Best Motherboard for i7 10700k

In this article, we examine five of the best available motherboards to pair with the i7 10700k CPU

WEPC best motherboard for i7 10700k Featured image 01

Building your own PC is not like buying one off the shelf. In fact, it’s the absolute opposite. You’re not bound to accept the bundle of components that manufacturers pair together. You can choose what goes best with what, to build yourself the machine of your gaming dreams.

The Intel i7 10700k CPU is an 8-core, 16-thread processor with a memory speed of up to 5.1GHz (unlocked) and 16MB of L3 cache, based on the Comet Lake infrastructure. It has a TDP of 125W, an LGA 1200 socket, and a point to prove. On its launch, it was widely seen as a response to the wake-up call provided by AMD getting its act together after many years, and it’s a processor that’s compatible with Intel 400 series chipset-based motherboards.

There are quite a few Intel 400 series chipset-based motherboards on the market. Fortunately, we’ve trawled through them all, benchmarked the best of them, and collected them here for you.

Our Top Picks

Editor's Choice

WePC Editors Choice Badge

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme

Runner up

Gigabyte Z490 Vision G

Best Motherboard for i7 10700k: First Look

Editor's Choice

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme
0 /5
Editor's Rating
5/5

The Gigabyte 7490 AORUS Xtreme is an ATX motherboard that’s dedicated to delivering heavy gaming performance.

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It comes with the i7 10700k-compatible LGA 1200 socket and 4 memory slots, has a memory storage capacity of 1000 TB, a memory speed of 5000 MHz, and uses futureproof DDR4 DIMM RAM to give you hardcore gaming capacity.

It brings you SATA 3 connections for data exchange, delivering PCle 3.0 to its NVMe storage, and PCle 4.0 to its 16-phase digital VRM. That VRM even has a smart power stage, so you can have faster gameplay without any voltage regulation concerns.

Its cooling system uses a fins array and direct touch heatpipe with nanocarbon coating to help keep you gaming longer, safer, and cooler.
Pre-loaded with Intel wifi-6, and with AMP UP Audio ALC1220-VB2 with ESS Sabre ES9018K2M Rear Audio DAC and ESS Sabre ES9218 Front Audio DAC out of the box, the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme brings some of the latest motherboard tech to your i7 10700k.

Runner up

Gigabyte Z490 Vision G
0 /5
Editor's Rating
4.9/5

Our second option from Gigabyte would, on a good day, contend for the top spot.

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An ATX motherboard with 4x dual-channel DDR 4 DIMM RAM slots. It includes PCle 3.0 for data transfer, but happily supports PCle 4.0 when matched with the right processor. Likewise bringing SATA 4 connections to your build, it has less VRM game (only 12+1 phases), which is one of the reasons its stablemate beats it out for the top spot.
While it matches the AORUS Xtreme on memory capacity, at 1000 TB, a memory speed of 4400 MHz takes it a step down the ladder in terms of delivering peak performance under heavy gaming load.
It brings you an advanced thermal design with a micro-block surface heatsink and a next-generation direct touch heatpipe. For system cooling, it includes Smart Fan 5 hybrid fan headers with smart fan functions (including fan stop, PWM controls, and noise detection). As such, the Gigabyte Z490 Vision G is more than a good motherboard for the i7 10700k, but never quite reaches the speeds of the AORUS, and so comes in second on our list.

Also consider

MSI Mag Z490 Tomahawk Gaming Motherboard
0 /5
Editor's Rating
4.8/5

On the surface, the MSI Mag Z490 Tomahawk gaming motherboard is another strong contender for anyone building a rig around the i7 10700k . Four DDR4 RAM slots, and a maximum memory storage capacity of 128 GB put it up among the motherboards to take a second look at.

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Its memory speed of 4800MHz also technically puts it ahead of the Gigabyte Z490’s game. But one thing to be aware of with the MSI motherboard is that it has a maximum RAM of 64GB, rather than the full 128GB. Not a deal-breaker, by any means, but definitely something worth knowing when you’re building your i7 rig.

