Buyers Guides Motherboards

Best Motherboards to Buy for the Core i9 13900KF

Best Motherboards 13900KF Feature Image


Intel’s 13th-Gen range of CPUs has been an overwhelming success in the market. Intel are back on top as the proverbial ‘kings of performance’, and thus, their CPUs are in high demand. Generational performance uplifts are definitely not a thing of the past, so it makes perfect sense for consumers to get their hands on the newest generation of Intel processors.

If you’re a first-time builder having picked up a Core i9 13900KF, you’re probably wondering what the ‘KF’ actually means. You might also be wondering what the best motherboards are to pair up with your shiny new processor. Well for those where this rings true, we’ll be providing some awesome motherboard recommendations with a GeekaWhat buyers guide roundup.

We’ll be delving into the best boards that will work with Intel’s Core i9 13900KF. Also, we’ll be briefly discussing what the ‘KF’ SKUs are, with some coverage on our chosen chipsets.

Suggested Article: Intel Core i9 13900K Review & Benchmarks – The Best Gaming CPU Ever Made

Our Top Motherboard Picks

Now for the most important section of the article – our top motherboard picks. As we’ve alluded to above, we’ve picked out a range of motherboards from the Z790 chipset, providing a plethora of choices with varying features, aesthetics, and price points.



Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Supported Memory: 64GB DDR5 8000MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 2x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slots
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 2x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots (4 via ROG DIMM.2 card), 1x PCI-E 5.0 slot via PCI-E 5.0 M.2 card
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 5x USB 3.2 Gen2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

First up in our roundup is the ROG MAXIMUS Z790 APEX from ASUS. This board is an interesting addition to the line-up, sporting a white design with plenty of RGB in typical ASUS fashion. ASUS have gone a bit overboard with the heatsinks and design on this motherboard, but I’d argue this is somewhat warranted for the price you’re paying. I’m also a massive fan of the white design, it provides an alternative aesthetic for consumers looking to build an all-white PC, and they’ve followed through with a white PCB as well.

Features wise, the Z790 APEX is somewhat interesting. The APEX has solid overclocking capability on the RAM front, with 64GB DIMMs instead of 128GB. This board also offers two Gen5 GPU slots, making it ideal for users with multiple graphics cards. Unfortunately, there aren’t any Gen5 capable slots on this motherboard, but users can utilise the included PCI-E 5.0 M.2 card in their second GPU slot for a blazing-fast SSD. USB options are also very strong, with no USB 2.0 in sight. There’s 10 ports in total, giving consumers a huge amount to choose from.


  • Awesome white aesthetic.
  • Plenty of storage options.
  • Comes with excellent accessories in the box.


  • No Gen5 SSD slots on the board.
  • No USB4 or 10 Gigabit LAN.


2. MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi

MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR5 7600MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-E 4.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x4 Slot, 4x PCI-E 4.0 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 7x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

Next up is MSI‘s MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi. This is a motherboard that we’ve recommended in a range of chipset comparisons and other motherboard buyers guides – because spoiler alert, it’s awesome. MSI have opted for an all-black design, which can be seen across the entire PCB and heatsinks dotted around the board. The Carbon boards tend to be somewhat more minimalist compared to some of MSI’s other options, hence this board having less logos and not much in terms of RGB. However, RGB lighting lovers will be somewhat appeased with the MSI logo on top of the rear IO heatsink.

Features wise, the MPG Carbon WiFi has some excellent options when it comes to ports and slots. As you’ve guessed from the name of the board, it does come with onboard WiFi 6E, which allows users to avoid any pesky Ethernet cables. Looking at the slots, consumers have access to Gen5 options, providing some upgradeability when the new generation of components release. This board also has a strong VRM power phase design, offering up 21 power phases and providing excellent delivery for some CPU overclocking.


  • Strong overclocking support.
  • Gen5 options provide upgradeability.
  • Very solid rear IO choices.


