Best Motherboard for i7 in 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons


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Searching for the best motherboard for i7?

This means you will need to find a model that packs plenty of power.

There are several different motherboards to consider from top manufacturers like ASUS and MSI.

In this guide, we will look at five of the top-performing motherboards packed with valuable and essential features.

Comparison Chart

ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus Motherboard

ASUS Prime Z490-A Motherboard 

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus Motherboard 

GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra

Biostar 198118 Motherboard

Best Motherboard for i7: Brief Reviews

1. ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus

The ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus is unique in that it combines stability, reliability, and durability in one.

It is one of the many motherboards designed to accommodate everyday computing as well as heavy-hitting gaming.

Review

Some of the most remarkable features of the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus include:

  • Powerful Design

Multiple components contribute to the overall power of this motherboard.

You will find improved system stability, a remarkable controller, multilayer PCB design, and more.

Overall, the motherboard is equipped to help shift heat away from sensitive components while offering military-grade connections.

  • Easy Configurability

One of the major reasons people lean towards ASUS TUF Gaming motherboards is that they are easy to use.

With this, setting up and configuring your new PC has never been simpler.

While installing components, your PC will be optimized for your personal use with TUF protection.

  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201

Accessing peak bandwidth has never been simpler than with the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 integrated into this model.

You should be able to capitalize on network speeds as high as 2.4 Gbps, allowing for less competing traffic.

When compared to other, lower-quality adapters, you will notice that it offers triple the performance.

  • Exclusive Audio Codec

The sound quality that your PC provides is of the utmost importance, especially for gamers and music lovers.

The ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus boasts high-definition Japanese audio capacitors for a warm and natural sound.

You will also find an exclusive S1200A codec, allowing for dynamic sound with more expansive ranges.

As an added benefit, the audio configurations allow for significantly less multi-lateral interference through audio shielding.

Also, there is an installed audio cover that helps deliver top-tier audio quality.

  • Cooled Design

The motherboard’s overall design helps keep your PC and its components cooler, even with regular use.

This is made possible by the integrated thermal pads, which help transfer heat away from the inductor to the heatsink.

With the M.2 heatsink, you will be able to keep your SSD at the best operating temperature for maximum performance.

  • Fan Controls

Along with the general cooling design of the rig, you can also optimize your fan and cooling management.

The comprehensive controls through Fan Xpert 4 let you manage multiple temperature sources simultaneously.

Also, it’s natively designed to work with both air and liquid cooling, depending on your setup.

PROS

  • Easily regulates temperatures
  • Effortless installation
  • Works quietly
  • Useful for VR games

CONS

  • Poor RAM placement
  • One USB slot

2. ASUS Prime Z490-A

The ASUS Prime Z490-A is a great, upgraded motherboard designed to handle 10th Gen Intel Core processors.

It boasts enhanced memory performance with plenty of features designed for productivity.

Also, it has plenty of crucial customization options, allowing you to manage your PC effortlessly.

Review

Let’s explore some of the best features of the ASUS Prime Z490-A.

  • ASUS AI Overclocking

Intelligent utilities such as ASUS AI Overclocking are essential to the performance of your PC.

With this tech, you will be able to set up automatic profiles that manage your voltage, frequency, and cooling settings.

All you have to do is access the AI Suite to determine which features you want automatically managed.

  • AI Cooling

As mentioned, within the AI Suite, you can customize plenty of options, including cooling.

Ideal for beginners, your system will automatically detect your motherboard-connected cooling system.

It will create a cooling schedule based on PC load and continually monitor progress based on your other components.

  • M.2 Heatsink

A feature commonly found in mid-tier and high-tier motherboards is M.2 heatsink.

With this feature, you will find that throttling will be significantly reduced while overall stability increases.

The heatsink is held by removable screws on this model, allowing you to move it to another M.2 slot if desired.

  • Multiple USB Options

Fortunately, this motherboard offers plenty of USB options to accommodate modern-day components.

