Building a Computer Step by Step – Choosing a Motherboard

Hey guys, last week we chose our computer case. This week our goal is to fill that case with components and the first one is the most important because this component is not so easily replaced. Think of choosing a motherboard the same as choosing the brain of your computer when building a new computer.

Key Factors in Choosing a Motherboard

The key factors to consider when choosing your motherboard is the compatibility with the CPU, RAM, Chip sets, and size. Each of these will only have so far they go in the computers lifetime before they reach a cap. If you get an older socket like LGA 1150, there will be a point to where you can no longer upgrade your motherboard. Keep this in mind and always plan for the future.

CPU – Central Processing Unit

Choosing a CPU is like a brain connecting with the heart. The CPU fits into the motherboard and becomes one with it. Once you put a CPU in a motherboard, it becomes difficult to remove it. Make sure you choose the correct motherboard type to go along with your CPU choice. I recommend LGA 1151 because some of the best motherboards have this socket.

Personally, I would not recommend an i3 processor, something more along the lines of an i5 or i7. I don’t want to deviate too far from motherboards and I will go more in-depth to CPU’s later on. Just know that choosing the socket for that CPU is a big deal. Now that you have chosen the CPU of your choice, you can move on to the chip sets.

CHIP SETS – Motherboard Features

Chipsets are the chips inserted into a motherboard that enables certain features to work. An example of a feature is integrated graphics. Basically, your motherboard supplies graphics until you can attain a graphics card if you plan on it.

Your computer’s chipset determines three main things: component compatibility, like the type of RAM and CPU you can put into your motherboard. PCI slots for items such as graphics cards(GPU). Overclocking is also another option you will want to consider when choosing a motherboard. Basically, you are taking a 3.5 GHz processor and pushing it to 4.2 GHz in case you need more power.

Size Matters

Motherboards come in different sizes and you can fit smaller sizes in bigger cases. From mini ATX to EATX, is what we will cover.

The Mini-ATX is good but really tiny. I would not really recommend it for a custom build unless you have a specific reason. That is because the number of PCI slots and RAM is very limited when using this type of motherboard.

An ATX is preferable because they fit the case perfectly and have a good amount of space for expansion. ATX seems to be the most common and middle ground as I feel it contains the perfect amount of expansion slots.

The E-ATX is massive and has a ton of expansion, but my view on that is by the time you use all those slots, it is time for a new motherboard. They also are way more expensive than the other motherboards(obviously) because they have all of that space.

My Motherboard SelectionChoosing a Motherboard

I would choose the following components:

  • CPU socket – LGA 1151
  • Chipset – Intel Z270
  • Form Factor – ATX

Basically an Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero. This motherboard is solid and I would love to have one in the NZXT Phantom 410 case we had chosen last week. I also recommend you start keep tabs with a website like pc part picker to make sure your parts are compatible.

The next step is to buy a GPU, so head on over there and check out our next article in the series.

Please leave comments below for any information I may be missing and let me know!



About Pat 26 Articles
I love to play the drums, build websites, learn tech, and explore! My passion is music and technology. I want to be in the fast lane of life, not the slow lane or the sidewalk.

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