  • RAM overclocking capability is slightly weaker.
  • Can’t hold more than one GPU.

Buy the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi on:

3. Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master

Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master Whole Motherboard

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: E-ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR5 8000MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slot, 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16 Slots
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x4 Slot, 4x PCI-E 4.0 Slots
  • Rear IO: 2x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 7x USB 3.2 Gen2, 1x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • Networking: 10 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

Gigabyte‘s Z790 AORUS Master is a motherboard that we’ve reviewed in full, and is one of the best top-end boards on this chipset. Looking at the aesthetic, Gigabyte have opted for a fuller-heatsink style, with the majority of the PCB being covered up with rather large metal heatsinks. This will ensure that on-board components stay cool, including your VRMs, which makes this board great for overclocking. For those worried about RGB, the AORUS Master also features a fully customisable RGB panel located on the rear IO heatsinks, which can be controlled with Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion software.

Features wise, the AORUS Master is absolutely brimming with next-gen options for consumers to sink their teeth into. On the GPU and SSD front, users can utilise the singular Gen5 slots, giving this board some future proofing capability. Although this board won’t be ideal for multiple graphics cards, consumers can install multiple M.2 drives which use Gen4 bandwidth. Looking at the rear IO, the biggest standout feature is the 10 Gigabit LAN capability. Although gamers won’t necessarily need this, having high speed LAN makes this board ideal for content creators that need to move around larger files to and from their system.


  • Excellent RAM overclocking capability.
  • Insane set of USB ports.
  • 10 Gigabit LAN.


  • Very expensive.
  • E-ATX form factor will limit case choices.

Buy the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Master on:

4. ASRock Z790 Taichi

ASRock Z790 Taichi

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: E-ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR5 7200MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 2x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slots, 1x PCI-E 4.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x4 Slot, 4x PCI-E 4.0 Slots
  • Rear IO: 2x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, 6x USB 3.2 Gen1, 2x USB 2.0
  • Networking: 2.5 & 1 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

Next up is ASRock‘s Z790 Taichi, which is one of our favourite motherboards to appear in this line-up. The Taichi range of motherboards shows off ASRock’s strengths when it comes to designing PCBs. The Z790 Taichi offers a unique steampunk design with the majority of the board being covered up by heatsinks. This board is an E-ATX design, so consumers will need to be aware of the case and size restrictions that come with a larger motherboard. However, due to the bigger size, this board does offer more features across the entirety of the design.

Moving onto the features, the Z790 Taichi has a massive range of options. Looking at the various slots, consumers have access to dual PCI-E 5.0 x16 slots, making this motherboard ideal for users with multiple GPUs. SSD slots are also relatively strong, with the Taichi providing a Gen5 slot, alongside four Gen4 slots. USB ports are very bountiful, with the Z790 Taichi offering dual Thunderbolt 4 ports – ideal for portable workstations. The rest of the IO features eight high speed USB 3.2 ports, alongside dual 2.5 and 1 Gigabit LAN capability, with WiFi 6E ideal for users that prefer a wireless setup.


  • Offers dual Thunderbolt 4 ports.
  • Ideal for dual GPUs.
  • Awesome motherboard design.


  • One of the most expensive Z790 options.
  • No 10 Gigabit LAN capability.

Buy the ASRock Z790 Taichi on:

5. Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Tachyon

Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Tachyon

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: E-ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR5 8333MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 2x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slots, 1x PCI-E 3.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 4x PCI-E 4.0 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

For our final motherboard in this roundup, we’ve picked out Gigabyte‘s Z790 AORUS Tachyon. Whist this motherboard isn’t designed to be the best-looking option, what it lacks in aesthetic, it makes up for with extreme overclocking capability. The AORUS Tachyon is one of the best motherboards for CPU and RAM overclocking due to its high quality VRM design. Although this board doesn’t have the most amount of power stages we’ve seen, the 15+1+2 configuration is more than enough to achieve an 8.4GHz OC speed for your CPU.

