Best Motherboards for Kaby Lake

Best Motherboards for Kaby Lake – So if you are thinking of getting an Intel 7th Generation Kaby Lake processor for your gaming PC then these affordable and powerful Kaby Lake motherboards should be a great companion to it. These Kaby Lake Motherboards can also be used with the Intel Skylake processors

With a processor like the 7th gen i7, it becomes essential to pick a high-quality motherboard; otherwise, it might bottleneck the overall performance, and you will experience throttling and heating issues.

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If you have any queries about these motherboards or your gaming build then feel free to ask me by leaving a comment below.

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1.ASUS LGA1151

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OUR TAKE

Now some of you may be thinking that you can’t fit 20 PCIe lanes onto a single standard motherboard and you would be correct, to a certain extent. In recent years, M.2 (or mini PCIe) has really taken the expansion world by storm and with Z170, you can start to see M.2 ports crop up in multiples depending on the motherboard. In theory, you could have 3, 4 5 or even more M.2 ports on a single motherboard. What’s more, these ports accept RAID and you can see some truly insane figures if used with U.2 devices such as the Intel NVME 750 SSD.

When you come to think of motherboards, only one name sticks in your mind; ASUS. Topping the manufacturer sales last year, it’s easy to image how it came to be thanks to the huge range of motherboards suiting a wide variety of users and implementing high-quality components.

The motherboard range is exceptionally large, from basic desktop units, right up to professional workstations such as the Deluxe range and gaming series in the form of Republic of Gamers (RoG). The motherboard we have in today is the Z170-A which has been based off the X99-A motherboard.

This particular board is aimed at the low-mid range segment of the market, but don’t let that fool you. With a simply huge array of connectivity and newly introduced DDR4 support, this could be a very powerful option. Let’s find out how it performs in today’s review.

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2.ASUS H110M-E

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Feature-wise, the H110M-A M.2 looks very similar to a similarly-priced competitor, but there are some differences. Most notably, today’s sample offers no diagnostic display or LEDs. Not shown on the table, it does offer an LED-illuminated border along the audio area.

Unlike the cheapest competitor, this board also offers a M.2 slot, at PCI2.0 x4 speed. It has the fewest power phases of any of them, however.

The type is not too tiny, and may be needed, because although there is silk-screening on the board (e.g. for the front panel connectors), my older eyes struggled to make it out, and I did not find the speaker polarity clearly marked.

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3.Asus Prime Z390-A

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OUR TAKE

Starting with the premier entry-level Prime range, the ASUS Prime Z390-A is an ATX sized motherboard and features a white, silver and black design throughout. The board has a white rear panel cover and chipset heatsink, with integrated RGB on both with support for ASUS AURA Sync.

The PCB has a white patterning which contrasts quite nicely and represents one of the more subtle looking ASUS Z390 options. The Prime Z390-A has three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots with two getting treated to ASUS Safe slot armor protection and the slots operate at x16, x8 and x4 from top to bottom. This means the Prime Z390-A officially supports two-way SLI and up to three-way CrossFire multi-graphics card configurations.

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4.ASUS ROG STRIX Z270E

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OUR TAKE

Strix is a mid-market branding subseries within Asus’s already gaming-branded ROG series, so it really shouldn’t matter if we call the Asus ROG Strix Z270E Gaming that, Strix Z270E Gaming, or just the Z270E Gaming. And now that everyone knows all the things I might call it throughout the review, let’s take a look at what makes this board special.

We also see four USB 3.0 ports (aka USB 3.1 Gen 1), two USB 3.1 (Gen 2) ports, an Intel i219V-fed Gigabit Ethernet port, three graphics outputs, analog and digital-optical audio. More details on these are in the chart above, including the use of ASMedia’s ASM2142 PCIe 3.0 x2 based USB 3.1 controller for the connected Type-C and Type A ports.

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5.ASUS ROG Strix B450-F

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OUR TAKE

In addition to the advantages inherent in the B450 chipset, the ROG Strix B450-F Gaming motherboard has a substantially improved layout compared to its predecessor.

In the older board, Asus placed one of the PCI Express x1 slots directly below the primary PCIe x16 slot, which rendered it effectively useless for anyone using a graphics card.

The company wasn’t able to place the PCIe x1 slot above the B350-F’s graphics card slot as this space was filled by a long M.2 Key-M 22110 slot. Asus also separated the SATA 3.0 ports on the ROG Strix B350-F Gaming, which results in a slightly less organized-looking finished build.

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6.MSI H310 LGA 1151

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OUR TAKE

As it’s built around the entry-level H310 chipset, the H310M Gaming Plus is designed for gamers and builders opting for mainstream CPUs who would prefer to spend the majority of their money on other components, like the CPU, graphics, and storage.

The H310M Gaming Plus supports the latest 8th and 9th gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors with DDR4 memory support up to 32GB with speeds up to 2666 MHz (the speed limitation here is baked into the chipset).

The Micro-ATX board includes a single M.2 slot and the full chipset complement of four SATA ports, along with an Intel-based Gigabit NIC rounding out some of the basic features.

