How to Pick a Motherboard for PC or Gaming

Do you still don’t know How to Pick a Motherboard for your PC? Choosing a good motherboard is, in many ways, the most basic part of enhancing your computer. Every part of your computer is connected to the motherboard of your choice. Its shape will describe the size of your computer and its connectivity, as well as the chip set and socket type of processor you can install.

Motherboards, especially advanced models, are often made from a vague combination of features, and can range in price from $ 60 for plates to $ 1,000 or more.

That’s why we’re going to develop this guide to help you avoid complications and make sure you choose the right model for your needs, with the goal of saving you less money and so on. Enough for the other ingredients.

For tight budgets, AMD or Intel B450 or B360 chipsets stand out, which can be used for all kinds of uses. However, if you’re looking for the latest technology and need more graphics cards and more PCIe lanes for faster storage, you’ll need an advanced chipset. Don’t worry though, we’ll cover everything later.

If you’re using an Intel Z490 chipset or AMD’s B550 chipset, keep in mind that motherboard prices for both platforms are higher than the previous generation, at least because of PCIe support.

Note that while AMD’s B550 boards now support PCIe 4.0 with a Zen 2-based processor, Intel’s Z490 boards with PCIe 4.0 support will only enable this support when the Rocket Leak CPU Is used together These processors are not expected to arrive by the end of 2020.


Things To consider

  • Get the right socket for your CPU: You can get great CPUs from Intel or AMD, but whatever CPU you buy, make sure it’s on your motherboard. There is a right socket for help. The latest AMD chips use AM4 sockets, while current 9th Gen Intel CPUs require LGA 1151v2 sockets.
  • Small plates = less groove and features: Motherboards come in three major sizes, from the largest to the smallest: ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX (yes, mini is smaller than Micro). You can use smaller chassis with micro or mini boards, but you’ll have to settle for fewer PCIe and RAM slots.
  • You can spend less than 100 euros: You can often find a decent motherboard for less than 100 euros. But if you want to overclock or need more ports, you will have to spend more. Often over 150 euros. High-end desktop chips, such as the AMD Threadripper, usually cost more than 200. And the boards that use the AMD X570 chipset also usually cost around 150 euros.
  • Pay for built-in Wi-Fi, and for advanced ports only if you need them. If you use a wired connection, don’t spend too much on a wireless connection. You can protect your computer with USB 3.1 Gen 2 and/or Thunderbolt 3 support in the future.


Which CPU are you going to use?

The CPU you plan to connect to your keyboard will narrow your options, as the CPU socket on a given motherboard will only work with the chip line for which it was designed. Was

For example, if you buy a 10th-generation Intel Core processor, you will need an LGA 1200 socket board. Older 9th-generation processors require LGA 1151 socket boards. AMD makes this process a little less confusing because (at least for now) the company uses the same AM4 socket for all of its current generation chips, from the Atlantis to the 9-part, 16-core Raisin, even though you’re older.

Complications can arise when installing new CPUs on motherboards. Intel, on the other hand, has tended to switch sockets (or at least socket compatibility) from one generation to the next in recent years.

How to pick a motherboard size.

Most modern motherboards come in three sizes.

The ATX is the de facto standard and provides the most space for plugs and slots.
The Micro ATX is 2.4 inches smaller, which means less space for expansion slots.
The Mini-ITX can fit a smaller PC, but will typically have only one ad card (such as a graphics card), and less connectors for storage and RAM.

Which ports do you need?

Here is a list of the most common ports:

  • USB 3 / USB 3.1 Gen1: Works with most peripherals.
  • USB 2: Slower than USB 3 / 3.1, but more than suitable for keyboards, mice and many other devices.
  • USB 3.1 Gen2: Not many peripherals support it yet, but it does offer 10Gbps bandwidth, which is double what you get with USB 3.1 Gen 1 / USB 3.0.
  • USB Type-C: These ports are backwards compatible with USB 3.1 Gen1 or USB 3.1 Gen2 and are designed for newer devices such as phones.
  • HDMI / DisplayPort Video Output: You only need them if you plan to use integrated graphics. Dedicated cards have their own ports.
  • Audio ports: Important if you plan to connect an analogue speaker or headphones.
  • PS / 2 ports: They give you compatibility with very old keyboards and mice, and are currently in use.
  • Thunderbolt 3: Finding these ports is very rare, but some boards support it with additional dedicated cards. Provides the fastest possible connection up to 40 Gbps.

What expansion slots do you need?

Today, you’ll probably only find two types: the short PCIe x1 slot (often used for things like USB and SATA extensions), and the long PCIe x16 slot (used for graphics cards, RAID cards, and PCIe storage). )۔ If you’re planning to install a single graphics card, SATA / M.2 drives, and maybe a video or sound capture card, you’ll be fine with most ATX or Micro ATX cards, with at least one x16 slot presenting. And one or two x1 slots.

However, it is difficult to calculate how many drives and cards you can install, because you have so many physical slots, there are a limited number of HSIO (High Speed ​​I / O) slots and PCIe slots that you can install. Must share all ingredients. We can spend 3,000 words explaining how these slots work, but most importantly, many large motherboards limit bandwidth by closing some connections when the hardware is installed in certain slots. Fulfil

For example, adding an M.2 PCIe drive may disable some SATA ports, or installing a card in a third PCIe slot may disable another (or third) M.2 slot, etc. These issues vary greatly depending on the motherboard model, so you should consult your online manual before buying, especially if you plan to combine many components.

