How to choose a motherboard for your home PC?
Recently, more and more users are assembling PCs according to certain parameters, which allows you to save significantly, and choose the components that best meet the needs of the owner.
For obvious reasons, the question is very relevant – how to choose a motherboard? Let’s start with the fact that it is necessary to buy it last when assembling the computer.
- One of the most common mistakes when using a budget processor and the best motherboard, and, conversely, a chip with an inexpensive motherboard that simply can not withstand heavy loads.
You should know, each of them has its own processor-chipset. The functionality of the product depends on this part, and it is selected taking into account the purpose of the PC.
How to choose a motherboard: table of contents
- With which socket to choose the motherboard;
- Which chipsets are better – Intel or AMD;
- Motherboard Form Factors;
- Internal connectors;
- Mother’s memory slots;
- Video card slot;
- External connectors;
- Tips for choosing a motherboard for your computer;
- Motherboard cooling system;
- Which firmware is better-BIOS or UEFI;
- Optimal configuration;
- Which socket should I choose for the motherboard;
- Which socket should I choose for the motherboard.
Each CPU is connected to the system board using a connector called Socket. It is important that both components have the same socket.
At the same time, they are constantly being upgraded, which is why many new modifications regularly appear on the market. If you do not know how to choose a socket for the motherboard, please note that today there are 2 giants – AMD and Intel.
Intel Processor Sockets:
- Old ones– 2018, 778, 1155, 1156, 488;
- More relevant – 1150, 2011-3;
- he trend is 1151-v2, 2066 and 1151.
If you decide to build a PC from scratch for games with an Intel processor, it is better to choose a motherboard with an LGA 1151 300 series socket.
Sockets of AMD processors:
- Old – FM1, FM2, AM1, AM2, AM3;
- More relevant – FM2+, AM3+;
- Trending TR4, AM4.
Please note, buying a modern Socket, you automatically provide yourself with the opportunity to replace the processor or motherboard in the next 2-3 years with more powerful models.
It should be noted at once that chipsets differ in different parameters. However, when choosing a motherboard for a computer, we only need an assignment.
They are produced by 2 manufacturers-Intel and AMD. If you took the processor first, then the motherboard must be the same company.
- For office – B250/H270, B360/H370;
- For remote control – Q270, Q370;
- PC for games – Z270, Z370;
- Powerful – X99/X299, X370/470.
- Most PCs are equipped with motherboards on the B360/H370 chipsets.
The “H” models have more PCI-E lines than the B segment, which is only important when installing 2 or more graphics cards.
“Q” chipsets support more security features, and are more often used for remote management. Sector X or Z supports overclocking of the CPU.
- For office – A320;
- PC for games – B350;
- Powerful PC – X370;
- Powerful – X399.
The first option does not support CPU overclocking. Chipsets for gaming PCs provide overlocking, and the X370, in addition, also includes more lines for installing two video cards. The last segment is focused on powerful processors connected using the TR4 socket.
What are the sizes? This parameter is called the form factor. There are 3 types:
- How to choose a motherboard? ATX is a full-size version that is designed for desktop PCs, and provides for the installation of an extensive number of slots. Dimensions-305 by 244 mm;
- MicroATX is a smaller type that includes fewer slots. The dimensions are 244 by 244 millimeters;
- Mini-ITX is a small format designed for compact enclosures.
When choosing a 170 by 170 mm motherboard, keep in mind that it will be limited not only in terms of components, but also the cooling system. There are other sizes of matinok, but they are used less often, and they are difficult to find in the free market.
Quite often, users focus on the system boards for the processor and video card, and forget about other equally important parameters. In particular, about the quality and purpose of internal connectors:
SATA – for mounting hard drives, SSD drives, and drives. At the moment, the most universal connector is considered to be SATA 3.
- For convenience, you can put several of these modules in a separate block.; M.2-used for connecting ultra-fast SSDs. When choosing a motherboard, keep in mind that the most popular size is 2280. It is desirable that this connector is designed to work in PCI-E and NVMe mode;
Power supply of the motherboard – all modern models are equipped with a 24-pin connector;
Chip power connector-can be a four-and eight-pin connector. The first one is suitable for weak PCs. The second one prevents voltage drawdowns even when overclocking powerful processors.
