Best Gaming Motherboard for i7 7700k
The i7 7700k is one of the best processors currently on the market. It ranks extremely high when it comes to all the most important parameters, including the price/value ratio, performance on various benchmarks, and OC ability.
With such a beast in your rig, surely there is nothing to stop you playing whatever new AAA game gets released, right?Wrong.
In these instances, it’s actually the motherboard that can be a bottleneck. It’s not enough to have a great processor unless you also have a great motherboard to support it. That’s why we have decided to find the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k.
Our list will contain five entries, each of which is fantastic in its own right, but as with anything, there can be only one real winner. Before jumping into the list, however, let’s see what features you’re supposed to look out for in the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k.
Top Pick - Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X
Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X supports 7th and 6th generation Intel processors. The motherboard features RCB Fusion and Smart Fan with multiple temperature sensors. Other features include programmable sections, multiple lighting effects and Killer E2500 Gaming Network + Intel Gigabit LAN. RAM is DIMM while computer memory type is DDR4 SDRAM
Like with any motherboard, there are a few key features you need to look out for when you’re looking for the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k.
First, the number of connections and the type of connections available on the motherboard is perhaps the most important thing. The motherboard is the highway of the PC, it connects all the components to one another. If you have a fast and spacious highway, your components will work much better together. Also, since this is supposed to underpin a strong gaming rig, having several graphics cards, RAM, and other slots is a big plus.
Second, the cooling system is an extremely important factor as well, especially for gaming. If you skimp on the cooling, you’re going to have serious problems down the line, especially if you’re playing in HD, at 60 fps.
For a gaming motherboard, some people prize aesthetics as well. That’s why many high-end motherboards feature spaceship-like design and multi-colored LED lights. However, since that has nothing to do with a motherboard’s performance, we are going to disregard this criterion entirely. You have been warned.
Finally, the BIOS capabilities a motherboard offers is generally a really important factor. It can allow you to overclock your components to get the maximum performance out of them, which can be crucial in gaming situations.
Having seen the most important features for the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k, let’s take a look at our list.
1. Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X
When we think of gaming motherboards, we think of the Aorus GA-Z270X. This is a top-of-the-line motherboard, one which deserves to bear the title of the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k.
There are several reasons why we say that. When you look at the short buying guide in the previous section, it’s immediately obvious why this one is the best. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to the most important parameters for a gaming motherboard.
First, it features 4 graphics card slots, 4 RAM slots, and a whole bunch of USB slots for good measure. That’s impressive enough on its own, since it allows you to connect 4 graphics cards and run any game you want at any frame rate and resolution you want.
The cooling system on this motherboard is off the charts as well. It uses an EKWB G-Frost Hybrid Water Block for cooling. Water cooling is the most effective cooling method for PCs, so this motherboard has you covered there as well. In fact, this cooling system is part of the reason why this motherboard is so expensive.
The GA-Z270X also features amazing OC abilities. It supports a range of frequencies, and the BIOS system is designed to take advantage of that. You can really push the limits of what is possible in terms of OC, especially because overheating won’t be a problem.
Finally, in terms of being the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k, it supports 7th/6th Generation Intel Core Processors, and has a lot of room on it for future improvements. That means it has you covered way into the future.
2. ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex
The second entry on our list, the Maximus IX Apex, is a strong contender for the title of best gaming motherboard for i7 7700. It did get outgunned by our #1 motherboard, but that doesn’t mean the Apex is an inferior motherboard!
In fact, in terms of the price/value ratio, we would actually rank the Maximus higher than the Aorus. However, since budget is not one of the parameters we’re ranking these motherboards on, the Aorus came up on top.
In terms of connectivity, the Apex offers 3 graphics card slots, USB 3.1 Type A and Type C connections, vertically mounted dual M.2 and Intel Optane Memory compatibility.
However, when we look at the cooling system, we see the biggest difference between the Apex and the Aorus. Namely, the Apex doesn’t have a water cooling system, which is arguably the biggest selling point of the Aorus.
On the OC front, however, we would rate it higher than the Aorus. That’s because the Apex has two BIOS chips, and a one-click overclocking and cooling system. You can customize the frequency to match your needs, since the Apex is more flexible there than the Aorus.
3. ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero
The Maximus IX Hero is very similar to the Apex. Both are good contenders for the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k. However, there are a few differences you should keep in mind when choosing between them.
The most important difference is in their respective OC abilities. Namely, the Apex was built to withstand extreme OC. The Hero, while having great OC capabilities, can’t hold a candle to the Apex.In terms of gaming, that’s a pretty important difference, especially if you’re getting an i7 7700k.