What else is on board the Mag Z490? Twin turbo M.2 with M.2 Shield Frozr, for a start, which gives you transfer speeds of up to 32 GB/s for ultra-fast SSDs. It also brings Lightning USB 20G, powered by USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 controller, adding USB speeds of up to 20GB/s from the read USB-C port.

On a price par with the Gigabyte Z490 Vision G, the MSI would normally have a harder time getting noticed by rig-builders, as MSI is a lesser-known motherboard manufacturer. But there’s plenty of good functionality to be wrung out of the Tomahawk, and when paired with the i7 10700k, it should give you solid, glitch-free gameplay out of the box, before you even begin talking about overclocking it.

m-ATX pick

Asus ROG Strix Z490-G
0 /5
Editor's Rating
4.7/5

Pricier than either the Gigabyte Z490 or the MSI Z490 Tomahawk, the Asus ROG Strix Z490-G brings a lot of similar power and functionality to your build options. What’s surprising is that for the price, it delivers it in a micro-ATX form factor.

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Four DDR4 memory slots, maximum memory of 128GB, and a memory speed of 4600MHz is no kind of shabby when you’re looking for a motherboard to pair with the i7 10700k.

Where some of the extra money goes is into the optimized thermal design. There’s a VRM heatsink, PCH fanless heatsink, M.2 heatsink, hybrid fan headers, and Fan Xpert 4 utility. Essentially, if you want heatsinks, the Asus ROG Strix Z490-G has got ’em in spades.

The VRM on the Strix is impressive too, bringing 12+2 power stages with a ProCool II power connector, alloy chokes, and durable capacitors to the board, which gives you reliable power, even under extreme load for high-octane gaming.

Mini ITX pick

MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard
0 /5
Editor's Rating
4.6/5

The smallest offering on our list is the MSI MEG Z490I Unify motherboard.

 

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A mini-ITX form factor board, it delivers the DDR4 RAM you’ll expect from any motherboard looking to pair with the i7 10700k. Unusually among Intel-compatible boards, this MSI offering has confirmed PCle 4.0 graphic interface data communication, which means it’s suitable for some of the fastest data transfer available today – and tomorrow.

The PCle 4.0 capability is a great piece of futureproofing, but there are sacrifices to make with a mini-ITX board too. Where most of the motherboards on our list include 4 memory slots, the MEG only packs 2 for your money – an important issue when, except for the list-leading Gigabyte board, this is the most expensive motherboard on our list.
There’s plenty else to recommend the MEG Z490I, though. It has an aluminum cover with an extended heatsink for effective heat dissipation and smoother processing.

It also features a 2.5G Gaming LAN with the latest wifi-6 on board, which helps deliver a fully modern gaming experience.

The lack of memory slots is a significant issue with any motherboard aiming to pair with the i7 10700k. But the MEG Z490I still manages a respectable place on our list of best motherboards for the i7 10700k, flying the flag for micro-builds.

How Do We Choose?

At WePC, we’re a team of experienced testers, analysts, and gaming experts.
We’ve seen processors and motherboards come, and we’ve seen them go. We’ve never let them go before they’ve been rigorously bench-tested, and our findings written up, because, at WePC, we live for two things – testing components, and telling people about the components we’ve tested. That’s it – that’s what we do, and we love it that way.

So we have experience of knowing what’s important to gamers in any new development, what’s interesting, and what’s flash and flim-flam.

And then we tell you about it, so you can cut to the chase, cut out some of the time spent squinting at the small print, get the right components for the build you have in mind, build it, and then lose your mind over the amazing thing you’ve made.

We’re not here to waste your time. If you have an i7 10700k processor and you’re looking for a motherboard to match, not one of the options on our list would be a ‘bad’ choice – they’ll all drive the processor in ways that blow your mind. But you know yourself, boards can be brilliant in their own right, but not quite what you personally are looking for. That’s why we’ve chosen the ones we have – there’s something here for almost everyone clutching an i7 10700k in their hands right now.

Are we the Fountain of All Motherboard Knowledge?

