How to choose a motherboard


Choosing your motherboard is an important step in building a new computer. The motherboard is the foundation of your PC, so it will have a direct impact on everything from stability and performance to future upgradeability. Here’s how to choose the right one.

1. Define your needs

Let’s begin with the basics: what are you going to use your computer for? If all you’re doing is surfing the internet and checking email, your needs will be much different than if you’re a gamer looking to play high-end 3D games or create a high-resolution videos.

Working through these questions will help inform the rest of your motherboard search, as well as let you know if it’s worth investing in a new graphics card (GPU). The GPU is an important part of gaming computers because it processes game visuals on its own instead of using CPU power. In addition to being able to handle processing demands, GPUs come in different sizes based on performance and power consumption.

2. Decide if you want a standard or advanced motherboard

If you want to get the most out of your new computer and are willing to spend more money on a motherboard, then an advanced model is for you. Advanced motherboards tend to have more features and options than standard models. For example, an advanced motherboard may allow you to tweak the CPU clock speed (also called “overclocking”), which will boost the performance of your computer at a cost of increased power consumption. Advanced motherboards also tend to support multiple graphics cards in SLI or CrossFire configurations, whereas standard models typically cannot do this.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a less expensive option that still has all the basic functionality required by today’s computers—such as SATA ports and USB 3 connections—then consider buying a standard motherboard instead, as these cost less without sacrificing anything important such as overclocking capabilities or dual graphics card compatibility.

3. Consider your processor type and socket

After you decide on the chipset, it’s time to think about which processor is the best fit for your PC. There are a few things to consider when making this decision:

  • The processor type and socket, which can be confusing at first glance.
  • Whether your motherboard supports overclocking (if so, go here instead!)

The processor is known as a CPU (central processing unit). This chip actually contains many components that are designed specifically for math and logic tasks–and they’re extremely fast at it! That’s where its name comes from–“central” because it processes information in an effective way, “processing” because of how quickly it does so. In addition, CPUs contain several other functions that help them get work done efficiently:

  • Cache memory stores frequently accessed data so the CPU doesn’t have to keep looking for it every time; this results in faster performance overall since less searching takes place during execution
  • Branch prediction uses algorithms based on previous operations to figure out what might happen next when executing code; this should lead us into our next topic…

4. Choose a chipset

You’re almost there! The chipset is the main circuit board that connects all the components of a computer. It’s also known as an “integrated circuit” or “system on a chip.” This tiny microchip contains all the essential parts required for your computer to run, including memory and input/output ports.

The chipset is the central processing unit of a motherboard, because it directs how information flows through your machine. Some chipsets are better than others at handling certain tasks like graphics processing or digital audio recording/playback—so when you’re choosing between two motherboards with similar features but different chipsets, check out reviews online to see which one has better performance in these areas.

The chipset will likely be one of your most expensive parts—so make sure it doesn’t contain any bugs before buying!

5. Look at the slots, connectors, ports and interfaces

The motherboard you choose should have the right amount of slots and connectors for your needs. In general, at least one slot is needed for each component that will be installed on the computer. For example, if you’re building a gaming computer and plan on installing four graphics cards, then it’s best to look for a motherboard with four PCI Express x16 slots.

Another consideration is whether or not you need additional ports and interfaces (such as USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s). As games become more hardware-intensive, they’ll require more processing power than ever before—and this means that it’s important now more than ever to make sure your CPU has plenty of processing power to keep up with those demands!

6. Get familiar with BIOS, drivers and overclocking

  • Get familiar with the BIOS. The motherboard’s firmware is called the BIOS (for “Basic Input/Output System”), and it’s usually accessible by pressing a key like F1, F2 or Delete during boot up. The BIOS allows you to configure various settings on your computer, such as date and time, hard drive parameters and boot order. Familiarize yourself with these options so you can make changes if necessary.
  • Install drivers correctly. Drivers are software that helps your system communicate with third-party hardware like printers, external storage drives or graphics cards—and they’re essential for using these devices properly within Windows 10 or macOS Sierra. You can get new drivers from the manufacturer’s website if your computer doesn’t automatically recognize them when they’re plugged in; many manufacturers also offer downloadable refreshes via their websites so that you always have the latest version of each driver installed on your machine without having to do any work yourself


Once you’ve decided on a chipset and socket, the next step is to choose your motherboard. There are many factors to consider, including the CPU that will be used in conjunction with it. In this article, we’ve outlined some of the key things to look out for when making your selection.