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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Motherboard for the i9-9900K

Hi guys,

I am looking to do a new build and the only component yet to be locked in is the motherboard, here's where I hope you may be of assistance.

I want a mid to high end motherboard that checks all the boxes. Good build quality, good IO (USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB type A+C), preferably Wi-Fi, ATX, good VRM and thermals.

I am biased towards ASUS, and possibly Gigabyte or MSI, but could probably be convinced otherwise.. I have had bad experience with ASRock, but that was maybe 8 years ago.

The i9-9900K is planned to be overclocked to what ever it can be on air (Noctua NH D15).

The price is not as important, although I of course don't want to throw money out the window.

I have looked at the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI CODE, ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO (wifi model), Gigabyte Z390 AORUS MASTER, and the MSI MEG Z390 ACE. As I mentioned I am favored towards ASUS, but it's not a hard requirement. In the past it has (in my experience) been the case that the ASUS UEFI was far superior in terms for overclocking, but I don't know if that's the case anymore.

I'd love to hear what you are thinking.

For completeness sake the motherboard will be paired with the i9-9900K as mentioned, as well as 32GB RAM and a RTX 2080 TI (probably MSI GAMING X Trio or ASUS ROG STRIX).
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 03:16 AM
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Hero is probably the best if there is no Apex around

i9-9940x With Optimus Foundation copper-plexi and Heatkiller VRM Plexi-Copper water block
ASUS x299 Rampage VI Apex
Titan Xp with copper Water Block
Trident Z 3600C16 4x8gb's b-die default timings 16-16-16-36
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Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500gb M.2/ Samsung 850 Pro 256gb for os and 500gb evo for favorite games plus other wd hdd's for data and backup's
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evga 1200-P2
2-280GTX Black Ice Nemesis rads with D5 pump-res combo and D5 top before and after rads.
MO-RA3 360 PRO stainless steel (25022)
corsair 450D with added 2nd floor to house radiator on top
Operating System
Win-7 pro & 10 pro Win-7 Primary os.
ASUS VG248QE 24" 144Hz
Logitech G910 Orion spectrum
Redragon Perdition
Built in realtek and Insignia 2.0 soundbar HSB318
i7-5930k with Heatkiller IV Pro Plexi-Copper and koolance vrm water blocks
X99 Sabertooth
EVGA 1080ti FTW3 with Water block
Trident-Z 3200C14 4x8gb's b-die default timings 14-14-14-34
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Samsung 970 Evo 500gb M.2/ Samsung 850 Pro 256gb for os and 500gb evo for favorite games plus other wd hdd's for data and backup's
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EVGA 1000-P2
2-240 GTX Black Ice Nemesis rads/ D5 pump-res combo and D5 top before and after rads.
Corsair 450D with added 2nd floor to house radiator on top
Operating System
Win-7 and 10 pro Win-7 Primary os.
AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz
Red Dragon Perdition
Built in realtek and Insignia 2.0 soundbar HSB318
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eLeaf MELO-3 4ml
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SE US18650VTC6 3120mAh 30A 3.6V 18650 Li-ion Battery - GREENx4
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 11:06 AM
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I've been in the same position but I've settled on the Aorus Master. This isn't so much advice for you, it's more just my thoughts in the hope it helps.

I've always gone Asus but I feel this time around Asus have pitched their equivalent products too high.

I've looked at 5 sets of boards - Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA and Asrock.

Apart from Asrock they all have a top tier board - designed, or made to look like it's for LN. I'm not interested in that - particularly if it has only 2 ram slots. I'll never go near dice, ln etc. I'm going to run a fairly competent custom loop.

MSI for some reason seem to have pitched a top tier board but no high end boards.

Gigabyte on first glance seem to not have the high end boards, if you're looking at price. However they've revamped their line up for Z390 and their prices seem significantly lower than their competitors.

Asus have a good solid lineup as always, they have the best BIIOS and they seem to bring in the newest features, but I feel they're charging a lot for it. There's been some talk of VRM stuff but from my limited perspective I don't think it has any real merit.

