Best Motherboard for i7 4790k of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons


We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Spread the love

The Core i7-4790k processor is Intel’s response to the seemingly modest improvements offered by the 4770k.

If you’re planning to keep using the i7-4790k with your next PC build, you should pair it with a good motherboard.

The i7-4790k requires a motherboard with one of the Intel 9 and 8 Series chipsets, which Intel already discontinued.

Nevertheless, you’ll be happy to know that there is still a wide selection of motherboards out there using these platforms.

In the following reviews, we'll showcase five high-quality products, each of which can very well be the best motherboard for i7 4790k.

Let's look at the features of each motherboard to help you determine which among them fits your budget perfectly.

Comparison Chart

Asus B85M-G Motherboard

MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard

Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero Motherboard

MSI Z97 PC Mate Motherboard

Asus H81T/CSM Motherboard

Best Motherboard for i7 4790k Reviews

1. Asus B85M-G Motherboard

The Asus B85M-G motherboard is the only option on our list that comes in the micro-ATX form factor.

It is an excellent choice for small PC builds with the Intel i7-4790k.

Its smaller design eliminates the urge to install multiple graphics cards so that you can take advantage of the Haswell processor’s integrated graphics.

Review

The B85M-G motherboard is an appropriate solution for those requiring a budget-friendly build with the i7-4790k.

It is probably the most affordable motherboard you can find where it is available.

Although you can get it cheap, the B85M-G considerably packs adequate and reliable features.

If you are building a new office computer or needing a computer with basic functionality, the Asus B85M-G motherboard is a perfect fit.

  • Memory, Expansion, and Storage Options

The Asus B85M-G motherboard has four DDR3 DIMM slots, each capable of holding 8GB of non-ECC, un-buffered memory modules.

Its maximum memory capacity is 16GB more than that of the Asus H81T/CSM.

These DIMM slots use a dual-channel memory architecture with compatible modules.

This motherboard has a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and two PCIe 2.0 x1 sockets.

With its micro-ATX form factor, the B85M-G can’t accommodate more expansion slots.

During the design and initial production stages of the B85M-G, M.2 slots were still relatively new.

As a result, the low budgeted B85M-G does not provide any M.2 connections.

The only available connectors for storage are four SATA 6Gbps ports and two SATA 3Gbps ports.

  • Connectivity

The B85M-G motherboard does not have any features for wireless connectivity.

It only allows a wired Internet connection through the built-in Realtek 8111G Gigabit LAN controller.

While the small form factor does not allow any GPU expansions, an integrated graphics processor will allow multiple output support for up to three displays.

Additionally, the B85M-G does not hold out on audio with its 8-Channel HD ALC887-VD2 codec.

Its audio components enable jack detection, multi-streaming, and front-panel retasking.

PROS

  • Cheapest option on the list
  • Small and simple, no-fuss installation
  • A great choice for small PC builds
  • Excellent for builders who don’t need a ton of connections
  • Built-in ESD and overvoltage protection
  • Supports USB charging boost

CONS

  • Can work better with improved VRMs
  • Zero M.2 slots
  • Only two fan headers
  • No support for RAID

2. MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard

As its name suggests, the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard is the best option for those seeking to build a gaming rig or a stressable system.

It works perfectly well with the i7-4790k or any of the 4th and 5th Generation Intel Core Processors.

If what you need is something more than a PC with basic functionality, the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard can be of great service.

Review

The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 ATX motherboard is designed to be shown off rather than hidden inside an opaque PC enclosure.

It is one of the motherboards that revolutionized stylized heatsinks, color schemes, and legible brand markings.

MSI made this board for PC enclosures with side windows, enabling spectatorship around a gaming rig.

While it wants to be shown off, it keeps its aim of being a cost-conscious model for any Haswell build by focusing on the more important componentry.

  • Memory, Expansion, and Storage Options

The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 has four DDR3 DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 32GB of system memory.

It allows memory overclocking, and the highest recorded OC speeds run at 3300MHz.

These memory slots support Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP).

Among all the options on this list, the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 has the most PCIe 3.0 slots capable of supporting 3-Way AMD CrossFire and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI.