Looking at the rest of the motherboard, the AORUS Tachyon has plenty of awesome features on offer. The AORUS Tachyon offers dual PCI-E 5.0 x16 slots, making it ideal for users with multiple GPUs. Consumers unfortunately don’t have access to any Gen5 SSD slots, but this won’t be a deal-breaker for most as these components don’t technically exist yet. Rear IO is relatively strong with the AORUS Tachyon offering only high speed ports. This isn’t the most amount of USB ports that we’ve seen on a top-end Z790 motherboard, but most users will be happy with eight ports, whether you’re just gaming or utilising a workstation PC.


  • Ideal for CPU and RAM overclocking.
  • Perfect for dual-GPU users.
  • Strong rear IO.


  • No Gen5 SSD slots.
  • Weaker IO selection compared to other boards.

Buy the Gigabyte Z790 AORUS Tachyon on:

Intel ‘KF’ SKUs – What Are They?

If you’re building a PC for the first time, the various component names, numbers, and ranges can be confusing. This can be daunting at first, but as a general rule, manufacturers tend to follow a pattern for their products that are repeated each generation. When it comes to Intel CPUs, the ‘KF’ SKUs have been around for quite some time in order to appeal to a plethora of different consumers.

Intel Core i9 13900K

These particular CPUs are essentially the cheaper overclocked options. The ‘K’ indicates that the core multiplier of the CPU is unlocked, therefore, consumers can overclock their CPU as much as they want. The ‘F’ denotes that the CPU does not have integrated graphics, and are performance optimised. This essentially means that users will need to buy a discrete GPU in order to receive a display output from this CPU. The performance optimisation also allows consumers to enjoy higher base clock and boost clock speeds due to the lack of an iGPU.

When you combine these together, you get a CPU that is overclocking capable, but without an integrated graphics chip, making it somewhat better for overclocking. These CPUs also tend to be a little bit cheaper than their ‘K’ only counterparts, making them more ideal for price-conscious consumers. Keep in mind though, that the price difference isn’t huge, so you’ll only be saving a small amount.

As a general rule, the ‘KF’ SKUs are more appealing to gamers based on the lower price point, but they also massively appeal to enthusiasts that plan on pushing their clock speed past the rated level.

Why Z790 Motherboards?

There are two reasons behind our thought process when it comes to choosing motherboards. Intel’s Core i9 13900KF is one of the most powerful CPUs available on the market right now, so why not make it even more powerful with some overclocking! Unfortunately, the ‘Z’ series chipsets are the only overclockable capable options, so consumers will need to pick up one of these boards if they plan on pushing the core clock boundaries of their 13900KF. And because the 13900KF is more optimised for overclocking, it makes perfect sense to utilise newer motherboards that have stronger VRM power phase designs, which is where the Z790 chipset comes in.

MSI Z790 Carbon WiFi Whole Motherboard

The second reason comes down to features. Although this won’t be the case for everyone, I would argue that the majority of consumers picking up a top-end CPU are likely to pair it up with a high-end motherboard to get the most out of their system. Z790 motherboards are the least compromising option when it comes to features and overall capability, so these are effectively a requirement for a top-end build. A Z690 motherboard will be suitable as well, but as many of the current Z790 options are very affordable, it makes sense to utilise these instead.

We would recommend checking out our coverage on the other Intel chipsets if you’re thinking about picking up a different board, as these articles can provide more context about the overall differences between chipsets.

Jay Harris is an expert in everything PC hardware! With a degree in Cybersecurity, and a PC hardware background Jay has all of the technical knowledge required to make informed recommendations. Jay is an avid keyboard builder and gamer, with a major passion for tech. In fact, Jay's personal rig boasts a white RX 7900 XTX graphics card, inside of the Lian O11D Mini - a true enthusiast's dream!