Asrock boards I didn't like the look of.

EVGAs top board looks a bit too geared towards LN for me and the only other one they have doesn't seem to do what I want.

So I felt it came down to Asus or Gigabyte for me. I want to have loads of fan headers (not essential for what I want to do but makes it easier) and I wanted beefy VRM. That meant it was going to be an XI Code or Aorus Master. The code comes in at £360 and the master at £275. If I was to go for an Asus board at the price point of the Master it'd be the XI Hero.

So for me the Master has more of what I want than the Hero.

I found that attachment really helpful. It's from a well respected member here. He's tried (in the green section at least) to rank them in relative order.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 12:22 PM
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I might have had the worst luck with asus ever on Z170 motherboard and there customer service could have been a one off but I have never bought one again.. Shame because they have some great boards .
I have has ram issues with some older Msi boards but they rma quick.
I was looking as the Z390 Msi ace 12+1 phase but no onboard gpu and for 290.00 only one m.2 cover kinda lame.(Still a option)
I like the bios easy to use and they have got better with vdroop last few years. And most part good quality built.

The super micro pgw looks nice can run two cards 16x with there plx or pex chip . There is only one 8 pin for cpu though kinda wonder on 140 watts vrm long term? 9900k.. I have never had a super micro board looks like they are going after gaming market any one have any luck with there boards? And are they the ones that have a spy chip on it ?
Like every one else waiting for my chip

Msi ace z390
9900k 5.1 1.30
32 gb 4233 g-skill
1 tb 970 Samsung ssd
zotak 2080 ti gaming
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys.

I think I'm going to stick with my initial thought of picking the ASUS MAXIMUS XI Hero. The price difference is negligible here, and the VRM issues I have heard have all been directed at the STRIX series, not the MAXIMUS. With regards to the RMA process, I have only had ASUS in the past, but I have successfully RMA'ed a board with a turnover time of only two weeks, so I'm quite satisfied with that.

The Code does not seem to give much over the Hero to justify the increased cost, that's why I'm discarding that one.

If anyone has any further points to make, please do so - I'm sure that it can benefit me as well as others in a similar situation.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 08:34 AM
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The Gigabyte offer good bang for the bucks when you talk about components, true, however Gigabyte got their downside significant for some, it just performs bad when it comes to ram department, not only it is not user friendly, the performance is just meh compare to others, my Z170X-UD5 ram performance worsen significantly in AIDA64 benchmark once i push the frequency pass 2666, and I heard that they didnt really improve in Z370/Z390, if memory performance is your concern, it could be a deal breaker.

Increasing the operation frequency of a component will usually increase its thermal output in a linear fashion, while an increase in voltage usually causes heat to increase quadratically. (Wikipedia)

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 08:56 AM
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Asrock is going to be at the top of the list. After that i might look at the gigabyte boards.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 09:12 AM
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Silicon Lottery's QVL list is probably a good starting point. These have all in theory been validated to handle OC'd 9900K's, or in the case of boards which aren't out yet they should be fine on paper.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9
ASRock Z390 Taichi
ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
ASUS Z370 ROG Maximus X Apex
ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Apex
ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Code
ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Extreme
ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Gene
ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Hero
ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Formula
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Elite
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Extreme
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 09:58 AM
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ROG Hero line has been perfect for me since the VIII Hero. Tried a Strix Z370 and it was a terrible overclocker, unstable voltage with broken LLC. Also tried a Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 and it had bad VRM cooling. Went back to the Hero line in the Z370 X Hero and it's been rock solid. I had been planning on keeping the board to use with the 9900K until today when I just saw that the XI Hero has a new 8+4 EATX power connector optimized for overclocking the 9900K. I'm so irritated right now and don't want to give more money to Intel. But if I do get a 9900K, it'll be paired with the XI Hero.
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9900k , Asus , Gigabyte , Msi , z390

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