We know today’s motherboard concept was created in the 1980s by Patty McHugh, an engineer at IBM. Its development has made it possible to significantly simplify how different hardware components interact and improve computers’ design.
Today, a motherboard is an indispensable element in computers, since the rest of the components are connected. So it is also essential that you purchase a compatible motherboard, which offers expansion options should you need it in the future.
The most important
- The motherboard is a fundamental element of computers since the other components of the equipment are connected to it as a microprocessor, the video card, the monitor, the keyboard, among many others.
- When choosing a motherboard, you first need to make sure that it is compatible with the processor you will install. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the manufacturer and the processor model.
- You must be familiar with a motherboard’s characteristics to choose the best one for your computer. Therefore, you must know elements such as the chipset, RAM slots, and connection ports, as these will be some of the Purchase Criteria.
The best motherboard for games
This motherboard is undoubtedly one of the best models available on the market for games. It was released to be compatible with Intel’s 9th generation processors and is already factory cleared for overclocking. Its manufacturer, Aorus, is known in the market for choosing the best components for its products, and therefore this motherboard has high durability.
The most cost-effective motherboard
Asus is an excellent manufacturer, so this motherboard is a great choice. As it has a slightly lower cost, you will find some limitations in its use. However, it is manufactured with highly durable components and has stability for long gaming sessions. This motherboard also has Fan Xpert 2+ software, which can control the system fans for better cooling control.
The best motherboard for everyday use
This motherboard is an excellent option for those who want to purchase a quality product to use daily, whether at work or home. It has solid capacitors and 5.1 channel HD audio. Also, it has enhanced stability to support tasks that require a lot of system capacity.
Shopping Guide: What you should know about the motherboard
If you need to buy a motherboard, it is essential to consider several important questions. After all, there is a wide variety of different models designed for other user profiles. Therefore, in this section, we will clarify the main questions you may have about a motherboard.
What are the reasons for buying a motherboard?
The reasons why you may need to buy a motherboard are mainly three: To replace your computer’s motherboard and improve its performance, to replace it because it is damaged or to build a new computer. Anyway, before choosing a motherboard, you must decide which features are essential to you. If you choose a motherboard with durable components, the investment will likely be higher, which will eventually be worth it, since it is less likely to cause problems.
What are the advantages of buying a motherboard to mount your computer?
It is very advantageous to assemble a computer, as it is usually cheaper than the already made equipment. This allows you to choose which components you want to install on your computer and invest more in those that you consider most important according to your use of it. You can also take advantage of some component on your old computer or buy a used item.
What are the essential elements of a motherboard?
- A motherboard has some essential elements, such as the ATX connector, RAM slots, PCI and PCI Express expansion slots, storage driver connectors, PS / 2 connectors, graphics connectors, CMOS battery, USB ports and, BIOS and chipset, as you can see below: ATX connector: Through it, the main power reaches the motherboard.
- RAM slots: In general, for desktops, there are between two and eight places. In the case of a laptop motherboard, this is usually the only part that includes expansion options.
- PCI and PCI Express expansion slots: Used to add new components to the device, such as video cards or sound cards. PCI slots are not so standard anymore, so finding them is not very easy.
- Storage driver connectors: This is where hard drives, SSD drives, DVD players, recorders, and more are connected.
- PS / 2 connectors: To connect the keyboards and the mouse.
- Graphic connectors: These are used to connect the monitors. You can find them DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and even VGA.
- USB ports: The mouse, printers, pen drives, or external hard drives can be connected to these ports.
- Network ports: Ethernet cables connect to them to provide access to a wired network.
- BIOS ( Basic Input / Output System, in English): It is a chip located on the edges of the motherboard and is responsible for performing various tasks.
- Chipset: It consists of a set of small circuits, responsible for coordinating the data flow.
- Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS ) battery: A lithium battery that provides the power needed to power the BIOS.
What motherboard formats are there?
Currently a motherboard has dozens of different formats and each one was designed for a type of computer. The three most common are: the ATX, the micro ATX and the mini ITX. We have prepared a complete table explaining its main characteristics.
