The processor, graphics card and RAM often make a reasonably clear contribution to the performance of a PC. The motherboard is supportive. It is the body of the PC and the other parts must fit.
Not so long ago almost all software had a set of very specific minimum requirements. You searched for parts that met that set of requirements and then a motherboard that supported all parts. Nowadays things are different. Take any program and almost every motherboard works with components that are fast enough to support the software.
How to Choose a Motherboard for Computer
Present and future
What is the starting point for your new motherboard? Technically, there are a number of issues that you should look out for. But forward-thinking is also important. Do not just think about buying a motherboard for the present but also about buying a motherboard for the future. What requirements do you think you need to have?
Processor (CPU) support
A motherboard normally has a processor-specific socket. This socket determines whether an AMD or Intel processor fits into the motherboard. In addition, it depends on the chipset which specific model processor you can use. That is why it is often best to determine for the processor which you think you need.
Are you going to put together a complete tower or for a compact device? Motherboards are available in three traditional formats: ATX, micro-ATX and mini-ITX. The physical dimensions of the motherboard influence the number of connections. An ATX motherboard usually has around five PCI express and/or PCI slots. A mATX motherboard usually has three slots and a mini-ITX often only one. This also applies to memory slots (ATX: 4, mATX: 2 to 4, mini-ITX: 2) and SATA ports (6 or more for ATX, 4 to 6 for mATX, 2 to 4 for mini-ITX)
The chipset plays a direct role in selecting the processor. The chipset is also important for the type and speed of memory. In addition, the size and number of memory slots determine the total RAM memory you can install. What do you need now and will you need expansion in the future?
Think carefully about the connections you need. Which devices do you use and which connections do they have. Think of USB 3.0, eSATA, Thunderbolt, HDMI or PCI-Express. Sometimes it is possible to expand the connections or to work with external cables to solve the problem. But often it is easier and better to work if your motherboard has the necessary connections on board.
Planning to overclock your processor? Please note that your motherboard offers support for this. The chipset, for example, must allow adjustments to CPU multipliers and voltage.
Some motherboards have functionalities that are not necessary but are useful. These motherboards have, for example, a built-in audio or RAID controller. Does the motherboard have functionalities that you do not need or would rather not use? Usually, you can disable this in the BIOS.