Without a decent motherboard for i7 12700K, you wouldn’t be able to squeeze out as much performance as it offers. While it’s not necessary to go with a super high-end motherboard, it’s still required to take a look at what features you will need. As i7 12700K is not like a regular i7 from the previous generation, you will need a solid motherboard to support its functionality.
Almost every Z690 motherboard right now comes with all the features you would want. It’s a huge step up from the Z590 lineup and therefore, the most important part is differentiating between motherboards on the basis of features and pricing. The features will include VRM, expansion slots, I/O ports, connectivity and cooling. As i7 12700K comes with 12 cores and 20 threads, VRM comes in first place followed by the others.
So, here are the best motherboards to use with the i7 12700K and let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
MSI PRO Z690-A Wifi DDR4
Before we even go to some of the top Z690 motherboards, I will start the list with the most value giving motherboard that is not only best for i7 12700K but for also the i5 12600K. This motherboard has got everything from great VRM to decent components compatibility. With this board, you will get 14 power phase VRM that can easily help you overclock the i7 12700K as much as you want.
For your components, it comes with triple PCI-E x16 slots where the primary one is the PCI-E Gen 5.0 which provides higher bandwidth than the PCI-E gen 4.0. Also, you will get an additional PCI-E x1 slot if you need any expansion card like wifi. However, you won’t need any as it comes with an Intel Wifi 6E module that supports up to 2Gbps of transfer speed which is insanely high.
Also, you will get a 2.5G LAN if you prefer for the wired network and that will be great for any type of competitive gaming experience. As for the memory support, it supports DDR4 RAM modules which is sensible right now as DDR5 memories are several times more expensive and not easy to find.
Lastly, you will get EZ Debug LEDs which is a common troubleshooting feature across most MSI motherboards that aren’t available on every Z690 motherboard from other manufacturers.
Asus TUF Gaming Z690-Plus Wifi D4
You can’t go wrong with the TUF grade components if you want more reliability and longer operation. The TUF grade components such as the capacitors and chokes are made specifically to endure different types of environment and makes the VRM stronger. This board is a beast when it comes to overclocking as it features 15 power phases in total and has big heatsinks to cool the VRM components.
It also has Debug LEDs which are very beneficial in knowing about the faulty component whenever your computer refuses to boot. It has 4x SATA ports which are definitely not the best you can find on Z690 motherboard as most motherboards come with 6x SATA ports but it does come with 4x M.2 connectors as SSDs are becoming the norm these days.
At the I/O, you will find a couple of USB ports that include a Type C as well and a LAN port that supports 2.5G bandwidth. So, overall it’s just what you will need for any 12th gen Intel processor but it’s definitely a better motherboard for i7 12700K.
Asus ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Wifi D4
A little step up from the TUF gaming motherboard, the ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Wifi D4 doesn’t lack any major feature while delivering better than the TUF motherboard. With two more power phases, there are now a total of 17 power phases that levels up this motherboard’s capability of overclocking. Not only it’s a great motherboard for i7 12700K but can easily handle the i9 12900K as well.
It’s perfect for white themed builds and also features better aesthetics than the TUF Z690 with the help of RGB lighting on the chipset as well as the I/O cover. It uses only white heatsinks and that covers a lot of area around the chipset as well that will not only cool the chipset but also the M.2 SSDs.
The big improvement as per my opinion over the TUF board is that it has more USB ports at the I/O totalling 8x USB ports Type A and one Type C port. This allows users to connect a lot of peripherals at the same time and is the handiest thing for gamers. Also, it comes with Bios flashback and CMOS clear buttons at the I/O allowing users to make changes to their bios immediately without opening their chassis.
Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4
This is one of the motherboards that I also recommend for Intel Core i5 12600K. The reason is simple. It is simply a beast for $270. Whether you look at its VRM or its components compatibility, it is just ahead of most motherboards at this price. Gigabyte although has many great motherboards in the Z690 lineup, this one provides the most value and is worthy of your purchase.
The board has 16 power phases dedicated to the CPU and a total of 19 power phases. Each of these phases is rated at 70A which means it can handle up to 1330A current in total. While some also recommend the Z690 Aorus Pro DDR4 which is $60 more expensive, I find the 90A current rating useless for the i7 12700K. There is the same number of phases and most features are similar.
It has a total number of 10x USB ports including 2.0, 3.2, and Type C as well. This is the reason why I not only like this board but most Gigabyte Aorus boards as they have more USB ports at the I/O. On top of that, you are getting the Wifi 6 and a 2.5G LAN.
MSI Z690 EDGE WIFI DDR4
Now moving on to a better board, I believe that spending more than $350 for i7 12700K is not a wise option especially when you already can get most of the things below $300. However, just a little above $300, the MSI Z690 Edge Wifi DDR4 can be seen as a no-compromise motherboard for overclocking. It has got 16 power phases dedicated to the CPU and a beautiful design that makes it stand out.
The Tomahawk Wifi is the only motherboard in the MSI’s Z690 lineup that comes close to its price, although cheaper, but has a little inferior VRM. The only difference is that the power phases on the Edge Wifi DDR4 are rated at 75A each whereas on the Tomahawk they are rated at 70A. Except for that most of the things are identical including slots/ports quantity, headers, I/O connectivity, onboard troubleshooting LEDs, heatsinks and RAM support.
Here the Edge Wifi again stands out due to its RGB lighting on the I/O cover and the chipset which is missing on the Tomahawk. I believe that it is worth spending $20 more on aesthetics if you are going to use a transparent chassis. Now except for the absence of onboard On/Off buttons and the Post Code, it is just perfect.
I didn’t list any ASRock motherboard because there are already good options for around $300 from MSI and Gigabyte. However, if you like an ASRock motherboard, then you can consider the Velocita but it costs more than $450.
All the requirements you might have will get fulfilled if you know your needs and budget from any of the motherboards listed above and if you have any queries, you can use the comments box down below.