October 10, 2021 0
With the release of the Rocket Lake-based Core i CPUs, the question of which is best for your build depends on what you’re looking at. The entry line Core i5-11600K price tag looks like an absolute bargain next to the $350 Ryzen 5 5600X.
The Core i5-11600K is a 6-core/12-thread chip at its heart with a 3.9GHz base and 4.9GHz Turbo frequencies. It’s the kind of CPU that would have been an overclocking dream just a few years back, but Intel has tightened up, and this bundle isn’t going to come off without some serious effort.
So, while we’re considering it to be a great place for budget Intel system builders to start, the real focus of this article is about which motherboard you should use with it. We tested a series of boards from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI to find out which is best for your needs.
Before looking at motherboards, you should first decide how much you’re willing to spend on this important piece of the PC puzzle. One thing we’d like people to keep in mind as they make a decision is that processors can often be resold, but motherboard quality sticks with your system forever. We’ve included a few budget options in this list as well as high-end boards, and we’ll break down what you get for your money at each level.
Choosing a motherboard for an Intel Core i5-11600K is simple in most cases since all LGA 1200 CPUs are compatible with each other. All motherboards we’ve recommended in this guide don’t have compatibility issues, so this is not something you need to worry about.
The form factor determines what cases a motherboard will work in as well as how many expansion slots and other connectivity’s there are. Choosing the right form factor is important when making your motherboard selection, and they’re all sized slightly differently.
ATX – This is the biggest standard that you’ll find in a retail case from a major manufacturer. ATX provides more connectivity options and more space on the board, which leads to a potentially better design and functionality overall.
Micro ATX – The Micro ATX form factor is almost as widely compatible as its bigger cousin, with a few key differences. You’ll find that Micro ATX boards are typically a little smaller and don’t have quite the same number of features available. This isn’t always true but can often be taken advantage of by manufacturers to save on costs while still producing a good product.
Mini ITX – Mini ITX motherboards are the smallest option available and often require some very specific parts. You’ll only find Mini ITX boards in small form-factor cases that have been designed with them in mind, but these can be well worth it, depending on what you’re looking for. Case compatibility is important here, so be sure to check before buying if space is a concern.
The i5-11600K has an unlocked multiplier, which means all you have to do is increase the voltage in small increments until you’re stable and then find the maximum ratio that’s sustainable in your environment. When choosing a motherboard for CPU overclocking, the VRM is the most important thing to look at.
The VRM, or voltage regulator module, is what converts the power from your PSU into the specific voltages the CPU needs to run. This quality varies widely between boards and can often determine whether you will be able to push your chip far enough without unstable temperatures. All of the motherboards we’ve recommended in this guide have more than enough VRM cooling for everyday use. We also took extra care to choose models with high-quality power phases (for light or extensive overclocking) since these are generally better at controlling heat while taking stress.
|ASUS Prime B560-PLUS||Check On Amazon|
|GIGABYTE B560M DS3H||Check On Amazon|
|ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WiFi||Check On Amazon|
|MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Plus||Check On Amazon|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi||Check On Amazon|
|MSI MAG B560M Mortar WiFi||Check On Amazon|
|GIGABYTE Z590I AORUS Ultra||Check On Amazon|
If you’re looking for something at the entry level, we recommend the ASUS Prime B560-PLUS. From a price-to-performance standpoint, it’s about as good as it gets for Core i5-11600K build and will allow you to play even demanding AAA games with a graphics card upgrade.
The ASUS Prime B560-PLUS is less expensive than our other recommendations, but it’s still packed with features that are great for the price. The eight power phases provide more than enough power to the CPU with room for upgrades and light overclocking. Also, cooling features are robust, with a heatsink on the VRM, a flexible M.2 heatsink, a PCH heatsink, and more.
It’s a full ATX board with 4 DIMM slots allowing you to upgrade from 2 to 4 sticks of memory if desired with speed support of up to 4600MHz (OC). The ASUS Prime B560-PLUS has 6 SATA ports for all your storage needs along with dual M.2 slots like most motherboards these days, supporting both SATA and PCIe NVME hardware.
Other features include ASUS OptiMem technology which maintains stability by routing trace signals correctly to memory slots; 5X Protection III design, which protects the board from humidity/burns/electronic impulses/high temperatures; and Fans Xpert 2+ technology, which automatically optimizes cooling depending on your current usage scenario.
