Best Motherboards for the Core i7-8700k

Posted by James I. on 19 oct 2018

Intel’s 8th generation of processors, also known as ‘Coffee Lake’, has brewed up a highly-capable and versatile processor that is great for any high-end system in 2018 and beyond. Although not as fast as the i9 offerings from intel, the i7-8700K definitely offers far better value than the Core i9 and should exceed your expectations on anything you throw at it.  

The Intel Core i7-8700K is a great improvement on its predecessor, the Kaby Lake i7-7700K, offering a blistering base and boost clock of 3.7GHz and 4.7GHz out of the box, from its 6 cores and 12 threads. TDP is greater than its non overclocked version, the i7-8700, at 95W.  

Z370 chipset motherboards are designed to support these 6-core power-hungry processors, as well as supporting enthusiasts wanting to overclock the i7-8700K further. Z270 motherboards have been recommended by intel to not be used with the Coffee Lake CPU architecture, although a overclocker ignored this and managed to dial the i7-8700K up to 7.3GHz - many Z270 motherboards were overengineered to deal with processors with higher power delivery. With that said, it is advised to opt for a Z370 motherboard when pairing with the Coffee Lake i7-8700K processor. 

It is important that if you decide to build a system with the Core i7-8700K, you need to pair it with the appropriate components to get the most out of this capable processor. The components that need consideration and can make a big impact on how your i7-8700K system performs is picking a suitable motherboard, CPU cooler and DDR4 memory. 

In this particular HardwarePick motherboard recommendation guide we will recommend the best motherboards for i7-8700K based on different buyer needs, whether it be budget a priority or perhaps the top motherboard for overclocking the i7-8700K - we will cover it in this guide. 

We have done plenty of research on forums, reddit (/r/buildapc and /r/intel) for the best recommendations from the community, and applied our own expert knowledge into what we think are the best motherboard options for the core i7-8700k.

Any questions about our selections or perhaps think there is a better alternative than the motherboard we have picked, we would love to hear it and continuously improve this article to make it as useful as possible for you, the PC builder.


Best Motherboard for the i7-8700K in 2018/19

ASRock

Z370 Taichi

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Photo Credit: ASRock
  • Feature-rich
  • Aggressive price point
  • Solid VRM and great power delivery
  • Dual NICs and WiFi built in
  • Audio isn't great due to lack of EMI shielding
  • Can't turn red power LED off
  • BIOS and software side is where ASRock falls short
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4333 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 3/0/2
  • Fan Headers 5
  • Power Phases 12
  • SATA 3 8
  • See more
    specs…

Now that the i7-8700K has been out for at least a year and we have a plethora of reviews, breakdowns and real-world tests, we can safely say that if you want the best motherboard for the i7-8700K, then look no further than the ASRock Z370 Taichi

This high-end Z370 motherboard is without a doubt the best jack-of-all-trades motherboard with a fantastic high-end VRM for hardcore overclocking, a heatsink on the MOSFET keeping the VRM at a nice cool temperature, as well as double BIOS which is handy for the overclockers who want to squeeze everything out of the motherboard. If you’re looking to break 5 GHz with ease with the i7-8700K, then the Taichi will be the perfect option for you.

Other features that make this a all-around great option for i7-8700K builders in 2019 is a 7.1 channel ALC1220 audio chip, dual 1Gbit LAN, 4 power connectors and plenty of SATA and M.2 support. 2 USB Type C connections are also present on this Z370 motherboard, making it a great future proof option for PC builders going into 2019.


Best Budget Motherboard for i7-8700K

MSI

Z370-A Pro

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Photo Credit: MSI
  • Top budget option
  • Great option if planning not to overclock the i7-8700K (although is possible to OC past 5GHz)
  • Low quality VRM compared to high-end Z370 motherboards
  • Lack of USB 3.1 ports
  • No RGB header
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4000 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 2/0/4
  • Fan Headers 6
  • Power Phases None
  • SATA 3 6
  • See more
    specs…

For i7-8700K builds that are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice on performance or reliability, then a great budget Z370 motherboard to pair with the i7-8700K is the MSI Z370-A Pro - retailing just under $120 but often found on sale for just under $100. 

Granted, this motherboard doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you see in the high-end Z370 motherboards - such as ThunderBolt 3, extensive USB and M.2 connectivity, but with this budget option motherboard you are ensured to get a high quality, reliable and capable motherboard for keeping temperatures low in your system, easy BIOS support as well as even supporting some light overclocking. It is even possible with the right cooling with the Z370-A Pro to overclock the i7-8700K to 5.0GHz, but we would recommend going for the ASRock Taichi if you wish to overclock this Coffee Lake processor.

