If you are looking to buy a pre-built system or PC, then it is essential to know about its the most recent upgrade and understand its prerequisites. Also, there are several crucial components that can act as its foundation, one such is the ‘motherboard’. This piece in the PC determines a variety of other components as well. In order to complete the build-up, the motherboard is the only piece that you pick up after the CPU.
Understand what a motherboard is?
Motherboard refers to a printed circuit board (PCB) that creates a centralized system, including a variety of fragments to support communication. It also facilitates multiple connectors or components like a central processing unit, system memory, and graphics processing unit, etc. A large number of systems build today like notebooks, smartphones, desktop computers, and tablets predominantly use motherboards in order to keep everything together. But out of all the types, you only get to choose the motherboards used in desktop PCs.
If one takes a closer look at the motherboard then a collection of transistors, circuits, capacitors, connectors, and slots, etc would be visible. The motherboard is an extremely complicated technical product comprising the most essential technical details which are beyond the scope of “how-to”. Let us walk through the important buying guidelines and have an outline of them. There are two essential concerns that you can ask yourself prior to making any purchase-
- If you are certain that there will be no more need to upgrade your system other than its original configuration, then you can go for the motherboard that can offer exact features and facilitate the running.
- However, if you are willing to expand your system configuration in the future then you need to make sure that the motherboard can support your requirements whenever you need them.
How can one purchase a perfect motherboard
Choosing a reliable motherboard is one of the important steps in building your PC. Motherboards are high-end models that can possibly have a variety of features. Let us learn about each one of them carefully-
It is important to get the right socket for your system which can be purchased from either Intel or AMD. Care has to be taken while buying the socket as it should support the given system. Usually, motherboards come in three sizes ranging from the smallest to largest. If you are using a wired connection then there is no need to get a wireless system.
2. Board Size, Chipsets, Ports, and Connecters
The CPU that you are planning to build with the motherboard can narrow down your ways, as the socket on a particular motherboard only works for the chip line it was actually designed for.
The modern motherboards are usually available in the following sizes:
- ATX – It is the standard size and provides space for all the products and slots.
- Micro ATX – It is 2.4 inches shorter and has limited space for expanding the slots.
- Mini ITX- It has room for only one add-in card and space for limited connecters.
It is extremely important to analyze the I/O motherboard and to ensure that it also has an external connection option available. It will also enable you to add ports with the help of the front panel connection on the PC case.
The list of common quotes are mentioned below:
- USB 3/ USB 3.1 Gen 1- This port can work with a variety of peripherals.
- USB 2- It has adequate keyboards and other devices.
- USB 3.1 Gen 2- It delivers the bandwidth of 10 Gbps.
- USB type C- It is specially designed for the latest devices.
- HDMI/ DisplayPort video out- It is recommended for an integrated graphic user.
- Audio ports- This can be used if one is planning to connect the headphone and analog speaker.
- PS/2 ports- It is compatible with the old keyboard and mouse.
- Thunderbolt 3- It offers an instantaneous connection with up to 40 Gbps.
The mainstream motherboards have 4 slots while the compact Mini ITX-l has only 2 slots. The high-end HEDT boards offer 8 slots. The total number of slots can limit the RAM that one has to install.
You should pick a motherboard based on your processor. If you are buying a high-end processor then you need a high-end motherboard. For example, Ryzen 7 3700x is a great processor for that you need a good motherboard. Do check out the best motherboard for ryzen 7 3700x.
- Onboard on/off switch – It is convenient for a PC that is placed in an open case for component testing.
- LED diagnostic readout
- Wi-Fi card – This option can be chosen in the absence of Ethernet around your computer.
- Dual Ethernet Ports – Gigabit Ethernet port has adequate bandwidth for managing internet traffic and is helpful if you are using the system as a server.
It is important to remember that motherboards can cause a disturbance in updating one’s system as onboard labels are hard to observe. It is advised to look for a motherboard along with its USB headers, a fan placed near to the edges, and SATA and USB dead points at the margins located vertically.