In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the best motherboard. We’ll go over what a motherboard is and how it’s different from other components. Then we’ll explain how much they cost, what size motherboard you should get, which form factor works best for your needs, and more.
What is a Motherboard?
A motherboard is the central hub of your computer. It’s what connects all the components together and allows them to communicate with each other. Without a motherboard, your computer won’t work at all!
The motherboard is what makes your computer work. Not only does it hold everything together, but it also controls how those individual parts interact with each other. In this way, the motherboard acts as an electronic traffic director for all the data traveling between various pieces of hardware inside your computer.
A good example of this would be RAM (random-access memory). If you have more RAM than what’s required by whatever program you’re running on any given day, then some extra chips will sit idle in their sockets until they’re needed—and that can waste energy if there isn’t enough power going into them at any given time during operation within an otherwise busy system where every little thing matters when trying not only to keep things running smoothly but also prevent overheating issues too!
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Motherboards come in different sizes
Motherboards come in different sizes. The size of a motherboard is determined by its dimensions, which are the width and length of the component. For example, you can find micro ATX motherboards that have a 9.6″ x 9.6″ footprint (240mm x 240mm).
Smaller components are easier to work with if you’re planning on building your own computer or installing one yourself. Larger components are better suited for professional builders as they allow larger builds and more room for expansion cards and other hardware.
Smaller motherboards have fewer slots for expansion cards, meaning you might have a hard time adding extra features such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi later on down the road if you choose this option initially. However, smaller motherboards also consume less power (which means lower electricity bills), so there’s another tradeoff to consider when choosing between smaller or larger motherboards!
You’ll need at least one storage drive before installing an operating system onto it; these devices can be made up of hard drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs). HDDs usually cost less than SSDs but take longer to access files stored within them due to their mechanical nature—they spin around really fast when reading or writing data instead of using electrical signals as SSDs do—and may not hold as much information at once; while SSDs cost more upfront but access files faster because they don’t use mechanical parts inside their storage units as HDDs do.”
How Much Do They Cost?
Motherboards can range from $40 to $400, but generally speaking, the more you spend the better features and performance you get. For example, best motherboard from a mainstream manufacturer such as Asus or MSI will cost around $80–$120, while high-end boards from manufacturers like EVGA and Gigabyte can cost over $200.
If you’re building a gaming rig or doing some heavy-duty video editing then it’s worth paying for a more expensive board—but if your computer is just going to be used for browsing the internet and writing emails then there’s no need to spend more than necessary. The best motherboard is one that fits within your budget while offering sufficient features that meet your needs.
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What Size Motherboard Should I Get?
How big of the best motherboard do you need? If all you want to do is build a barebones computer, the answer is “as small as possible.” But if you want to add lots of peripherals or upgrade components later on, then the answer is more complicated.
To figure out what size motherboard will work best for your build and budget, first identify your CPU socket type (the slot where the CPU plugs in). Then, look at which form factors are compatible with that socket type.
A form factor refers to how large or small the motherboard is (ATX vs Micro-ATX). Most motherboards come in three common sizes: Standard ATX (12″ x 9″), Extended ATX (12″ x 13″), and Micro-ATX (7.75″ x 7″).
You need to know your CPU’s socket type
You need to know your CPU’s socket type. A motherboard with a socket type incompatible with your CPU won’t be able to process information properly. To find out what socket type your CPU uses, consult the manufacturer’s technical specifications for the chip or look for an icon on its packaging (it will usually appear next to a number).
Then, find the compatible best motherboard by searching online or using an app like PC Part Picker that can automatically tell you which components are compatible with each other. If you’re uncertain about whether or not a particular RAM module works with your motherboard, consult its documentation or contact customer service directly and ask them if it will work in combination with the board in question.
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What Motherboard Form Factor Do I Need?
Motherboards come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
- ATX (ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX): This form factor is the most common best motherboard used in desktop PCs. It’s available in three sizes: full size (12 by 9 inches), micro size (9 by 9 inches), and mini size (7 by 7 inches). You can also opt for an extended ATX motherboard which has room for extra ports on the back panel behind the CPU socket.
- EATX: Extended ATX motherboards are more spacious than standard ones while still being smaller than server-grade best motherboards such as CSE-E300-203B that cost thousands of dollars but offer more expandability options like integrated RAID controllers and support up to 32 slots total—16 PCIe slots with four every x16 or x8 lanes plus four legacy PCI slots that run at 33MHz only!
Chipsets and Slots
In a nutshell, the chipset is what sets apart one motherboard from another. It determines many of the features, such as RAM slots, CPU compatibility, and expansion slots. For example, if you have an Intel Core i7-9700K processor and want to buy an Asus ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming motherboard with support for 8 GB of RAM and two PCIe x16 slots, you can do so knowing that it will work perfectly with your CPU because both support the same LGA1151 socket (and therefore all Intel’s Coffee Lake chips).
The number of onboard ports on each motherboard impacts how many external devices can be connected simultaneously – like USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports which allow data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps or Ethernet connections via RJ-45 jacks at 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).
If your PC has seven Thunderbolt 3 ports and three more USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectors then only six devices will be able to connect at any given time: four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports plus two Thunderbolt 3 ports equals six total connections!
