When it comes to building custom gaming PCs, some of the most interesting purchase decisions are about processors and graphics cards. Professional users mull over these decisions for weeks, watching benchmark videos, discussing on forums, and comparing every last detail in reviews for a worthy purchase.
But when it comes to choosing the best motherboard, there isn’t a whole lot of thought given to that decision. Most of the users tend to focus on other PC components and just pick whatever motherboard supports their CPU and matches their budget.
However, this is a fine approach – Buying a mobo may become extremely complicated than you think. But don’t worry, because, in this guide, we will going to focus on key aspects of a motherboard that you should consider before purchasing.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Motherboard For Gaming PC
In this guide, we are going to discuss three major approaches to buying a motherboard. The basic level is for general users who just want to put together a gaming PC and would never open it again after building.
The second one is the Intermediate level; it is for those users who are enthusiasts about their hardware and best want the best features at an affordable price.
Moreover, for professional users – we will focus on some crucial and complicated factors that are essential for users looking to get the most out of their latest CPU.
When shopping for the best motherboard, these are some of the most important things you should consider. Making wrong decisions in this category might even prevent your gaming PC from turning ON.
The first and foremost thing that you should consider is which processor you want to pair with your motherboard? And buying a motherboard must be proceeded by the process of choosing a processor.
Currently, there are two major manufacturer’s Intel & AMD. Both brands offer processors ranging from entry-level to ultra-powerful CPUs with several cores that can handle the most demanding tasks quickly & efficiently.
In desktop motherboards, the standard number of memory or RAM slots is four. However, there are also some affordable options that come with only two RAM slots.
We recommend you to invest in four slots if you aren’t on a tight budget. Because this will allows you to use your RAM kit in the motherboard while also preventing an upgrade path further down the line.
Moreover, the RAM compatibility isn’t an issue as modern motherboards support a variety of memory speeds by enabling XMP/DOCP in the BIOS. However, for customer satisfaction – it is always good to visit the motherboard’s official page/website.
Nowadays, the motherboard comes with three different form factors. The form factor allows users to have some flexibility in their PC cases and form factors. Various users prefer compact PC cases that don’t take much space, while some users prefer a full-size motherboard that is equipped with all the essential features & components.
Let’s take a look at different form factors of motherboards;
ATX Form Factor: This is the standard size of the motherboard, which measures around 12×9.6-inches. Motherboards with this form factor have seven expansion slots and four RAM slots. However, some high-performance motherboards also have eight RAM slots.
This is the most common size of the motherboard. And it is slightly expensive due to the increase in demand.
Micro ATX: If you want a smaller gaming PC, then you should go with a Micro ATX motherboard. It measures around 9.6×9.6-inches. It offers most of the functionality similar to ATX motherboards. However, the Micro ATX motherboard little bit cheaper than ATX motherboards. They have four RAM slots, while some cheaper options also have two.
Moreover, these motherboards lack some headers and USB ports.
Mini ITX: This is the smaller type of form factor. It is meant for ultra-compact gaming PC builds if you have less space. It measures around 9.0×7.5-inches. Generally, motherboards with Mini ITX form factor have only one PCIe slot. They have 2 memory slots due to their small size.
Now, we have come up to the intermediate level of our guide. You should try to look at these factors a bit more carefully.
Just imagine, you have purchased a processor that is perfect for your PC. Then, you have identified socket type and found a variety of high-quality chipsets that are compatible with your particular CPU. So, How do you pick the right one?
That’s why we will take AMD Ryzen CPU as an example. AMD’s processors work with the same CPU socket AM4. For chipset, you should check its official selling page or website.
The PCIe Gen4 is one of the most exciting features in modern motherboards. The PCIe Gen4 is an extremely fast PCIe Iteration that is going to be mainstream soon in the market. This utility will allow the motherboard to support ultra-fast PCIe Gen4 SSDs and PCIe Gen4 graphics cards.
However, you need an AMD Ryzen CPU to be installed on a B550 or X570 chipset to get the most out of the PCIe Gen4.
A mobo is just a fancy PCB when all is done. But this doesn’t mean that it should look ugly or unsightly in your system’s case. This is why motherboard maker has made great improvements lately in the aesthetics of their mobos.
Nowadays, motherboards come with color-neutral PCBs like black, while the other elements of the board are colored with red, blue, white, or silver.
Moreover, most motherboard now offers built-in lightning which gives an appealing to eyes look. No doubt, a motherboard has the potential to lift the aesthetics of your gaming rig.
It will be good to consider all the headers you might need in the future. Firstly, if your PC case uses a USB Type-C front-panel USB header, then you should opt for a special header on the board that supports this connection.
However, this might be a bit more expensive for some users.
Advanced or Professional Level:
At this level, users want to get the most out of their system and look for a high-performance yet affordable motherboard.
VRMs Cooling & Power Delivery:
VRM Stands for Voltage Regulating Modules are the power delivery components that provide consistent and stable power to the processor. VRMs utilize the power coming from the power supply of your computer system, then optimize it for the consumption of the CPU.
Actually, these are some of the most crucial electrical components in the motherboard. And these are highly essential when overclocking.
In this section, we will discuss some of the additional features that are nice to have in a motherboard. Additional features include RGB lighting, I/O Shield, BIOS flashback, and a mounted button for booting.
These are some small but beneficial features that can save a lot of time when troubleshooting or installing the motherboard on your own.
Purchasing a motherboard can be a relatively simple process unless you want to maximize your value for money. It is straightforward to pick the cheapest motherboard that runs on any processor. But that mobo will not ideal fit your dream gaming PC.
So, it is essential to research the different motherboard models and determine which features you need for your PC build. In this guide, we tried our best to give all the important information you need to know about the motherboard before making the final purchase.
However, if anyone out there still has any questions, then they can tell us in the comments. Thank You!