One thing we wish this Z370 motherboard had more of is more USB ports and headers, as well as support for USB Type C, and better positioning of the M.2 ports (outward facing which means the NVMe chip is basically upside down) and fan header connections. 

For about $50 more another great option is the ASRock Extreme 4, which we will cover below as we think it is the best bang-for-your-buck motherboard for the i7-8700K.


Best Value Motherboard for i7-8700K

ASRock

Z370 Extreme4

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Photo Credit: ASRock
  • Feature packed
  • High quality components
  • Solid, easy to use BIOS
  • Great VRM for overclocking (can push i7-8700K past 5GHz)
  • No error-code readout
  • No wireless built in
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4333 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 3/0/3
  • Fan Headers 5
  • Power Phases 12
  • SATA 3 8
  • See more
    specs…

This motherboard, the ASRock Z370 Extreme4, along with the Gigabyte Gaming K6 are hands down the best budget high end boards for the i7-8700K. Great for those who want high-end performance but want to still keep under a reasonable budget for their Coffee Lake build.

This motherboard has a fantastically built VRM, with 14 phases and a decent PWM controller, MOSFETs and VRM cooling with its massive heatsink, helping cool the 14 phase VRM design. 

There is support for up to 3 GPUs through CrossFire or SLI with its 3 PCI 3.0 x16 slots, as well as plenty of connectivity for M.2 and SATA devices. USB Type C is supported on this board, supplemented by 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and 9 Gen 1 headers and ports, combined. Dual BIOS is a great feature for the overclockers out there who want to really test the limits of the board without worry of breaking their system. 

All in all, the ASRock Z370 Extreme4 is a highly capable Z370 motherboard with plenty of features that make it great for the enthusiast PC builder who wants to keep their i7-8700K build under a budget but not necessarily compromising on performance. 


Best Motherboard for Overclocking i7-8700K over (5GHz)

 
ASUS

ROG Maximus X Apex

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Photo Credit: ASUS
  • Built for hardcore overclockers
  • Large VRM heatsinks
  • Feature packed for overclocking and troubleshooting
  • Easily overclock the i7-8700K to a stable 5.1GHz
  • 10 fan/pump headers
  • 5GbE built in
  • Two DIMM slots instead of four
  • Lack of front USB 3.1 header
  • Low number of SATA ports
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor Extended ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4500 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 4/0/2
  • Fan Headers 5
  • Power Phases None
  • SATA 3 4
  • See more
    specs…

To clock your i7-8700K to over 5GHz with ease, not only are you going to need a capable CPU cooler and fan setup, you’re going to need a Z370 motherboard that has a decent build quality and VRM, with onboard cooling to help keep temperatures cool. There are a number of capable motherboards that will allow you to overclock past 5GHz with ease, and one of those is the ASRock X370 Taichi. Since this motherboard has won a few of our other awards in this article, and to keep our selections varied we will nominate another equally-capable Z370 motherboard great for overclocking the i7-8700K  past 5GHz -  that is the ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex.

This extended-ATX motherboard is one of the best overclocking motherboards, with the same VRM power stages found on the Maximus VIII Extreme, with great out-of-the-box overclocking profiles, such as a range of 5GHz profiles and 300MHz BCLK profiles, as well as a number of memory OC profiles.  Aside from the fantastic VRM and cooling found on this motherboard, this Z370 motherboards have plenty of fan headers (10 to be exact!) where 7 can be controlled via PWM and the other 3 to be run at full speed. In addition to this motherboard having great aesthetics and RGB lighting controls, there is also a onboard 5GBit NIC as well as a 1GBit NIC, something you don’t expect to see on most Z370 motherboards. One nitpick about this Z370 motherboard is that it only has four SATA memory ports, but I suppose ASUS has prioritized the overclocking potential of this motherboard over its SATA connectivity - a trade off that is likely worth it for those wishing to overclock the i7-8700K with this motherboard. 

If seeing how far you can overclock the Core i7-8700K is your main priority in your next PC build, then the ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex is the motherboard to go for - given you have a large enough case for it to fit in!


