Intel’s new Core i5 11600K needs a motherboard that can allow it to overclock and Intel currently has three chipsets in the new LGA 1200 lineup that allow it. These are the H570, B560 and Z590. While H570 comprises mostly budget motherboards, B560 has a wider range of boards for different price range followed by Z590 which has many options to choose from.
To understand what motherboard you will need for i5 11600K, you need to consider its specifications. It features 6 cores and 12 threads with a base/boost clock of 3.9/4.9GHz. So, reaching above 5.0GHz should be no problem if a good CPU cooler is used.
To increase the clock speed to a higher number, you need more power phases and also high-quality VRM components such as MOSFETs, Power Chokes and denser heatsinks for continuous cooling. I recommend going with at least a 10 power phase VRM for i5 11600K to work flawlessly and the following 6 motherboards can do this job very well.
ROG Strix B560-F Gaming Wifi features 8+2 teamed power phases that are cooled by decent-sized heatsinks. Over it is the I/O cover with RGB ROG logo which can be customized through Aura Sync software.
It is well equipped with a lot of features that include 2x PCI-E x16 slots for graphics cards, 2x PCI-E x1 slots for other expansion cards and 3x M.2 connectors for fast NVME SSDs. The board also comes with an inbuilt wifi adapter that also supports Bluetooth V5.0.
At the I/O, there are a total of 9x USB ports including a Type C that increases the compatibility with various types of peripherals. Understand that this board is a decent choice for i5 11600K but not the best one as it will still limit you in overclocking but as far as the compatibility goes, it is on par with higher-end motherboards.
Among all the B560 motherboards, the B560-E Gaming Wifi is currently the best board you can use for overclocking i5 11600K. It has a very strong 14+2 power phase VRM which is not only enough for the i5 but can easily handle i7 and i9 CPUs.
It has a design similar to the Strix B560-F Gaming Wifi with some different accents and features an RGB ROG logo on the I/O cover just like the former. With this board you will get higher memory clock support, 1x more USB port at the I/O, a Bios Flashback button at the back and superior Audio components.
It’s a premium and expensive choice but will ensure that you won’t have to change your motherboard whenever you replace your processor with a better one.
Its I/O is rich in connectivity features, its VRM is strong for overclocking and it has Debug LEDs too. MAG B560 Tomahawk Wifi is the best value motherboard for $200 and our recommendation to go with the i5 11600K if you want the best board under $200.
It has a strong 15 power phase VRM that use doublers for more stability and uses grooved heatsinks for better airflow. For troubleshooting the boot malfunctions, it features EZ Debug LEDs that almost none of the B560 motherboards from other manufacturers have.
At the chipset, you will find the RGB LEDs and 2x RGB, 2x ARGB headers onboard for extending and syncing the LEDs in every component. At the bottom, you will find a single 6-pin additional PCI-E connector for supplying power to a graphics card that has a 6-pin connector making it easier for those who don’t have a 6-pin power cable from their PSU.
For storage, there are 3x M.2 connectors and 6x SATA ports. For connectivity, it features an Intel Wifi 6 adapter and a 2.5G LAN port at the back. All of these features are a bargain for $200 and I can’t recommend any other board more than this one for its price.
Except for its terrible aesthetics, it is actually a good alternative to the B560 Tomahawk Wifi. There are a few significant differences you need to know before choosing between the two. The first one is the inbuilt wifi. While the B560 Tomahawk comes with an inbuilt Wifi 6 adapter, the Z590-A Pro doesn’t.
Secondly, the VRM is similar on both the boards i.e., 12+2+1 power stages which should keep overclocking ability similar in both cases. Thirdly, Z590-A Pro provides more compatibility with components as the Z590 chipset has a total of 24 PCI lanes compared to only 12 on the B560. This will allow you to install more devices on it than on the B560 motherboard.
The Z590-A Pro is also $10 cheaper and supports higher memory clock speeds. On the other hand, it doesn’t ‘come with any RGB lighting like the B560 Tomahawk Wifi.
ROG Strix Z590-A Gaming Wifi is a premium Z590 chipset motherboard that is very capable of strong overclocking. The 16 power stage VRM that use high-quality chokes are enough even for processors that better than i5 11600K.
Its connectivity features are remarkably outstanding with a total of 10x USB ports at the I/O of which 2 are USB Type C. There is also a Bios Flashback button which allows easy upgrade of Bios and for internet connectivity, you will get an Intel Wifi 6 adapter with a 2.5G ethernet.
Unlike the other boards listed here, it features a PCI-E x4 slot instead of PCI-E x1 that supports M.2 SSD adapters for installing more NVME SSDs and allows PCI-E bandwidth bifurcation for Raid configuration.
Along with it, you will have 3 more M.2 connectors for SSDs and 6x SATA ports for SATA drives. This allows you to upgrade your storage like no other motherboard on the list can. Just make sure you keep in mind that the second and third M.2 connectors share bandwidth with two SATA ports and the latter will get disabled if the M.2 connectors use SATA SSDs.
The only seemingly minor CON with this board is its price that goes above $300 and in case you don’t want insane support for storage devices, you can get a different board.
Gigabyte’s Z590 Aorus Ultra is overkill for i5 11600K but it’s also a distinguished choice for overclocking. With 16+1 power phase VRM that supports up to 90A on each phase, it is truly a beast for overclocking.
On top of the VRM, are two big aluminium Fins Array heatsinks that are way better than the traditional grooved heatsinks for unmatched cooling. This should at least ensure that you squeeze out every drop of performance from your CPU and enjoy higher numbers in games and applications.
Gigabyte has thankfully, also equipped it with onboard troubleshooting features such as the LCD error code display, Q-Flash button, and Clear CMOS button. At the I/O, you will get a total of 13x USB ports which eliminate the requirement for using a USB hub for most users and a Wifi 6 adapter for wireless internet connection too.
There are 3x PCI-E x16 slots for graphics cards that support AMD CrossfireX and 3x M.2 connectors all of which are cooled by aluminium heatsinks. Now, the good news is that it actually costs $10 less than the ROG Strix Z590-A Gaming wifi, making it a better choice if you are willing to ditch Asus.
It’s necessary to use an unlocked chipset that allows overclocking if you are planning to use i5 11600K. This is the speciality of this processor. B560 and Z590 are currently the best solutions that bring crucial and advanced features such as Wifi, solid VRMs, faster LAN, better memory support and fantastic cooling.
This ensures that you stay along with the latest technology and get the most out of your money.
Let me know which one is your favourite motherboard in the comments below and if you need any assistance, I am happy to help.