Using a motherboard that doesn’t allow overclocking of i7 11700K will only make you regret it. Currently, there are a couple of chipsets that allow overclocking and Z590 is one of the best chipsets for this task. While it is the recommended one, B560 is behind it by a little with some boards giving a tough competition to many Z590 motherboards.
As i7 11700K features 8 cores and 16 threads, it is important to use a motherboard that features more power phases with quality components in order to maintain the high clock speeds without getting overheated or resulting in hangs. You should also care to look for the best performing CPU cooler that will prevent your CPU to reach critical temperatures.
Along with a strong VRM, you should also look for the necessary and advanced features that will allow you to use your PC as you wish. These include better memory support, more slots/ports, a good number of fan headers, better I/O and some onboard troubleshooting features.
Following are the motherboards that excel in these areas and provide great support to PC components and peripherals while maintaining their name for overclocking.
If you want to spend less and want more at the same time, then B560 Tomahawk Wifi won’t disappoint. It’s perhaps the best B560 motherboard for $200 that brings every feature to the table. For overclocking, it has a strong 15 power stage VRM that use doublers for better overclocking stability.
Unlike most B560 boards, it also comes with EZ Debug LEDs to find out the possible causes for malfunction in boot. At the I/O, you will find 9x USB ports including a Type C for peripherals and for internet connection it is equipped with an Intel Wifi 6 adapter and a 2.5G ethernet for super fast speed.
It has 6x SATA ports and 3x M.2 connectors for storage devices while for expansion cards, you will get 2x PCI-E x16 slots that support AMD two way CrossfireX and a single PCI-E x1 slot for other smaller expansion cards.
At the bottom of the board, you will get an additional 6-pin PCI-E port for powering budget graphics cards which is really handy when you don’t have a GPU power connector cable from your PSU. All these features make the B560 Tomahawk Wifi a gem that you hardly can ignore.
ROG Strix B560-E Gaming Wifi uses bigger and joint heatsinks over the VRM which helps it cool down the power chokes faster resulting in more stable overclocking. As 16 power phases are enough for i7 11700K, you don’t necessarily have to go with a Z590 motherboard if you want some premium features for a less price.
Although it’s not cheap, it is definitely cheaper than the Z590 counterpart which is Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI that costs $50 more. At the same time, you have to consider the fact that you will get fewer PCI lanes on the B560 chipset compared to Z590 that allows insane components compatibility on the latter.
Now this board comes with 2x PCI-E x16 slots for graphics cards and 2x PCI-E x1 slots for smaller expansion cards. You can use these PCI-E x1 slots if you need to install something like a sound card although it comes with a powerful ROG Supreme Audio CODEC ALC4080 and you won’t need any Wifi card as it comes with a pre-installed Intel Wifi 6 adapter.
At the I/O, you will get 10x USB ports including 2x Type C ports, a 2.5G ethernet and a Bios Flashback button for easy Bios upgrade. The only CON for me in it is the absence of any troubleshooting feature onboard which would have been amazing.
Z590 has much better compatibility than the B560. Even though a B560 motherboard may have a powerful VRM, better aesthetics and more connectivity options, a budget Z590 still outperforms it when it comes to components support.
It features double the number of PCI lanes through the chipset allowing you to install more expansion cards and storage devices. MSI Z590 Pro Wifi is therefore, an ideal choice and doesn’t lag behind much when it comes to overclocking performance too.
It features a 15 power stage VRM and support of up to 5333MHz of memory clock. You can install up to 3x M.2 SSDs on it and with 8x USB ports at the I/O, it is competitive to the more expensive boards with regards to connectivity.
There is also an inbuilt Wifi 6 adapter for wireless connection and an Intel 2.5G LAN for fast internet speed. Even though it’s an unattractive board due to the horrible design, it comes with plenty of onboard features such as fan and RGB headers. For cooling, you will get a total of 8x fan headers that is definitely appreciable and are enough to connect most of your chassis fans without any fan hub.
For $70 more, the Z590 Tomahawk Wifi is the best alternative to the B560 Tomahawk Wifi and is one of the best boards to use with the i7 11700K. It features a more powerful VRM with 17 power stages and better compatibility with components through the chipset.
Except for these things, almost everything is identical and that includes the aesthetics and the I/O. This board also has an additional 6-pin PCI-E connector for powering up budget graphics cards just like what we have on the B560 edition.
On top of that you will also get EZ Debug LEDs for troubleshooting and a total of 8x fan headers for installing multiple fans and AIO cooling solutions.
Gigabyte surprises everyone with their Aorus series and there have been consistency in their Aorus motherboards with regards to features. While you can get any $500 motherboard that will be definitely superior to this one in performance but you won’t be getting a much better value for the money you pay. Also, it is more than enough for handling the i7 11700K, thanks to the powerful VRM it boasts.
With 16+1 power stage VRM, you can expect it to perform like a beast in overclocking. With the fins array aluminium heatsinks over the chokes, it is way better in passive cooling than any other above-listed motherboard.
The board uses bigger heatsinks on the chipset and M.2 connectors that not only increase the cooling performance but also helps it to stand out in aesthetics. These are only additional features which you may or may not require but the onboard LCD Error Code display is what you will need for trial and error in overclocking.
It helps to find out the possible causes for malfunctions easily. Along with it you will get a Bios Flashback button and a Clear CMOS button that can update the Bios and Reset everything to default respectively if needed. This only makes operation smoother and easier.
Now coming to one of its strongest points which is the I/O, it is rich with connectivity ports that features 13x USB ports including a Type C, and a Wifi adapter for wireless connection. While most Z590 and B560 motherboards on this list feature a wireless adapter and 2.5G LAN, this many amount of USB ports are unavailable on them making connectivity as the best trait of this board.
There are other boards not included in the list that are also good but price is the determining factor. While a motherboard like Z590 Ace from MSI can provide better results than all of the motherboards on the list, the Aorus Z590 Ultra is a better value choice that is a behind by a little margin but costs $180 less, making it a wiser option to go with.
Let me know which motherboard is your favourite and what features you are looking for in the comments below!