Buyers Guides Motherboards

Best Motherboards to Buy for the Intel Core i5 13600KF

Introduction

Intel‘s latest range of 13th-Gen CPUs have been overwhelmingly successful in the current market. With the majority of the new SKUs providing significant generational improvements at excellent price points, now is a perfect time to pick up one of the latest chips, and start building a PC.

However, if you’re a first-time builder, deciding on which motherboard to pair up with your brand new CPU, this can often be a difficult endeavour. Consumers are faced with unfamiliar part names, chipsets, sockets, and all of this just adds to the confusion.

So, what are your options if you’re just looking to pick up a motherboard that suits your use-case? We’ll be answering this very question with a motherboard roundup. Intel’s Core i5 13600KF is a fantastic value mid-range CPU that many consumers will be looking to purchase. Thus, we’ve put together a set of excellent motherboards to pair up with this CPU.

Suggested Article: Intel Core i5 13600K Review – A Mid-Range Performance Titan

Hardware Considerations

The Core i5 13600KF can be installed in the current-gen B760 or H770 motherboards. Consumers also have the option of utilising the previous generation chipsets, for those attempting to be more price conscious. However, we believe the 13600KF is best suited to a Z790 motherboard.

Intel Core i5 13400F On Box

This ie because the 13600KF is an unlocked CPU, and the motherboard you select should be conducive to that. We’ve picked out motherboards that will not only suffice in supporting it at base settings, but will also allow tinkerers to comfortably overclock the 13600KF. As such, all of these motherboards support an additional optional 4-pin, or 8-pin connector for the CPU, allowing for enhanced 13th Gen power delivery.

Best Motherboards for the Intel Core i5 13600KF

1. ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4

ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR4 5333MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slot, 2x PCI-E 4.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 4x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 3x USB 3.2 Gen2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 2x USB 2.0
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

Starting off the our roundup, we have the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi. This ROG-branded offering from ASUS provides consumers with plenty of features that can be expected in a good mid-range PC. In terms of power delivery to the CPU, the STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi offers 16+1 phases, rated at 70A. The dual 8-pin EPS connectors and large heatsinks also offers a strong foundation for those planning to overclock their CPU.

The STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 offers support for more budget-friendly DDR4 memory, with officially supported speeds reaching 5333MHz. Though tinkerers and overclockers will have no problems taking it even further. While ROG motherboards are mostly known for being more high-end and expensive, the STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi comes in at a much more approachable price, with fantastic features, and excellent overclocking support, providing a great foundation for any PC.

Pros

  • Great CPU power delivery.
  • Officially supports 5333MHz memory.
  • Great rear IO.

Cons

  • Comes with a hefty price tag attached to the ROG STRIX name.
  • Limited SATA ports.

Buy the ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 on:

2. Gigabyte Z790M AORUS Elite AX

Gigabyte Z790M AORUS Elite AX

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: Micro-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: 3x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

For builders who prefer a more compact system, we’ve recommended the Gigabyte Z790M AORUS Elite, a Micro-ATX design. Despite its decrease in size, it still holds all the features to compete with full-sized ATX Z790 motherboards. The 12+1+1 power phases, on a 60A power stage, might seem like a major step-down compared to other Z790 motherboards. Unlike all other motherboards in this roundup, this model only has an 8-pin and 4-pin power connector for the CPU. However, there’s a good reason for it. The power solution has been scaled down to better work within the more compact VRM cooling solution featured in this smaller motherboard.

So while the power delivery might not be as impressive, it will also not overheat, making it a better fit for a Micro-ATX motherboard. That should not discourage customers however, as it’s still more than enough for a stable experience on the 13600KF, even when overclocked. One thing to keep in mind is that only a DDR5 variant of the Z790M AORUS Elite exists. It does mean that more expensive DDR5 RAM will be required, however the CPU at the heart of the system will benefit from the faster RAM. Gigabyte’s official maximum memory speed for this motherboard is 7600MHz, which will allow most memory kits to be pushed to their limits.

With onboard WiFi 6E, fantastic rear IO and internal connectors, the Gigabyte Z790M AORUS Elite is a very competitive motherboard. Due to its form-factor, it’s also one of the cheapest motherboards on this list. As such, people who may even have space for an ATX motherboard in their case might still be interested in this board purely for the price.

Pros

  • Micro-ATX form factor makes it perfect for smaller builds.
  • Very affordable.
  • Good rear IO.

Cons

  • Scaled-back VRM configuration.
  • Lack of DDR4 variant.

Buy the Gigabyte Z790M AORUS Elite AX on:

3. MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR4 5333MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-E 4.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 5x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots
  • 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

This offering from MSI is truly a great value and versatile board that will be a great fit for the 13600KF. Starting off with CPU power delivery, the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi is one of the best options when it comes to VRM power phases. With 16+1+1 power phases on a whopping 90A power stage, this motherboard will be perfectly fine at factory settings, whilst offering strong speeds for those that wish to overclock.

