Motherboard

While the CPU performs the role of the brain of your computer, it is the motherboard which interacts with the various components of your PC. Also known as the logic board, the motherboard is the main printed circuit board of your PC and holds the CPU, memory and the other crucial electronic components of the PC. It is said to be the nervous system of your PC and connects the multiple peripherals that form part of your computer system. When you plan to purchase a motherboard, you need to be extremely careful because your PC's performance may depend on it. Read buying guide

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Buying guide

Choosing your Motherboard

 

The form factor


There are different form factors of motherboards, which in simple terms means the size. The important point to note here is that the case of your PC should support the size of the motherboard. If you are planning to buy a motherboard online, the information about the case is mentioned in the details of the motherboard. The standard form factor is ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) and it fits into most large cases. Some of the modern machines also use motherboards with smaller form factors.

The socket type

Identifying the processor is an important element in choosing your motherboard. This is especially true when you plan to upgrade your PC. The processor must match the chipset and socket type of the motherboard. If the 3 are not compatible, the processor will not work and may even get damaged. If you have an AMD processor, you will need a motherboard with an AM2 socket. If you have an Intel processor, you will need a motherboard with a LGA775 socket.

 

The RAM

The more RAM you have in your PC, the better its performance is. Contrary to what many people think, it is not just the processor that determines the speed of your PC. The RAM has a major role to play in it. For most motherboards, the DDR2 RAM is the compatible hardware. But just in case you have an older system, you may want to see if you need to buy a motherboard that supports the DDR RAM. You also need to consider the number of RAM slots available on the motherboard. This will determine how much RAM you can use in your PC.

 

The drive connections

In the older days, the only way you could connect the various drives, HDD and floppy drive and so on, was through a ribbon, known as IDE. Today the hard drives connect through SATA, which is less complex and faster. There is also another type of connector known as RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). While most of the modern motherboards have a combination of IDE and SATA, you will need to shop for a separate motherboard if you want RAID.

 

The expansion slots

When you purchase an ATX motherboard, you may get up to five or six expansion slots. If you want to add multiple components to your motherboard, you need to choose one with more expansion slots. The most common standard is the PCI 2.2 slot. However, the more versatile and faster PCI Express slots are now becoming quite popular.

 

Which motherboard for which use?

For machines that provide high performances, the Z77P-D3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 Motherboard is a serious contender. It supports all the major processors including Intel Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium and Celeron. With four memory slots, 32 GB maximum memory and DDR3 memory standard, this is a highly efficient motherboard. It supports dual channel and also has 2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, 2 PCI Express x1 slots and 2 PCI Slots. It also comes with 3 SATA 3Gb/s and 2 SATA 6Gb/s. It has the ATX form factor.

 

The ASROCK Z97-EXTREME6 is another motherboard worth considering. It boasts of features like XXL Aluminium Alloy Heatsink, ASRock Super Alloy, Premium Alloy Choke that cuts off 70 per cent core loss than one with iron powder choke, NexFET MOSFET, Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM), Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps and Sapphire Black PCB. It supports processors including Intel Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium and Celeron. Other features include 1 PCIe 2.0 x16, 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1 and 1 mini-PCIe. It also supports AMD Quad CrossFireX and NVIDIA Quad SLI. It has Dual LAN: 1 Intel Gigabit LAN and 1 Realtek Gigabit LAN and includes 1 SATA Express, 10 SATA3 and 1 eSATA.

 

The Gigabyte H87M-D3H Socket 1150 mATX Motherboard is a GIGABYTE 8 Series motherboard that supports the latest 4th Generation Intel Core processors. It brings to you superb performance and power savings. It includes a brand new heat sink and offers superior performance through its MOSFETS that are designed to work at high temperatures. It also contains GIGABYTE DualBIOS to protect the most critical components of your PC.

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