Well…erm…yes. Yes, we are. But as you’ll also know, Your Mileage May Vary is the fundamental building block of all knowledge. We think there’s a motherboard here for every i7 10700k owner. But if you have ideas of your own, by all means, follow your dreams and build them.

We’re just here to save you time, money, misplaced investment, and ultimately frustration. All our listed motherboards can do that for you.

Things To Consider

So, if we think we have the top 5 best motherboards for the i7 10700k, what criteria are we looking at? How have we narrowed the field for you?

Form Factor

The form factor is the genetic template of any group of boards. It tells you what the board can possibly deliver, including how many ports it has, where its mounting holes are, and so on.

It also covers the basics like the overall board dimensions, so knowing the form factor gives you the basic map of the board.

The standard form factor across all manufacturers these days is the Advanced Technology Extended (ATX). You can also get a micro-ATX version for smaller builds, and ITX boards – which are the best option if you’re looking to build particularly small rigs.

Processor Socket

The processor socket and the chipset are often dealt with together in build-dynamics. While for many years, Intel processors and the motherboards that served them used the LGA 1151 processor socket, as of 2020, the LGA 1151 was replaced by the LGA 1200, which is standard across all the motherboards we’ve collected here. The processor socket is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the way the processor and the motherboard join together.

Chipset and PCI Slots

The chipset of all the 400 series motherboards which we’ve included here is the Intel Z490 Express, with Intel Thunderbolt 3 handling onboard graphics data exchange. With AMD chipsets, the PCle 4.0 data exchange connection is being rolled out increasingly as a move to futureproof the company’s motherboards. Intel motherboard manufacturers have been reluctant to do this – or have found it complex and not worth doing as yet, as it adds little to the current capacity of their boards. Indeed, there are only occasional uses of PCle 4.0 in any of the motherboards we’ve selected for pairing with the i7 10700k, because the Intel chipset design allows for the integrated use of more in-house connectivity, so there is as yet little to be gained from adopting the PCle 4.0 standard. As such, for the most part, PCle 3.0 will be standard across Intel motherboards suitable for the i7 10700k, and is likely to remain so for some time to come.

RAM

If you’re going to have RAM, you’re going to need a slot to stick it in.
Motherboard RAM is usually DIMM RAM, and the most modern standard across the boards is DDR4 RAM. The number of slots your board has will often tell you its maximum RAM capacity. Most of the boards on our list have 4 slots and a maximum capacity of 128GB.

SATA and NVMe

The SATA 3 ports on a motherboard are its connections to additional memory storage, be it HDD, SSDs, or increasingly NVMes – data storage with ultra-fast data exchange speeds and protocols. The description of SATA ports tells you how the board functions in terms of its connections to data sources. For instance, the description of the Gigabyte AORUS includes the fact that it has 3 M.2 connectors (including SATA connectors), and then 6 additional SATA connectors, each transferring 6GB/s.
NVMes are increasingly common in motherboards, but have yet to become in any sense the norm – lots of builders are still happy with their SSD data transfer rates. If you want edge-of-your-seat next-generation data transfer, then yes, don’t settle for anything less than a board that can give you NVMe capability. But check your bank balance before you decide that’s a vital thing right here and right now, because, like all cutting-edge tech, anything that’s new is going to cost you extra.

Features

Finally, when you’re buying a motherboard, check out the extra features it carries. Maybe you’re a pure-heart and you’re only interested in the capabilities you’ve decided upfront you want your board to have.

Guaranteed, board manufacturers will have thought of things you haven’t. Sure, some of them are fripperies you’re never going to need and shouldn’t have to pay for. But check out the list in any case, in case the life-changing feature you never knew you needed is on the board you’re considering as the base for your build.

