Intel 14th-generation processors are out in full swing, and the reviews seem promising. If you also want to avail yourself of the performance gains of the Intel 14th generation processors, you need a motherboard to go along with it.  

The two most popular Intel 14th-generation motherboards are the Z790 and the B760, but which one should you choose? Although these motherboards may seem quite similar, they have totally different characteristics and are suitable for different use cases. 

To make your choice easier, I will compare the key aspects of both of these motherboards in a head-to-head battle. Throughout the comparison, I will highlight all the key differentiating factors and specific use cases for each of these motherboards. 

There is a lot to cover, but rest assured that by the end, you will be able to make a more informed decision between the Z790 and the B760. So, let’s begin.

Brief Overview of the Z790 Motherboard Chipset

Gigabyte Z790 Aero G

The Z790 is the top-end motherboard chipset that Intel has to offer for the LGA 1700 socket. This motherboard embodies the latest technology Intel has to offer and showcases the capability of the LGA 1700. The Z790 contains all the latest features that anyone would want from a high-end motherboard. 

The Z790 motherboard initially launched with Intel 13th-generation processors. However, Intel has decided to continue the Z790 as the premier motherboard for their 14th-generation processors as well. 

The Z790 motherboard does not come cheap. So, keeping that in mind, I will base the comparison on whether a person needs the top-notch specs and all the features that the Z790 motherboard offers.

Brief Overview of the B760 Motherboard Chipset

MSI B760 Tomahawk WiFi

The B760 is the mid-range motherboard chipset from Intel. It sits between the Z790 and the H710 in Intel’s motherboard hierarchy. Like the Z790, it also runs on the LGA 1700 socket. However, that is where most of the technical similarities between these two motherboards end.  

The B760 is seen as an attractive option by mainstream consumers because of its wallet-friendly price. However, the low price comes at the expense of features. Intel has cut down on many features on this motherboard. 

Therefore, in the comparison, I will find out if the cutdown in features impacts the performance and capability of the B760 motherboard. The comparison I have lined up for you is filled with invaluable information, so without further ado, let’s get to it.

Key Differences Between Z790 and B760

In this head-to-head comparison, I will highlight the key aspects and compare both of these motherboards based on that. Where needed, I will also provide practical examples and use cases to reinstate my point of comparison. 

For starters, let’s take a look at the specs each motherboard has to offer. 

Chipset Z790B760
CPU SupportIntel 12th, 13th, and 14th generation processorsIntel 12th, 13th, and 14th generation processors
Memory SupportDDR4, DDR5DDR4, DDR5 
Maximum Memory Support128GB128GB
Dual GPU SupportYesNo 
CPU OverclockingYes No
Memory OverclockingYes Yes
DMI Lanes x8x4
Chipset PCIe RevisionsPCIe 4.0, 3.0PCIe 4.0, 3.0
Usable PCIe 4.0 Lanes x20 PCIe Gen 4.0x10 PCIe Gen 4.0
Usable PCIe 3.0 Lanes 
x8 PCIe Gen 3.0

x4 PCIe Gen 3.0 
Total Chipset PCIe Lanesx28 x14
CPU PCIe Lanes RevisionPCIe 5.0PCIe 5.0
Useable PCIe 5.0 CPU Lanes x20x20
CPU PCIe Lanes Configuration1×16 + 1×4 OR 2×8 + 1×41×16 + 1×4
Total CPU PCIe Lanesx20x20
SATA III (6Gbps)84
USB Revisions USB 3.2, USB 2.0USB 3.0, USB 2.0
USB 20 Gbps Ports (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2)52
USB 10 Gbps Ports (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1)104
USB 5 Gbps Ports (USB 3.2 Gen 1×1)106
Useable USB 2.0 1412
No. of Supported Displays44
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6EWi-Fi 6
Ethernet LAN2.5G or higher 2.5G or lower 

In the specs table, you can see multiple differences between the Z790 and the B760. 

Primarily, the PCIe Lanes in B760 are half that of a Z790, impacting the useability of both of these motherboards, as I will highlight in the PCIe Lane section. 

There is also a stark difference between the availability of high-speed USB ports. Along with that, the VRM of the two motherboards is also different. 

All in all, there are plenty of key differences between a Z790 and a B760 motherboard. To fully understand and address these issues, we will need to dive deeper into both of these motherboards.  

CPU support concerns the ability of the motherboard to be used with multiple CPUs. Ideally, a motherboard should support as many CPUs as possible. Unfortunately, every motherboard has limitations when it comes to this regard. 

The Z790 and the B760 were released together with Intel’s 13th-generation processors. Since they were released together, they share similar CPU support. 

Both of these motherboards support Intel’s 12th, 13th, and 14th-generation processors. However, to support the 14th-generation Intel processor, you will need to update the BIOS on both of the motherboards. 

