Gamers who are planning on building their own computer have a lot of big decisions to make. They need to decide which processor and video card will give them the maximum amount of performance in relation to their budget. They also need to decide on their memory, case, power supply, and storage. However, one component that all new system-builders need to carefully consider—and one that often gets overlooked—is the motherboard.
The motherboard in a computer is one of the most important components in the whole system. It allows all of the other components to communicate with each other so that they can work together to form what we know as a “PC.” Without a quality motherboard, you will not be able to install quality components into your system. And, without quality components in your system, you’re gaming computer will not perform as well as you’d like it to.
In this post I will take a look at three different things you need to be aware of when choosing a motherboard for your gaming computer.
The first thing that you need to do when choosing a motherboard, is to look for one that will suit your needs. It’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what kind of components you’re going to choose for your computer. Once you have an idea of what parts you’re going to put into your system, you need to look for a motherboard that will accommodate them.
If you’re going to choose an Intel processor, then you will need a motherboard that supports it and vice versa for an AMD processor. You’ll also need to make sure you get a motherboard that will match your processor’s socket-type. For instance, an Intel Core i5-3570k is a socket LGA 1155 and will only fit in LGA 1155 motherboards. It will not fit in an LGA 2011 motherboard. So, you need to ensure that you’re getting a motherboard that is compatible with your processor.
Also, if you plan on overclocking, you will need to get a motherboard that will allow you to do so. As an example, an Intel Core i5-3570k is an unlocked processor (which means it can be overclocked) but if you put it in a motherboard that doesn’t allow for overclocking, you will not be able to overclock it, and you will have wasted money on getting the unlocked version of the processor. For instance, an Intel Core i5-3570k could be overclocked by pairing it with an ASUS P8Z77-V motherboard, but it cannot be overclocked when paired with an ASUS P8H77-V motherboard. The difference? One is a Z77 motherboard (which can be overclocked), and the other is an H77 motherboard (which cannot be overclocked.)
You’ll also need to look at other things that may or may not be important to you, like: how many USB ports it has, how much memory it can support, how much it costs, how many SATA connections it has, how many PCIe ports it has, whether it can accommodate multiple video cards, etc.
One of the easiest things that you can do to make sure that the motherboard you are choosing is one that is high-quality, is to read both consumer and expert reviews on it. If others are having a good experience with the motherboard you are considering, then it is likely that you will too. However, if the motherboard has received a lot of negative reviews, you’ll want to avoid it at all costs.
You can easily find reviews of the motherboard you want to buy by looking on sites like Amazon, Newegg, or TigerDirect. And, if you want to find expert reviews, a simple Google search of the motherboard you are considering with “review” at the end should give you a bunch of results.
Finally, when choosing a motherboard you should pick one that is built by a reputable manufacturer. By buying a motherboard from a quality manufacturer, you will have peace of mind in knowing that that company has been building motherboards for years and that they can be trusted.
On the other hand, if you buy from a company who hasn’t been around for very long, you don’t have a good idea of what kind of quality their motherboards are, and you could end up getting stuck with a bad motherboard.
The other reasons why you want to choose a motherboard from a well-known and trusted manufacturer is that they are more likely to have better customer and technical support, and will likely offer better warranties on their products. And, if they’ve been producing good motherboards for a while, then they are going to be a much safer bet than random no-named motherboard manufacturers.
Here is a list of quality motherboard manufacturers:
If you choose a motherboard built by the manufacturers listed above, you can guarantee that you’re getting yourself a high-quality motherboard that is backed by excellent customer service.
It’s important that you take your time when choosing a motherboard for your new gaming computer. It will determine the quality of the components you can put into your system, and it will ultimately dictate how well your gaming PC performs. So, make sure you pick a board that fits your needs, is well-received by both consumers and experts, and is built by a reputable manufacturer.
Brent Hale runs Elite Gaming Computers, a blog dedicated to helping gamers save money by building their very own gaming computer. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an affordable gaming computer or a high-end system, Brent can help you get a build that fits your needs.