My Recommendation for Motherboard

That said, if you’re planning to connect multiple drives and cards to your computer, it’s a must to go for advanced models as they have more PCIe slots to work with. All of AMD’s Threadrapper processors have 64 slots (60 from the CPU, 4 from the chipset), while Intel’s competitive Core X platform relies on the CPU, and offers up to 24 more chipsets.

So if you are planning to connect, for example, multiple graphics cards, a PCIe / NVMe storage RAID, or other hardware that requires a lot of bandwidth in your system, These advanced platforms are definitely the way to go.

Models depending on our budget

Prices range from a minimum of 50 euros to 1,000 euros or more on premium boards that support advanced chips such as the Intel Core X or AMD’s Three Draper. For each price range you can search:

  1. Up to 100 Dollars: You can get overclock boards for AMD chips (even with the latest generation X370 premium chipset) in this range. But with Intel, you get stuck on stock speeds (although you can find overclockable Z370 boards for just over $ 100). Depending on the selling price, you can get a number of features, including built-in Wi-Fi, although boards equipped with Wi-Fi usually cost more than $ 80.
  2. Less than 150 Dollars: Boards with Intel’s Z370 or Z390 chipset, which you’ll need to overclock, start at the bottom of the range. You can also see more AMD chips with high AMD chipsets (X470) and premium features like RGB lights and Wi-Fi.
  3. Under 200 Dollars: As you begin to move up to the premium level, you’ll see more RGB lights, more powerful heat sinks, and better capacitors and VRM. You’ll also find a large number of ports, including a larger number of USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen 2 sockets. Intel’s new Z490 boards are prominent in this range.
  4. 200 Dollars or more: For the main platforms, before the Z490 and X470, this was really the premium price range and aimed at overclocking, where you see the best components of the board, the giant heat sinks and the cover that Made to present a stylish look and top. For newer chips like the standard Z490, really premium boards start at $ 250 (or above). Also at this price point, you’ll find motherboards for Intel Core X and AMD Threadrapper. Plates for the Threadrapper typically cost around 300$

Which chipset should you buy?

Your choice of CPU will determine your auxiliary chipset options, and if you choose advanced consumer chips from Intel or AMD (Core X or Threadripper) you will have only one option (Intel X299 for or X399 for AMD). But if you are a regular user who only wants to install one graphics card and a few units, you can go for Intel’s Z370 or AMD’s X370 / X470 less chipset.

If you choose the H370, Q370, B360 or H310 keyboard from Intel, you will lose the option to overclock, but these chips are actually newer than the Z370, and therefore offer some features (such as built-in / Local USB 3.1 Gen2 support) which lacks Intel’s Z370. For the latest and greatest features of Intel, in addition to overclocking, you should choose the Z390 motherboard.

As far as AMD is concerned, the B450, B350 and B300 chips support set over clocking. While you’ll lose some fast USB and SATA ports from the X370 chipset, they have plenty of connectivity options for most computing tasks. If you need more ports and drives, it’s worth choosing the X370 or X470 model for 20-30 euros more.

My Recommendation for Motherboard

Model for overclocking

As we noted in the Chipset section above, if you intend to overclock with Intel you will have to choose between Z370 or Z390 chipset and a “K” CPU (like Core i7-8700K). , Or have to go to a higher place. The final X299 platform and SkyLake X chip. As with AMD, things are much easier, as all current generation Raisin chips (minus lower-end A320 and A300 chips) support overclocking.

How many RAM memory slots do you need?

Most motherboard cards today have four RAM slots, although compact mini-ITX models typically have only two, advanced motherboards typically offer up to eight. The number of slots, of course, increases the amount of RAM that can be installed.

But for motherboard functions and games, 16 GB is enough (we cover it in-depth here). And even with just two slots, you can install up to 32GB of RAM. However, keep in mind that a 32GB kit that uses two 16GB cards is usually more expensive than a 32GB kit spread over four 8GB cards. In some cases, you can install 64GB in just two slots.

How to pick a motherboard the less important features.

Given the large number of features that motherboards sometimes incorporate into motherboards, especially on high-end models, it is impossible to talk about them all. However, here are some interesting things to keep in mind:

  • Board on/off switches: These can be useful in the initial construction process, or if your system is placed in an open box for benchmarking / component testing. But for the average user, on-board buttons (sometimes including buttons to clear CMOS or basic overclocking) are not necessary.
  • Diagnostic LED Readings: A small speaker that connects to the motherboard headers to provide a diagnostic beep when something goes wrong. Instead, many medium and high-end boards now include two- or three-digit displays for the same purpose, giving you alphabetical code if something goes wrong. This can be very helpful when building or updating a PC, or you forget to plug in a component, something doesn’t adjust properly, or one of your components is defective.
  • Wi-Fi Card: This option is essential if your computer does not have Ethernet.
  • Dual Ethernet ports: A single Gigabit Ethernet port has a lot of bandwidth for Internet traffic, so this is basically useful if you plan to use a PC as a server and the card can combine both connections into one. Is.
  • Voice: Unless you’re a fan of serious music, have poor hardware, or choose a very basic motherboard and expect great sound, the onboard audio should suffice. (Also called an audio processing chip) which uses a special keyboard. So, if you are a fan of sound quality, you can look at the codec that a particular board uses before buying it and see if it is a medium-range or advanced model. On the other hand, you can, of course, go for a dedicated sound card.

My Recommendation for Motherboard


I hope this guide on how to pick a motherboard in 2021 for your PC will help you a lot when you pick your next Motherboard from Amazon.

Cordelia Hill

Cordelia Hill

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