Supporting three generations of CPUs is quite good because it gives the consumers the flexibility of jumping between different generations. 

For instance, if you bought either the Z790 or the B760 motherboard with a 13th-generation Intel i5-13600K, you can upgrade to the 14th-generation Intel i5-14600K without replacing the motherboard. 

Not only does having multi-generational CPU support save money, but it also makes upgrading to newer hardware simpler and easier. 

The new generation Intel CPUs place great emphasis on memory for their optimal performance. Memory technology has come a long way;  the current latest memory technology conforms to the DDR5 standard.  

Although the DDR5 memory is great, like every new technology, it has issues. The DDR5 memory suffers from latency issues, and it is also very costly. Therefore, Intel has decided to keep both DDR4 and DDR5 support in the Z790 and the B760 motherboards.  

This is a positive step because it allows consumers to choose whatever RAM they desire. It allows users on older platforms to upgrade to the Z790 or the B760 without having to worry about changing RAM. 

Despite the poor latency and scaling issues, it should be noted that DDR5 RAM provides better performance compared to DDR4 RAM. So, if you are looking to squeeze every ounce of performance, you should opt for DDR5 RAM. 

The Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) ensures a consistent supply of voltage is maintained throughout the motherboard, and each PC part is provided the required voltage based on its requirements. 

The responsibility of the VRM is immense because if the voltage is unstable, the PC will constantly display the blue screen of death and keep restarting. In worse circumstances,  major deviation in voltage can cause catastrophic damage to fragile PC parts such as the CPU.

The VRM of the motherboard is also responsible for the overclocking capability of the motherboard. Since overclocking leads to higher voltage, a motherboard with a better VRM will be able to overclock better than a motherboard with a less favorable VRM. 

Between the Z790 and the B760, the Z790 motherboard comes with a better VRM. This pattern is clearly depicted if we take the example of two real-life motherboards: the Gigabyte B760 Aorus Master and the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master X. 

The Gigabyte B760 Aorus Master has an 18-phase VRM, while the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master X has a 23-phase VRM. However, it needs to be noted that the B760 does not support overclocking. So, it does not need a better VRM than the Z790. 

Overclocking means enhancing the performance of the PC hardware, like the CPU and memory, by increasing their clock speed. Overclocking is of two types: CPU overclocking and memory overclocking. 

Unlike AMD, Intel only supports CPU overclocking on the Z series motherboards. So, the B760 motherboard does not support overclocking, and only the Z790 motherboard can fulfill that purpose. 

So, with a B760 motherboard, do not buy a K series Intel processor, but with the Z790, you should definitely buy the Intel (K) series processors, like the Intel i5-14600K, i7-14700K, i9-14900K, etc. 

When it comes to memory overclocking, both motherboards display similar behavior. Both the Z790 and the B760 support memory overclocking, and you can achieve similar memory speeds on both of these motherboards. So, one is not better than the other in terms of memory overclocking. 

PCIe forms the building block of a motherboard. Like roots, these PCIe lanes are spread throughout the motherboard and link all the different components of the motherboard to one another. 

Linking the different components is essential because to work as an efficient integrated system, the motherboard needs the data it can get, and that too at a fast rate. 

The speed of the data determines the efficiency of a motherboard. The faster rate of data exchange will lead to a more efficient motherboard. 

Like other technologies, PCIe has also evolved with time. Currently, we are at PCIe 5.0, which has the advantage of carrying data at a faster rate compared to the previous PCIe 4.0, PCIe 3.0, 2.0, and 1.0, respectively. 

Between the two motherboards, only the Z790 comes with PCIe 5.0, while the B760 does not contain PCIe 5.0. Most Z790 are configured to run PCIe 5.0 in the main graphics card slot and 2x M.2 slots. 

Z790 having PCIe 5.0 in the graphics card and M.2 slot gives it a major advantage and leads to higher performance.

Besides the PCIe 5.0, the total number of PCIe lanes in Z790 is also higher than B760. The Z790 chipset can support up to 28 lanes. On the contrary, the B760 chipset comes with 14 PCIe lanes, which is a massive downgrade. 

What this all means for you is that the Z790 motherboard will allow for higher-speed M.2 NVMe storage drives to be connected to the computer. 

Also, Z790 will provide greater flexibility in terms of expansion slots. On the other hand, the B760 will restrict expansion and will not support PCIe 5.0 M.2 NVMe drives and graphic cards.  

Before you decide on the motherboard, it is imperative to check the number of high-speed USB ports included in it. Even when there might not be a massive difference, getting more is always better for users. 

While the latest Z790 motherboard comes with 14 USB ports, the B760 is not much behind with 12 USB ports.

The USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports that provide a max of 20 GBPS are absolutely necessary. The Z790 has 5 such ports, whereas the B760 has 2 ports.

The USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 that offers a maximum of 10GBPS is present in 10 numbers on the latest Z790 and 4 on B760. 

