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Best motherboards for Intel Core i5-12600K

Check out the best boards for this Intel CPU.

The best motherboards for Intel Core i5-12600K involve picking one that has everything you require for a PC or NAS server build. Factors could include LAN port on the rear, the number of SATA ports for storage, and BIOS support. I’ve rounded up my favourite motherboards for the 12th Gen Intel processor.

What is the best motherboard for Intel Core i5-12600K?

Picking the best motherboard for an Intel Core i5-12600K PC or NAS build is mostly determined by what case you plan on using. Not all PC cases support all sizes of motherboards. The cases I’d usually recommend for NAS use with hot-swappable drive bays usually only support Mini-ITX motherboards.

Mid-tower PC and full-tower server cases are able to take microATX and ATX motherboards, which are also covered here. I’ll be sure to note with each recommended motherboard the size, as well as some other highlight features that make it a worthwhile consideration for your next gaming PC or NAS build.

Intel Z690 motherboards can support either DDR4 or DDR5 RAM, which can be used by the Intel processor. You’ll need to match the memory generation when shopping around for RAM.


ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming (Source: ASUS)

ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming

This ATX motherboard is my favourite Intel motherboard for Alder Lake processors like the Core i5-12600K. If you have a mid-tower case at hand for a gaming PC or NAS, this is the board to get. It has 2.5Gb LAN, six SATA ports, and great power delivery for the CPU.

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi
MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi (Source: MSI)

MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI

Like the excellent ASUS motherboard, MSI included 2.5Gb networking, plenty of M.2 and SATA slots, and a fantastic reliable BIOS. This is another ATX motherboard and requires a PC case that supports this form factor. It’s a great match for the Core i5-12600K.

MSI Pro Z690-A
MSI Pro Z690-A (Source: MSI)

MSI PRO Z690-A

My most affordable recommendation for the Intel Core i5-12600K processor is MSI’s PRO Z690-A. It has a simple name and an even simpler spec list. There’s DDR4 RAM support, just four SATA ports, and 1Gb LAN. It’s a good place to start, however.

Gigabyte Z690I AORUS Ultra LITE
Gigabyte Z690I AORUS Ultra LITE (Source: Gigabyte)

Gigabyte Z690I AORUS Ultra LITE

The first of two Mini-ITX motherboards I’m recommending for gaming PCs and NAS servers is the Gigabyte Z690I AORUS. This is a killer mini motherboard with everything you’ll need for a capable machine. There are still four SATA ports on this thing.

ASUS ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WiFi
ASUS ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WiFi (Source: ASUS)

ASUS ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WiFi

The ASUS ROG Strix B660-I Gaming WiFi is a mid-range motherboard with the B660 chipset from Intel, but it has some serious firepower. There’s DDR5 RAM support, four SATA ports, 2.5Gb LAN, and great power delivery.


What makes the best motherboard for NAS?

There are a few important factors to bear in mind when shopping around for a motherboard to use in a NAS server. First, you’ll want enough SATA ports for all your drives. Most motherboards come with four two six, depending on the price point and form factor. Because we’re not likely to use the PCI slot for a GPU, this can be used for additional SATA ports.

Next up is the LAN or wireless connectivity. I’d always recommend going through the local area port on the rear of the motherboard for maximum stability in sending lots of data to recipient devices. 1Gb ports are the bare minimum for networking and 2.5Gb are more luxurious. 5Gb and 10Gb will take you into the enthusiast-grade territory.

The faster this port, the more bandwidth you’ll have available. Upgrading your local network to support such speeds at a later date ensures your NAS (or gaming PC) will be around for many years to come. You could go for the best NAS enclosure and call it a day, but building your own NAS is the best way to make your own dream server.

By Richard Edmonds

I've been covering the tech industry for more than a decade and have tinkered with NAS for just as long. Follow my ramblings and more right here on NAS Master!

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