Home » Guides » Best Motherboard for i5 8600k [2020 Review]

Best Motherboard for i5 8600k [2020 Review]

If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.

The i5-8600K is arguably among the best CPUs for gamers on a budget. It packs 6 cores and supports overclocking of up to 5 GHz. However, it’s only compatible with certain types of motherboards.

So, if you are looking for a powerful motherboard to go with this processor, we’re going to show you the best motherboard for i5-8600K. 

Our Top Motherboards for i5-8600K

Looking to upgrade your gaming rig? We have identified the following motherboards to be the perfect companions for i5-8600K

Brand
Best Overall
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming Motherboard
Best for the Money
MSI MPG Z390M
Best Cheap Pick
MSI Z390-A PRO
Chipset
Intel Z370 Chipset (300 Series)
Intel Z390 Chipset
Intel Z390 Chipset
Product
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI...
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th...
MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2...
Memory Type
4 x DIMM max 64GB DDR4 4000 (OC) MHz
4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4
4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming Motherboard
Chipset
Intel Z370 Chipset (300 Series)
Product
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI...
Memory Type
4 x DIMM max 64GB DDR4 4000 (OC) MHz
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
MSI MPG Z390M
Chipset
Intel Z390 Chipset
Product
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th...
Memory Type
4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
MSI Z390-A PRO
Chipset
Intel Z390 Chipset
Product
MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2...
Memory Type
4 DIMMs, Dual Channel DDR4
Rating
Price

Best Overall Motherboard for i5 8600k: ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming Motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI...

If you think the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is unfairly expensive, the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming motherboard might come as a relief. This board offers a plausible combination of performance and a convenient form factor.

Although it might not impress many hardcore overclockers, it comes with an impressive feature set for most people using the i5-8600K processor. 

Most of the board’s specs are high-end with a few bells and whistles to futureproof your laptop. It has two ASM3142 controllers that provide Type C and Type-A ports on the back and a USB 3. 1 header on the front. All three ports offer a connection of up to 10Gb/s. 

While the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E’s overclocking capabilities are not ground-breaking, you will find the Aura Sync RGB lighting, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 8-channel HD audio, ASUS 5-Way Optimization, and Intel Gigabit Ethernet an admirable offer for this price range.

The board can, however, still be overclocked to 5GHz from the manufacturer’s standard clock speed. 

This motherboard is exclusively designed for 8th generation processors such as the Core i5-8600K. It uses 5-Way Optimization that utilizes Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 technology to automatically tailor overclocking to your unique PC build.

This helps to offer better OC performance and more effective system cooling.

If audio is a priority, the HD audio with two headphone amplifiers will come in handy. What is more, you will enjoy a ton of personalization options with the AURA RGB lighting, addressable RGB header, and 3D-printing mounts. 

What We Like

  • Great overall performance 
  • Supports Dual USB 3.1 Gen2 controllers
  • It has fewer shared interfaces compared to other boards in the same price range
  • Comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with speeds of up to 867Mb/s 

What We Don’t Like 

  • Comes with only 6 rear USB ports
  • Offers mediocre CPU overclocking 
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E Gaming LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI...
  • Designed exclusively for 8th generation Intel Core processors to maximize connectivity and speed...
  • 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 automatically tailors overclocking profiles to...
  • Unmatched Personalization with ASUS exclusive AURA Sync RGB lighting, two additional RGB headers,...

Best Motherboard for i5 8600k for the Money: MSI MPG Z390M 

MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th...

MSI is a big name in the gaming industry and their motherboards are packed with powerful features and modern aesthetics. The MSI MPG Z390M is among the latest and most impressive motherboards. It’s highly compatible with the i5-8600K and is used by most computer experts to develop midrange PC builds. 

We love this board for the fact that it strikes a great balance between price and functionality. So, if you’re on a budget and looking for a motherboard that won’t be a bad investment, this one would be a good pick. Although it is way cheaper than the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E, they share some of the important features. 

The MSI MPG Z390M supports dual channel DDR4 memory with a speed of up to 4500 MHz. It is mostly designed for high-performance gaming with a Micro ATX form factor and extended heat sinks. If you are looking for a bigger form factor, you can opt for the ATX sized MSI Gaming Edge AC model.

Otherwise, this motherboard is pretty good for mid-range PC builds. 

You will get an impressive 802.11ac 2T2R Wi-Fi for solid connectivity which most people admit is faster than that provided by the ATX variant. Its PCIe support is also fairly reliable. The board comes with two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots with x16 and x8 bandwidth support respectively.

For this reason, you can use both CrossFire and two-way multi-GPU configurations. 