The ASUS Prime B560-PLUS is an excellent choice for anyone looking to build a mid-range system with the Core i5-11600K.
If you’re seeking a low-cost motherboard that can handle your Core i5-11600K, the GIGABYTE B560M DS3H is a good option. This is the cheapest motherboard on this list, and it’s able to offer you 100% compatibility with the Core i5-11600K processor. It has very decent specs overall, so it will allow your computer to run without issue.
On paper, the GIGABYTE B560M DS3H has 4 RAM slots that can support up to 128GB of DDR4 memory. It is compatible with high-frequency DDR4 modules, although it doesn’t support ECC-type memory. For storage, this board comes with 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports and a dual M.2 slot for an NVMe based SSD.
The VRM is pretty decent, considering this motherboard’s price range. It has a 6+2 phase power design, and the MOSFETs are low RDS (on) type. This GIGABYTE model isn’t designed to be overclocked, but it can handle some mild tweaking if you wish to do so on your new Core i5-11600K processor.
The GIGABYTE B560M DS3H is the cheapest motherboard on this list, but it doesn’t lack quality. It may not have any fancy features such as built-in Wi-Fi or RGB lighting, but you’ll definitely enjoy its compatibility with the Core i5-11600K processor.
Gamers really needn’t look at anything else than the ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WiFi for their Core i5-11600K. This isn’t just because it has the ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting system, but above all else, it is an excellent overclocking motherboard with good tweaking features and proper power solution, ready to take your 11th Gen Intel processor for a spin.
It comes with a solid power solution, featuring 8+2 power stages, teamed with the ProCool power connector, good-quality capacitors, and high-quality alloy chokes providing good overclocking and has a great BIOS to back it up.
Gaming features such as PCIe 4.0 for improved graphics performance, gaming audio with SupremeFX S1220A codec with Savitech SV3H712 amplifier, as well as Sonic Studio III software for good audio effects give it a much-needed edge over the competition. It also comes with decent networking ability, featuring the Intel WiFi 6 AX201 (802.11ax) and Realtek 2.5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard as well as high-speed USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 USB Type-C connectivity.
Storage-wise, you get 2 M.2, 6 SATA3 ports, and the board also supports the NVMe protocol for enhanced storage performance.
All in all, if you are looking to build a powerful Intel Core i5-11600K based gaming rig without breaking the bank, don’t even think twice about getting an ASUS ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WiFi motherboard; it has everything this processor needs to shine on any kind of desktop PC build.
The combination of excellent gaming performance, good aesthetics, and future-proof features with enthusiast-level motherboards make it our top recommendation for the best motherboard for the Core i5-11600K.
The MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Plus features an excellent VRM solution with a 14+1+1 Duet Rail Power System, providing the CPU with clean, stable power. It also comes with a premium thermal solution consisting of 3x M.2 Shield, a large heatsink, and heat pipes, along with the MOSFET thermal pads rated for 7W/mK. So, if you plan on overclocking to push the limits and squeeze every bit of performance out of your Core i5-11600K, then this motherboard’s VRM solution will keep it running strong.
The MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Plus supports speed up to DDR4 5333MHz (OC) RAM. It also comes with 3x M.2, one running on a PCIe Gen3 x4 support, and NVMe storage options via SSDs for ultra-fast load times. The 6 SATA 3 ports provide plenty of storage options for HDDs and SSDs.
A fast-gaming experience is sure with this motherboard, thanks to the PCIe 4.0, Lightning Gen 4 x4 M.2, and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. Other gaming features such as single-click Turbo M.2 slot, Audio Boost 5 to elevate your gaming experience, 2.5G LAN with LAN Manager to keep your gaming experience at its best are all present on this motherboard.
When it comes to aesthetics, the MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Plus looks good with its all-black color scheme, and LED lights are built into the motherboard. The Mystic Light RGB LEDs can be configured in various ways to control up to 29 LED effects.
With excellent performance, great aesthetics, and rich features for both gamers and professionals alike, it is our top recommendation for the best motherboard for Core i5-11600K.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi is a high-end motherboard with all the features you might need. It is our option for enthusiasts who want the best motherboard for their Core i5-11600K.
