Intel i7-8700K is perhaps the best mainstream processor with impeccable all-around performance. It utilizes the 14nm++ design process to reduce leakage power, thus higher turbo speeds. With a 3.7GHz base and 4.7GHz turbo, this Coffee Lake Processor is excellent for single and multithreaded tasks.
That said, i7-8700K will not work with any motherboard. It is designed to work with the 300-series chipset. Hence, you are looking at either Z370 or Z390 motherboards.
Z390 motherboards are engineered to work with 9th gen Coffee Lake processors. They feature built-in USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) and support Wi-Fi 802.11ac. They are a nice upgrade for Z370 though the extra features are not a must-have.
In this guide, we’ll be recommending both Z370 and Z390 motherboards. If you plan on upgrading to 9th gen Intel processors, like i9-9900K, you are better off with Z390 boards for a future-proof system.
Features to look for in a motherboard for i7-8700K
LGA 1151 Socket
For a motherboard to be compatible with i7-8700K, it has to have the LGA 1151 socket. This socket is found on the Intel 300 series chipset like Z370 and Z390. Note that 8th and 9th gen Intel processors are not backward compatible with Intel 200 series chipset.
Stable Power Delivery
i7-8700K is geared towards overclocking. It is power-hungry and requires a motherboard with decent VRM. Fortunately, most Z390 and Z370 motherboards are improved to handle the power needs of this CPU. But you’ll still need to verify that you are getting the best power system on your motherboard choice.
What makes a good motherboard for Intel Core i7-8700K?
Aggressive Overclocking Potential
Intel Core i7-8700K is unlocked for overclocking. That’s why we recommend Z370 and Z390 boards as the gold standard for CPU overclocking. This way, you will push this processor to its max while getting great features for gaming and productivity.
Vast Storage and Connectivity Options
A good motherboard for i7-8700K comes with lots of PCI-E lanes as well as RAID storage options. You’ll also want to look out for highspeed I/O lanes like NVMe connections, and integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports.
Intel Wireless networking is also a great feature to have on a motherboard. Although brands with this feature cost a little more, you will find it fun to have on any system.
Support for Multiple Graphics Cards
AMD Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI offer modern gamers the ability to run games at higher settings. It means you can have four graphics cards running in a single system for more GPU power. This technology is not available on all motherboards.
As such, if you are looking to have GPUs in SLI or Crossfire configuration, then your motherboard has to support this technology.
Best Motherboards for i7-8700K Features Comparison
USB 3.1 Gen 2
ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi)
3x PCIe 3.0 x16
3x PCIe 3.0 x1
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
3x PCIe 3.0 x16
3x PCIe 3.0 x1
ASUS TUF Z370 Pro Gaming
3x PCIe 3.0 x16
3x PCIe 3.0 x1
Gigabyte Z390 Designare
3x PCIe 3.0 x16
2x PCIe 3.0 x1
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming
1x PCIe 3.0 x16
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
2x PCIe 3.0 x16
2x PCIe 3.0 x1
Best Motherboard for i7-8700K
1. ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390- Best for Gaming
ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi) is a viable Z390 motherboard for enthusiast gamers. It boasts premium features from beautiful aesthetic design to dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support.
Eye-Catching Design with Impressive Cooling
This motherboard has the looks going for it. The PCB is matte black complemented by subtle printed lines. It comes with dark brushed metal heatsinks, and the back is black with printed lines. We like that the chunky rear I/O shield is integrated.
As for RGB, it has LEDs on the southbridge heatsink and rear I/O. It also includes four RGB headers so you can attach RGB strips. The headers can work with ASUS AURA Sync and can with various ROG hardware.
When it comes to cooling, the board is complete with heatsinks for the chipset, VRM, and both M.2 slots. We find the heatsinks quite capable of alleviating any overheating problems, especially when overclocking. Talking of which, ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi) supports extensive overclocking thanks to its comprehensive cooling and VRM design.
Gaming Storage and Connectivity
It’s nice to know that ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi) supports NVIDIA and AMD dual-graphics card configuration. As such, it includes three full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. Two of these slots run at 8x while the third runs at 4x.
You also get three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. We like that it features two M.2 slots instead of one. Both have heatsinks, but only one supports PCI and SATA drives. The board is complete with six SATA 6GBs ports and support for 64GB DDR4 memory.
No more worries about getting independent WIFI adapters as it features a 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac WIFI adapter. It also has dual Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 5.0.
As a premium board, ASUS is all in with Realtek ALC1220 audio with SupremeFX. There are five 3.5mm audio jacks and an S/PDIF out port.