Naturally, the larger the size of the motherboard, the more connectors and expansion possibilities it will have. So pay attention to the table below:
|ATX||Micro ATX||Mini ATX|
|Dimensions||305 x 244 mm||244 x 244 mm||170 x 170 mm|
|Use||Its use is very varied, so it can be used for computer gamers, office or home equipment||Typically used on office computers||They are manufactured for mini PCs, cash registers and any other small equipment|
|Slots||Up to seven expansion slots and four RAM slots||They usually have five expansion slots and up to four RAM slots||Has an expansion slot and two RAM slots|
|Benefits||As they have a larger surface area for integrated circuits, they have a greater number of expansion slots for the components||They are cheaper than ATX||Allow assembly of smaller computers|
Why is it essential that your motherboard allows overclocking?
You may have heard of overclocking. This is a practice that can be performed on the processor, RAM, and video card. What is sought with this technique is to increase the clock speed or the working frequency of a component? What is achieved with this is an increase in its performance and rate. In the case of processors, Intel and AMD already have technology that allows their frequency to be increased automatically. To perform this practice, it is essential that the processor and handheld are unlocked and allow overclocking.
When it comes to purchasing a motherboard, it is essential to consider some Purchase Criteria. To make the selection process more comfortable, we have selected the ones we feel most important below.
- Quality of circuits
- Video card
When choosing the format, you must consider the use you will make of the motherboard and whether you need to expand it in the future. Initially, except for particular services, you should opt for the ATX or micro ATX formats, which are very flexible and offer expansion options.
ATX cards are compatible with almost any PC model. The micro ATX format is ideal if your budget is more limited. To build a computer with liquid cooling, with several video cards, and other advanced components, the XL-ATX and E-ATX formats are the most suitable for you.
Quality of circuits
The quality of manufacture of the board influences both the excellent functioning of the other components of the computer and the useful life of the equipment, hence its importance. In case the equipment is used for basic office tasks, you do not need a motherboard with capacitors and circuits that offer high performance.
If you need to perform heavy tasks with the computer, overclocking will be necessary. In that case, you must choose a motherboard that has high-quality circuitry. Because they have a more advanced system in these cases, the price is also usually higher.
The chipset serves as a controller for the data flow on the board. Also, it determines which components are compatible with the motherboard. There are chipsets compatible with Intel or AMD processors. The following is a list of some of the best of them.
- Intel B360: Chipset without overclocking or RAID support, although it supports SSD drives. Ideal if you want to build an economical computer.
- Intel H370: It cannot also overclock, but it does support RAID and SSD drives. It is used in economical motherboards.
- Intel Z390: Allows overclocking. It is indicated for equipment of last generation games. It is advisable to mount on processors in the K range and RAMs of 4,500 MHz and below.
- Intel X299: Especially suitable for work or for computers that perform demanding tasks.
- AMD A320: Does not allow overclocking or multiple video cards. Designed for the cheapest equipment.
- AMD B450: Accepts overclocking and various graphics cards. It is an incredibly exciting option for computer gamers.
- AMD X470: Designed for the latest gaming equipment. It supports overclocking and multiple video cards.
- AMD X399: The most advanced AMD chipset. Designed for those who want or need potent equipment.
First, you need to make sure that the motherboard you buy is compatible with your video card. Also, if you are considering installing two or more video cards to improve your computer’s performance, especially for playing games, it is essential to ensure that it supports installing more than one video card.
In this case, the manufacturer usually expressly states this. SLI (Scalable Link Interface, in English) is the Multi GPU system for Nvidia graphics cards, while Crossfire is the corresponding system for ATI / AMD graphics cards.
Since the motherboard is the center of a computer’s connections, you must make sure that it offers all the connectivity you want. It is also recommended that you check the number and type of available SATA connectors.
Of course, you should also consider the number and type of USB ports you have, the type of audio and video connectors you have and whether it comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. In the case of USB ports, some of them should be on the front of the card. And, of course, don’t forget the PCI Express ports.
To assemble a computer, the motherboard’s choice is decisive in the configuration of the rest of the equipment. If, on the contrary, what you need is to replace the motherboard, it will have to adapt to the components you already have.
Therefore, to make the right choice, you must consider the shape of the motherboard, the slot, the chipset, the connections, the quality of the circuits, and the type and number of video cards it accepts. Also, the possibility of expansion must also be considered.