Best Gaming Motherboard for i7-8700K

ASRock

Z370 Taichi

View on
Photo Credit: ASRock
  • Feature-rich
  • Aggressive price point
  • Solid VRM and great power delivery
  • Dual NICs and WiFi built in
  • Audio isn't great due to lack of EMI shielding
  • Can't turn red power LED off
  • BIOS and software side is where ASRock falls short
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4333 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 3/0/2
  • Fan Headers 5
  • Power Phases 12
  • SATA 3 8
  • See more
    specs…

ASRock have really impressed us over the past few years with their offerings of motherboards packed full of features at a often-great value price, high quality VRMs and stable power delivery. The Taichi range of the ASRock motherboards is their top offerings, with the best ASRock can deliver, and with the ASRock Z370 Taichi this is no exception. Dubbed by reddit user /u/buildzoid the Taichi has a overkill VRM, making this particular motherboard a joy to overclock and get the absolute most out of the capable i7-8700K. 

We’ve covered the standout features earlier in the article and don’t want to repeat ourselves, but this given everything this Z370 motherboard has to offer, it makes it the best all-round motherboard for the i7-8700K and gaming is no exception - it is hard to not be impressed when gaming on this motherboard.


Best Motherboard to pair with i7-8700K and GTX 1080 Ti

ASRock

Z370 Taichi

View on
Photo Credit: ASRock
  • Feature-rich
  • Aggressive price point
  • Solid VRM and great power delivery
  • Dual NICs and WiFi built in
  • Audio isn't great due to lack of EMI shielding
  • Can't turn red power LED off
  • BIOS and software side is where ASRock falls short
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4333 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 3/0/2
  • Fan Headers 5
  • Power Phases 12
  • SATA 3 8
  • See more
    specs…

Although any Z370 motherboard will be compatible and work with the i7-8700K and GTX 1080 Ti, it often advised to pick a motherboard that reviews well by users and also by hardware blogs - such as Anandtech or TweakTown. In this case, the most hyped and raved-about Z370 motherboard is the ASRock Z370 Taichi

This is the third time this motherboard has been awarded as a top option for the core i7-8700K, the ASRock Z370 Taichi is a great pairing with also the GTX 1080 Ti. A system with these three components will create a solid foundation for a PC build capable of 4K gaming, and send out some seriously impressive benchmarks. 


Best Micro ATX (mATX) Motherboard for i7-8700K

EVGA

Z370 Micro

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Photo Credit: EVGA
  • Good value
  • Great for overclocking and memory overclocking
  • Dual BIOS
  • 6 fan headers
  • RGB
  • No USB 3.1 (Gen2) headers
  • No VRM for integrated GPU (iGPU)
  • No LLC control
  • EVGA BIOS is mediocre at best
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor Micro ATX
  • Max RAM Speed 4133 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 2/1/0
  • Fan Headers 6
  • Power Phases None
  • SATA 3 6
  • See more
    specs…
For those looking to build a i7-8700K mATX PC, there is plenty of choice of motherboards to pick from in the micro ATX form factor, and it’s difficult to go wrong with any of them, really.
 
With that said, a great option that actually turns out to be one of the cheapest Z370 options is the EVGA Z370 Micro. This mATX motherboard is great for the i7-8700K as it has solid VRM components and quality MOSFETs, coupled with great overclocking software out-of-the-box. This makes the Z370 Micro a perfect match for those smaller form facvtor builders looking to overclock their mATX i7-8700K build.

Best Mini ITX Motherboard for i7-8700K

ASUS

ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming

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Photo Credit: ASUS
  • Feature packed despite ITX size
  • Provides stable overclocks for i7-8700K
  • RGB
  • Plenty of USB 3.1 ports
  • Dual M.2.
  • Only three fan headers
  • SATA slots hard to reach
  • Some users experience poor overclocking potential (hit and miss)
  • Chipset Z370
  • Form Factor Mini ITX
  • Max RAM Speed 4333 MHz
  • PCIe 3.0 1/0/0
  • Fan Headers 2
  • Power Phases None
  • SATA 3 4
  • See more
    specs…
The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming is a great mini-ITX (mITX) motherboard to pair with the i7-8700K, the dual M.2 ports really are great in getting rid of all that SATA cabling - especially as freeing up space is important and valuable in small form factor (SFF) builds.
 
Despite the small form factor, this motherboard is great for overclocking the i7-8700K if paired with the right components - for example we have multiple examples of users overclocking the i7-8700K to 5GHz and memory to 4000MHz on the Z370-I gaming with no problem.
 
Other features that stand out on this mITX motherboard are USB 3.1 headers on the front panel, as well as plenty of USB connectivity - something that is not present in most Z370 mini ITX motherboards.

Click here to view all Z370 motherboards compatible with the i7-8700K