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Intel launched their eighth-gen Core i CPUs some months ago, and these processors proved to be excellent choices for gaming computers, workstations, and most desktop PCs. But a good CPU needs a good motherboard, so which one to choose? We compared some models and here we have a compilation of its features to help you to choose.

We already tested some of the eighth-gen Core i3 CPUs, codenamed Coffee Lake, like the Core i7-8700K, the Core i5-8400, and the Core i3-8100. All of them proved to be good CPUs at its price level, improving performance when compared to the earlier generations.

But even using the same physical socket (LGA1151,) Coffee Lake processors are not compatible with previous motherboards, that use 200-series and 100-series chipsets. They are only compatible with motherboard with 300-series chipsets. The first chipset launched was the Z370, which is the high-end chipset for these CPUs. Until today, all the motherboards for Coffee Lake CPUs were based on this chipset.

MSI PRO Series Intel 8th Gen LGA 1151 M.2 DVI HDMI USB 3.1 Gigabit LAN CFX ATX Motherboard (Z370 PC PRO)
  • Supports 8th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 4000+(OC) MHz
  • MULTI-GPU: With Steel Armor PCI-E slots. Supports AMD 2-Way Crossfire
  • Twin Turbo M.2: Delivering Speeds Up to 32Gb/s, Intel Optane Memory Ready
  • Double ESD Protection: Double layer grounding motherboard mounting holes
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Intel Core i7-8700K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.7GHz Turbo Unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets
  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads
  • 3.70 GHz up to 4.70 GHz Max Turbo Frequency / 12 MB Cache
  • Intel Optane Memory Supported

Newer chipsets (H370 and B360) are being launched this month, but we decided to make a roundup of the motherboards we analyzed so far, to help you decide which one is the best choice for you. The motherboards are listed below, click on the name to read the complete article where we analyze each one.

On the table below, we compared the key features of each motherboard.

Model Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming ASUS PRIME Z370-A ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Professional Gaming i7 Gigabyte Z370N WIFI ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming K6 ASUS TUF Z370-PLUS GAMING ASRock Z370 Taichi
Form Factor ATX ATX ATX Mini ITX ATX ATX ATX
PCI Express x16 slots 3 3 3 1 3 2 3
CrossFire support 3 3 3 no 3 2 3
SLI support 2 2 2 no 2 no 2
PCI Express x1 slots 3 4 2 no 3 4 2
M.2 slots 2 2 3 2 2 2 3
Memory support 4, DDR4-4000 4, DDR4-4000 4, DDR4-4333 2, DDR4-4400 4, DDR4-4333 4, DDR4-4000 4, DDR4-4333
SATA-600 ports 6 6 8 4 8 6 8
USB 3.0 ports 7 6 6 9 7 7 8
USB 3.1 ports 2 2 3 no 2 2 3
Audio codec ALC1220 S1220A ALC1220 ALC1220 ALC1220 ALC887 ALC1220
Wi-Fi no no yes yes no no yes
Gigabit Ethernet ports 1 1 2 2 2 1 2
10 Gbps Ethernet no no yes no no no no
Phases on VRM 7 10 14 6 12 7 14
Fan connectors 6 6 4 3 5 5 5
Power/reset buttons no no yes no yes no no
POST display no no yes no yes no yes
Price (USD)* 164 170 284 152 168 145 227

 Researched at Newegg.com on the day we wrote this article.

As you can see, even using the same chipset, there are many differentes between the seven motherboards we tested so far.

First, and probably most important, is price. The analyzed models vary from USD 145 to USD 284, which means the less expensive costs around half the price of the most expensive one.

The ASUS TUF Z370-PLUS GAMING has the lowest price, so it is a good choice if you have a limited budget. However, it uses the simpler audio codec, don’t support SLI, and don’t bring useful overclocking features like display and buttons.

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Professional Gaming i7 is the only one that brings a 10 Gbps Ethernet port, but it is the most expensive one. Therefore, it is only the best buy if you will actually use this high-speed network port.

MSI Performance Gaming Intel Coffee Lake B360 LGA 1151 DDR4 Onboard Graphics Mini-ITX Motherboard (B360I Gaming PRO AC)
  • Supports 8th Gen Intel Core/Pentium Gold/Celeron Processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 2666MHz
  • Lightning Fast Game experience: 2x TURBO M.2, Intel Optane Memory Ready. Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Intel Wireless Support: Uses smart MU-MIMO technology, delivering AC speeds up to 433Mbps with lower CPU loading and better long-term usage
  • GAMING CERTIFIED: 24-hour on- and offline game and motherboard testing by eSports players
Intel Core i7-8700 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz LGA 1151 300 Series 65W
  • 6 Cores / 12 Threads. Intel UHD Graphics 630.
  • 3.20 GHz up to 4.60 GHz Max Turbo Frequency / 12 MB Cache.
  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets.
  • Intel Optane Memory Supported
  • Instruction set is 64-bit and instruction set extensions is intel sse4.1, intel sse4.2 and intel avx2. Features intel hyper threading technology

The Gigabyte Z370N WiFi is the only Mini-ITX motherboard on the list; so it is a great choice if you are building an SFF (small form factor) desktop computer, using a Mini-ITX case. Its price is also similar to the most inexpensive model.

So, your choice will depend on what is important to you. Do you intend do use more than six SATA HDDs or SSDs? So you can exclude the models with four or six ports only. Do you want to make an extreme overclocking? So, choose one with a high number of phases on the voltage regulator circuit, buttons, and a POST error code display.

In short, there is not a single motherboard that is the best one for all users. Different people have different needs, so you can use this table, and the articles where we analyze each motherboard, to find out which one is the best for you.

Last update on 2021-06-14 at 01:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API