Building a custom PC is a hard thing. There are so many things that you have to keep an eye on. Messing one thing up, and the whole thing falls apart.
One of the main factors of a custom-built PC is the motherboard. To some people, it may sound simple, but there is a lot more to it.
In this detailed guide, we will look at some things that we should check on a motherboard before buying one.
So without any further waste of words, let’s jump straight into it.
You will learn:
The form factor of the motherboard is its shape and size. Now for me, this thing matters the most. There are many form factors in which motherboards and PC cases are categorized. Some of which are “ATX,” “Mini-ATX,” “Micro-ATX,” and so on.
When planning your PC build, ask yourself which form factor are you going to choose? After getting your answer to that question, then plan your build further.
That’s because if unfortunately, you get an ATX PC case and Mini-ATX motherboard. Then they are not going to pair in any way, and it will waste a lot of your time and money. Therefore, you should choose a form factor before buying a motherboard.
After narrowing down your long list of motherboards to more relevant ones, by choosing a form factor, then comes another aspect to look upon on a motherboard, which furthermore narrows down the list, and that is its CPU support. What that means is what processors this motherboard supports and what your chosen processor is.
Motherboards are categorized through many different factors, and one of them is its CPU socket. According to its CPU sockets, motherboards are named “LGA 1151” or “LGA 1055,” and so on. Now “1151” or “1055” are the socket models of a motherboard, and they determine what type of CPUs that motherboard can support.
It’s essential to match your desired processor with the motherboard support list before buying one.
What does DIMM support mean?
It means that of what type or category of RAMs does a motherboard support. DIMM support is one of the most critical factors to look at in a motherboard because RAM is one of the most vital factors that play a role in increasing a computer’s working speed.
Also, check if a motherboard supports RAM overclocking, does it have an XMP ( Extreme Memory Profile). How many slots are present there on the motherboard? Furthermore, check what the maximum amount of RAM a motherboard supports is. It can be up to 64 GB or 128GB.
Your PC needs somewhere to store its data temporarily, and that’s where RAM’s work starts. There are many types of RAMs, and the latest and fastest is DDR4.
Check what kind of RAM your desired motherboard supports and whether it satisfies its cost.
I know it’s pretty obvious, but I have to include it in this list because that’s what matters the most for me. It matters because if you are going to spend more money on the motherboard, then you should also keep in mind that if the motherboard supports GPUs, then you might upgrade to later too.
Most of the GPUs are plugged into a PCI-Express Slot, and most of the latest GPUs are used on a PCI-E x16 mode slot. You’ll have to cross-check whether your motherboard and GPU work well together with any bottleneck.
Also, if you are planning on using more than one graphic card, then also check if the motherboard supports SLI (for Nvidia) or Crossfire (AMD). Also, the PCI-E slots for the required GPU.
Again, cross-check your motherboard and GPU and be sure before buying one.
Then comes the storage support, what storage support means it that, what kind of storage devices, and how many.
There are many types of storage devices, such as HDD (Hard Drive Diskette), SSD (Solid State Drive), and M.2 (Type of SSD). It would be best if you cross-checked how many storage devices you are planning to get and how much this motherboard supports. Because you’ll need space to store your data, and you’ll need an SSD for faster data transfer.
There are many other features that you should check on a motherboard. Such as USB inputs. There are many types of USB input plugs that many motherboards give. They are USB Type C and USB Type-A in the categories of USB 3.1, 3.o, 2.0 models. You should check them according to your needs and budget.
Then check the motherboard’s visual output methods. Several ports are used for Display output. They are VGA, DVI, and HDMI.
Then comes Audio Jacks. If you are not planning to add a Sound Card or Any Amplifier, then it is most vital for you to check if the Audio Jack and the sound performance of a motherboard are good enough to support your needs.
Ethernet input is an essential factor as well. Because it will directly impact your internet speed, check that on the motherboard before buying one.
Main power Connector. Check what pin connector the motherboard uses to connect to a power source, aka Power Supply. The best power supplies use a 24 pin connector.
Summing up all things, I would say that the morale of the story is that building a custom PC is challenging work. And you have to plan everything very carefully.
The motherboard is also one of them; there are few things that we covered that are a must to keep in mind before choosing a motherboard for your build.
I hope this article helps you. Peace!
Featured image credit goes to Athena from Pexels