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A motherboard serves as the foundation and the most important component of a computer. Despite the pillar element, users buy computers without giving much attention to the motherboard.
If you, too, are looking to upgrade your computer or buy a new one, learning the importance of a motherboard will help you to get a robust device.
6 Things You Need To Check Before Buying A Motherboard
First of all, decide the platform that you want to pick as the brain of your computer – Intel or AMD.
Whatever option you choose, you can handle entry-level functions such as web browsing to high-end tasks that include intense gaming.
Both the providers update their products constantly, so which one suits you the best depends on your needs.
2. Form Factor
The availability of different sizes and shapes gives you the flexibility to customize your computer to suit the environment. Go for a larger size as it can support more components.
You must have heard about the popular ATX boards where your options can be microATX and ATX.
MicroATX is 9.6×9.6 inches and integrates 4 expansion slots, whereas ATX is 12×9.6 inches and features 7 expansion slots. The latter is the most recommended option as it can meet your varied demands.
3. Processor Sockets
Once you decide the form factor, it’s time to select the processor socket. Among all contemporary options that were once used on the motherboard, you will only find three options in today’s processors.
LGA, BGA, and PGA are your options in processor sockets. If you select Intel, you will get LGA, whilst AMD features PGA sockets. However, BGA is not as popular because they come mounted within the motherboard and are non-upgradeable.
So, the socket you choose decides your processor and vice versa. So before you finalize your motherboard, decide on the processor you need.
RAM is the next big thing that you need to consider while buying the motherboard. Be mindful of the slots and the type of RAM the motherboard can feature.
One with the capability to support as high as 16 GB RAM is highly recommended to meet the ever-rising demands of faster mac computers or Windows computers.
Even if you don’t need that much memory right now, expansion at a later stage would be simpler. A board with 4 or more slots would fit your needs as it can accommodate multiple RAM modules.
5. PCI Slots
PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect allows you to connect add-on controller cards such as a WiFi adapter or a sound card to the motherboard.
On today’s motherboard, you will find three PCI connectors that include 64-bit PCI, 32-bit PCI, or PCI Express. Each of the three PCI connectivity slots is different and connects different devices.
Inserting a PCI card in the wrong incompatible slot can damage the card and affect the entire functioning of the computer.
6. SATA Ports
The term SATA reminds you of the storage drive installed in your computer. Every single SATA port allows for connecting a storage disk and an optical drive to the computer.
When you are deciding on a motherboard, make sure it has ports for all the hard drives that you need to install.
The motherboard must support SATA 6 gigabytes standard, also known as SATA 3.0. Apart from that, you also need to consider that the motherboard must allow for peripheral 3.0 connectivity.
Selecting Motherboard for Gaming
Gaming computers need more power, speed, storage, and memory, so your motherboard has to be powerful with more slots and ports. Not only do you need to add more of everything mentioned in this article, but you also need to take care of overclocking.
As an avid gamer, you may need to overclock your central processing unit. Even though overclocking can void the computer’s warranty, it is sometimes essential to meet the demands of AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i9 processors.
Overclocking needs much more than a classic motherboard. Additional fans and multiple expansion slots are something you must emphasize before you finalize your motherboard.
Additional Motherboard Features to Consider
1. Additional Switches
On your motherboard, you can select to discontinue the power supply to different components on a one-by-one basis using switches.
Some motherboards support reset switches to enable various components to power reboot completely.
Being an intermediate user, you may not need switches, but integrating them on the customized motherboard really makes a difference for power users.
2. Temperature Monitors
If you are using your computer for less-demanding jobs, you may never experience overheating issues.
However, using computers for long hours to perform resource-heavy tasks such as video rendering or gaming can lead to temperature rise. In that case, you may need to get high-powered fans or cooling towers for your computer.
Several high-end temperature safeguards come integrated within motherboards to keep a constant check on the internal temperature and notify you of recording the heated circuit board.