As the name suggests, the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 is built for DDR4 DIMMs. With the maximum rated memory speeds being at 5333MHz, and with the ability to go even higher, consumers will not have to worry about their memory bottlenecking the 13600KF in any way. The aesthetic of the Z790 Edge WiFi also makes it a standout option compared to the competition. With a silver shroud covering most of the board, it offers a very unique look, at the cost of potentially not suiting some PCs. The excellent internal and rear IO options for the price are the cherry on top, which make this a very unique motherboard that offers some amazing features for the price.

Pros

  • Amazing power delivery.
  • The most expandable storage on any of these motherboards.
  • Great rear IO.

Cons

  • Poorer memory overclocking support.
  • Silver colour scheme might not match all builds.

Buy the MSI MPG Z790 Edge WiFi DDR4 on:

4. ASRock Z790 Pro RS D4

ASRock Z790 Pro RS D4

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR4 5333MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-E 4.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 4x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN

The ASRock Z790 is another strong contender when it comes to more budget Z790 motherboards. In terms of power delivery, the Z790 Pro RS features 14+1+1 power phases, which is more than adequate for our chosen CPU. The hefty VRM heatsink also guarantees safe temperatures. Like most other Z790 motherboards with support for DDR4 memory, the Z790 Pro RS D4 is rated for maximum speeds of 5333MHz. This will be more than enough for most DDR4 memory kits.

While this motherboard doesn’t come with support for WiFi as standard, a WiFi 6E card can be purchased and added to the ASRock Z790 Pro RS D4. This card occupies its own special M.2 slot, meaning consumers don’t lose out on any of the four M.2 slots for their SSDs if they decide to take this route. Alongside fantastic storage options, internal expansion, and rear IO, the ASRock Z790 Pro RS is a very solid choice. By combining some great features with ASRock’s unique motherboard design philosophy, it creates an interesting offering that will appeal to many consumers.

Pros

  • Great storage options.
  • Very affordable for Z790.
  • Optional WiFi for added flexibility.

Cons

  • Poorer CPU power delivery and memory overclocking support.
  • Rear IO is only adequate.

Buy the ASRock Z790 Pro RS D4 on:

5. ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4

ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4

Key Specs:

  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Supported Memory: 128GB DDR4 5333MHz
  • PCI-E x16 Slots: 1x PCI-E 5.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-E 4.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 4x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 3x USB 3.2 Gen2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6

The popular ASUS TUF line-up also offers some great options in the more budget Z790 range, such as the ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi. A slightly more budget offering from ASUS compared to their ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi, it does have several small differences consumers should keep in mind. In terms of delivering power to the CPU, the setup is almost identical to the STRIX Z790-A Gaming WiFi, with 16+1 power phases. The power stage is rated at 60A instead though, with comparable VRM cooling. Once again, it will be more than enough for the 13600KF, even when overclocked.

In terms of memory support, the ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4 was built to take DDR4 memory, with the expected official maximum speeds of 5333MHz. The ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi also shares most of its rear IO and internal expansion with the budget ASUS ROG STRIX variant we’ve previously mentioned. While not quite on par with that motherboard in most areas, the ASUS TUF is still a great motherboard that offers most of the features consumers will require at this budget.

Pros

  • A more affordable ASUS motherboard.
  • Great CPU power delivery.
  • Great internal expansion.

Cons

  • Only 8+4 EPS connectors.
  • Limited rear IO.

Buy the ASUS TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4 on:

6. Gigabyte Z790 Gaming X AX

Gigabyte Z790 Gaming X AX

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, 1x PCI-E 3.0 x16 Slot
  • PCI-E x4 Slots: 4x PCI-E 4.0 x4 Slots
  • Rear IO: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, 3x USB 3.2 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0
  • Networking: 2.5 Gigabit LAN, WiFi 6E

Another fantastic offering from Gigabyte is the Z790 Gaming X AX. Combining together amazing features at a low price, this motherboard offers a great baseline for a 13600KF PC build. In terms of power delivery, the Z790 Gaming X features 16+1+2 power phases, rated at 60A, which is more than enough for a steady overclock. There’s also enough room in the power budget for taking advantage of the unlocked CPU and taking it to its limits.

In terms of memory, the Z790 Gaming X only comes with a DDR5 variant, which will raise the price of the build overall. It’s not for naught though, as with the maximum rated speed of 7600MHz, this ensures you will be providing your CPU with the fastest RAM possible.

The Z790 Gaming X AX also includes other fantastic features, such as great internal storage expansion, WiFi 6E, and more. Gigabyte has a reputation for including the most USB-A ports on their motherboards, and the Gaming X is no exception. The only downside to this approach is the lack of space at the back for additional audio options, meaning this motherboard only features two audio jacks at the back, alongside optical S/PDIF.

Pros

  • Fantastic CPU power delivery.
  • Mostly great rear IO.
  • Great internal expansion.

Cons

  • Limited audio options at the back.
  • Bland visual design.

Buy the Gigabyte Z790 Gaming X AX on:

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Aleksander Wroniak, otherwise known as 'Avrona', is a technology content creator. Publishing technology commentary and review content to his YouTube channel, Aleksander has a keen eye on the world of tech and a passion for all things PC gaming.