How to Choose a Motherboard for a PC

If you’re a gamer or just love technology, then chances are you own some of the best gadgets around. From laptops and smartphones, to bits and pieces some people have never heard of.

Maybe you’re thinking of taking it one step further and building a computer yourself – especially if you love gaming. After all, it’ll allow you to have the computer you’ve been searching for but can’t quite find. This is actually becoming quite popular these days, with many pieces of advice on how to build your own gaming PC, and many places like RS Components offering all the bits you could need.

But, one thing that all computers need is a motherboard. The most complex component of any computer, it’s extremely important to get it just right when creating your machine. Below, we list the most important elements to considering when choosing a motherboard for a PC.

The Size

Coming in a wide array of shapes and sizes, ensuring yours is the right size is the first step to getting the right motherboard.

Although there are standard sizes, some manufactures deviate from the norm. This could become a problem is you don’t get a motherboard that’ll fit into the case perfectly – if you’ve bought them separately that is. If you’re worried about getting your sizing wrong, the most common one is Intel’s Advanced Technology Extended (ATX), and its derivatives.

Processor Sockets

The decision you make with your processor socket will have a direct impact on what CPU you can use within the computer. In fact, it’ll be the deciding factor.

Basically, if the processor doesn’t fit, then you can’t use it. Therefore, you’ll need to decide which processor you want, and this will allow you to decide on the socket that you’ll need. So, make sure you know what you want to do with the computer, pick the processor, and the motherboard will be easy to choose.

Chipsets

This is extremely important as the chipsets are what allow you video card, CPU, RAM and peripherals to communicate. A combination of both the north and southbridge, choosing the right one can even add some very nice features – depending on what your needs are.

While the northbridge is responsible for fast communication between the CPU, RAM and video card, the southbridge provides features that’ll support the latest PCI-E, SATA, USB 3, and many more new technologies.

Therefore, it’s essential that you choose the right one, knowing what features you’ll need to harness down the line.

While there are other steps you can take, these all come later, but getting these three components right is key to choosing the perfect motherboard for your computer build.

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