The 14+2 power stages with ProCool II power connector, high-quality alloy chokes, and durable capacitors all communicate to the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi as a trustworthy partner providing enough power even for an overclocked Core i5-11600K processor. The AI Overclocking feature uses profiling technology to assign applications to specific CPU frequencies for max performance gains. This motherboard also has AI Cooling that adjusts fan speeds based on the system’s temperature. ASUS’ exclusive tools AI Networking and Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation simplify setup and enhance performance using machine learning algorithms.
It also features a 5-Way Optimization that makes complex tuning as simple as clicking one button. The ASUS TPU and ASUS EPU chips provide all the power users need with their individual programming, freeing them from extensive BIOS tweaking. The 5-Way Optimization utilizes automated system-tuning to dynamically optimize vital hardware components. Enthusiasts aiming to build an overclocked gaming computer will find everything they need in this motherboard.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi also has excellent connectivity built-in with a total of 10 USB ports (including Type-C ports) at the rear panel, 6x SATA 6Gb/s ports for storage drives, and 4x M.2 slots on the board for NVME SSDs (2 of which are running on a PCIe 4.0). There is also a BIOS FlashBack button and a Clear CMOS button, which is beneficial for extreme overclocking.
Gaming features built-in include Intel WiFi 6E AX210 (802.11ax) with up to 2.5 Gbps speeds and dual Gigabit LAN, which are useful in online multiplayer games; an industry-leading audio solution, including ALC4080 with Savitech SV3H712 amplifier and DTS Sound Unbound; Sonic Studio III software, the most popular tuning suite for gamers, which lets you control audio settings to your liking.
There are so many features on the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi that we can’t possibly describe them all here; however, a little research will tell you what you need to know. Overall, this motherboard is a top-notch option for gamers, extreme overclockers, and PC enthusiasts who need the best Intel Core i5-11600K gaming computer.
If you want to save some space but don’t want to cut down on performance, you should go with MSI MAG B560M Mortar. It is an excellent mATX motherboard for the Core i5-11600K.
The MSI MAG B560M Mortar’s VRM contains a total of 12 + 2 + 1 power phases, ensuring rock-solid voltage regulation throughout overclocking and greater stability. DDR4 Boost enhances memory overclocking up to 5066(OC) MHz by optimizing it for fast games and applications, providing exceptional performance.
With room for two M.2 slots, you can enjoy the lightning-fast data transfer speeds via PCI-Express, giving your system an instant performance boost. You will also find 6 SATA3 ports allowing you to connect plenty of drives internally.
For connectivity, the motherboard comes with USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (including a Type-C port for transferring speeds of up to 20Gbps). On top of that, you also get Intel Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5G LAN solution ensuring a fast internet connection. With MSI Mystic Light Sync support, you can sync your other RGB components to this board for a complete look.
The Mag B560M Mortar is an excellent choice for any gamers looking to build their PC with maximum performance in mind. If you want a small form factor but don’t want to compromise performance or functionality, then this is the motherboard for you.
For SFF builds powered by the Core i5-11600K, we recommend the GIGABYTE Z590I AORUS Ultra.
Despite its size, the GIGABYTE Z590I AORUS Ultra is an extremely powerful motherboard. The direct 10+1 phase VRM with 90A power stages ensure that your CPU is well taken care of in terms of power delivery.
The GIGABYTE Z590I AORUS Ultra also features 2 DDR4 DIMM slots so that you can install up to 32GB of high-performance memory. There are also 2x M.2 slots, so you can equip your PC with ultra-fast SSDs for storage or connect them to the motherboard using PCIe 4.0 x4 interface for blazing-fast NVMe performance.
The GIGABYTE Z590I AORUS Ultra comes with a total of 8 USB ports, including the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port on the back panel, which allows you to hook up more advanced USB peripherals. Wifi-wise, you get a total of 2.5Gbps Intel 802.11ax 2T2R Wifi and BT5 for the fastest wireless speeds currently possible on a PC. However, there is an option for LAN connection if you are using ethernet cables.
This motherboard is one of the best small form factor motherboards, and GIGABYTE has somehow crammed in everything you could possibly need onto the tiny mini-ITX form factor. You get cutting-edge connectivity options, VRM power, a good audio chip, and quality components overall. All these make the GIGABYTE Z590I AORUS Ultra one of the best value for money choices when it comes to motherboards with i5-11600K on them.