Its expansion slots include three PCIe 3.0 x16 sockets and four PCIe 2.0 x1 sockets.

The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 is also one of the only two options on this list supporting M.2 storage devices.

It has a single M.2 socket that will disable two of the six SATA 6Gbps ports when in use.

  • Connectivity Features

At its pretty affordable price point, the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 does not carry any built-in devices for Wi-Fi or any wireless connectivity.

However, it carries the Killer E2205 Gigabit LAN controller, one of the best Ethernet adapters in its time.

The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 also allows dual and triple display functionalities using the built-in HDMI, VGA, and DVI-D connectors on the rear panel.

Another downside to the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 is that it only has a 7.1-Channel audio codec, unlike the 8-Channel featured in the other options.

The good thing about its audio adapter is its 115-decibel signal-to-noise ratio for the entirety of the DAC.

PROS

  • Competitively priced for its feature set
  • Supports both SLI and CrossFire
  • BIOS is well-stocked
  • Gaming-focused board
  • Excellent fan connectivity and control
  • Offers the fastest overclocked RAM speed
  • Has the most PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slots

CONS

  • One of the more expensive options
  • No DisplayPort output
  • Lots of extra space for more connectors

3. Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero Motherboard

The main purpose of the Maximus VII Hero is to trim down superfluous features and offer the superb engineering properties of Asus ROG.

The Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero motherboard is capable of many things, and it tries to be cheaper than its forerunners.

Nevertheless, it stands as the most expensive motherboard in this compilation.

Review

The Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero is probably the highest-ranking motherboard featured here.

It is packed with features and accessories and comes with a well-tuned and fully functional array of software.

The Maximus VII Hero ATX is also the best-looking motherboard among the choices.

It sports massive heatsinks with the ROG signature, giving you the option to show off the insides of your PC enclosure.

However, these features can be a tad extraneous for a build with a CPU built several years ago, such as the i7-4790k.

  • Memory, Expansion, and Storage Options

Upon looking at the essential internal connectors, you might find that the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 offers better value for money.

The Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero has four DDR3 DIMM slots capable of holding 32GB of system memory and allowing a maximum speed of 3200MHz.

Expansion options include two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, and three PCIe 2.0 x1 slots.

Again, like the MSI Z97 Gaming 5, the Maximus VII Hero allows multi-GPU connections using AMD CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI.

The storage interface on the Maximus VII Hero includes a single M.2 socket and eight SATA 6Gbps ports.

If you haven’t noticed, this motherboard has the most SATA ports.

  • Connectivity Features

Although the Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero is our top-rated option, it also does not provide wireless connectivity features.

You can only go over wired internet connections with the built-in Intel I218-V LAN controller.

Like the MSI Z97 Gaming 5, rear panel connectors allow three display outputs for VGA, HDMI, and DVI-D.

Finally, expect to have immersive gaming experiences with the built-in Realtek ALC1150 audio component.

PROS

  • Packed with features and accessories
  • Stable overclocking
  • Excellent power consumption when overclocked
  • Top-grade cooling elements
  • Well-tuned software package
  • Outstanding ROG aesthetics
  • With support for USB charging boost

CONS

  • Most expensive among the options
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • High power consumption even while idle

4. MSI Z97 PC Mate Motherboard

If the first three options did not quite hit your requested budget range, then the MSI Z97 PC Mate Motherboard could be just what you need.

It is a reasonably priced ATX motherboard that supports the i7-4790k and does away with some of the features available only to the Maximus VII Hero and Z97 Gaming 5.

This board is a perfect fit if you don’t need those extra features.

Review

Compared to the red and black theme of the Maximus VII Hero and the Z97 Gaming 5, the Z97 PC Mate features a blue and black color scheme.

It holds back on purely aesthetic features, but it can very well be a good motherboard for PC enclosures with exposed sides.

  • Memory, Expansion, and Storage Options

Unlike the smaller H81T/CSM, the Z97 PC Mate can hold 32GB of system memory.

It allows a total of four memory modules in its DDR3 DIMM slots and a maximum clocked speed of 3000MHz.