You’ll find USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectivity as well as Type-A and Type-C connections for you to take advantage of.

  • Thermal Pads and VRM Heatsinks

In addition to the M.2 heatsink, you will have built-in thermal pads and VRM heatsinks to protect your PC.

The two passive VRM heatsinks are located under the thermal pads to improve heat transfer.

Your chokes and MOSFETs will be protected by having access to significantly better cooling functions.

  • System-Wide Tuning

There’s no doubt that the main benefit of the ASUS Prime Z490-A is its AI features.

Instead of having to manage your PC’s components manually, the motherboard handles the task for you.

There are five different sets of optimization options, ensuring your overclocking, CPU, and GPU are effortlessly managed.

PROS

  • Easy-to-use BIOS
  • Pre-installed IO shield
  • Robust RG implementation
  • Easily manages to cool

CONS

  • No built-in Bluetooth
  • Low-quality ethernet

3. MSI MPG Z490

The MSI MPG Z490 is designed with the everyday gamer in mind and works effortlessly in professional setups.

From a fortified design to improved networking, this is one of the more robust options to consider for mid to top-tier setups.

Review

There are several fantastic features of the MSI MPG Z490 that gamers need to consider.

  • 2.5Gbps LAN

There’s no doubt that the vast majority of gamers play via ethernet rather than Wi-Fi.

With that said, this motherboard is able to handle a significant load with its onboard 2.5Gbps LAN connectivity.

You’ll have access to significantly higher bandwidth options while also reducing latency on your network.

  • Upgraded Audio

There are key features built into this motherboard that make it a significant audio-friendly upgrade.

First, it features an ALC1220 audio processor so that you can take advantage of high-definition audio.

Also, you’ll find upgraded audio capacitors, allowing you to experience more dynamic audio ranges.

  • Extended Heatsink

If overheating is one of your primary concerns, as it should be, you’ll like that the MSI MPG Z490 is equipped for high temperatures.

The integrated PWM heatsink and enhanced circuit design assist with distributing heat away from sensitive components.

Even when running at full speed, your motherboard will be significantly cooler than with competing models.

  • M.2 SHIELD FROZR

Another significant benefit to cooling your motherboard is M.2 SHIELD FROZR.

This feature is a thermal solution applied to the heatsink and offers optimal thermal protection.

More than anything, it is an iconic component required to ensure your SSD always works at its best.

  • Boost Technology

There are two primary types of boost technology that the MSI MPG Z490 offers: Core Boost and Game Boost.

With Core Boost, you will have access to a premium layout explicitly designed for power.

Your CPU delivery will be enhanced, allowing you to use a multi-core CPU in optimal conditions.

The second element, Game Boost, is highly recommended for casual and professional gamers.

You’ll be able to unlock one-second overclocking, helping you acquire the highest FPS possible.

Over time, you will notice a significant improvement in your performance in-game.

  • Ease of Installation

If it’s your first time building a PC, having user-friendly components is of the utmost importance.

This motherboard is designed with pre-installed IO shielding, making the installation process safer.

We recommend this feature to help prevent damage from electrostatic discharge.

PROS

  • RGB lighting under chipset heatsink
  • Impressive configuration
  • Pre-installed IO shield
  • Easy-to-use BIOS

CONS

  • Requires a larger case
  • Lacks top left install space

4. GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra

The GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra is one of the best motherboards available for 10th Gen Intel Core Processors.

Its impressive design offers many boastful features that help improve your PC’s usability and reliability.

Review

Plenty of fantastic features are built into the GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra that you’ll love using daily.

  • Advanced Thermal Design

There’s no doubt that this motherboard is designed to protect sensitive components from heat damage.

You’ll find an impressive number of thermal-friendly add-ons, including a multi-layered M.2 heatsink, two thermal balance heat pipes, and a 7.5W/mK LAIRD thermal conductivity pad.

There are also four temperature sensors, four hybrid fan headers, and extended heatsinks.

