Selecting the Best Motherboard

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The Beginner's Guide to Building A PC - Selecting the Best Motherboard


Without a doubt one of the most significant (costly) components used in the building of a new computer system is the motherboard. The motherboard is sometimes an intimidating piece of equipment for people new to computer hardware because of its abstract appearance, importance, price, and the many options available. With the motherboard being the heart and foundation of a new computer system special care should be taken into selecting the best one for you.


Although there is a myriad of motherboards out there you can do yourself a favor by selecting a combination motherboard/CPU. This will cut down on the cost of both the motherboard and the CPU. Next, if you are a beginning PC builder it would be wise to select an ATX motherboard. This is because most of the new cases that are coming out are ATX cases. ATX is a form factor and stands for Advanced Technology Extended and was created by Intel in 1995. If you are using a case or motherboard that is not brand new than there is a chance that the form factor is an AT or Baby AT. The case and motherboard need to be of the same form factor to be compatible.


Something to consider when shopping for motherboards is FSB. FSB stands for Front Side Bus and is a common performance factor. The higher the FSB speed on the motherboard the better the performance. This better performance however means more expensive RAM modules. If money is a concern than FSB speeds can be looked at as a rough guide to cost. The higher the speed the more money compatible components will be.


Do not skimp on the controllers. Motherboards have onboard hard drive controllers. While shopping for a motherboard you will find that the two common controllers are SATA and EIDE controllers. The motherboard info controllers that are available vary broadly in performance. SATA controllers are significantly faster than EIDE controllers. Which controller you purchase will limit you to which hard drive you can obtain. The faster the onboard controllers of the motherboard the faster the hard drive you will need to buy to be compatible. These faster hard drives do cost more but have greater performance.


You can save yourself a lot of time by shopping around for a motherboard that has needed hardware built in. For example, a motherboard that has FireWire and USB capability will allow you to not have to install separate adapters for these technologies in the future. With USB so common for things such as printers, keyboards, pointing devices, and many other accessories and FireWire becoming more prevalent by the day, the decision to purchase a motherboard with multiple functionalities is becoming wiser.


The motherboard that you select can be a great foundation for your computer system or it can be a reason for having to purchase unwanted equipment due to a failure to plan. Which case your situation develops into is entirely up to you. Using Websites like , , and can help you can begin to investigate motherboards that will be best for you. Remember to keep in mind that building a computer is not much different than putting together a puzzle. The pieces have to all fit in cooperation with one another. This principle should be applied to selecting a motherboard by selecting one with your CPU, RAM and case in mind. The motherboard is a component of your system that can change performance and price dramatically so be on the lookout for motherboards that encompass many capabilities to save yourself time and money in the long run.



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