Related

Editor's Choice

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Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme

Extreme Power Design

Z490 AORUS XTREME uses an 16-phase digital power design with 90A Smart Power Stages

Thermal Reactive Armor

Thermal Reactive Armor tackles heat dissipation on multiple fronts

Unparalleled Performance

full PCIe 4.0 hardware design

XTREME Memory Technology

high memory clock

State-of-the-art connectivity

10 GbE Networking & Thunderbolt 3

Runner up

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Also consider

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MSI Mag Z490 Tomahawk Gaming Motherboard

Supports

10th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors for LGA 1200 socket

Supports dual channel DDR4 memory

up to 128GB (4800MHz)

DDR4 Memory Support

4 x DIMM; Max. 128GB; 4800 MHz

PCIe x16 Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots

Audio

Audio Boost

m-ATX pick

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Asus ROG Strix Z490-G

Intel LGA 1200 socket

Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors

Robust Power Solution

12+2 power stages with ProCool II power connector

Optimized Thermal Design

VRM heatsink, PCH fanless heatsink, M. 2 heatsink, hybrid fan

High-performance Gaming Networking

On-board Intel 2. 5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard

Best Gaming Connectivity

Supports HDMI 1. 4 and DisplayPort 1. 4 output, and featuring dual M. 2, front panel USB 3. 2 Gen 2 Type-C connector

Industry-leading Gaming Audio

High fidelity audio with the SupremeFX S1220A codec,

Mini ITX pick

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MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard

Supports

10th Generation Intel Core

Memory

Dual channel DDR4 memory

Gaming LAN

2.5G

Frozr Heatsink Design

Designed with the patented fan and double ball bearings

Socket

LGA1200

Editor's Choice

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme
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Tech Specs

Extreme Power Design

Z490 AORUS XTREME uses an 16-phase digital power design with 90A Smart Power Stages

Thermal Reactive Armor

Thermal Reactive Armor tackles heat dissipation on multiple fronts

Unparalleled Performance

full PCIe 4.0 hardware design

XTREME Memory Technology

high memory clock

State-of-the-art connectivity

10 GbE Networking & Thunderbolt 3

Pros

Storage of 10000 TB

Memory speed of 5000MHz (boosted)

DDR4 RAM

Fins-array heatsink and a direct touch heatpipe

16-phase 90A power stages VRM

Cons

The price. Ye gods and little fishes, the price.

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The Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Xtreme motherboard is not, by any stretch of the imagination, cheap. In fact, it’s up to twice or even three times as pricey as any other board on our list. Little wonder then that it strolls off with the honors at the top of our table. To do anything less would be to add insult to financial injury.
That said, what you get for your dollars here is among the best motherboards Gigabyte knows how to make, two decades into the 21st century – which is saying a lot.

You can run the AORUS Xtreme up to 5000MHz on DDR4, assuming your i7 10700k can actually do that. If anything, the board seems over-qualified and over-spec’d, but it’s always better to have capacity and speed to spare than it is to find yourself gasping for the last licks of RAM or memory speed, right?

This being Gigabyte, the VRM game is always going to be top-notch, and the AORUS Xtreme, if anything, takes the company’s reputation for absurdly effective VRM strategies and builds, runs off with it, climbs a tree, and looks back, laughing.

We’re talking about 16-phase 90A power stages. Try to make this VRM sweat, we dare you. Finned heatsinks increase the cooling surface area a lot, and the VRM cooler also comes with a direct touch heat pipe and a thermal pad, to deliver efficient thermal transfer to the cooling pipe and the fins.

The four memory slots here are caught in a limbo of PCle peculiarity. They’re PCle 3.0, which is the current state of the art for data transfer. But they’re marked as ready for PCle 4.0 when Intel upgrades from the Comet Lake standard to the Rocket Lake standard. Rocket Lake chips will allegedly use PCle 4.0, but when they’ll hit the market is still as yet anyone’s guess.
The on board wifi is Intel wifi-6, of course, backed up by Bluetooth 5. The AORUS Xtreme also comes with a wired LAN (Intel 2.5Gb and Aquantia 10Gb).

A memory storage capacity of 10000 TB is as staggering as you’d need it to be to pay the asking price for the AORUS Xtreme, and the memory speed of 5000MHz is pretty much top of the leaderboard for i7 10700k-compatible motherboards.

Yes, you’ll pay extra for the AORUS Xtreme.
The thing you’ll marvel at is that it will be at least almost worth it.

