A motherboard is an interface that connects every component in a computer be it a CPU, memory or graphics card and choosing the best motherboard is far more complex than choosing a graphics card. It’s because there are a lot of things going on a motherboard.
In this article, I will mention some basic things you should look for when you are going to purchase a motherboard.
1. Choose the correct form factor motherboard
There are three form factors that are widely used in computers:-
A mini-ITX is the smallest motherboard that doesn’t have more than one PCIx 16 slot. It will only have 2 DIMM slots, 4 SATA ports and 1 or 2 fan headers. This type of motherboard is suited for small Mini-ITX cases and may or may not be used in bigger cases depending upon the compatibility.
Micro-ATX is a bigger motherboard which you can see above. It has more PCI slots, more DIMM slots and perhaps may have more SATA ports and other headers. A perfect case for a micro-ATX motherboard is a Micro-ATX case.
An ATX motherboard is a full form factor motherboard which has the most number of PCI slots, DIMM slots, SATA ports, Fan Headers, USB ports and additional features. Only Mid-Tower cases and full tower cases can support them.
2. Cooling and Overclocking
If you want to overclock your processor which leads to better performance then do some research on which chipsets from Intel and AMD allow it. You will also need to buy unlocked Gaming CPU’s if you use an unlocked overclockable motherboard. Generally, overclockable motherboards are more expensive than the non-overclocking ones and same goes for the CPU’s.
The motherboard which has a heatsink on its VRM section will perform better than the one which doesn’t have or has a poor heatsink. Do not buy a motherboard for overclocking if it doesn’t have a heatsink.
Also, if you don’t want to overclock at all, simply go with lower end chipsets and you will be fine with them.
This one is very important to most of the people. Nobody wants to change his motherboard after 1 year of use. We need motherboards that will at least fulfil our needs for a couple of years. That’s why it’s better to invest a little more when it comes to more SATA ports or fan headers.
With bigger motherboards comes more USB ports, SATA ports and slots. It means you can connect more devices and can upgrade your PC further. This will help you achieve more performance and future proofing without changing your motherboard.
A motherboard which has 4 DIMM slots is recommended because the most frequently updated computer component is the memory and once you buy a particular sized memory, you won’t throw it away to get a bigger one. Instead, you would want to get another stick for another DIMM slot. So, if suppose you have 16gb of two sticks on two DIMM slots and in future, you are in need to upgrade to 24GB or 32GB, you can get two more sticks. But if you don’t have any DIMM slots left, then it will be a problem for you.
I have explained everything in brief and if you want to know what are the best motherboards both from Intel and AMD, then refer to the following guides:-