The beauty of Z390 boards is the inclusion of USB 3.1 Type-C. ASUS gives you one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C front-panel connector and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port at the back. Not forgetting two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, and three USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports.
Apart from the POST display, start and reset buttons, it also features Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons.
ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi) showcases top-tier performance for high-end gaming. It is equally good at everyday computing tasks thanks to its great NVMe and SATA speeds. It is the most consistent in all-around performance, so go ahead and pair it with the i7-8700K for enthusiast gaming.
- Robust SafeSlot connectors
- Feature-rich ASUS BIOS
- High-fidelity audio
- Supports water cooling
- Robust M.2 heatsinks
- A bit expensive for its set of features
2. MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC – Best for Overclocking
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC premiers the MPG line with high-end features at a favorable price tag. This model features simple but crucial improvements over the Z370 model of the same line. The board makes the most of USB 3.1 Gen2 with headers and onboard ports to ensure you do not lack the benefits of 10Gbps speeds.
One of the most remarkable features of this board is its layout. Every socket and slot have its place to support cooling and decent CPU overclocking. The PCB is all dark. It is robust and thick, for long-run durability.
MSI is not crazy about RGB on this board. You will spot RGB on the rear I/O and the under the right side of the PCB only. It, however, includes three RGB headers on the bottom edge.
Since this board is for productivity as well as gaming, it can get hot. But MSI is keen to include chunky heatsinks that we find substantial. It has an 11-phase power array in a 10+1 digital design. It features carbon-styled heatsinks for the VRM and CPU socket.
You’ll spot a heatsink for the lower M.2 slot. This is where we expect heat issues since this slot sits next to the graphics card. However, with two PCI-E slots featuring metal reinforcements, it can handle heavy graphics cards without causing trouble to the SSD in the lower M.2 slot.
Storage and Connectivity
With this board, your best bet is two have dual GPUs if you plan on using Crossfire or SLI GPU configuration. Even with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, the third slot is locked at 4x speeds. You can expect to have either x16, x0, x4 or x8, x8, x4 modes.
MSI adds in three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Dual M.2 slots support PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6Gbps devices. At the same time, you have six SATA 6Gbps slots that draw from the chipset.
At its price range, MPG Gaming Pro Carbon AC offers only 64GB of DDDR4 memory. It does not provide the choice to update the BIOS to handle more RAM.
This motherboard includes AC WIFI. It has a 1.73Gbps wireless network thanks to Intel 9260 2T2R WIFI adapter.
The board has Realtek 1220 audio, which is enhanced by Nahimic. You can expect rich bass and clear high frequencies on this solution.
Finally, there are lots of headers and ports, including a pair of video ports. As for USB, you get three USB 3.1 Type-A, one USB 3.1 Type-C, and four USB 3.0 ports. The bulk of USB 2.0 ports are by four headers and two onboard ports.
MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC offers value for DIY enthusiasts. It is well-rounded whether you want to game or perform day-to-day computing tasks.
- High-end digital controllers
- Onboard 802.11ac WIFI
- Quality voltage regulator
- 20% more power to CPU
- Balanced performance to features
- RGB section is small
- Not ideal for 3-way AMD Crossfire
3. ASUS TUF Z370 Pro Gaming – Best Z370 Motherboard for i7-8700K
ASUS is a famous brand when it comes to feature-rich affordable motherboards. For those planning to build a budget-friendly overclocking system with the i7-8700K, the ASUS TUF Z370 Pro Gaming is our top pick. It provides unparalleled durability, proof of the TUF line.
Improved Computational Performance
TUF Z370 Pro Gaming comes in a dark-styled PCB with yellow and orange accents. It’s an eye-catching design to present a beautiful layout. It features a large plastic shroud to cover the rear ports. We like that the SATA ports are cut out perfectly to makes it easy to manage cables.
For the power design, this motherboard is complete with 6-phase power delivery for the CPU. The chokes are military-grade, which allows it to withstand 20% higher temperatures than traditional chokes. Not to mention, it can last five times longer than most boards in its price range.
When overclocking with ASUS TUF Z370 Pro Gaming, you can expect up to 24% performance increase. All thanks to its capability to sustain overclock at high voltage levels. An impressive feature is that most components are surge protected. From the USB ports to LAN and audio connectors, these components feature ESD protective design.
