4 Best Water-Cooled Motherboards in 2023

Dealing with high temperature is the biggest challenge when building a powerful gaming PC. The newer CPUs can achieve higher temperatures when put under stress, and the last thing you want to experience is frame rate dropping because of the extreme heat.

To overcome this issue, water cooling is a great solution for controlling heat in custom builds and enhancing performance beyond what air cooling can achieve.

Motherboards, which support water cooling will help keep your CPU and VRM cool. However, finding a right motherboard that supports water cooling can be a challenge as they are not widely available and tend to be pricier than regular motherboards.

ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula Z490

Water-Cooled Motherboards

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | Chipset: Intel Z490 | Memory Support: Dual Channel, 4x DIMM, Up to 4800 MHz, Max 128 GB | PCI-e Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1 | Storage Support: 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s Ports | Video Ports: N/A | Warranty: 3 years

The ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula Z490 is a more affordable option within the ROG Maximus series compared to the super-premium XIII Extreme Glacial.

It is similar to the MSI MPG Z590 Carbon EK X because it is a it is the result of a collaboration with EK. However, unlike the complete kit, here you’re only getting the motherboard.

It comes with a CrossChill EK III VRM cooling, which is a heatsinks specifically designed for this motherboard. The purpose is to switch between the water-cooling and air cooling according to your requirements.

This motherboard does not come with a water block, which explains the low price. But if you decide to fully go with the water cooling build then you can buy a custom-made EK VRM bridge, which connects the VRM heatsinks to the water block, creating a single large cooler for both the processor and VRM.

The motherboard has a simple design, with limited chrome and aluminum. It is compatible with 10th and 11th generation Intel Core processors, offering stable overclocking up to 5GHz.

The ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula Z490 is best suited for those who want a liquid-cooled build but can’t afford it right away, as it allows for a transition from air cooling to full liquid cooling.


  • Hybrid-cooled motherboards
  • Best e audio and internet solutions
  • Full support for water cooling
  • Plenty of RGB
  • Large heatsinks
  • Customizable OLED screen
  • Excellent for overclocking
  • High-quality and robust build


  • Older chipset
  • Includes few accessories
  • Water block not included



Form Factor: E-ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | Chipset: Intel Z590 Express | Memory Support: Dual Channel 4x DIMM, Up to 5400 MHz, Max 128 GB | PCI-e Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x8, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4 | Storage Support: 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s Ports | Video Ports: 1x HDMI | Warranty: 3 years

The GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Xtreme WATERFORCE stands out as the most stunning water-cooled motherboard available in 2023. Its nickel-plated copper design boasts excellent heat dispersion, with a liquid-cooling monoblock that cools the entire motherboard.

The motherboard also features an OLED screen displaying real-time CPU and water temperature. It has space for up to 128GB of DDR4 memory.

The AORUS Xtreme WATERFORCE is compatible with Intel’s 10th and 11th generation and it is capable of overclocking up to 5.2-5.3 GHz.

While its high price tag may not appeal to the average user, for serious overclockers and enthusiasts looking for top-of-the-line performance and style, the GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Xtreme WATERFORCE is a dream come true.


  • Great build quality
  • Perfect for high-end overclocking
  • Amazing design
  • Top-of-the-line connectivity
  • Large water-cooled monoblock
  • Liquid cooling for CPU, chipset, VRMs, M.2 slots
  • Customizable OLED display
  • Excellent connectivity (Wifi 6E, 2.5G + 10G Ethernet)


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to setup

Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial

Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA 1200 | Chipset: Intel Z590 | Memory Support: Dual Channel, 4x DIMM, Up to 5333 MHz, Max 128 GB | PCI-e Slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, Xx PCIe 3.0 x1 | Storage Support: 5x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s Ports | Video Ports: 1x HDMI | Warranty: 3 year

ASUS’s premium lineup ROG (Republic of Gamers) is a popular choice for high-end custom PC builds, and ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is from that lineup.

This is a high-end product with a high price tag. The Maximus XIII uses a full cover monoblock, meaning that the water cooler covers the majority of the motherboard, including the CPU, VRMs, M.2 slot, and chipset.

Additionally, the aluminum paneling is quite thick in some areas, making it efficient in absorbing heat. With a suitable custom loop, it will allow for outstanding performance. It is compatible with a variety of processors, including 10th Gen Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors and 11th Gen Core CPUs.

Being an EATX motherboard, it provides ample space for radiators, enabling overclocking speeds up to 5 GHz and beyond. There is space for up to 128GB of 5333 MHz DDR4 memory. ROG offers five M.2 slots and two PCI-E slots, which is a good trade-off as the extra memory is more useful than a third PCI-E slot for high-end builds.

All M.2 slots are under a single panel, making the installation easier, but swapping SSDs might be a bit more challenging. ROG is as good as AORUS when it comes to RGB lighting and the motherboard kit comes with various controllers, hubs, and extension cables to create a fully lit custom build.


  • Full-cover monoblock that cools CPU, VRM, M.2, and chipset
  • Full support for water cooling
  • Amazing design
  • Built-in OLED diagnostic screen
  • Robust and high-quality build
  • Excellent for overclocking
  • Five M.2 slots
  • Premium audio and internet connections


  • Very expensive
  • Often out-of-stock
  • Less useful accessories included

ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII

ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula Z490

Form Factor: ATX | Socket: 1200 | Chipset: AMD X570 | Memory Support: Dual Channel, 4x DIMM, Up to 3600 MHz, Max 128 GB | PCI-e Slots: 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1 | Storage Support: 3x M.2, 8x SATA 6Gb/s Ports | Video Ports: N/A | Warranty: 3 years

This list would not be complete without including a AMD compatible liquid-cooled motherboard, designed specifically for overclocking.

All the other options in this list are for Intel chips, which continue to dominate the market in most areas. However, due to their lower cost and greater versatility, AMD CPUs are becoming increasingly popular among the overclocking community and most overclocking records are currently held by AMD chips.

The X570 Crosshair is similar to the Formula Z490 in design. It has a carbon and aluminum construction, RGB elements on the I/O cover and M.2 heat sinks, and a functional but visually unassuming base.

But there are some key differences like backward/forward compatibility with AMD motherboards, supporting multiple generations of AMD processors with the AM4 socket.

The RAM and M.2 connections provide the same options as the Maximus, with 3 M.2 ports and four DDR4 slots supporting up to 128GB of 4800 MHz DDR4 RAM.

Additionally, the crosshair VIII features the newer PCI-E 4.0 ports, offering a faster response when using this year’s GPUs, and also has two extra SATA III ports, bringing the total to 8.

It uses the CrossChill III technology for cooling, which offers VRM heatsinks that can be cooled by air or water and a custom-made VRM bridge for full water cooling.

However, this comes at an extra cost and the motherboard is often out of stock, making it more expensive than its MSRP. The included kit only includes basic items such as SATA cables, a fan extender, and some stickers.


  • Can be both air and water-cooled
  • Good base for customization
  • Lots of storage support
  • Premium audio solution
  • Better Backward/forward compatibility
  • Solid 14 + 2 60A power delivery
  • High-quality construction


  • No water block
  • Only option for water cooling is custom-made water block, which is expensive
  • Not as powerful as similar options
  • Includes few accessories
  • Often out of stock and high price


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