Motherboard Essentials

Motherboard is the foremost computer part that you should consider when assembling a PC. It is popularly called the heart of the computer since all components are connected to it. Basically, it relays information from and to all components. So when you assemble a PC, buy the motherboard first.

Buying a motherboard can be easy and convenient since they are already sold at a motherboard online store. All you have to do is list all your motherboard requirements and conveniently shop at a motherboard online store. If you’re unsure of your motherboard requirements, below is a rundown of the usual requirements.

1. Size. A motherboard is available in different sizes. If you are buying a motherboard to replace an old defective one, then be sure that you buy the same size as your old one; your motherboard may not fit inside your existing computer case. But if you are buying a motherboard for a new assembly, then the size factor will depend on the components that you wish to install.

2. Processor Type and Socket. The motherboard socket is where the processor is plugged-in. It used to be that processors such as Intel and AMD were able to share the same socket. But now, after a few years of improving processors, each brand of processor has its own socket type determined by the number of pins on it. Basically, you won’t be able to transfer from one brand of processor to another without replacing the motherboard as well. Even though replacing motherboard can be easy through a motherboard online store, the price tag can always cause a pinch. So if you want to avoid the unnecessary expenses of replacing a non-defective motherboard, carefully choose a processor that will match your CPU needs and use.

3. CPU components. The CPU components that should be specifically considered when buying a motherboard are: hard drive, memory and power supply. Memory cards are continually advancing and as they advance, their sockets advance drastically as well. The DDR for instance, the most commonly used memory card has 184 pins while the newly released DDR-2 has 240 pins. In the memory card market, the older version is usually phased out when a new version is released. So naturally, when your older version of memory card needs replacement, you may also need to replace the motherboard. This can be very frustrating especially if your motherboard does not have any defects. Therefore, to avoid being in this kind of situation, buy a motherboard that is compatible with the recent memory card versions.

The hard drive has more or less a similar story with memory cards. There are two types of hard drives available in the market: ATA and SATA, ATA being the older version and SATA the recent version. Recent versions of motherboards support both types but there are already quite a number that support only SATA. Manufacturers of the latter type may be anticipating an ATA phase out, so you may want to go with their anticipation. But just to be on the safe side, buy a motherboard that supports both HD types.

As CPU components advance, their power supply requirements advance as well. The typical motherboard power supply pins are in 20s and 24s. Moreover, newly launched processors, such as those from Intel and AMD, have separate power supply pins to support their high clock speed. So when you buy a motherboard for a new CPU assembly, consider the power supply requirements of your components.