With an endless amount of motherboards available in the market, it is often confusing for anyone to find out – what makes a motherboard good for gaming? Visible most of the motherboards come with the same features under a given price brand. The long spec sheets of these motherboards are confusing and seem to be irrelevant to most of the users.
However, choosing the compatible motherboard is easy with the right set of knowledge. I know that all the boards are not the same, but knowing about their compatibility and a bit of professional knowledge can essentially help.
If you are looking for a reliable motherboard good for gaming, this blog post is a great rescue.
I have compiled a list of factors to consider to choose a mother suitable for gaming and compatible with their PC. So, let’s get started:
What is a Motherboard for a PC?
A motherboard is the heart of your computer. It connects all the other components and provides power to them. You can also connect various expansion cards such as video cards, sound cards, etc.
The motherboard has slots that hold memory modules. These are used to store data in your operating system. The primary purpose is to provide electrical power to different parts of your system.
So, does it help with processors and graphics cards to perform better?
Is a Gaming Motherboard Important for Any Gaming PC?
Most of the components in your PC are connected to or via the motherboard. Hence, a motherboard plays a crucial role in your Gaming system. Although motherboards do not play any influential role in the gaming performance of your PC, it determines the overall functionality of your PC.
The type of motherboard you choose will directly impact the accessible features, type of future upgrades, and parts you can connect to your PC. It also restricts the speed of certain parts such as SSDs, RAM, Graphics cards, etc., and M.2.
Relying on the cheaper motherboards may save you a few bucks on its purchase. But in the longer run, you may miss out on some essential features and future upgrades that you need to upgrade your gaming PC.
While a compatible motherboard plays a crucial role in building a gaming PC, spending on the most expensive one is not always required. There might be some features that you are never going to use, and thus you don’t need to spend extravagantly on the high-end models.
What Should I Consider Before Buying the Best Gaming Motherboards?
You will need to know what type of RAM you want to use before buying a motherboard. It includes DDR3 or DDR4. DDR3 is slower than DDR4 but cheaper.
You will also need to know how many USB ports you require. Some motherboards have more USB ports than others.
If you are looking for a budget motherboard, you should look at Gigabyte B450M DS3H, which comes with an Intel Z390 chipset. This motherboard supports up to 32GB of DDR4-2666MHz memory. You will get 4 DIMMs per channel. There are 6 SATA III connectors on this motherboard.
If you are looking for a high-performance motherboard, you should go for Asus ROG Strix X570-E Gaming which comes with an Intel Z490 chipset. This motherboard supports up to 128GB of DDR4-4000MHz memory. You will have 8 DIMMs per channel, and there are 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots on this motherboard.
If you plan to build a new system, you should consider getting an ATX motherboard. An ATX motherboard is usually larger than an ITX motherboard. It has more space for cooling fans and better audio quality.
How Much Should You Spend On a Motherboard?
Depending on the types of parts you need to connect and what you will do with your PC. The expensive the PC, the expensive shall be the motherboard you will require for your gaming PC. Pairing a high-end CPU with a budgeted Motherboard may seem fine in technical terms. But practically, they will not be able to compliment each other.
At the time of overclocking your CPU, the importance of the motherboard kicks in. A hotter CPU run relies more on the efficiency of the motherboard than the CPU cooler. You don’t need to count on a high-end motherboard for a mid-range system unless you are specifically looking for some advanced features.
For example, considering Ryzen 5 3600 CPU that costs you under $200, you need not buy a motherboard for more than $100 unless you are looking for advanced features like overclocking, PCIe 4.0 support, or some great aesthetics.
For super-powerful Intel i9 9900k, if you invest in a similar motherboard, you may get into compatibility issues. The CPU shall be under unnecessary load, leading to overheating issues, or the system will shut down. The CPU will even lack running at stock speeds due to motherboard throttling.
There are two sockets on a motherboard: PCI Express (PCIe) and AGP. A motherboard with both these sockets will support multiple graphics cards.
There are three types of connectors on a motherboard: CPU socket, Memory slot, and I/O connector. If you plan to upgrade your processor, you should buy a motherboard with a compatible CPU socket.
Motherboard manufacturers make their chipsets. They design the chip and package it into a module. Chipset makers like Realtek, ASMedia, Marvell, Broadcom, NVIDIA, AMD, and VIA are the most popular ones.
Motherboards come with different features. For example, they may include advanced security features such as hardware encryption and authentication.
How to Check the Compatibility Between CPU and Motherboard?