Since it keeps the ATX form factor, the Z97 PC Mate also has better expansion options than the smaller Asus B85M-G and Asus H81T/CSM boards.

With two PCIe x16 slots, it can support the AMD CrossFire multi-graphics technology.

Additional expansion options include two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and two PCI slots for older expansion cards.

When it comes to storage, the Z97 PC Mate does not have any M.2 sockets.

It only carries six SATA ports capable of 6Gbps transfer speeds.

  • Connectivity

For internet connectivity, the Z97 PC Mate supports a single PCI Express LAN Ethernet adapter.

Like all of the options on this list, this board does not support Wi-Fi.

The Z97 PC Mate offers display connectivity with a VGA, DVI-D, or HDMI output device.

You can connect up to three displays similar to all the other motherboards.

An advantage to the Z97 PC Mate is its audio component, which offers a flexible 8-Channel adapter with jack-sensing capabilities.

PROS

  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent protection against power interruptions
  • Good quality motherboard
  • A great option for newbie builders
  • Feature-rich UEFI
  • ListElement

CONS

  • No M.2 slots, even if it has the ATX form factor
  • Doesn’t support SLI
  • Not the best option for extensive gaming

5. Asus H81T/CSM Motherboard

Some of you might need to go for something even smaller than the Asus B85M-G micro-ATX.

The Asus H81T/CSM comes in a mini-ITX form factor, giving it the title of the smallest quality motherboard for your i7-4790k.

With the mini-ITX size, your CPU will sit at a different location compared to the other boards.

You might also find that the Asus H81T/CSM is the most basic of all the five.

Review

The Asus H81T/CSM motherboard is an easy-to-set-up PCB that provides a smooth, mouse-controlled graphical BIOS.

Its user-friendly capabilities include detailed fan controls, clock adjustments, and XMP profile settings.

Since it offers very basic functionality, some people will find its BIOS perks unnecessary for the build.

The good thing we can take from the Asus H81T/CSM is that its mini-ITX form factor enables a clutter-free environment for home-theater PCs.

You can choose a small PC enclosure and hide it somewhere near your smart TV.

  • Memory, Expansion, and Storage Options

The essential connectivity components of the Asus H81T/CSM have been trimmed down to two memory slots, one mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 socket, and four SATA connectors.

You can have a maximum of 16GB of system memory on this board, and it does not allow high-speed memory overclocking.

With its single and small PCIe slot, you won’t have access to multiple GPUs

Three of the SATA ports run at 6Gbps speeds, but the fourth one only uses 3Gbps.

  • Connectivity

Let’s go over the connectivity components that sum up the essential features of the Asus H81T/CSM.

It allows wired network connections through a Realtek 8111G LAN controller and does not support Wi-Fi.

The board has an HDMI port and a DVI-D port capable of connecting with VGA devices.

Unlike all the other options, the Asus H81T/CSM can only connect to two displays simultaneously.

Since the Asus H81T/CSM is rigged for a home theater PC, its audio component offers eight HD channels, jack-detection, and front-panel retasking.

PROS

  • One of the more affordable options
  • Cheaper than other mini-ITX boards
  • The form factor is perfect for an HTPC
  • Onboard headers reduce the need for interconnection
  • Silent stock cooler
  • Transcodes 1080-pixel videos with ease

CONS

  • Minimal support for driver upgrades
  • Some problems during the initial setup
  • Only has two fan headers
  • No M.2 connectivity
  • Has the least amount of options for expansion

FINAL VERDICT

As you would probably already know, the Intel Quad-Core i7-4790k has been around since the 2nd quarter of 2014.

Having been in the market for so long entails a diminishing supply of support and compatible products.

However, this shortlist proves that you can squeeze several more years out of the Haswell-DT processors.

In choosing the best motherboard for i7 4790k, we recommend the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 as our top option.

Aside from allowing multi-GPU functionality with AMD CrossFire, it features the most functionality at a far lower cost than the Maximus VII Hero.

If you don't want to invest in the high-priced Maximus VII Hero, you might prefer saving for any of the 8th Gen Intel processors and their compatible motherboards.