How To Choose A Best Gaming Motherboard
Want to know how to choose best gaming motherboard for your next gaming PC? if yes, then this article is for you. In the realm of motherboards, especially about gaming computers, its all about streaming data fast, very, very fast. Gaming motherboards, in particular, are usually built for speed, implemented with a balanced layout, and designed for gaming environments. Which is why it is important to understand what you are looking for when selecting a gaming oriented motherboard. In regards to this small bit of info and if you feel enticed to read on, below, in the associated article, emphasize on qualities related to the best gaming motherboards and other relevant information. Being one of the most significant components in a computer, the selection is important for performance-based PCs. We have dedicated this blog only to Review Best CPU and Motherboards, so you can trust our words without having second thoughts.
To begin selecting one of the best gaming motherboards, we have compiled information about motherboard compatibility, including size, CPU relationship, and chipset attributes. These factors will directly impact gaming performance, so consider every aspect and question yourself to fulfill what you will ultimately expect from your gaming motherboard.
Things To Consider For A Gaming Motherboard
CPU Relationship (Processor Interface and Socket)
This is the initial step to choosing the best gaming motherboard for your needs. Just like an expansion aperture or DIMM slot, the processor uses a specific interface to connect to the motherboard, depending on the socket type. When you select a processor, it will be compatible with various motherboards, so it’s up to you to choose a processor that fits in the appropriate socket like Best LGA 1155 CPU. Here are some common sockets used with Intel and AMD based gaming motherboards. If you have not a great budget for your gaming build then you can buy best am3+ socket CPU.
|Intel Gaming CPU Sockets||AMD Gaming CPU Sockets|
|Socket Type||Processor Model||Socket Type||Processor Model|
|Core 2 Duo*
Core 2 Extreme*
Core 2 Quad*
|Socket AM2||Athlon 64
Athlon 64 FX
Athlon 64 X2
|Core i5 (i5-7xx)***
Core i7 (i7-8xx)
|Socket AM2+||Athlon 64
Athlon 64 X2
Phenom II X4*
|Core i7 (i7-9xx)*||Socket
|Athlon II X4*
Athlon II X3*
Phenom II Series:
Phenom II X4*
Phenom II X3*
Phenom II X2*
Chipset Performance – Intel /AMD
The chipset can be best described as the distinct set of circuits or microchips, consisting of the traditional Northbridge and Southbridge, implemented to control specific activities, such as a communication link via the processor or access to the memory modules. About PC gaming, the chipset determines crucial specifications about devices interconnected throughout a properly configured system. Such components include the PCIe lanes (Video Cards), RAM, an assortment of bus interconnects, various ports (USB, FireWire, Modem Connector, etc…), and other onboard components, for example. How is this relevant to PC gaming? These bridges control features and specify a gaming motherboards abilities. These capabilities decide the type of processor or system memory; for example, you can install.
These are examples of common chipsets for Intel-based gaming motherboards.
|Processor Family||Chipset||North Bridge||South Bridge|
|Core i Series:
(No Memory Interface)
|Core i Series:
(Core i3, i5, i7)
|Core 2 Series:
(Core 2 Duo, Quad, Extreme)
|Core 2 Series:
(Core 2 Duo, Quad)
The main function of the chipset is to oversee that data is distributed accordingly. How does a gaming motherboard transport all of this data and information to the appropriate device? By using a system of the bus(es) transporting data by a specific component, which the chipset monitors and maintains. Here are a few examples of internal data paths that impact PC gaming significantly.
Data Bus(es) (Front-Side Bus, QuickPath Interconnect, or PCIe Lanes)
The best gaming motherboards conform to the most recent bus interfaces for connecting expansion cards. PCIe is becoming the new standard and offers the most support for performance-based video and sound cards. The x16 lane slots will be most beneficial for graphics, as they are the largest interface most commonly used. PCIe 2.0 is the active version at the moment, but you will find the 1.0 and 3.0 standard around, which should be considered in your purchase as well. Consider other options such as using the traditional front-side bus compared to Intel’s QPI interface.
Expansion Slots and Peripherals (Video, Sound, or NIC Card & USB or FireWire ports)
Along with the locations of the processor socket and chipset, there are designated areas of a gaming motherboard that are used to house slots for video cards, sound cards, NIC cards, ethernet cards and enough peripherals to account for two systems in some cases. (More on the memory slots below.) These slot standards are usually implemented with the PCIe interface and in some instances the fading AGP or PCI slot(s), which are used to house video card(s) or an advanced sound card. The PCIe slot(s) get the most attention from the graphics setups, especially if a CrossFireX or SLI setup is involved.
Memory Slots (aka) the Primary Memory, Random Access Memory
Selecting and configuring memory for one of the best gaming motherboard depends on a few aspects, such as the facilitated memory interface(s) or memory timings. When you select a motherboard for gaming purposes, you should be aware that the motherboard you choose will decide the type of RAM you can configure, total module and overall combined capacity, desired operating frequency, or channel configuration. RAM can be purchased in the form of modules, which utilize pins, which interconnect via slots located on the motherboard. 240-Pin modules are most common, which have become the standard on the majority of gaming motherboards.
