- MSI MPG Z690 Force |
$369.99$189.99 (save $180)
- Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero |
$599.99$249.99 (save $350)
- MSI MEG Z690 Ace |
$549.99$249.99 (save $300)
High-end Intel Z690 motherboards used to be ridiculously expensive, with many of them over $500. Well, thanks to Black Friday, they're not anymore and here are three sumptuous mainboards that are all sporting a healthy 50% discount.
So if you're looking to give an Intel 12th gen or newer CPU a real home for overclocking, and still have lots of scope for storage, networking, and connectivity, then these may well be the perfect ones for you.
MSI MPG Z690 Force (WiFi 6E)
MSI MPG Z690 Force | Intel LGA 1700 | ATX | 4x DDR4 slots | 5x M.2 | 6x SATA |
$369.99 $189.99 at Newegg (save $180)
The color scheme might not be to your taste but when you can fit four NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSDs, plus one extra PCIe 3.0 drive, you can't deny that this a storage enthusiasts dream motherboard. Oh, and there there are six SATA ports for even more storage and a ridiculous 10 USB ports on the rear panel. Madness!
Price check: $189.99 Walmart
The MSI MPG Z690 Force shouldn't be your first choice if you're looking to overclock the hell out of your Intel 12th gen or newer CPU. On the other hand, if you just want a solid platform to turn your PC into a small file server, then you can't go wrong here.
Five M.2 slots, six SATA ports (which will drop to five if you use all of the NVMe SSD slots), and a small mountain of USB ports make this board a dream for storage and peripheral enthusiasts.
I rather like the tasteful white and black coloring, but I know it won't be to everyone's taste. You've got 2.5G LAN and WiFi 6E for ultra-fast networking, and three PCI Express x16 slots. Two of them use the full-fat PCIe 5.0 spec, whereas the last one is the older 3.0 version.
The power delivery system can get somewhat toasty when using the most power hungry CPUs, but that's balanced by the sheer flexibility of the motherboard.
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero (WiFi 6E)
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero | Intel LGA 1700 | ATX | 4x DDR4 slots | 4x M.2 | 6x SATA |
$599.99 $249.99 at Newegg (save $350)
For sheer bling, it's hard to beat this Asus board, as it sports multiple ARGB headers and a customizable IO panel. Fortunately, the rest of the specification is pretty comprehensive and you'll have options for overclocking, storage, and connectivity.
Love having your gaming PC glowing with glorious RGB? Want to seriously overclock your K-model Intel CPU? Then this Asus board is perfect for both things!
It doesn't skim on storage, networking, or connectivity but it's not quite on the same level as either of the other motherboards here. And that's because it's packed to the hilt with everything you need for overclocking.
You get multiple headers for controlling and monitoring a custom water cooling setup, along with four sockets dedicated for chassis fans.
When it first came out two years ago, the only thing that was wrong with it was the price. But with a $350 discount, you can wave goodbye to that problem and just enjoy the comprehensive feature set.
MSI MEG Z690 Ace (WiFi 6E)
MSI MEG Z690 Ace | Intel LGA 1700 | ATX | 4x DDR4 slots | 5x M.2 | 6x SATA |
$549.99 $249.99 at Newegg (save $300)
In many ways, this MSI motherboard is very similar to the Z690 Force model, so what are you getting for the additional $60 asking price? Basically, it comes down to the balance of things like USB headers, LAN ports, and other connectivity options, but the biggest feature set here is overclocking support. So if you're wanting to push your Intel Core -K model CPU to its limits, best do it on this motherboard.
Price check: $249.99 Walmart
Yes, it's another MSI board and at first glance, it doesn't appear to be that much better than the MPG Z690 Force. However, this one's forte is its overclocking chops, so if you don't mind sacrificing a little in the way of connectivity, then like the Asus ROG model, you've got the ideal motherboard for CPU tuning heaven.
That said, it's not exactly lacking in ports and sockets: Five M.2 slots, six SATA ports, eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports in the rear IO panel, and two Thunderbolt 4 connections. Oh, and you get two 2.5G LAN sockets and WiFi 6E, to boot.
Compared to the Asus model, there are slightly fewer water cooling headers but a couple more chassis fan ones for managing a serious cooling system. But overall, there's not a great deal between the two.
Rather handy that they just so happen to be exactly the same price! If it was my money, I'd pick this MSI motherboard because that black and gold color scheme just looks gorgeous.
Hurrah for Black Friday and here's to more half price deals!
Best Black Friday PC gaming deals:
All the best discounts in one place
How to avoid overpaying on a Black Friday gaming laptop deal: How much to pay, and where to buy from
How to spot the best Black Friday prebuilt deal:
Don't pay over the odds for a PC this year
Our magic price searching bots are all over the web, tracking down the best prices all the time. That means this list will be regularly curated multiple times each day.
PC Gamer Newsletter
Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.
Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at Beyond3D.com, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at TechSpot.com and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?