Computer Station Nation is reader-supported.
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
The 300-series lineup gives one a chance to choose from many motherboard options, which come with cool features that were not previously included in Z370. These new motherboards should work with both 8th-gen and 9th-gen Core CPUs.
You need a new Intel 300-series computer motherboard to buy an 8th-gen or 9th-gen “Coffee Lake” processor. Older motherboards don’t work with Intel’s current CPUs, including the recent 100- and 200-series options for Skylake and Kaby Lake chips.
While Coffee Lake chips are largely based around the same architecture as those predecessors, the new processors pack in more cores, which means they have different power requirements. If you’re considering getting the intel 300 series motherboard, we have picked the 3 best intel series motherboards for you.
Our Top 3 Picks of Best Intel 300 Series Motherboard
CPU And Memory Overclocking Supported Intel 300 Series Motherboard
The Z370 and Z390 motherboards are the gold standard in this 300 series motherboard, built for computer enthusiasts. These are the only Intel motherboards that support CPU and memory overclocking (if you have an unlocked K-series chip) or handle gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards, at least until Z390 boards become available.
They’re loaded with the most PCI-E lanes, potential USB ports (with one notable caveat—more on that after), and RAID storage options. As flagship chipsets, they also offer the most high-speed I/O lanes. More HSIO lanes let board makers divvy out more features, like NVMe SSD connections and SuperSpeed USB ports, as they see fit.
Pros and Cons
- Fan control is now in the bios itself.
- Has RGB lighting on the board itself.
- Very simple to install.
- Does not work with Windows 7.
- There are only 2 main case fan headers.
SDXC Supported Intel 300 Series Motherboard
The Z390 motherboards were released a year after Z370 and added the niceties introduced in the more mainstream options. Its basic load out matches Z370’s capabilities, but you’ll also get Intel wireless networking, native SDXC support, and up to six USB 3.1 Gen. 2 ports integrated, as well as a newer Intel Management Engine (IME) firmware version.
If you’re building a new system from scratch, opt for Z390 and its abundant USB 3.1 ports over Z370, unless you can find a comparable Z370 board at a discount.
The Z390 intel series motherboard is among the best in the market. You should consider getting it. You get value for an investment in the Z390 Motherboard.
Pros And Cons
- A board well designed for gaming
- Excellent power efficiency
- Intel LAN, Bundled PCIe Wi-Fi card
- Fan control could offer more
- Limited BCLK OC of non-K CPUs
Rapid Storage Technology Intel 300 Series Motherboard
The H370 motherboards are only a notch below Z370 and Z390 and perfect for people who don’t like to tinker. These boards don’t support overclocking, multiple graphics card setups, or some of the more exotic Intel Rapid Storage Technology features. Besides those niche enthusiast features, and some differences in USB 3.1 support, H370 largely mirrors Z370.
Pros and Cons
- Stock performance
- Overclocking potential
- Board aesthetics, layout, and design
- UEFI BIOS design and usability
- Lack of hinged cover plate/heat sink for both M.2 slots
- PCIe x2 bandwidth limitation on chipset-controlled M.2 slot
Z390 and H370 motherboards integrate support for speedy 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen.2 ports into the chipset. That should help bring the blisteringly fast tech to more affordable motherboards, as vendors will no longer need to pay for a third-party controller—this uses Intel’s own technology.
Z390 packs six ports; the others pack four. Z370 has none. Adding USB 3.1 Gen. 2 ports eats into a motherboard’s stash of HSIO lanes, though. All Intel 300-series motherboards except Z370 can support USB 3.1 Gen. 2 and integrated Wi-Fi.
The new boards also move a lot of the functions needed for wireless networking into the platform controller hub itself, using Intel’s CNVi wireless-AC technology. Highlights include integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi support and up to 1733Mbps speeds with Intel’s highest-end companion RF module, which Intel says is far faster than most Wi-Fi options available.
Equipping extra hardware to activate the functionality fully can add to a motherboard’s cost, and it’s an option for motherboard vendors—not a requirement. Don’t expect to see Wi-Fi on every H370 motherboard, in other words, especially as you move further down the price scale. (Gigabyte, for example, sells an optional “CNVi WiFi upgrade kit” for some of its motherboards.) If yours includes it, you’ll want an 802.11ac “Wave 2” router that can take advantage of CNVi’s full potential, like the Asus RT-AC87U.
Z390 and H370 motherboards also include “modern standby” features that let computers sleep to save energy but listen for a wake word (in smart speaker-like fashion) and quickly resume. Modern standby functionality previously existed in laptops, but this is a first for desktop PCs.
Once again, motherboards based on the Z370 chipset don’t include any of this new native functionality, though hardware makers can add Wi-Fi and USB 3.1 Gen. 2 capabilities via add-in controllers.
One should only purchase a 300-series board with finishing touches that fit his/her individual needs. While the information above describes the guts of every Z390, Z370, H370, B360, and H310 motherboard, vendors can tweak and configure their hardware in different ways, so two H370 boards (for example) might have slightly different port configurations and wildly different features, such as RGB lighting, fancy audio, one-button overclocking, et cetera.
But now that you know the basics of what each Intel 300-series chipset offers, you can quickly narrow down your search for the perfect Intel motherboard for you. For similar products, visit Amazon.