Check out if the chipset on your motherboard has the same socket as your CPU. For example, the Modern AMD CPU uses an AM4 socket compatible with AMD’s B450 chipset of your motherboard.
What is CPU Socket type?
CPU belonging to the specific series follows the same socket type. Say, AM4 socket type is compatible with AMD Ryzen 3000. Hence, always look for the motherboard with the same socket as the CPU in your PC. Comparing the motherboard’s chipset supporting different CPU sockets helps find the right socket.
How to Check the Right Motherboard Size?
Besides being compatible with the CPU, the motherboard size should be suitable to fit into your PC. Check out the case’s specs to find out the right size of the required motherboard. Four sizes of motherboards are available as follows:
Mini ITX – Smallest
The most miniature motherboards on the list are the right fit for some instances only. If you are a first-time builder, I do not recommend considering Mini ITX as it is trickier with the configurations.
Micro ATX – Smaller
Next comes the Micro ATX, which is a perfect choice for building a gaming PC under the budget. You get most of this Micro ATX motherboard with 4 RAM slots. You don’t need the expansion slot as a gaming PC using a 1 PCIe slot. If you don’t have wi-fi onboard on the motherboard and you are seeking a Wi-fi, the expansion count will rise to 2 for accommodating the WiFi card.
ATX – Standard Size
In most of the latest gaming PC built, standard ATX motherboards fit perfectly to total or mid-tower cases. Owing to its size, it comes with a full range of features. It comes with higher expansion slots.
These are meant for the most significant consumer desktops that can be used in powerful quad GPU and dual CPUs. Most of the CPUs compatible with extended ATX are high-end. Due to the enormous extended ATX motherboard size can fit only in the significant cases that explicitly support it.
An excellent gaming motherboard can support overclocking. Overclocking ensures the extended CPU performance when CPU voltage processes faster for quick workload completion and higher productivity. The motherboard is responsible for enabling BIOS so that you can adjust the system bus.
The farthest you can push the capabilities of the CPU, the better shall be the compatibility of the motherboard. Choosing the correct chipset for the CPU to get the best results is essential.
USB Ports and SATA Port
Solid-state drives and hard disk drives are the crucial aspects of any gaming pc build. The best gaming motherboards come with 10 or more USB ports. It should also have sufficient SATA ports to help with the desired drives. All the storage sections you need are related to these SATA ports.
How to check if the RAM is compatible with motherboards?
Compatible RAM modules are another important consideration while choosing the correct motherboard. Check the following configuration to understand if both of them are compatible or not:
Motherboard support DDR4 or DDR5: It is worth noting that motherboards can support only one type of RAM – either DDR4 or DDR5. While the current standard is DDR4, Intel 12th gen CPUs come with DDR5 compatibility. Hence, it is expected that AMD will support the DDR5 on its next launch.
RAM speed support: It is essential that the motherboard can support the RAM speed. If you are buying 3200MHz modules, you must check that it should be officially stated in the motherboard supporting RAM speeds list. You need to set the motherboard BIOS speed manually if you find the ‘OC’ listed after the speed so that the module can run at that speed.
RAM slots in the motherboard: A Mini ITX or Micro ATX comes with 2 RAM slots, while a full-sized ATX comes with 4. There is no point in buying 4 RAm modules when your motherboard has only 2 slots. If you are running the RAM under 2 modules, it also boosts the PC performance.
While in most cases, the motherboards are compatible with the RAM used in the CPU. But this is not always the case, and there are chances that your motherboard and RAM are not a good match despite others.
Motherboard Brand: Does it matter?
With big motherboard brands available in the market, choosing one is overwhelming. ASRock, Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte are the four motherboard brands every PC builder relies on. I do not recommend going with the local brands unless you know their specifications and configurations. Look for the branded motherboard that comes with 4 or more memory slots to install 2 RAM.
Always undertake detailed research before finalizing an efficient motherboard.
Is it Worth Investing in a Gaming Motherboard?
Depending on your budget, you may initiate the action. As discussed earlier, a motherboard is not responsible directly for the performance of your gaming PC. The gaming and non-gaming motherboards are often similar, with variations in aesthetics and overclocking constraints. If you want to play games, you don’t need to invest in an expensive motherboard.
The motherboard is also responsible for performing better for the processor and graphics card.
Does Motherboard Affect FPS?
No! it has no direct influence on the gaming performance of you your PC at all. But it impacts the performance of the processor and graphics card.