How to choose a perfect motherboard according to your requirement

by Abhijeet Kumar

The Motherboard is the main component of PC, Mobiles, Tablets or Laptops. But in a computer the Motherboard is just a Printed Circuit Board which holds all the major components such as RAM Slots, CPU Slot, BIOS, SATA, IDE Slots, PCI Slots etc. Motherboard acts as the main platform for communication between all other components of PC.

Before choosing a correct motherboard for your PC one should have an exact requirement of PC. Its form factor dictates the size of your computer, and the chipset / CPU socket define what kind of processor you can install. If anyone having a Full size ATX cabinet then ATX, micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboard could be used. Other size requirements are mentioned below with type of the motherboard.

Smaller boards will have fewer slots and features. Motherboards come in three main sizes, from largest to smallest: ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX (Mini is smaller than Micro). You can use a smaller chassis with the micro or mini boards, but you'll have to settle for fewer PCIe slots, RAM banks and other connectors.

Pay for built-in Wi-Fi, high-end ports only if you need them. Don't spend extra for wireless if you are using a wired connection. You can futureproof your PC by getting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and / or Thunderbolt 3 support.

Get the right motherboard socket for your CPU. You can find great CPUs from either Intel or AMD, but whatever CPU you buy, make sure that your board has the correct socket to support it. The latest mainstream AMD chips use AM4 sockets while current Intel 9th Gen Core CPUs require LGA 1151v2 sockets. if you’re buying an Intel 8th Generation Core processor, you’ll need a board with an LGA 1151 socket, older boards designed for 7th Generation chips use the same socket, but won’t work with newer chips. The best way to be sure of which CPUs will work is to check your motherboard's specs. There are four main areas of compatibility.

Manufacturer Compatibility

There are two manufacturers of CPU chips for computers - Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). For a typical business user, there is no difference between the two manufacturer's chips: both offer a broad range of CPUs with varying speeds and capabilities and both can run the same operating systems. The two chips are completely incompatible from a hardware perspective, though require different motherboards.

Physical Socket Compatibility

Even within the same company, different processors connect to different physical sockets. If your motherboard has an Intel LGA1366 socket, it's impossible to use a newer model Core i7 chip that requires an LGA2011 socket. The older 1366-pin socket physically cannot accommodate the new 2011-pin chip. While some AMD sockets are compatible with multiple chips, others are not.

Memory Compatibility

Different processors require different types of memory. Older computers typically use Double Data Rate 2 memory, while DDR3 is more popular in newer computers. CPUs are typically optimized to work with one type of memory or the other, and you cannot mix them on a motherboard since they require completely different sockets. Furthermore, even within the same family, RAM modules typically get faster and your old RAM may not be able to keep up with a new CPU.

Chipset Compatibility

Even if you can find a CPU that makes it over the previous three hurdles, you still might not be able to use it with an older motherboard. As CPUs get faster, the supporting features on the motherboard, controlled by its chipset, also need to speed up. After all, if it can't transfer information between the CPU and the memory or the graphics card at the speed of the new CPU, you won't really benefit from the new CPU's additional speed.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between Intel’s chipset series:

Overclocking support for CPUs with “K” designation
Maximum of 24 PCIe lanes
Up to six USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports
No overclocking support
Maximum of 20 PCIe lanes
Up to four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports
No overclocking support
Maximum of 20 PCIe lanes
USB 3.0 ports only

CPU compatibility with motherboard

Motherboards usually contain at least one processor socket. Sockets vary in order to support different products based on generation, performance, and other factors by changing the pin array. (The name of the socket comes from the pin array: for example, the LGA 1151 socket, compatible with 9th Gen CPUs, has 1,151 pins.) If you have an Intel 10th Generation Core processor, you need to purchase a board with an LGA 1200 socket.
AMD uses the same AM4 socket for all of its mainstream current-gen chips, from Athlons all the way up to 16-core Ryzen 9 parts, although you may run into complications installing newer CPUs on previous-generation motherboards.
(Not all motherboards have a socket, though: in systems with less space, like Intel® NUC and most laptops, the CPU is soldered into the motherboard.)

Different types of Motherboard on the basis of Form Factors

AT Motherboard

It was old style Logic board having AT Form Factor. These boards were available in mid - 80’s. AT motherboard means the board consists of Advanced Technology (AT) power connectors. They have PGA (Pin Grid Array) socket for CPU, SD RAM slots, 20 Pin power connector and expansion slots (PCI and ISA) with keyboard and serial mouse connector. used in earlier 286/386 or 486 computers. Huge in size, the dimensions of this Motherboard (13.8 x 12 inch) make it difficult for additional drives to get installed.

ATX Motherboard

The ATX motherboards started in 90’s. ATX means advance technology eXtended having the ATX Form Factor. They have MPGA CPU socket, Double inline memory module (DIMM) slots for RAM, Expansion slots (PCI, ISA, AGP), SATA and IDE connector with ports and connectors 12 pins and 20 pin power connector. Smaller in comparision to AT boards, dimensions of a full-size standard ATX board are 12 x 9.6 inch.

Micro ATX Motherboard

It is smaller than the ATX Motherboards with the dimension of 9.6 x 9.6 inch. Some manufacture has the dimension of 9.6 x 8.1 inch. Most modern ATX motherboards have a maximum of seven PCI or PCI-Express expansion slots, while microATX boards only have a maximum of four. The mounting points of Micro ATX motherboards are a subset of those used on full-size ATX boards, and the I/O panel is identical. Thus, Micro ATX motherboards can be used in full-size ATX cases. Furthermore, most Micro ATX motherboards generally use the same power connectors as ATX motherboards, thus permitting the use of full-size ATX power supplies with Micro ATX boards. These boards often use the same chipsets (northbridges and southbridges) as full-size ATX boards, allowing them to use many of the same components.

Mini ITX Motherboard

Mini ITX is 6.7 x 6.7 inch in dimension which is smaller than any other conventional Motherboard. The smaller size and fan-less cooling which enables it to low power consumption. These boards can be used in any cases which are designed for ATX, Micro-ATX and other ATX variants if desired.





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