How to choose a motherboard – memory slots
As a rule, large form factor motherboards are equipped with four memory slots, and compact models are equipped with 2. When choosing a motherboard, keep in mind that free RAM bays will never hurt if in the future you want to expand the capabilities of a personal computer.
- As for the type of RAM, today the most popular standard is DDR4. Regarding the frequency, the budget options have a maximum of 2400, 2666 MHz. Mid-range models are equipped with RAM with a frequency from 3400 to 3600 MHz.
Note that the cost of memory over 3 thousand MHz is much more expensive, although you will not feel a noticeable increase in efficiency. For obvious reasons, it is not always advisable to overpay for an ultra-high memory frequency.
How to choose a motherboard – video card slot
Expensive motherboard models include PCI-E x16 version 3.0 for installing graphics cards. However, there may be several departments.
- This is necessary to install additional power in games. At the same time, mounting more than one video card is a rare preferred solution, since modern graphics accelerators are quite up to the task.
And the free PCI-E x16 slots can be used to connect other cards – a faster SSD, a sound card, etc. You can also use this connector for a Wi-Fi adapter, TV tuner, and other optional components.
On the back panel of the motherboard there is a different number of external connectors, depending on the class and cost of the model. Consider the most popular ones:
- DisplayPort – used to synchronize a PC with a number of monitors;
- HDMI-installed in modern motherboards that support TV connection;
- Wi-Fi connector-equipped with only a number of expensive models that have a built-in adapter;
- USB 3.0 – used for data storage devices. It is desirable that there are from 3 to 4 units;
- RJ-45-a mandatory connector designed for connecting to the Internet;
- audio output – for acoustics, speakers;
The list is not final. In order not to make a mistake with the choice of the motherboard, try to decide in advance with the entire list of devices that you will operate.
Tips for choosing a motherboard for your computer
You should understand that cheap network cards use inexpensive electronic components, including chokes, weak transistors and the same capacitors. This indicates a short service life. Often, capacitors in budget motherboards fail and have been sleeping for 1.5-2 years.
- For this reason, many experts recommend choosing Intel motherboards that work on the basis of solid-state capacitors.
However, there is still an active struggle between competing companies, and it is safe to say that AMD is worse than that. It is important to consider many parameters.
Motherboard cooling system
The principle is simple. The larger the heatsink on the chipset, the better. So a small form factor is always riskier. At least, if it is paired with a powerful processor.
- Often, due to the lack of free space, manufacturers generally have to install a cooling system on the transistor near the processor department.
In this case, it is clearly worth limiting yourself to a weak chip. As for the number of phases – the number always matches the number of chokes. The larger the processor, the more rectangular parts should be near the radiator.
Which firmware is better-BIOS or UEFI
As for the choice of the motherboard software, here you need to make it clear. The firmware is responsible for managing all functions, and the BIOS copes with this task perfectly. However, most manufacturers have already switched to UEFI. What is the reason?
- In fact, the difference is only in the more modern interface. As for the convenience of the text menu, there is no point in comparing it, because everything depends on the user.
Judging by the reviews of gamers, it is more convenient to manage advanced functions based on UEFI. As for ordinary users, they are probably used to the BIOS, and not so rosy perceive such changes.
So, how to choose a motherboard: optimal configuration
In most cases, the network card is equipped with an operating manual, a disk with the necessary drivers, SATA cables, and a plug for the case.
- When choosing a professional motherboard, try to find out in advance how many cables you will need to buy them immediately.
You can find out the information on the official website of the seller. Some dealers offer to order them immediately. It is worth saying that some brands offer an extended package.
- In particular, ASUS generously equips the Pro version with a variety of slats. But, more often, it negatively affects the price/quality ratio.
Finally, i would like to add that the motherboard can be equipped with an integrated video card, sound card, network card and even Wi-Fi with Bluetooth.
Such add-ons are targeted at the target audience. At the same time, they are very expensive. We hope this will be enough for you to choose a motherboard for your needs. Now, you know how to choose a motherboard, good luck! Read also Best budget motherboard for Ryzen 5. 3600