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Best Z370 Motherboard for Your Intel Coffee Lake Processor

The Coffee Lake processors of the 8th and 9th Generation Intel CPUs are simply incredible, particularly for gaming. However, many of them can only show their true prowess when installed on a Z370 motherboard.

Although Intel recently released the more advanced Z390 chipset as well, the Z370 motherboards continue to be the industry standard for most due to their availability and reliability.

Best Z370 Motherboards Reviewed

Intel’s Z370 chipset is the industry standard chipset for unlocking the full potential of their unlocked 8th (and 9th) Generation processors. The price range however is simply too large and it can easily become overwhelming for interested buyers to find the right one for themselves.

Keeping overclocking, performance, stability, and many other factors in mind, we’ve picked our 5 favorite Z370 motherboards available right now. You’ll see many renowned brands such as Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI making it on this list.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Asus ROG Maximus X Hero

The Best Z370 Motherboard

The Asus ROG Maximus X Hero is a monster Z370 motherboard with premium features. It has physical controls that give the user access to memory reset and BIOS switch. RGB lighting is distinctly ROG styled, and the motherboard offers one of the best overclocking potentials for CPU and memory out there.

If you have the money to buy the best Z370 motherboard out there, you shouldn’t look beyond the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero.

Great Value

Great Value

MSI Z370-A Pro

Great Overclocking without a Premium Price Tag

MSI offers incredible overclocking potential with its Z370-A Pro motherboard at a price point that is more accessible to most users. You also get a fast m.2 slot and CrossFire compatibility, in addition to a great BIOS.

You don’t have to spend nearly $200 to get your hands on a reliable Z370 motherboard with great overclocking potential. The MSI Z370-A Pro offers all that and more in a fantastic ATX package at less than half the price of many mega Z370 overclockers.

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero

  • Memory: 4 x DIMM up to 64GB DDR4-4133
  • Storage: 2 x m.2 sockets, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • Network: Ethernet, 866Mbps WiFi 802.11ac

The Asus ROG Maximus X Hero is the top pick as the best Z370 motherboard for more than just a few reasons. This motherboard’s performance as an overclocking foundation is simply unparalleled, and considering just what it’s considerable, the premium price point actually feels warranted in this current crazily priced PC market.

There are better motherboards available on paper, but the truth is there is little incentive to go beyond the Maximus X Hero for any other Z370 motherboard for any Coffee Lake rig.

You can push the CPUs to their limits with this motherboard, as its incredible VRM maintains stable temperatures even when CPUs like the 8700K are overclocked to 5.1GHz with water-cooling and altered voltage. The absolute memory clock limitof up to 4133MHz would be difficult to test, but the performance around 3600MHz is flawless on this Asus Z370 motherboard.

Asus provides the user with the ultimate tinkering experience by integrating a number of switches and controls on the board. Reset and power buttons are also accompanied by a POST code display, a memory reset button, and a distinct BIOS switch.

ALC1220 codec and a number of port options ensure you have all the connectivity and audio requirements you’d ever want, and fast-paced 2×2 MU-MIMO WiFi ensures adequate connectivity.

The looks of the Asus continue the Republic of Gamers trend with the looks. You get the elaborate gunmetal heatsinks everywhere and a covered I/O port. One of the board’s dual 32Gb/s m.2 slots also comes with a heat sink featuring distinct RGB illumination. There’s also an addressable RGB header for RGB strips to display patterns instead of solid colors.

Pros

  • Excellent overclocking performance
  • Packed with features
  • Onboard controls
  • Good RGB control

Cons

  • None

Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7

  • Memory: 4 x DIMM up to 64GB DDR4-4133
  • Storage: 3 x m.2 sockets, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • Network: Ethernet, 433Mbps WiFi 802.11ac

The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming series motherboards are our personal favorites for their looks and performance. The only reason the Gaming 7 is second to the ROG Maximus X Hero is because this Z370 motherboard isn’t as good at overclocking as the Asus model.

The Gigabyte Z370 is simply loaded with features, of which our favorite is the inclusion of three m.2 slots which is more than what the industry standard provides on ATX sized motherboards. Gigabyte’s Aorus series isn’t designed to be the extreme user’s preference, but because of the balance it strikes between high-end performance and reasonable pricing, it punches well above its weight.