Ensuring your motherboard has adequate thermal protection is essential for fan and liquid-cooled rigs.

With the added temperature sensors, you can easily monitor the heat of your components to protect them over time.

  • Shielded Memory

With this motherboard, protecting your memory profiles and ensuring they work quickly has never been simpler.

This motherboard has upgraded tantalum polymer capacitor arrays that help reduce electrical interference.

Not only will you experience increased memory stability but also peace of mind because your memory is adequately shielded.

  • Improved Connectivity

Ensuring your PC quickly connects to a network is of the utmost importance for many tasks.

The GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra is designed to offer both Wi-Fi and ethernet speeds far above the competition.

You’ll find integrated Wi-Fi 6 as well as 2.5G LAN for local connections.

  • DTS Immersive Sound Experience

High-resolution audio isn’t the only benefit you’ll get from the individual audio capacitors on this motherboard.

You will also have access to the latest Realtek High-End HD audio codec featuring less distortion and improved volume.

Whether listening through speakers or headphones, your audio experience will be significantly more immersive.

As a luxurious upgrade, you’ll also unlock DTS:X Ultra, a 3D audio experience perfect for gaming.

You’ll have built-in support for scene-based, object-based, and channel-based audio out of the box.

  • Durability

There are several key features that the GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra offers for optimal durability.

You will have PCIe armor, memory armor, solid pins, as well as Q-Flash Plus.

Over time, you will find the rigidity and structure of your motherboard will be maintained, adding to its longevity.

The addition of PCIe armor is particularly notable because it makes it easier to install.

You’ll also find that once components are installed, they will have the rigidity needed to prevent breakage.

PROS

  • Four fan headers
  • Impressive power delivery
  • Automatic CPU boosting
  • Great cooling compatibility

CONS

  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3 adapter
  • VRMs are passively cooled

5. Biostar 198118 Motherboard

The Biostar 198118 Motherboard is a great entry-level option for 7th Generation Intel Core processors.

Although it’s not as versatile as other models by limiting next-gen features, it’s ideal for 7th Gen processors.

Review

Let’s take a look at some of the Biostar 198118 Motherboard’s features ideal for PC builds.

  • Audio Improvements

If you are looking for a reliable source of audio, this motherboard is a great option.

It boasts HD audio with minor loss of fidelity while also featuring impressively designed AudioArt Capacitors.

Users could experience more artistic-like sound resolution with the help of the Nichicon Capacitors.

  • Enriched Video

Thanks to the integration of DirectX 12, you will also have access to Direct3D, offering an impressively immersive visual experience.

Users will have significantly richer visuals that accommodate more modern GPU hardware.

Another improvement that this motherboard offers is DVI for LCD screens.

When your display is connected via DVI, you will have a more accurate pixel-by-pixel representation.

Whether you are playing games or editing photos, you will find that the realism of the imagery is improved.

  • Better Speed

When it comes to speed, the Biostar 198118 Motherboard is a reliable option.

It offers USB 3.0 with data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps, nearly 10 times faster than older-generation USB options.

Also, you will have PCIe M.2, allowing for data transfers of up to 32Gbps, on par with other mid-tier motherboards.

  • Protection

There’s no doubt that this motherboard is designed with durability in mind, especially with the moisture-proof PCB.

You will also have a low-resistance design for the MOS, ensuring reduced energy loss and improved thermal conductivity.

Another significant protective feature is the USB Power Engine.

This tech allows for sufficient USB power while maintaining stable computing.

PROS

  • Great for mining
  • Secure PCIe slots
  • Well laid out
  • Requires minor settings adjustments

CONS

  • Low-quality instructions
  • Not ideal for beginners

Which Motherboard Is Best for i7?

The MSI MPG Z490 is the best motherboard for i7, as it is also equipped for future generations.

With its boosted technology, you will experience enhanced computing with far less effort.

Also, it is designed with durability and longevity in mind with its impressive thermal resistance.