How to Choose the Best Motherboard for a Gaming PC

Sometimes that stock power of a typical PC just isn’t quite enough to get you where you need to go with your gaming.  Want a better gaming PC? Try building your own.  You will need the best motherboard for a gaming PC to get started. The motherboard is the backbone of any PC, and so, your choice will make or break your build. 

Form Factor

Putting it another way, form is an important consideration in your PC build. The common considerations here include ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. Form factor, quite simply, refers to the size and interfaces (ports) available. ATX is the most popular because it offers the best expansion slots – a useful feature as games become ever-demanding. 

Processor Socket

Next in line, the processor socket has a lot to say about the kind of chip you can build into your gaming rig. Make sure the motherboard you end up buying offers support for your CPU model. Processor sockets include PGA, LGA, and BGA. 

Whatever you do, try to avoid BGA processor sockets because these are permanently attached to the motherboard. This limits what you can do with your build in the future. PGA and LGA are recommended. So, before buying a motherboard, stop by your CPU manufacturer’s website to check for compatible sockets. 

RAM (Random Access Memory)

The same theme continues, your motherboard choice also determines not only the number, but also the kind of RAM you can attach to your gaming PC. It all comes down to the number of customizations you would want to make and whether or not the motherboard can support it. 

For modern titles, 16GB of RAM is a sweet spot. Beyond this, 32GB can be considered overkill for gaming (maybe even so for high-intensity tasks such as video editing). Look for the motherboard that offers support for up to four memory slots. That way you can install some modules and spare room for future upgrades. 

PCI Slots

A recurring theme is a room for expansion, which is another perk delivered by Peripheral Component Interconnect. PCI slots have been the standard for expansion in gaming for years. The more the slots, the better. If you can get one full speed PCI express x16 slot, the better, but if you can get more to attach multiple cards, even better. It’s essential to get the motherboard that has the right number of PCI slots for your PC. For example, the best motherboards for Ryzen 9 5900X will not offer the same performances with another processor model.

Features

Motherboards come with a lot of features already built-in. A common feature in motherboards is onboard audio – but this is often crappy. Other features include built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The more features you can get right out of the motherboard, the less amount of expansion cards you will need. 

SATA

Before adding a motherboard to your shopping cart, decide on the number of SATA ports you will need to keep your gaming at its best. SATA (or serial ATA) lets you connect optical and storage drives such as SSD and HDD. The standard here is SATA 6 gigabyte (or SATA 3.0) – it performs well in speed and power management tests. 

Final Word

Feeding your unit quality over quantity is the key component to getting increased power on your rig. A good rule of thumb is that before buying a motherboard, find out every part you would like to add to your PC, and then work your way backwards to the best motherboard for a gaming PC.

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