You get 10-phase CPU power delivery along with dual BIOS on this motherboard. Memory is supported up to 64GB DDR4 at 4133MHz, though you’ll be best running it up to 3600MHz. Nevertheless, such memory clocks are optimum in almost all real world applications.

Overclocking on this board isn’t as incredible as the Maximus X Hero, but it does manage to an excellent 5GHz barrier that enthusiasts covet. However, there are no overclocking switches or control on the board for extreme fine-tuning and adjustments.

What you do get is gorgeous RGB lighting with two RGB headers. There’s also a swappable Accent LED overlay to utilize different patterns and designs on for ultimate customization. We love the looks of this board and you probably will too.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Packed with features
  • Three m.2 slots
  • Slick RGB offering

Cons

  • Some build quality issues
  • Bulky Audio section cover

MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

  • Memory: 4 x DIMM up to 64GB DDR4-4000+
  • Storage: 2 x m.2 sockets, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • Network: Ethernet, 867Mbps WiFi 802.11ac

The MSI Godlike motherboard is their highest offering, but it’s difficult to get your hands on, is mighty expensive, and requires a full tower case as it is an E-ATX motherboard. But when it comes to the “sanely” priced and spec’ed Z370 motherboards, the MSI Z370 gaming Pro Carbon AC is one of our favorites.

It offers a great array of premium features and provides an incredible overclocking potential for both CPU and memory. You can easily achieve core clock speeds well above the 5GHz range up to even 5.2GHz on a Core i7 8700K with adequate liquid cooling. Additionally, memory speeds can easily be pushed to 3600MHz.

The AC in the name indicates the dual band 802.11ac wireless connectivity of this Z370 motherboard, reaching speeds up to 867Mbps. Two m.2 sockets out of which one has thermal shielding ensure rapid storage technology.

We love the large number of I/O ports on this motherboard, and the RGB implementation is simply gorgeous. You get plenty of RGB goodness on the board and connections to control other RGB components of your rig as well.

One downside of this MSI Z370 motherboard is it needs manual input to give all the cores a clock boost with XMP. However, that’s a minor downside and doesn’t prevent it from being fantastic. The other con is how top-heavy the board is, requiring more care while mounting.

Pros

  • Fantastic overclocking performance
  • Lots of I/O ports
  • Gorgeous RGB implementation on the board
  • Great BIOS

Cons

  • Top heavy
  • Requires manual input for XMP

ASUS TUF Z370-Pro Gaming

  • Memory: 4 x DIMM up to 64GB DDR4-4000
  • Storage: 2 x m.2 sockets, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • Network: Ethernet

The Asus TUF series targets the mid-tier audience, though we still consider them high-end motherboards because of their performance and number of options. Where Asus usually skimps on the TUF series is the maximum memory speeds, though the TUF can still achieve fantastic speeds up to 4000MHz in theory. In real life, the model manages to push the memory clock speeds up to 3500MHz

The other major difference from Asus’s higher-end Z370 motherboards is that only a single PCIe slot is reinforced. We don’t think that’s a big deal though, considering multi-GPU setups are rarely used these days. The overclocking performance on the CPU is still reliable as ever, reaching 5.1GHz with the Core i7 8700K and maintaining stability with a water cooling solution

The RGB implemented is limited, with a few rear-mounted TUF LEDs. However, this is a board designed for functionality, and it provides plenty of that. The audio on the board is particularly great with the ALC887.

Overall, this is a fast, reliable board the skimps on a few features that many would deem unnecessary or beyond their requirements. It has all the gaming performance you need without the bling and in-depth tweaking an enthusiast would want.

Pros

  • Fantastic overclocking performance for the price
  • Fast and reliable for the price
  • Gorgeous RGB implementation on the board
  • Great BIOS

Cons

  • No WiFi
  • Skimps on a lot of advanced features

MSI Z370-A Pro

  • Memory: 4 x DIMM up to 64GB DDR4-4000
  • Storage: 1 x m.2 sockets, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • Network: Ethernet

The MSI Z370-A Pro is what you’ll want if you need a quality Z370 motherboard without wanting to spend excessively. It comes with Intel’s premium chipset so you can overclock your CPU and memory at ease. CPU clocks can hit the 5GHz mark with no problem, and memory overclocking can go up to a rated 4000+, though we don’t recommend beyond the XMP boost of 3600MHz on this board.