Runner up

Gigabyte Z490 Vision G
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Pros

10000 TB of memory storage

Memory speed of 4400MHz

12 phases digital VRM, with a 50A smart power stage

4 DDR4 memory slots

Two M.2 drives

Nowhere near the price of the AORUS Xtreme

Cons

No wifi-6 on the board as standard

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The Gigabyte Z490 Vision G shares a lot of the attractive elements of the AORUS Xtreme, but costs a fraction of the price. You lose out on some of the coolest stuff for that price drop, it’s true – but whether you weep into your pizza at its loss is less certain.

Plenty of elements will be familiar – the 10000 TB of memory storage makes the step-down with no problem at all. There’s an important reduction in memory speed to 4400MHZ, but the degree to which that slows down your active gaming performance is probably less than the relief you get at not paying the AORUS price. Four memory slots are available for DDR4 RAM DIMM. And like the AORUS Xtreme, the Z490 Vision G comes with dual M.2 slots.

Being Gigabyte, you still get an insanely impressive VRM strategy – here, you have direct 12 phases digital VRM, with a 50A smart power stage. As with the AORUS Xtreme, you’d have to work ridiculously hard to get this VRM to freak out.

And you still get an advanced thermal design with a micro-block surface heatsink and a next-generation direct touch heatpipe. So far, so cool in every sense of the word.
The Z490 Vision G provides Intel HD graphics support through an HDMI port. The 2.5 G LAN makes the transfer to the much cheaper board too, so you do begin to wonder what exactly you’re paying for in the more expensive model. The answer tends towards ease – the AORUS Xtreme has the power and the capacity to stroll on by most everything in its class. But the much less expensive Z490 Vision G makes enough of a case on its own merits to stand as one of the best motherboards for the i7 10700k CPU, before we harp too much on the colossal price difference.

Sorry, did we think that, or did we say it?

Also consider

MSI Mag Z490 Tomahawk Gaming Motherboard
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Tech Specs

Supports

10th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors for LGA 1200 socket

Supports dual channel DDR4 memory

up to 128GB (4800MHz)

DDR4 Memory Support

4 x DIMM; Max. 128GB; 4800 MHz

PCIe x16 Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots

Audio

Audio Boost

Pros

128GB memory storage

Memory Speed of 4800MHz

3x PCle 3.0 slots

An impressive heatsink

Twin turbo M.2 with M.2 Shield Frozr for rapid data transfer

Cons

Significant step-down in memory storage

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The MSI Mag Z490 Tomahawk takes us a little away from the heavyweight mentality of Gigabyte, and gives us a motherboard option that foregrounds other things besides the joyful, practical, but nevertheless slightly absurd quality of its VRM.

One of the things you notice immediately about the Tomahawk board is that it brings a maximum memory of 128GB to the party, with 4 memory slots for DDR4 RAM. What’s more, it restricts the maximum RAM capacity to just 64GB, which is worth remembering in any side-by-side bench testing you do.

Twin-turbo M.2, with M.2 Shield Frozr gives impressive data transfer speeds of up to 32 GB/s so your ultra-fast SSDs can react in rapid time. And the board also carries a 2.5G LAN plus Gigabit LAN.

Heatsink? Pretty impressive – there’s a finned sink here, though unlike the Gigabyte versions, there’s no direct touch heat pipe. A thermal conductivity rating of 7W/mK should be enough to keep your board cool under heavy load though.

The Tomahawk comes with 4 PCle slots, though as with other Intel-compatible motherboards, they are as yet PCle 3.0.

The temptation with the Tomahawk is to see it as an also-ran, compared to the two more market-dominating Gigabyte boards. Really though, when linked to an i7 10700k CPU, the Tomahawk will give you excellent gaming, rapid connection and data exchange, and more than a reasonable heatsink game. That’s got to make it worth recommending among the best motherboards for the i7 10700k.

m-ATX pick

m-ATX pick
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Tech Specs

Intel LGA 1200 socket

Designed to unleash the maximum performance of 10th Gen Intel Core processors

Robust Power Solution

12+2 power stages with ProCool II power connector

Optimized Thermal Design

VRM heatsink, PCH fanless heatsink, M. 2 heatsink, hybrid fan

High-performance Gaming Networking

On-board Intel 2. 5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard

Best Gaming Connectivity

Supports HDMI 1. 4 and DisplayPort 1. 4 output, and featuring dual M. 2, front panel USB 3. 2 Gen 2 Type-C connector