Storage and Connectivity
ASUS TUF Z370 Pro Gaming will support SLI and Crossfire setups. It has three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots in x16, x8, x4 modes. It offers three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots and two M.2 slots that support 32GB/s transfer speeds per connector. This board handles dual and single-channel memory starting from 2133MHz to 4000MHz.
Since this is a Z370 motherboard, it does not feature onboard WIFI. Instead, it has a single Gigabit LAN port. Also, it does not have native USB 3.1 Gen 2 support from the processor. And, it lacks clear CMOS, start, and reset buttons.
However, it is loaded with USB ports and headers. You get two USB 3.1 Gen2 and four USB 3.1 5Gbps. There’s a single USB 3.1 5Gbps Type-C and two USB 2.0. You can connect more devices with two USB 3.1 5Gbps and two USB 2.0 headers.
Audio on ASUS TUF Z370 Pro Gaming is by Realtek ALC 1220S audio codec. There’s a set of 3.5mm jacks, HDMI, and ASUS opts for DVI-D instead of a DisplayPort. Lastly, there’s an S/PDIF output and PS/2 combo port.
- Metal-reinforced graphics card slot
- It uses dedicated Turbo LAN software
- Supports dual GPU setups
- Enhanced audio with Nichicon capacitors
- Single LAN port
4. Gigabyte Z390 Designare – Best for Professional Designers
Content creators are all about sleek and edgy. Gigabyte Z390 Designare represents the perfect match for design professionals and content creators. You will spot blue LEDs to light up the black and silver PCB.
Gigabyte Z390 Designare is laid back. It comes in an ATX form factor featuring a thick PCB and armored black plate. The armor design extends to most slots, including memory, display card, and M.2. Aimed at professional designers, this motherboard comes with dual Thunderbolt 3 across the board’s USB Type-C. The same supports USB 3.1 and Mini DisplayPort.
This board’s DisplayPort passthrough can support 8K resolutions on one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports. What’s more, it is fully equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet and Intel’s 9560 2x2 Wireless Chips. It offers superfast 1.73Gbps speed and Bluetooth 5.0.
If you are going to use this board as a network hub and support 8K resolution displays and Thunderbolt 3 devices, you can expect an impressive 40Gbps of total bandwidth.
Power Delivery and Storage
The 12+1 power design is complete with a massive VRM. It has five hybrid headers for use with pumps and normal coolers. You will find the LGA 1151 socket below the VRM. As such, it is not only perfect for i7-8700K but also 9th generation Intel Core processors.
Gigabyte Z390 Designare superbly delivers internal storage. There are three PCIe x16 slots. It supports different configurations, including x16, x0, x4 and x8, x8, x4. If you plan on using CrossfireX, you can get around the setup since the third PCIe x16 slot can use the CPU’s PCIe controller. It takes four lanes from the second slot, giving you x8, x4, x4 configuration.
Both M.2 slots have heatsinks and are complemented by six SATA ports. The M.2 slots are PCIe 3.0 x4 but share lanes with some SATA ports.
On the rear, you will find two USB 2.0 ports for a keyboard and mouse. There’s a PS/2 combo port for use with and older keyboards/mouse. It can also handle 10Gbps devices with two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. As for 5Gbps devices, there are four USB 3.1 ports. Lastly, there are two USB 3.0, 7.1 audio ports with S/PDIF out, and an HDMI 1.4.
Audio solution on Gigabyte Z390 Designare consists of Realtek 1220 with Gold Series capacitors and WIMA film capacitors. It is designed for computing enthusiasts, and with the wealth of connectivity options, you can connect a vast array of high-end devices.
- Dual Thunderbolt 3
- 1.73Gbps AC WIFI
- Heatsinks on both M.2 slots
- Supports 3-way AMD Crossfire
- May experience issues with aggressive overclocking
- Analog audio subsystem
5. ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming – Best Mini-ITX for i7-8700K
While most people prefer to build a powerful PC on an ATX form factor, you don’t get much in portability. That’s where the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming comes in. When you have a small gaming rig, it’s super easy to carry and tuck away.
Not Constricted by Space
The small form factor on the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming means you have to go without a few slots and connections. But ASUS ensures you are not missing much. It has room for two M.2 slots though not in the traditional vertical alignment.
Instead, you will find one M.2 slot at the front and the other at the back of the board. The front M.2 supports SATA and PCI-E SSDs and features a heatsink. The bottom M.2 is for PCI SSDs only. There are three aluminum brushed heatsinks in total.
Again, there are only a few inches to fit as many slots as possible. Asus gives you only one PCI-E x16 slot. It is metal-reinforced, so no worries about damaging a heavy graphics card during transit. Although it is designed for gaming, the board is impressive at overclocking.