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The chipset will narrow down your motherboard options
The chipset is a computer chip that connects the CPU to other components. The chipset can be different components and work in different ways, but they all have the same basic functions. A chipset is made by a company like AMD or Intel and then sold to motherboard manufacturers.
The best motherboard manufacturer will decide what features they want to be integrated into their boards’ chipsets, such as USB 2.0 support, onboard graphics processors (GPUs), etc., and customize them accordingly—but they won’t change the basic architecture of how the chipset works.
The chipset isn’t always interchangeable between motherboards from different manufacturers; sometimes manufacturers use their own custom chipsets that are designed to work specifically with their motherboards.
In these cases, if you were building your own PC using parts from another manufacturer’s line of products and wanted to use your old motherboard in it instead of buying another one made by them specifically for this purpose (or vice versa), then your system wouldn’t work properly because neither of those two pieces would actually fit together properly according to its intended specifications since they weren’t designed from scratch together like an OEM system would’ve been created had originally purchased everything at once instead of mixing things up later down the path when upgrading parts needed replacing due wear & tear over time–so don’t do this unless absolutely necessary (i..e..if necessary) due lack available options otherwise!
RAM and Storage
As you may have guessed from the name, RAM (or “memory”) is used to run programs and store data. It’s volatile though, meaning that it loses its data when your computer is turned off. If you’ve ever had to start over because of a power outage or other emergency situation, then you know how important RAM can be.
RAM comes in different sizes: 1GB, 2GB… 8GB or 16GB are typical amounts of system memory on modern computers; 4GB is considered by many experts as the bare minimum amount of memory for most average users today. Some computers with more advanced specifications will come with 32 GB or 64 GB of RAM built right in!
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CPU Socket Support
The CPU socket is the physical interface between the CPU and the motherboard. It determines the form factor of your motherboard, and it determines what type of processor you can use on that board.
It’s important to understand that there are different types of CPU sockets, which means there are different types of processors that can be used with them. This is important because not all processors will fit all motherboards.
For example: if you have an AMD processor and want to install it into a Socket AM4 motherboard (AMD’s newest socket), then it will not work unless you have an adapter or special hardware to make it work.
Ports and Connectivity
Ports and Connectivity
A motherboard’s ports and connectors are arguably the most important thing to consider when shopping for your next PC. A lot of factors come into play when selecting the right ones, including:
- How many USB ports do you need? If you’re planning on using a keyboard and mouse, or even just one or two USB devices at once, then four may be enough. If you have large storage drives or multiple external monitors that require USB connections, however, it may be worth looking for boards with six or more ports.
- Do DisplayPort connectors matter? DisplayPorts are necessary if you want to connect a monitor via an HDMI cable. For instance, if your monitor has only DisplayPort inputs but no HDMI inputs (or vice versa), then there’s no way around connecting it with a wire—which is annoying!
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Check the supported memory type and maximum capacity
As you may know, the motherboard is one of the most important components of your computer. It connects all other parts of the machine together, and compatible parts will determine whether your computer can run at its full potential.
In particular, you should check what kind of memory (RAM) your motherboard supports. This is one way that manufacturers can differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market: by offering more RAM capacity than their competitors do. But as with any component in a computer system, there are some things to keep in mind before making this decision:
- RAM is volatile storage; storage isn’t volatile like RAM is because it’s designed to stay put even when power isn’t running through it (the opposite of volatile). So if there’s no power running through something like an SSD or HDD, then it won’t be able to store information for very long without losing access entirely!
Pay attention to expansion slots
The motherboard is the main computer component that connects all other PC parts together. It’s an essential part of a computer, but there are many different types to choose from and it can be difficult to know which one best suits your needs.
The first thing you’ll want to look at when choosing best motherboard is its expansion slots—this determines how many components you can add later on down the line (like graphics cards). The second thing is memory; this tells you how much RAM your computer can support at once.
The third is USB ports: these allow users to connect devices like keyboards, mice, and printers directly into their machine without needing additional cables or hubs. Finally, SATA ports determine how many hard drives or solid-state drives are supported by each system; they’re typically used by SSDs because these require much less power than mechanical HDDs do in order for them to operate properly (and thus don’t require any extra power connections).
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Onboard ports are important for expansion cards and other components
Onboard ports are important for expansion cards and other components. Check the motherboard to see if it has the ports you need, such as USB and HDMI. A motherboard with a lot of onboard ports is best for those who have lots of devices.
Someone who doesn’t use many peripherals will be happy with a board with fewer ports, but they should make sure their computer has at least one full-size PCI slot for future expansion.
If you have a lot of devices, look for the best motherboards that have USB 3.0 connections and support both AMD CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA SLI® technology (dual graphics card setups).
If you only use one monitor, check that your chosen board supports HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) so that Netflix video streaming works on PCs connected via HDMI or DisplayPort connections
The motherboard is the foundation of your computer, and it’s important that you choose one that meets your needs. A good and best motherboard will have all the right features so that it can be upgraded and last for years to come, while a bad one could cause problems when you upgrade later on down the road. However, choosing the best motherboard doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what kind of components you want in your system from the beginning!