Industry-leading Gaming Audio

High fidelity audio with the SupremeFX S1220A codec,

Pros

127 GB maximum RAM

4 slots for DDR4 RAM

4600MHz maximum memory speed

Optimized thermal design

On board wifi-6

Industry-leading audio option

High power on a micro-ATX board for non-tower builds

Cons

Price could deter some non-tower builders

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We offered you a motherboard option for every kind of builder. The Asus ROG Strix Z490-G is a micro-ATX board for your non-tower options.
Maintaining the maximum RAM size from the MSI Mag, you can get 128GB of memory here from 4 slots for DDR4 RAM. It also brings a more-than-reasonable maximum memory speed of 4600MHz to your micro-ATX build.

The board helps you get the most out of your build, up-rating its power delivery and bringing a sophisticated cooling system to your game. A combination of the advanced cooling system (configurable through Fan Xpert 4) and intelligent controls lets you get into overclocking on the smaller system.
Onboard WiFi-6 (802.11ax) supports ultrafast wireless-networking speeds. And because you’ll be gaming a lot with this motherboard, there’s an industry-leading audio package, delivered through the SupremeFX S1220A codec, DTS Sound Unbound, and Sonic Studio III.

In terms of a VRM and power control, the Strix uses 12+2 power stages with the ProCool II power connector to maintain power reliability even under heavy load. And that advanced cooling system? You’re looking at an optimized thermal design: VRM heatsink, PCH fanless heatsink, M.2 heatsink, hybrid fan headers, and that Fan Xpert 4 ease of control.
If the Strix proves anything, it’s that you don’t need to have a full-sized ATX form factor motherboard to bring lots of the good stuff to your gaming build. If you have a hankering to go micro-ATX, you could do a lot worse than going with the Asus ROG Strix Z490-G as your motherboard, linked to your i7 10700k CPU.

Mini ITX pick

MSI MEG Z490I Unify Gaming Motherboard
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Tech Specs

Supports

10th Generation Intel Core

Memory

Dual channel DDR4 memory

Gaming LAN

2.5G

Frozr Heatsink Design

Designed with the patented fan and double ball bearings

Socket

LGA1200

Pros

DDR4 DIMM RAM technology

PCIe 4.0 for rapid data transfer

Extended heatsink in the aluminum cover

2.5G Lan

Wifi-6 on board

Cons

Only 2 memory slots

Price – Bar the list-leader, this is the most expensive board here.

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And if you’re going right down the spectrum into the smallest builds, you’re going to need a tiny mini-ITX motherboard that still packs enough punch to justify pairing it with an i7 10700kCPU. That’s what the MSI Meg is all about.
Still bringing dual-channel DDR4 RAM to your build, the compromises of the size are inescapable – only 2 memory slots for your money, and a correspondingly smaller maximum memory storage count.

On the other hand, perhaps oddly in a range that has hung back on implementing PCle 4.0 technology for rapid data transfer, the size component here makes PCle 4.0 a useful way of delivering speedy data-transfer without throwing the whole thing out of joint.

Likewise, the nature of the mini-ITX board means it crams a lot into a restricted space – its aluminum cover includes an extended heatsink. Adding a 2.5G gaming LAN and the latest wifi-6 to the package lets the Meg Z490I offer a fully modern gaming experience within the confines of a mini-ITX board.

Final Word

If you’re buying a motherboard to match with the i7 10700k, what our list shows is that there’s something for every kind of builder.

We’ve done the easy bit – the bit we can do for you. We’ve shown you a range of motherboards, all of which will pair well with your CPU. The rest is up to you. You’re the one who has to decide what kind of build you want to make, how much you want to spend, and which features are non-negotiable in that build.

Take another look through the list, note down the features you absolutely need in your build, and they will lead you in the direction of your i7 10700k build.

Enjoy it!