The USB 3.2 Gen1x1 is also present in both motherboards. The Z790 has 10, whereas the B760 has 6 ports. Lastly, USB 3.0 ports are also available. Z790 has 12 ports, and the other has 12 ports.

The impending sense of doom of having to change your motherboard every so often because it cannot support the latest PC hardware is nerve-racking. 

Knowing that your motherboard is future-proof puts your mind at ease. Unfortunately, in terms of future-proofing, neither the Z790 nor the B760 are any good. 

The 14th generation is the last generation of Intel before a socket change. This means that the newer 15th-generation Intel processors will come with a different socket, and that means the Z790 and the B760 will be phased out for newer motherboards. 

The Z790 and the B760 will not support the 15th-generation Intel processor, making your upgrade options very limited.

Another important aspect when it comes to Future-proofing is having ample PCIe expansion. The B760 has only 14 PCIe Lanes. It can hardly even keep up with current-generation hardware. 

So, when newer GPUs, M.2 NVMe storage drives, and other PCIe-supported PC hardware roll out, the B760 will not be able to cope with any of that. Also, the B760 cannot support two GPUs in SLI or Crossfire, which is something you should know for future-proofing. 

Every task these days requires being online and connected to the Internet. Therefore, having solid Internet connectivity in your motherboard is quite important. 

Between the Z790 and the B760, the Z790 motherboard benefits from better Internet connectivity. Since the Z790 is a high-end motherboard chipset, it has better Wi-Fi. It uses the latest Wi-Fi 6E as opposed to Wi-Fi 6 on the B760. 

Similarly, the Ethernet LAN port in the Z790 motherboard also supports higher speeds compared to the B760. 

In most Z790 motherboards, you will find a LAN port that supports upwards of 2.5 Gbps speed. Similarly, in most B760 motherboards, you will find a LAN port that supports less than 2.5 Gbps speed. 

Most users will find the Internet connectivity of both of these motherboards satisfactory. However, if you are into servers or require very high speeds through the LAN port, the Z790 is a clear winner. 

For the majority of consumers, the decision to choose between the Z790 or the B760 will boil down to cost. 

The Z790, being the high-end motherboard from Intel, is more expensive compared to the B760. Also, the price of Z790 spreads over a wide range. You can get an entry-level Z790 motherboard for less than $250, a mid-range Z790 for around $400-500, and you can also splurge upwards of $1000 for a high-end Z790 motherboard.

In comparison, the B760 starts at $110 and tops out at $280. Thus having less spread than a Z790. Most people buy mid-range motherboards. So, to see the real-life price difference, let’s compare mid-range B760 and Z790 motherboards from Asus.

Representing the Z790 is the Asus Strix Z790-A, which costs $350. Meanwhile, taking the charge on behalf of B760 is the Asus Strix B760-A, which costs $230.

By comparing these two, the price difference comes out to be $120. The $120 price difference considerably increases when you move towards high-end motherboards.

The most expensive Z790 motherboard costs $900, while the most expensive B760 costs $280. However, we did not compare these two because only 1% of the consumers buy high-end motherboards, and using them in the comparison unreasonably skews the data. 

On the whole, on average, the price difference between a Z790 and a B760 motherboard comes to about $100-150. 

Ultimately, you have to answer if this price difference is justifiable. Would you rather spend $100-150 more and get better features and specs, or save $100-150 and spend it elsewhere, like on a better GPU? Let me know in the comments.

Who Should Buy the Z790 Motherboard?

Based on the specs and features of the Z790, this motherboard should be your choice if, 

  • You want to overclock the Intel CPU beyond its normal clock speed.
  • You want more PCIe Lanes for connecting multiple GPUs, sound cards, and other PCIe peripherals. 
  • You want more SATA expansion and high-speed USB ports for connecting multiple external and Internal SSDs.
  • You want better performance and a more well-rounded feature set from your motherboard. 

Who Should Buy the B760 Motherboard

Based on the specs and features of the B760, this motherboard should be your choice if, 

  • You do not care for higher SATA expansion, more PCIe Lanes, and USB ports because you will never use them.
  • You are on a tight budget but don’t want to downgrade the socket.
  • You want to build a simple PC with one GPU, one M.2 NVMe, and other essential PC hardware only.
  • You do not plan on using or upgrading to an Intel (K) series processor at some point. 

The B760 seems too much of a compromise compared to the Z790. So, if you ask me, I would swallow the hard pill and go with the Z790, even if I don’t have any use for it right now, because if I do change my mind and at any point want to use any feature set of the Z790, I would regret purchasing the B760. On the other hand, if I purchase the Z790 and even don’t use its complete feature set, I would be at much of a loss because at least I am getting better performance.

Check out some of the other motherboard comparisons.

Check out some of our related motherboard buying guides.

Share this post:

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.