You also get plenty of connectivity options with this motherboard thanks to a total of eight USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, though there are no USB Type-C ports to be found here. The MSI Click BIOS though is fantastic and great for beginners and intermediate users of high-end PC components to fine-tune their performance.

However, despite featuring two PCI Express x16 slots, the MSI Z370-A Pro does not have multi-GPU support for Nvidia, only support 2-Way CrossFire instead. One of the two PCI Express slots is reinforced. It also comes with a single m.2 slot instead of two, the latter being more common in higher-end Z370 motherboards.

For anyone considering a step up from non-unlocked chipsets to the Z370 while saving up most of their money for a better GPU or CPU, we highly recommend the MSI Z370-A Pro above all else.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Excellent BIOS
  • Fantastic overclocking for the price

Cons

  • Limited feature set

Buyer’s Guide

    The primary reason to buy a Z370 motherboard over other chipset models is overclocking. Z370 motherboards support unlocked Intel processors (all processors with a “K” at the end, such as Core i7 8700K). Unlocked Intel processors can be overclocked to maximize performance.

    Even though the chipset is consistent across all motherboard manufacturers, the overclocking ability varies greatly by model and is one of the biggest factors in determining which one you should purchase. Motherboards providing better power to the CPU with more robust heat sinks will give more overclocking headroom to the user provided you cool them with the right air or AIO liquid cooling solutions.

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell which motherboard provides better stable overclocking than another without testing them in real life applications under severe load. For this reason, thoroughly reviewing the overclocking performance of the motherboard of choice is crucial if you deem overclocking absolutely necessary.

    Storage options are also important with motherboards, though most of the Z370 motherboards will offer similar options. SATA connections across ATX Z370 motherboards are consistent at 6 in number. It’s the m.2 connections that change drastically.

    Many provide two m.2 connections, while certain models like the Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 provide three. You might not have the budget required for three m.2 NVMe SSDs at the time of purchase, but it’s always a good idea to invest in something future-proof. Generally, a Z370 board that offers two m.2 SSD slots should serve you well for the future.

    Motherboards are the vessels that house all the major components of your PC and power them, so there are a lot of other components to factor in. How much you want from your motherboard will depend on your requirements.

    RGB controls are important for those who value aesthetics and have other components such as RAM and fans that feature RGB LED lighting. For others, they’re an optional feature not worth spending the extra costs.

    BIOS and other controls directly on the motherboard are also essential for some, while completely unnecessary for others. They provide extra control, ideal for tinkerers and advanced users who want to maximize the functionality and performance of their PC.

    Finally, I/O ports and the network options are also important. If you’ll connect your PC through Ethernet, there’s no need to pay attention to the WiFi capabilities of the motherboard. However, many prefer untethered solutions and use wireless connectivity as the sole source of network connections. USB ports and their types are also an important consideration, as is the audio codec and its quality.

    Can 9th Generation Intel CPUs work with Z370 motherboards?
    While Intel released the Z390 chipset alongside their new processors, the 9th Generation CPUs are compatible with the Z370 motherboards as they use the same socket and similar technology. Just make sure to update the BIOS of your Z370 motherboard and check its compatibility with the manufacturer’s specs on their website before finalizing your build.

    Why should I opt for an ATX form factor over other types?
    The ATX form factor is the industry standard and provides all the essential connections. It offers plenty of redundancy for the extreme user to make use of. They aren’t an absolute must, and we’d suggest you avoid the ATX form factor for micro-ATX or mini-ITX if you’re building a compact PC.

    However, for anyone looking for the right balance of size and storage/port options, the ATX form factor is the best.

    For an average user, is the performance between a high-end Z370 motherboard and entry-level one huge?
    When it comes to performance, the motherboard is actually the least impactful internal component of your PC, despite housing all the essentials. Yes, a motherboard can greatly affect how well you can overclock your CPU, RAM, and even GPU, but the differences in overclocking potential between most Z370 motherboards is so small that it doesn’t warrant spending extra for one.

    What you would spend extra for are the additional enthusiast-level features such as multi-GPU support, advanced RGB control, advanced BIOS and memory control, and design. The higher-end Z370 motherboards appeal to the tinkerers, testers, and monster PC builders.

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