7 things to consider before getting a Motherboard

A motherboard is one of the most essential parts of a computer system. By definition, it is the main circuit board inside a computer that connects the different parts of a computer together.

Both Macs and Windows PCs have motherboards, but Mac motherboards are generally called “logic boards.” When you hear the term “motherboard,” it’s likely a Windows PC component.

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Just like there is nothing that can’t get damaged, the Motherboard gets damaged as well. There are a couple of things that damaged your system’s Motherboard, among the most common causes of motherboard failure are excess electrical shocks, physical damage, or excess heat. Some of these dangers are inescapable and may vary in likelihood depending on your computer model.

Because it can get damaged, it can also be replaced, but before you get a replacement for your Motherboard, here are the 7 things that must be considered.

1. Cost of the Motherboard

Motherboard prices vary widely by model and manufacturer and can be as little as $50 or less or as much as $1,500. However, the more you spend on a motherboard, the more features you’ll get.

2. CPU

CPU is a critical PC element that interprets and executes your hardware and software commands. If you’re replacing or upgrading a motherboard, you can choose one that works with your existing CPU. But if you’re buying a new CPU or building a PC, you’ll need to select the best processor for your needs.

3. CPU Socket

The CPU socket is another critical factor when deciding what motherboard to buy. A motherboard’s CPU socket type determines what CPUs you can use with the motherboard.

If you’re buying a new CPU replacement or building a new PC, determine what socket it fits after deciding on the CPU you want. For example, an Intel i7 Core i7-9700F processor requires a motherboard with support for the LGA 1151 socket, and an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X needs a motherboard with support for the AM4 socket.

4. Form Factor and Case

Along with the CPU socket, a motherboard’s form factor is one of the most critical elements to select. If you have a computer and need to replace the motherboard due to component failure or upgrade it, select a motherboard with a socket that will fit your existing CPU and fit in your current case unless you want to buy a new CPU and case.

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When choosing a case, aesthetics plays a part, of course, but the more important consideration is the case’s size and the type of motherboard it supports. The types of cases available are ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX cases.

5. Expansion Ports

After the CPU socket and form factor, the next most important factor is how many expansion ports, usually PCle ports, the motherboard has and how many you think you’ll need.

The two most common expansion ports are to look for are PCIe x16 slots, which can accommodate graphics cards, and PCIe x1 slots, used for other expansion cards like adding extra USB ports. If you want to install two video cards, make sure the motherboard has two expansion ports that can accommodate video cards.

6. Built-In Ports

It’s also worth looking at the ports built into the motherboard. Motherboards will include a mix of USB-A, USB-C, HDMI and DisplayPort, audio ports, and even legacy ports like VGA, PS/2, parallel, and serial ports. Motherboards can also include Ethernet ports and other connectivity like built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

7. Random Access Memory (RAM)

It’s also important to look at how many RAM slots the motherboard has and how much total RAM it supports to meet your memory needs. This factor isn’t crucial if your computer will only need to stream media, surf the web, and play basic games. Still, having the option to install more RAM is vital if you do video or photo editing or play resource-intensive games.

There are many other things to look for before getting another Motherboard, but we feel the ones mentioned above are enough to get you the right one.

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