyte Aorus Pro AX is the best choice you can make.

ProductGIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX
CPU SocketLGA1200
ChipsetIntel Z590
Memory4 DDR4
Maximum memory capacity128 GB
M.2 slots4
SATA6 SATA III ports with transfer rates up to 6Gb/s
ConnectivityIntel® 2.5GbE LAN chip (2.5 Gbit/1 Gbit/100 Mbit)
Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX210
AudioRealtek® ALC4080 codec
Expansion Slots1 x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 4.0 x8/x8, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
Form factorATX

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX MOBO Review

I have received the product with a black box packaging that has AORUS branding at the front with the model written in big bold letters. As I opened the box, I found the motherboard on the top wrapped in an anti-static material. Along with the motherboard, you also get to see a multilingual installation guide. If you are new to pc building, it is recommended that you go through the guide.

Surprisingly there isn’t any compact drive or USB stick with drivers provided in the box. Instead, you get to see a booklet that guides you with the process of downloading the drivers from Gigabyte APP Center software. Moving forward you get to see a manual that should teach you basic operations and tinkering stuff related to your motherboard. Again, if you are new to this industry, it is advised to go through the manual before you even start making something out of your motherboard.

You also get to see some accessories that include an antenna for the built-in Wi-Fi 6 functionality, a set of thermal probes, a few screws to help hold the M.2 drives into their slots, four SATA cables, 4-pin 12V RGB extension cable.

Pulling out the motherboard from its antistatic pouch, the device appears premium with matt black finish all over. The board feels extremely sturdy and should last a while. There are plenty of heatsinks on the board covering different components including the M.2 slots. Also, several temperature sensors are distributed randomly across the board to keep the thermals on the monitor.

Speaking of the M.2 slots on this device, it has four M.2 slots in total. Of all the M.2 slots, only the top three are configured to PCIe 4.0 while the other one supports PCIe 3.0. When it comes to SATA ports, the board has six SATA III ports with support for transfer speeds up to 6Gbps.

There are three memory slots placed to the right edge of the motherboard alongside the CPU socket. The DIMM slots are all reinforced using the Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable Memory Armor technology. They are configured to DDR5 with a maximum frequency of 5400. Talking of the expansion slots, the board features three full-length PCIe slots with two of them operating at PCIe 4.0 x16 and x8/x8 while the third one is configured to PCIe 3.0 x4. Only the first slot is reinforced. If you are planning on a bulkier GPU, consider placing it in the first slot.

When it comes to power offered by the Gigabyte Z590 AORUS PRO AX, it features 12 phases of 90A smart power stages with cumulative support to 1080A. They made use of Tantalum Polymer Capacitors Array which are proven to be very effective. The AORUS Pro AX is capable of running the latest Rocket Lake series processors smoothly even at their overclocked configurations.

Getting to the rear I/O ports, the device has eight USB 3.2 ports at the top followed by a Wi-Fi AX antenna connector, a display port, few USB 2.0 connectors, a USB 3.2 Type-C connector, a 2.5Gbps Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1 digital surround sound outputs with optical and SPDIF outputs. You also get to see an integrated I/O which is a common feature with most high-end motherboards these days.

Gigabyte uses Realtek ALC4080 HD audio codec for powering the audio on this board while Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller and Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 CNVi powering the Ethernet and Wi-Fi respectively.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality and design
  • Ample power stages
  • Decent connectivity options
  • 7.1 digital surround sound
  • Ample headers
Cons
  • Minimal RGB lighting on-board

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO – Verdict

The GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS PRO AX is one heck of a motherboard with flagship-like features. If you are in the hunt for a decent motherboard that has full-on support to the latest 11th gen Rocket Lake CPUs, the AORUS Pro AX should be the answer. Counting from design aesthetics, storage options, thermal management to power capabilities, this Intel 11th gen motherboard has it all.

What makes this device stand out from the competition is its minimalistic design aesthetics and build quality. The device is offered under the 300$ price segment which is a fair ask for a board with such specs. All and all, the Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Pro AX is going to be a pretty decent choice for enthusiast-level PC builds.


Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake Motherboards: everything you need to know

Why should I choose 11th Gen Rocket Lake in the first place?

After a lot of speculation on the Internet, Intel’s next-gen desktop processors have finally hit the market with an impeccable feature list on their papers. The top performer on the list is the new Core i9-11900K with eight cores and 16 threads. It can be boosted up to a maximum frequency of 5.3GHz and shares support for DDR4 RAM at 3,200MHz.

If you are wondering how these latest processors compare with their predecessors and the improvements that Intel had done to these, you are at the right spot. Below are a few areas where the 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors are bettered by the manufacturer.

New Processor Core Architecture: Intel has debuted a new desktop core architecture with its 11th gen Rocket Lake-S range of processors. They call it the Cypress Cove architecture which replaces the ages-old Skylake microarchitecture which has been there since their 6th Gen processors. With this change, Intel claims that the IPC is drastically increased to 19% on the latest chips.

Intel® UHD Graphics featuring Intel® Xe graphics architecture: With this improvement, Intel claims that it could enhance 3D performance, amplified visual complexity, and faster image processing than ever.

Gaussian Neural Accelerator 2.0 (GNA 2.0): Rendering high graphics has never been this easier. With the introduction of GNA 2.0, there is improved efficiency in blurring video background and suppressing background noise. All this is possible by running AI workloads on an accelerator.