There are also two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots with four RAM slots that can hold up to 64GB. Additionally, you will get two M.2 slots with four SATA ports. 

What We Like 

  • Offers impressive overall performance 
  • Come with the fast Intel 1.73Gb/s Wi-Fi module for fast connections 
  • Supports overclocking of two DIMMs to boost performance speed 
  • Doesn’t have HSIO sharing exclusions. This means that all features are enabled simultaneously

What We Don’t Like 

  • The voltage regulator is under-cooled 
  • Limited space for expansion slots since it comes with a Micro ATX form factor. 
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC LGA1151 (Intel 8th...
  • Supports 9th i9 9900k, i7 9700k, i5 9600k and 8th Generation Intel Core/ Pentium gold/ Celeron...
  • 2x Turbo M; 2, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Turbo USB 3; 1 Gen2
  • Mystic Light: 16; 8 million colors/ 29 effects; Connect RGB or rainbow LED strips with addressable...

Best Cheap Motherboard for i5 8600k: MSI Z390-A PRO 

MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2...

This is the best budget motherboard for i5-8600K. Just like our first two recommendations, the MSI Z390-A Pro comes with an LGA 1151 socket that makes it compatible with this processor. However, unlike the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E and the MSI MPG Z390M, this model is not a good fit for avid gamers. 

It comes with simple aesthetics and silver patterning around its edges and the heatsinks. Although it sports a low price tag, the MSI Z390-A Pro packs a host of controllers. These include an Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet controller and a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec that works to tremendously boost its audio performance.

Just like the MSI MPG Z390M, the board comes with two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots. The primary slot runs at x16 bandwidth while the second one operates at x4. There is also 4 additional PCIe 3.0 x1 ports. On the downside, this motherboard comes with limited storage options.

In fact, it’s the only MSI board with a Z390 chipset that packs one PCIe/SATA M.2 slot. However, considering the small price and the fact that it comes with up to six SATA ports, there are few reasons to frown upon the MSI Z390-A Pro. 

There are 4 RAM slots that support DDR4 memory of up to 64GB. Connection options on the rear panel include a USB 3.1 Gen2, a USB-C, two USB 3.0 ports, and four USB 2.0 ports.

There are also six 3.5 mm audio jacks that are powered by a Realtek ALC892 HD audio. Besides, you will get one LAN port that is controlled by an Intel I219V Gigabit networking chip. 

This is the only MSI port that uses a D-Sub video output in place of HDMI so you’d want to keep that in mind in case you mostly use HDMI for peripheral connections.

What We Like 

  • Easy to install 
  • Comes with a durable build to make it last longer than most budget motherboards 
  • Highly affordable affordable 
  • Supports many peripheral connection options 

What We Don’t Like 

  • Comes with only one SATA M.2 slot thus offering limited storage options 
  • Compatibility issues with Windows 7
  • No HDMI port 
Sale
MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2...
  • Supports 9th i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K and 8th Generation Intel Core / Pentium Gold / Celeron...
  • Supports dual channel ddr4 memory, up to 4400(oc) MHz
  • Turbo M.2: PCI-E gen3 x4 interfACe maximizes performance for NVME SSDS

Best Durable Motherboard for i5 8600k: GIGABYTE Z390 UD

GIGABYTE Z390 UD (Intel...

While we believe all of our recommendations come with solid form factors, the Gigabyte Z390 UD offers the most durable design. The ATX-sized board comes in a basic and clean aesthetics with a host of valuable features for a lenient price tag.

Although its gaming capabilities are not as pronounced as those of the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E, you will still be able to play some mid-range titles. 

This board ignores unnecessary bells and whistles and focuses on features that best complements the Core i5-8600K processor. It features three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots.

The top slot has a metal cover and supports x16 bandwidth while the remaining two operate at x4 each. This makes it a better deal in terms of PCIe slots than its Z390 counterparts: the MSI Z390-A Pro and the MSI MPG Z390M which come with only two slots each. 

There are 3 additional PCIe 3.0 x1 slots with 8 and 4-pin 12V ATX power inputs. These same power inputs are found in gaming options such as the Z390 Gaming SLI and the Z390M model.

In terms of storage, you will get six SATA ports. There is one M.2 slot that is compatible with both the SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4 drives. The motherboard also has 4 RAM slots that support up to 64GB of memory. 

Just like most of our other recommendations, the GIGABYTE Z390 UD rarely disappoints when it comes to peripheral port connections. It has up to six USB 3.0 Type-A ports, HDMI, and two PS/2 ports for a keyboard and mouse on the rear panel. 

