Buy Motherboard: But which one? – Then lay people and professionals must take

In the jungle of motherboards, it is especially for lay almost impossible to find out what motherboard because now is the right thing. We show you, based on a step-by-step plan on how you can automatically find the right motherboard and buy - for amateurs and professionals.


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PC assembling including Motherboard - Manual

Buy Motherboard: you can go wrong

Before you buy a motherboard (motherboard) to assemble about your own PC, you should know what you have to pay attention. Because in the end, the CPU fits at one time not in the motherboard socket, the motherboard is too big or too small, or you have too few connections.

But with the plethora of vendors and motherboard you ask yourself: how can I keep track and find the right motherboard for me? The answer is now.

Chic motherboard, but it is also right for me?

Chic motherboard, but it is also right for me? Source: Amazon / Asus

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  • What is a motherboard for the PC and laptop? In a nutshell

Buy Motherboard: Pay attention to the correct socket, chipset, CPU, form factor and connections

If you want to find the right motherboard, then you work on in this order best the following points. This step by step, the motherboard selection increasingly restricted:

  1. Form Factor: Motherboards come in different sizes (form factor) for small or large PC. For ordinary PCs an ATX motherboard is the right choice.
  2. Base: So that the CPU fits on the motherboard, the motherboard needs to have the correct base (connection) for the CPU. If ye for a base (and thus a CPU) have decided not many motherboards remain. You must now only choose between a motherboard manufacturer and the chipset.
  3. chipset: On the mainboard even the so-called chip set is installed. This determined on the motherboard performance.
  4. Connections: The chipset also determines the connections that you can use your later (USB, DVI, HDMI, network, audio, etc.).

To get clicks on top of each link straight to the correct section with further explanation.

1. Form Factor

Motherboards are available in different sizes:

  • The most common is the slightly elongated ATX form factor (About the size of A4). Usually you will also look for it. The dimensions: 305 mm x 244 mm.
  • There are also the smaller, square Micro-ATX format, which is used mostly in the smaller midi towers. The dimensions: 244 mm x 244 mm.

ATX is the common motherboard form factor PC case.

ATX is the common motherboard form factor PC case.

2. Slot

The processor is decisive for the motherboard choice.

The processor is decisive for the motherboard choice. Source: Intel

Think about now, which want to use their CPU (CPU, AMD) and model - as an Intel Core i3 or i5 but one? The differences in Intel CPUs and which says the name of their performance, learn it here:

  • explains Simple - difference between Intel i3, i5 and i7

The CPU choice is important because it determines what motherboard you need: Not every CPU fits on every mainboard. A CPU will only fit a particular base, the mainboard must have.

Example: Intel's sixth-generation of processors called Skylake and as Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 available. You need a base with 1151 contact points. With the predecessors Broadwell Haswell and there were 1,150 contact points. So they do not fit on a modern motherboard, which is designed for Skylake processors and has 1,151 contact points. turn AMD processor requires a different socket and other motherboards.

3. chipset

Next, one should consider what motherboard chipset you want. It is expressed in online stores usually based on a combination of letters and numbers, like this:

The chipset of the motherboard determined by performance and PC connections.

The chipset of the motherboard determined by performance and PC connections. Source: Amazon

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Which motherboard I have? find out the motherboard!

When buying a motherboard is usually the chipset with specified. This determines the power the motherboard and how many connections for hard drives (SATA), USB devices and PC cards (PCIe) are available. The chipset used is also related to the choice of processor: Intel chipsets only work with Intel processors; the same goes for AMD.

The name of Intel chipsets consists usually of a letter and digits. The letter indicates the main application area, the numbers provide information about the generation. For the base with 1,151 contact points (for Skylake CPUs) there are about the Intel chipsets Z170, Q170 and H170.

Specifications: The Intel chipsets with LGA 1150 for Skylake CPUs.

Specifications: The Intel chipsets with LGA 1150 for Skylake CPUs. Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Z chipsets are interesting more for high-end PCs, as the associated motherboard allows overclocking the CPU and allows multiple graphics cards. In addition, there is usually also the maximum number of USB 3.0 ports. Furthermore, Z chipsets often most PCIe lanes. This means that the data transfer of PCIe cards can be done quickly. Who does not want to overclock his CPU, does not necessarily need a motherboard with Z170 chipset buy, but can also draw a Q version.

The general rule: Who selects a chipset that should pay attention to the available ports or slots. Because today no one wants to have a motherboard that has only two USB ports.

4. connections

If you're looking for a motherboard, such as Amazon, then you can view the ports and connections you in the product images in the technical details. These include:

  • USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports
  • Graphics ports (VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort)
  • Disk and SSD connections (SATA)
  • PCIe slots (for graphics cards and other cards)
  • RAM slots and type (DDR3 or DDR4)

The Asus motherboard Z170 Gaming Pro with labeled connection types. Source: Asus.

The Asus motherboard Z170 Gaming Pro with labeled connection types. Source: Asus.

The Asus motherboard Z170 Pro Gaming example, has the following connections that already be quite plentiful:

  • 1 x USB 3.1
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type C
  • 6 x USB 3.0 (4 backside, 2 internal)
  • 8 x USB 2.0 (2 rear, 6 internal)
  • Each 1 x DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA and DVI
  • 6 x SATA
  • 2 x PCIe 3.0 for the use of two graphics cards
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1
  • 4 x RAM slots for DDR4 memory

Who wants to be future-proof, should pay attention to the support of DDR4 memory, see also difference DDR3, DDR4 and DDR5. Who wants to incorporate many hard drives, needs more SATA connectors. With most importantly, the I / O ports that are available to you on the PC back of the motherboard are.

This motherboard ports are visible after installation on the back of the PC. Source: Asus.

These I / O ports are visible after the motherboard mounting on the back of the PC. Source: Asus.

Since the description on Amazon is often inaccurate here, you can look up the data on the respective manufacturer's website of the mainboard. Now you're done with the research. After purchasing you can install the mainboard.

Conclusion: Buy the right motherboard

  • The form factor is quickly resolved.
  • Think about the wish to use their the CPU.
  • This determines the base and the possible motherboards.
  • Think about then what chipset you want and watch its connections to you.
  • Finished the arbor.

When did you decide on a motherboard and you're not sure, ask the best for the seller locally. If you ordered the motherboard online you have a 14-day return policy, which can apply it, if the motherboard but does not fit.