The motherboard “Form Factor,” details the general dimensions of a printed circuit board, which is relevant to the size of case and type of power supply. This also pertains to the organization and placement of designated components, which provides flexibility during the installation and upgrade process of expansion cards, memory modules, etc… For gaming, this is what we recommend.
This is the general form factor for gaming motherboards. It is used by the majority of gaming computers for a few reasons. For example, this format offers less interference when configuring video cards or storage drives by positioning these components in more appropriate areas of the board. By adding more flexibility, this also increases airflow, which provides better cooling methods when your system is under stress. The design factor also helps with future upgrades, such as a new expansion card, processor, or other relational components. The ease of access to these particular parts has improved over various predecessors, which is ideal for ever-changing gaming computers. (Details vary between manufacturer and model)
Other ATX-derived form factors exist that use the same concepts of the original format, though these variants have added benefits for gamers, enthusiasts, and recreational users.
Extended ATX (eATX)
This format is one of the notable selections, especially for the best gaming PCs. Being essentially the same as the standard ATX layout, this format offers mainly larger dimensions. For example, we all know that double-wide video cards are always a hassle, but with a schema using broader aesthetics, its offers even more options when it comes to selecting components. Though with a bigger layout, this also requires a more sophisticated chassis for better placement. (Details vary between manufacturer and model)
Micro ATX (mATX)
This generic model had close roots to the regular ATX format but was designed for small enclosures. The main difference is the actual size, which has a maximum layout close to 11.2 in. x 8.2 in. Compare that to the maximum dimensions of the standard ATX format which rests at 12 in. x 9.6 in. We recommend letting the pros configure these with the best systems, though if you have the expertise, integrate one of these form factors to save some money in the long run. (Details vary between manufacturer and model)
This non-standard, over-sized ATX format specifically benefits the placement of video cards, by allowing ten expansion slots rather than the usual seven slots. This format requires a large full-size tower due to the larger dimensions, the height being the specific cause. The main purpose of the Ultra ATX layout is to prevail over the limitations of double-slot designed video cards by allowing high-end gaming computers to incorporate tandem setups with extra room for expansions. If you stumble upon one of these compositions, don’t hesitate to utilize its resources. (Details vary between manufacturer and model)
As games adapt new technologies for better graphics, so must the hardware requirements on a similar basis. Planning on future upgrades will benefit you indefinitely when its time to upgrade your processor or install a new set of video cards for more robust graphics. The motherboard is the most important regarding allowing expansions and upgrades. Try selecting a gaming motherboard that is well balanced and is equipped with good flexibility options.
BIOS Options – Overclocking
One of those rare occasions, when you may need to manipulate the system BIOS, is when you are considering overclocking your processor. If you decide to alter the BIOS, basically what you will be doing is changing the required voltage to power the processor and bus speeds. This is normal for a gaming PC, which is to squeeze every amount of power out of your rig. You should check the options available when it comes to changing the motherboards BIOs.
The voltage regulator is used to convert power being supplied by the PSU and using it to effectively power components such as the CPU, video cards or chipset. The quality of this component matters is regarded as overclocking. This precise circuit allows a suitable processor to request a higher voltage to run at a more desirable frequency.
Phases – More is better. This helps create a lower operating temperature for thermal generating components.
These are solutions for incorporating a variety of peripherals directly onto a gaming motherboard. Included below are alternate, but sometimes primary methods of configuration to help reduce cost and sizing issues of certain externally connected components.
Integrated Audio (Sound Card)
The sound card is a crucial component for a gaming computer. Whether embedded or external, basic and advanced games can produce high-quality audio. For the average gamer, an integrated standard will suffice. You can still have access to 5.1 surround sound features and a selection of optical audio ports for superior quality sound. You can even benefit from an additional PCIe slot and the potential to more effectively cool additional areas of your gaming motherboard. If you’re specific about what you need, ensure you read and re-read the technical specifications to confirm you are getting what you paid for.
On the other hand, if gaming is a serious passion of yours or some similar stature, then a separate or external card should be used. We are talking high-quality resonant sound. These cards are not that expensive, though they can be, you should usually be familiar with the type and quality of audio output you want. If you would like to read more on sound cards, we have an article coming soon. Check back soon!
Integrated Networking (Network Interface Card)
If you decide that using embedded circuits is the best approach for you, then replacing your NIC card with an integrated solution will work just fine. You should still receive network data in increments of 10/100/100 Mbits, and with an ISP that suits your bandwidth needs, you’re looking at a fast internet connection. This is a suitable replacement we recommend for newer gaming system configurations.
Disk Controllers (SATA Connectors, RAID Setups)
The disk controller acts as a communication device between the HDD or hard “disk drive,” and the processor. The fact this circuit is integrated on the motherboard makes secondary storage drive installation quick and straightforward. The SATA interface controller is most commonly used among gamers, though with faster means of data conveyance, such as SCSI or SAS drives, some extreme gamers/users make use of every last bit of power they can grasp For the average person, this is not necessary, SATA 2 connections are adequate for a typical gaming setup and on the plus side, there is always room for expansion later on.