Do you have doubts when choosing a motherboard for your PC? This component is the cornerstone of your computer, so you must choose properly. We explain everything you have to take into account to succeed in your purchase.
If we think about what are the most important components of a computer, the motherboard occupies a prominent place among them, since it is an essential part to assemble the equipment. For this reason, you must choose the one that best suits your needs with great attention. To give you a hand in this task we will give you the keys to choose a motherboard for your PC.
The first thing you have to do before deciding on one model or another is to determine what type of computer you need and choose the type of processor you are going to need. Then, after choosing the processor platform that you are going to use, it is time to lay the foundations that will support the rest of the components: the motherboard or motherboard.
If you are not sure what to do, in this article we will guide you about everything you need to know to choose the appropriate motherboard for your PC.
One of the first aspects in which you have to look at when buying a motherboard is the dimensions. There are different sizes, and depending on the type of computer you need, a full size (ATX), medium size (micro ATX) or a small size (mini ITX) form factor will be more appropriate. This decision should also be taken into account when choosing other components such as the case for your PC or RAM.
The ATX format motherboards, having more surface for the integrated circuitry, have a greater number of slots and expansion connectors for the components. For pure physical availability of space, the smaller the size of the motherboard, the fewer connectors and expansion possibilities it will have.
Also, the format of the motherboard will determine the size of the case for your PC and, therefore, may also affect the choice of its cooling systems.
For example, in the case of mini ITX size motherboards, the reduced space available in the boxes suitable for their size, requires the use of low profile cooling solutions, passive dissipation and even hybrid systems.
Choose the right socket
Another of the key points that you should look at when you are going to buy the motherboard for your PC is the socket. This element is the place that the processor occupies on the motherboard, and you must make sure that it is suitable for the chip you have chosen. In turn, the platform socket must also be taken into account when choosing a processor, since it also affects the compatibility of the entire set of components.
Manufacturers use the type of socket to classify their products so that different series of processors from the same manufacturer can share the same socket, although their yields are very different.
As in any commercial product, different manufacturing qualities are depending on the use that is going to be given to the motherboard, and the use of that higher-quality usually also moves to its price.
If the motherboard is to be installed in an office computer with a low level of requirement, you do not need to invest in plates containing high-performance capacitors and circuits.
On the other hand, if your device is going to suffer large workloads, or you are going to overclock your computer (increase the working frequency of the processor to obtain more performance), the motherboard will have to withstand a high level of electrical requirement, for what must have circuits and power phases of the highest quality to ensure the electrical stability of the entire assembly. Otherwise, this overload could damage the motherboard itself or any of the components connected to it.
Do you plan to add a graphics card or two?
Among the usual tasks of your PC will be the execution of the latest games? If the answer is yes, you may have thought about the possibility of installing two (or more) graphics cards to increase the graphic performance of your computer.
When choosing the motherboard you should take this decision into account, since not all motherboards support the simultaneous installation of two or more graphics cards. For this, the manufacturer must expressly indicate that the motherboard is compatible with SLI (for Nvidia cards) or with Crossfire (for ATI graphics cards).
Other interesting features on a motherboard
In addition to the necessary basic features, manufacturers add unique functions and improvements to their motherboard models that set them apart from the rest.
Among these improvements, for example, you will find the integration of the new M.2 connectors that will allow you to install state-of-the-art solid-state (SSD) disks, high-quality sound cards integrated into the motherboard, Overclock systems that allow you to increase the performance of your computer with a single click, recovery of automatic adjustments or protection systems against electrical surges for your computer.