New Overclocking Features and Capabilities: Overclocking has seen new trends with the Intel 11th gen range of processors. With support for the latest Z590 chipset, enthusiasts can now discover a range of new possibilities.

Increased DDR4 speeds: With the latest 11th gen processors, you can now unlock speeds up to 3200 MHz on DDR4.

20 CPU PCIe 4.0 lanes: As the number of PCIe lanes increases there will be a significant increase in flexibility, PCIe throughput, and connection speeds.

Enhanced Display (Integrated HDMI 2.0, HBR3): Now your processor is capable of driving three simultaneous 4K displays at 60Hz or two 5K displays at 60Hz.

Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPU Chipset Support

Intel has unveiled their Rocket Lake range of CPUs and their compatible chipsets. Like the previous-gen Comet Lake CPUs, the Rocket Lake processors are also built with the LGA 1200 CPU socket. However, not all motherboards with the LGA 1200 socket are supported by the latest Rocket Lake processors. Intel has made clear that the 11th gen CPUs do not support budget chipsets like B460 and H410. This must be due to their lower power capabilities while the latest processors are power-hungry.

The chipsets that support the latest 11th gen Rocket Lake CPUs out of the box are Z590, B560, H570, and H510.

Intel® Z590 Chipset: Overview

Product CollectionIntel® 500 Series Desktop Chipsets
Code NameRocket Lake
Bus Speed8 GT/s
Overclocking supportYes
TDP6 W
No. of Displays Supported3
No. DIMMs per channel2
No. of USB Ports14
USB ConfigurationUp to 3 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gb/s) Ports
Up to 10 USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10Gb/s) Ports
Up to 10 USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (5Gb/s) Ports
14 USB 2.0 Ports
PCI Express Revision3.0
Max Number of PCI Lanes24
PCI Express Configurationsx1, x2, x4
Integrated WirelessIntel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
Max no. of SATA 6.0 Gb/s Ports6
RAID ConfigurationRaid 0,1,5,10 (SATA)

Intel® B560 Chipset: Overview

Product CollectionIntel® 500 Series Desktop Chipsets
Code NameRocket Lake
Bus Speed8 GT/s
Overclocking supportYes
TDP6 W
No. of Displays Supported3
No. DIMMs per channel2
No. of USB Ports12
USB ConfigurationUp to 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gb/s) Ports
Up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10Gb/s) Ports
Up to 6 USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (5Gb/s) Ports
12 USB 2.0 Ports
PCI Express Revision3.0
Max Number of PCI Express Lanes12
PCI Express Configurationsx1, x2, x4
Integrated WirelessIntel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
Max no. of SATA 6.0 Gb/s Ports6

Intel® H570 Chipset: Overview

Product CollectionIntel® 500 Series Desktop Chipsets
Code NameRocket Lake
Bus Speed8 GT/s
Overclocking supportYes
TDP6 W
No. of Displays Supported3
No. DIMMs per channel2
No. of USB Ports14
USB ConfigurationUp to 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gb/s) Ports
Up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10Gb/s) Ports
Up to 8 USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (5Gb/s) Ports
14 USB 2.0 Ports
PCI Express Revision3.0
Max Number of PCI Express Lanes20
PCI Express Configurationsx1, x2, x4
Integrated WirelessIntel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
Max no. of SATA 6.0 Gb/s Ports6

Intel® H510 Chipset: Overview

Product CollectionIntel® 500 Series Desktop Chipsets
Code NameRocket Lake
Bus Speed8 GT/s
Overclocking supportYes
TDP6 W
No. of Displays Supported2
No. DIMMs per channel1
No. of USB Ports10
USB ConfigurationUp to 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (5Gb/s) Ports
10 USB 2.0 Ports
PCI Express Revision3.0
Max Number of PCI Lanes6
PCI Express Configurationsx1, x2, x4
Integrated WirelessIntel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201
Max no. of SATA 6.0 Gb/s Ports4
What socket does 11th gen Intel use?

Intel 11th gen Rocket Lake line-up processors use LGA 1200 CPU socket which is the same socket that the previous generation processors support.

Is the Z490 motherboard compatible with Intel 11th gen CPUs?

In a recent statement to Gigabyte, Intel has stated that the latest Intel 11th Gen CPUs support the Z490 motherboards. However, you will have to update the supportive BIOS beforehand.

Will the older B460 and H410 motherboards support Intel 11th Gen CPUs?

Intel in their recent statement has stated that the older B460 and H410 motherboards are not going to support the Rocket Lake 11th Gen CPUs.

Which chipset motherboards support the latest Rocket Lake CPUs from Intel?

Intel has released 500 series motherboards alongside their 11th gen Rocket Lake CPU lineup. These motherboards feature Z690, H570, B560, and H510 chipsets out of the box. It also stated that the older 400 series motherboards are not going to be supportive except for Z490 motherboards.

Will Rocket Lake work on B460?

No, Intel has confirmed that the Rocket Lake line-up doesn’t work with the B460 chipset.

Which is the cheap 11th gen motherboard?

The ASRock Z590 Steel Legend is by far the cheapest Intel 11th gen motherboard that you can have today. Besides being cheap, ASRock hasn’t skimped on the functionality of the board.

What is the best Motherboard for Intel Rocket Lake 11th Gen CPUs?

The GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Master is one of the best boards that we have tested so far. It offers everything that a premium motherboard offers but at reasonable pricing.

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