It comes with out-of-the-box multi-core enhanced BIOS. The board features automatic overclocking using the 5-way Optimization process, which raises core boost to 4.7GHz. You can see why it is a major mini-ITX choice for i7-8700K.
Networking and Connections
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming comes with 802.11ac WIFI with support for MU-MIMO. The WIFI card is on the edge, where you will find connectors for two antennas. The front panel houses connectors for USB 2.0, fan, pump, and audio. There are also M.2 headers and RGBs sitting next to two memory slots.
Audio ports powered by SupremeFX are on the back as well as the bulk of USB ports. We are talking two USB 3.0 Type-A, three USB 3.0 Type-A, one USB 3.0 Type-C, and four USB 2.0. And not forgetting HDMI and DisplayPort, which is nice to see on such a small build.
This mobo does not have a type-C 10Gbps port but includes an internal header for the same. Build a powerful gaming rig in a small package with ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming.
- Three heatsinks
- Supports liquid cooling
- Overclocks like a champ
- Includes RGB header
- Robust BIOS for overclocking
- 8-channel HD audio
- No lighting on the top side of the board
6. MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC – Best Micro-ATX
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is a Micro-ATX board for a small footprint but with slightly more interfaces than a mini-ITX. Its most remarkable feature is the inclusion of a 1.73Gbps WIFI module. It is better than on the ATX Gaming Edge AC model.
Made for Gaming
This board is in for the long haul from the gaming-optimized audio to two-way Crossfire and SLI support. It comes with a grey and black PCB with beautiful silver accents. It has two full-length PCIe x16 slots that have x16 and x8 bandwidth.
It benefits from two PCIe/SATA M.2 slots but loses two SATA ports to end up with four ports. We do like that the PCIe clips are extra-large so you can switch out hardware flawlessly. Not to mention, it can support XBoost within MSI hardware, which helps to enhance SSD speeds.
In terms of memory, there are four DDR4-4500MHz slots. It can support 64GB of memory. As for the voltage regulator, it boasts a digital design. Its power regulator is ideal for overclocking i7 processors. However, you don’t want to upgrade to the 9th gen Intel Core with this motherboard. Most people frown over its overclocking capabilities with i9-9900K.
Networking and Ports
WIFI connectivity is by Intel 9560 802.11ac 2T2R WIFI adapter. It features a single LAN port on the rear. Audio is by Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. You get to enjoy 8-channel HD audio. Furthermore, with HDMI and DisplayPort, you can take advantage of i7-8700K integrated iGPU.
The board is packed with USB ports, including USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C. MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC also offers four USB 3.0 Type-A ports. There are four internal headers for USB 3.0 and four for USB 2.0 connections for expansion.
Other features on this motherboard include EZ debug LEDs, Core Boost, and one-second overclocking with MSI Game Boost software. It offers a water pump connector plus four fan headers with DC and PWM control.
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC is a small footprint mobo, but performance is as excellent as most ATX motherboards with similar features.
- Isolated audio section
- Supports Intel Optane Memory
- Extended heatsink for heat dissipation
- Digital power design with overvoltage protection
- Gaming WIFI optimized
- VRM cannot handle heavy loads
FAQs for the Best Motherboard for i7-8700K
1. How many SLI bridges do you need for two-way SLI?
There are two types of SLI bridges. The standard SLI bridge is for less powerful cards, while high-bandwidth bridges are for powerful cards like GTX 1080. If you are planning on two-way SLI, you need only one bridge.
2. When will Intel have PCIe 4.0 chips?
Team blue fans are already asking for usable PCIe 4.0 after Intel missed its chance on Comet Lake-S processors. It is thought that Rocket Lake, which will succeed Comet Lake, will fully support the platform upon its release in 2021.
3. Do you need a BIOS update for Z370 motherboards when pairing with i9-9900K?
If you already have a Z370 motherboard paired with an 8th generation processor like i7-8700K, you can perform a BIOS update with the i7-8700K in place. If you don’t have an 8th gen CPU, you are better off with a Z390 motherboard for 8th and 9th gen Intel processors.
After detailed research and comparing motherboards, we believe the six models on this list represent the best of what the market offers. The top gaming motherboard for Intel Core i7-8700K is the popular ASUS ROG Maximus X1 Hero (Wi-Fi).
You can also count on the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming for gaming on small builds. And if you are a professional designer, Gigabyte Z390 Designare is a top choice for most people.