There are also areas where the Hero is better than the Apex as well. For example, the Hero supports up to 64 GBs of RAM, whereas the Apex supports up to 32. It’s certainly a trade-off, and you have to know exactly what your priorities are.
In terms of connectivity, the Hero features three graphics card slots, and 4 RAM slots. That’s one fewer graphics card slots than the Apex, which explains the class difference.
People often wonder which of these two motherboards to get for their i7 7700k. Naturally, the answer depends on who you ask. However, for us, the Apex is the better choice. That’s because its OC abilities are far superior to the Hero. If you’re getting an i7 7700k, you need to make the most of it.
4. ASRock FATAL1TY Z270 GAMING-ITX/AC
ASRock is certainly nowhere near as famous as ASUS, but that doesn’t mean its motherboards are no good. In fact, ASRock was spun off from ASUS in 2002, and its motherboards are widely sold throughout Asia.
The FATAL1TY is a fantastic mid-level motherboard. We call it mid-level because it lacks some of the features which the previous entries had. For example, it only has one graphics card slot and two RAM slots. That’s why it scores pretty low on our connectivity criterion.However, that also makes it a lot cheaper than our previous entries. Depending on your needs, this could be a great way to save some money on your overall rig.
The FATAL1TY supports 7th and 6th generation Intel processors, so it works great with the i7 7700k.
That allows you to get premium components, such as a great graphics card and great processor, while saving money on the motherboard.
The only issue is overclocking. Namely, the FATAL1TY wasn’t built with extreme overclocking in mind. It can handle a range of frequencies, but not nearly as many as the previous entries on our list. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
5. ASRock B250M-HDV
This final entry on our list is on the budget end of the motherboard spectrum. People tend to make savings on motherboards, so they can spend big on graphics cards and processors.
That’s why it’s important that budget motherboards can support the latest components for a good gaming rig.
In terms of connectivity, the B250M offers one graphics card slot, and two RAM slots.
That’s pretty standard for a budget motherboard, so no surprise there. It supports 6th and 7th generation Intel processors, which is why it’s on this list in the first place.
Being a budget motherboard, it offers no on-board cooling system. You’ll have to invest in some coolers if you want to take full advantage of this motherboard. In terms of its OC ability, it’s a pretty standard range for a budget motherboard.
The top of the line?
Now that we have gone through the entire list, we can talk about priorities. It’s obvious that the Aorus is the best motherboard for i7 7700k. However, the best motherboard on the market is not always the best motherboard for your particular needs.
The Aorus is an absolute beast. Its high price tag is down to several key advantages it has over most other motherboards. First, its liquid cooling is its #1 selling point. With that, you can pretty much rest easy that your gaming PC will run smoothly for a long time. It also has a whopping 4 graphics card slots. That means it’s made with top gamers in mind, or just people with a lot of cash to throw around.
Not everyone has that kind of money, however, and not everyone needs 4 graphics cards. That’s why, as you go down the list, the entries approach the budget category more and more. The Apex and the Hero are very similar, and people often ask what the difference between them is.
The most important difference is the fact that the Apex was built with OC in mind. In order to get the maximum OC power out of it, Asus had to sacrifice some features which are available in the Hero. However, if we want to know which one is the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k, it has to be the Apex. Why buy the i7 7700k if you don’t want to push the limits on OC?
The budget entries?
The final two motherboards by ASRock are pretty much your standard motherboard fare. The only difference is that they support the latest generation of Intel processors. Neither is the best motherboard for i7 7700k, but there are a few benefits to picking one of these. If you are building a mid-level gaming rig, you don’t really need many of the features the more expensive motherboards offer. These two will run the i7 7700k just fine, and you’ll save a lot of money.
It’s up to you!
With all that in mind, though there is a clear winner as far as we’re concerned, you have to decide which of these is the best fit for you. Any gamer would be lucky to have the Aorus, but not everyone needs all of its features. Who knows, maybe the humble B250M is the best fit for your rig?
The i7 7700k is an amazing processor with a lot of potential. That’s why it’s important to have a motherboard that can meet the challenge. In this piece, we tried to bring you some different options, so you can choose the best solution for your needs.
Obviously, the Aorus would be the best choice here. Coupled with a few GTX 1080s, you could have an unmatched gaming rig. However, you should consider the other motherboards on our list as well. If nothing else, saving money on a motherboard may help you afford that GTX 1080!
We hope that this guide will be able to help you choose the best gaming motherboard for i7 7700k. Thanks for reading!