The motherboard is the heart of every computer. It is that big flat board inside the computer that everything is connected to. It performs the role of directing information and connecting components. A motherboard is often the central part of the computer design process. Therefore, choosing a motherboard that’s right for you is essential to your computer build.
Choosing the right motherboard does not have to be a problem, even though there is a lot to consider. We will start off with the larger parts and move onto the things that are less essential.
Firstly is the socket type. The socket is where the processor (CPU) connects to the motherboard. There is no compatibility between sockets, so you have to get a processor and motherboard with the exact same socket size. The socket connection needs to match the connection of the processor you have or the one you intend to buy for the computer.
Most older Intel Pentium 4s utilize socket 478. Newer computers use socket 775 and 1151. AMD chips utilized socket A for a long time, but now the AMD Athlon 64 series and Semprons use socket 939. Be sure to double check the socket size before ordering your products! It saves a lot of time and frustration later if you do your research before you order the parts.
Your choice of CPU will have a lot to do with your needs, but choosing one with an up to date socket type will ensure slightly longer motherboard life as you can upgrade the chip for a while.
DDR3 is the RAM of choice for most systems, but some newer systems, like the ones with the new core I7-6700K use DDR4. These two kinds are not interchangable and have a different number of pins. DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 RAM chips come in different speed ratings measured in MHz. Make sure your motherboard supports the speed in MHz that yuo want to buy your memory in. This can be found in touring a prospective motherboard’s manual online.
Finally, we must look at the expansion slots. If you want to add a graphics card to your system, make sure you have a PCI-E x16 slot on the motherboard. That is the long slot with a clip on the end of it. This will allow you to expand your system in the future.
Choosing a motherboard should be proactive; you should think about how you want to upgrade your system in the future when you purchase a motherboard. Motherboards aren;t extremely cheap and if you can reuse the same motherboard in a future build or upgrade it currently, you can save a lot of money in the long run.
A motherboard must be chosen carefully, to both match all the other components and fit in the case you choose. A little bit of research before you buy will save a lot of hassle later on.