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7.MSI Z390-A

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OUR TAKE

The main difference between the MSI Z390-A PRO and the rest of MSI’s Z390 product stack is that this board isn’t specifically targeted towards gamers. The aesthetics are simple with a coffee colored PCB which does include silver patterning across it;

primarily around the edges of the board and around the silver and black heatsinks. The main selling point of the MSI Z390-A PRO is in its value with a good selection of controllers including an Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet controller and a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec handling the onboard audio.

This is complemented by a total of six SATA ports with support for RAID 0. 1. 5 and 10 arrays. In terms of memory, the board is packing four RAM slots with support for DDR4–4400 with a maximum capacity of up to 64 GB.

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8.MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen

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Boasting a 12.00 x 9.60 x 2.00 inches in design and weighing 2.65 pounds, this Motherboard is one of the MSI top designs. It is efficient, high performing, and compatible with the latest AMD Ryzen processors. It is built for high performance, stability, and longevity. It is compatible with any PC and is optimized for media and professional use.

Enjoy its usability across multiple Ryzen 3000 series processors, scalable graphic performance, and a core boost. This board will work perfectly with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors. It also has a flash BIOS button making it so much easier to flash any bios without installing a graphic card, CPU, or Memory.

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9.GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS

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OUR TAKE

Anyone planning to build a system around Intel’s smoking-new eighth-generation CPUs would do well to allocate a decent chunk of the budget to a new motherboard. Intel’s “Coffee Lake-S” processors don’t support older chipsets, which means picking up a Z370 board is a must.

Although the Z370 represents a modest update to Intel’s desktop chipsets, we doubt that will deter the passionate DIY builders from springing for an Intel 8th Gen processor and a new board. We recently looked at both the Intel Core i7-8700K and the inexpensive-but-spicy Core i5-8400 and found both to be solid chips for gamers.

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10.GIGABYTE Z390

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OUR TAKE

Z390 is a requirement for overclocking Intel’s latest processors, yet lower-cost models often abuse that credential by throttling back under the hefty power load of Intel’s high-end Core i9-9900K.

Of course, there are buyers who would choose a lesser processor to better match those low-cost boards, which is why we recently retested a few under the lighter load of a Core i5.

Among those recent Intel boards we tested, Gigabyte’s Z390 SLI stood out as the one inexpensive option that fully supported both high-end and mid-range processors. The Z390 Gaming X ($150 / £154) offers a similar design to the pricier model, for those who don’t need (or want to pay for) SLI.

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Best Motherboards for Kaby Lake – BUYER’S GUIDE

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1. Form Factor

Some people that have space might opt for a full-sized ATX or even E-ATX mobo, while those having smaller space might opt for a micro-ATX or even mini-ITX mobo. You won’t lose much using a smaller size except for PCIe slots and a few USB ports primarily. For mini-ITX however, you will most likely lose 2 DIMM slots and only get 2 and will only have 1 PCIe x16 slot. Also, the more compact the board is, the lesser room it has for overclocking and cooling it becomes harder. You can check our guide on EATX vs ATX vs Micro ATX vs Mini ITX to get better understanding.

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2. Cooling Mechanism

With such a powerful performance, a lot of heat is generated by the different parts. Make sure your motherboard has enough fan headers for the number of fans in your case. If it doesn’t, you can buy a PWM splitter which comes relatively cheap, but sometimes you can upgrade the motherboard for a similar price and get the bonus of whatever other features that upgraded board has.

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3. Memory

Most ATX boards come with 4 DIMM slots with capacity ranging from 32GB to 128GB. It’s advisable to get at least 64GB of support. Some high-end motherboards go up to 4400+ MHz, but the cheapest might only get 2400MHz. For Intel, it should be fine to get a slower memory clock as it’s not as heavily impacted as Ryzen, but obviously, the more you can get, the better performance you’ll get, and we suggest you shoot for at least 3000MHz OC speeds.

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4. PCIe Slots

Apart from having multiple PCIe slots look for the ones where it is having some metal reinforcement, as it will improve the long term durability of the slot. You need to look for the distribution of lanes as well as CrossFireX/SLI support if you need multi-graphics setup.

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5. RGB

Those who want customised RGB in their setup need to consider whether the motherboard has RGB headers. Some motherboards also have onboard RGB LEDs, while some cases come with an RGB controller, eliminating the need for a motherboard to have RGB headers.

The controllers can connect to the case’s reset button or dedicated RGB buttons which enables you to control their color pattern. They mainly come in two varieties: 5V headers for fancier addressable RGB that can do the swirling rainbow effects and 12V headers which can only be one color at a time. RGB is something you could save some cost on if you don’t care about the extra bling.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Which Motherboard is Right for You?

While your motherboard isn’t going to have any kind of direct impact on your in-game experience, it will play a large role in determining what components you can put into your build. The cheaper the motherboard you choose, the more limited you will be.

However, if you are working with a tight budget, you can definitely choose a less-expensive motherboard. And, if all you are planning on doing is building a single video card setup then you don’t necessarily have to spend hundreds of dollars on an extreme motherboard.

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WRAP UP

Best Motherboards for Kaby Lake –  With the launch of Intel’s Seventh Generation Core series processors codenamed Kaby Lake, Intel has also introduced some new motherboard chipsets for them. These new chipsets come with some improvements, extra features and offer better performance over the older chipsets in skylake motherboards having LGA 1151 socket.

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