What We Like 

  • It provides many peripheral connectivity options 
  • Comes in a durable and clean design 
  • It has three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots
  • Easy Installation 
  • Offers plausible overall performance 

What We Don’t Like 

  • Not suitable for hardcore gaming 
  • Doesn’t support USB 3.1 Gen2 connectivity
GIGABYTE Z390 UD (Intel...
  • Supports 9th and 8th Intel Core processors
  • Dual channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • New 10+2 Phases digital PWM design

What to Consider When Buying a Motherboard for i5 8600K 

The Intel Core i5-8600K processor is fairly competent and only compatible with a few motherboards. You should factor in the following features when buying the board to avoid limitations or incompatibility issues. 

An inside view of a CPU

CPU Sockets 

Since you already know which CPU you are using, your work here is fairly straightforward. The CPU you are planning to use with your motherboard will narrow down your options. In this case, you will be using the 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor. This means that you should only focus on boards with LGA 1151 sockets. 

Intel tends to change socket compatibility with each version of processor so choosing a motherboard that is compatible with the i5 8600K might be confusing. Lucky for you, all the motherboards discussed in this guide are compatible with this processor so all you have to do is pick one that clicks with your budget and preferences. 

Size

Motherboard sizes, sometimes known as form factors, are categorized into three common types. These are:

  • ATX: The most common type of form factor with enough space for varying types of plugs and slots. 
  • Micro-ATX: A tad shorter than ATX boards which means it offers less space for expansion slots. 
  • Mini-ITX: The smallest in size. It usually offers limited room for a few storage and RAM connectors and a single add-in card like a video card. 

The i5 8600K is mostly compatible with ATX boards which is why most of our recommendations come in this form factor. 

Ports 

When buying a motherboard for i5 8600K, make sure that it supports all the peripheral connection options that you will need. The more ports supported the better. This will allow you to include additional ports through the PC’s front panel connection or using budget-friendly expansion slot brackets at the rear fo the PC. 

The most important ports to look out for include USB 3 / USB 3.1 Gen1, USB 2, USB 3.1 Gen2, USB Type-C, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, Audio ports, and PS/2 ports. 

You will unlikely find Thunderbolt 3 ports in motherboards. There are a few models that come with it.

If you find one, you are in luck since they provide impressive connections of up to 40 Gbps. 

RAM Slots 

How much RAM do you intend to put on your board? This will usually depend on what you using the laptop for. Most ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards come with four RAM slots.

There are also high-end HEDT boards that might pack up to 8 slots for hardcore tasks. 

PCI slots of a motherboard

However, for common productivity tasks and gaming, you don’t need that much RAM slots. Four will probably be enough. Some boards come with only two slots which you can still install up to 32GB of RAM. The problem is, boards that come with only two slots supporting 16GB each are more expensive than those with 4 slots supporting 8GB each. 

So, in most cases, you will want to stick with a board with 4 RAM slots supporting up to 64GB.

Expansion Slots 

Most modern motherboards only come with two types of expansion slots:

  • PCIe x1 – short and mostly used for SATA and USB expansion. 
  • PCIe x16 – Longer and used for such things as graphic cards and SSD storage. 

Most ATX and Micro-ATX boards come with sufficient expansion slots for mainstream gaming and productivity tasks. They usually offer not less than one x16 slots and a few more x1 slots. These are enough to support some SATA/M.2 drives, a sound card, and a video or graphic card. 

Chipset 

If you are looking for a mainstream motherboard that supports only one graphic card and a few drives, any chipset under Intel’s Z390 category would be a good fit. Some chipsets such as H370, H310, and B360 don’t support overclocking so you will want to stay clear of them if you are looking to boost the clock speed. 

Close up of a i5 8600k motherboard

In this guide, we solely focused on Z370 and Z390 chipsets all of which support overclocking. However, if you are looking for such features as support for USB 3.1, you might have to go for newer but a bit stepped-back chipsets like the H370 as opposed to Z370. 

Overall, the Z390 offers the best features with overclocking capabilities so this chipset will be a great companion for the i5-8600K. 

Overclocking

As a rule of thumb, you can only overclock CPUs that end with a “K” in their model names. Luckily for you, the i5-8600K fits in this category. In this case, you will only need to look for a motherboard that you can overclock. These are mostly those with Z370 and Z390 chipsets.

All of the motherboard recommendations in this guide support overclocking so you won’t be looking too far before you can find your best pick.  

Conclusion 

We hope this guide will set you on the right path to finding the best motherboard for i5-8600K. We have done plenty of research to ensure that our recommendations cater to a variety of budgets and needs.

Make sure to check if the board you are buying meets your specific needs based on considerations outlined in this guide.

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on FancyAppliance.com.