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Motherboards

The motherboard (also commonly referred to as the mainboard) is an indispensable element of every computer. It plays a vital role in the interconnection of the individual components and has a number of parameters that are critical to the proper operation of the entire system. Which motherboard is right for you is what we will tell you in this article.

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Motherboard – Choosing Socket and Format

When selecting a motherboard, it is important to pay attention to the motherboard socket type, format, and chipset. These parameters are among the most important and ensure the compatibility of the board with the processor, expansion cards and other components.

Motherboard – Socket or Processor Connector

The socket is the connector that connects the motherboard to the processor. In order for a PC motherboard to work with a processor, it must share the same socket type - different ones are not compatible with each other.

Select the processor first, and then the motherboard with the corresponding socket.

Which Motherboard Format to Choose?

Motherboards are available in several formats, which determine the size and equipment of the board. Are you looking for a compact mITX board for an office computer, an ATX board for a gaming machine or a rare eATX board? Look at the differences.

eATX Motherboard – Up to Four Graphics Cards

eATX (Extended ATX) format stands out in particular for its ability to install three or four graphics cards using CrossFireX or SLI technology. You'll need a really big case to accommodate eATX boards. The eATX format will often be a gaming motherboard or designed for the most powerful builds.

Standard ATX Motherboard

ATX motherboard is suitable for very well equipped computers, gaming stations or work machines. It offers a wide range of connectors and the possibility of connecting several graphics cards. The advantage of ATX motherboards is also enough space for individual components and a cooling system.

mATX Motherboard Is Suitable for Less Demanding Users

mATX (Micro ATX) usually allows the connection of one graphics card and only a few expansion cards. The mATX motherboards are compact, affordable and perfectly suited for office or multimedia computers.

mITX Motherboard - Compact in Every Way

mITX (Mini ITX) motherboard doesn't offer much space for expansion cards or cooling, you'll have to make do with one graphics card. This makes it suitable for casual users, office desktops or computers designed for surfing the Internet.

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Consider the motherboard format and size when choosing a PC case.

Chipset – How to Connect the Motherboard

The chipset of the motherboard affects the number of connectors for expansion cards and other peripherals, but also the performance of the board itself and the clocking options. Chipsets (chipsets) vary by manufacturer, with Intel and AMD being the most prominent.

  1. Intel chipsets with H and B will satisfy less demanding users, while the powerful Z or the most powerful X299 chipset will satisfy even the most demanding ones. This motherboard supports Intel processors with the aforementioned chipsets.
  2. AMD chipsets A are for the more basic sets, B are among the powerful ones. Socket X399 is found in the most powerful boards. With these chipsets, the motherboard supports AMD processors.

For example, if your PC motherboard has an AM4 socket, an AMD Ryzen processor is a good choice.

Motherboard and Connectivity – Important Ports, Slots and Connectors

Now that we know which socket, format and chipset of your future motherboard, it's time for connectivity. When choosing a motherboard, it is good to think about possible future component replacement and choose a PC motherboard with a sufficient number of ports and connectors for graphics cards, hard or SSD drives and other peripherals. Below are the most important ports and connectors on the motherboard for PC.

Computer Motherboard – Internal Slots

  • PCI and PCI-Express are used for mounting graphics, Audio and other cards. They differ in data transfer speed.
  • Serial ATA (SATA), M.2 and U.2 are slots for connecting hard drives and high-speed SSD drives.
  • DIMM slots are used to connect RAM modules. A modern computer motherboard usually has at least four slots.

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The PCI-E ×16 slot with the highest throughput (data transfer rate) is most commonly used to accommodate graphics cards. PCI-E ×8/×4 slots are suitable for network cards or disk controllers.

External Motherboard Connectors

The external I/O connectors of the motherboard are usually located on the back panel of the case and are used for bidirectional communication of peripherals with the computer motherboard. The number and type of connectors are dependent on the motherboard options.

Motherboard PC – rear panel

The rear panel usually shows video connectors (DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort), audio connectors and data connectors (USB, RJ-45, eSATA).

How to Choose the Right RAM for Your Motherboard?

When selecting RAM for your motherboard, pay close attention to the memory specifications and compatibility with the computer motherboard. Important parameters are especially the memory type, voltage, and module capacity.

  • Memory type (DDR3, DDR4) refers to the maximum transfer rate and power consumption of RAM. Memory and motherboard specifications must match.
  • Memory capacity is selected according to the maximum supported size of the motherboard.

Motherboard – How to Cool Your Computer?

A motherboard with more fan connectors allows you to cool even powerful computers efficiently. A high-performance or gaming motherboard often offers several connectors for CPU fans, a number of additional fans for the case, plus software for speed control and other settings.

Some boards also support water cooling or high-speed fans. Sensors and multi-pin connectors also enable automatic management of the cooling system performance.

What Else Does the Motherboard Offer?

In addition to a number of crucial parameters, the motherboard also has many optional equipment options. Take a look at the most important and interesting ones.

  • Bluetooth provides wireless connectivity for keyboards, mice, phones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
  • The WiFi baseboard allows wireless connectivity to your home or business network.
  • HW buttons are usually used to reset or load the last functional BIOS settings.
  • The motherboard for PC with clocking software enables safe automatic overclocking.
  • NVIDIA SLi and AMD CrossFire are technologies that allow multiple graphics cards to be connected.
  • The computer's Basic Board with Status Display displays errors and corresponding error codes.
  • The RAID controller offers the ability to connect multiple disks to a disk array for increased speed or reliability.

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Wireless connectivity can also be used for Bluetooth or WiFi USB adapters.

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Motherboards

The motherboard is the cornerstone of every computer. It hosts the processor, memory, graphics cards and other expansion cards, and connects to the optical drives and discs. The basis of any such motherboard foundation is a chipset, which is a group of integrated circuits - chips that control the passage and flow of information across different parts of the computer.

Motherboards are divided into categories determined by the type of processor socket. Therefore, it is necessary that the selected processor is totally compatible. When selecting a particular model more detailed specifications of the motherboard must be taken into account. They should promote an adequate amount of RAM and offer enough slots for the memory modules. Furthermore, it should have modern slots such as PCI-Express x16, PCI Express x1 and PCI expansion cards for connection. For the use of hard drives and optical drives SATA II connectors are required, together with the older SATA and IDE Ultra ATA (for optical drives). To connect external devices they should also have important inputs and outputs. The standard USB 2.0 connectors are suitable are E-SATA or FireWire connectors. Motherboards usually have integrated sound and network cards, and some models have built-in graphics cards, that easily connect to monitors.

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