How to choose a motherboard for Gaming? Motherboards are notoriously confusing workpieces and could be the most difficult component to select when building your computer. The first one is the ATX motherboard. The second one is the MicroATX motherboard, smaller than the ATX motherboard.
The main difference between these two motherboards is that the ATX motherboard has a bigger power supply, while the MicroATX motherboard has a smaller one. If you want to play video games, you should choose an ATX motherboard because it can handle more power.
Choosing a motherboard is not fear; as in the beginner guides, we’ll cut through the complex dialect and break down how to choose a motherboard for your gaming PC build. , also check out the Best Prebuilt Gaming PC under $700 for the best value picks.
How to Choose a Motherboard for Gaming?
How to decide on a motherboard Suppose you’ve never built a PC before. What makes a good motherboard isn’t immediately apparent, and there are a seemingly endless number of different models, many of which are very similar in price and features.
Add in the confusing naming conventions typical in the hardware space and lengthy spec sheets that can easily seem like gibberish to the untrained eye, and it’s easy to get lost in motherboard research.
But the good thing is, it’s usually hard to go too far wrong when choosing a motherboard for a new gaming PC. If you check compatibility, some models are best avoided or aren’t as good a value as other boards in any price range.
So if you do your research, you should know how to choose the best value motherboard for your particular PC, which is possible simply by understanding a few motherboard basics, so let’s get started.
What is a Motherboard or Baseboard?
The Motherboard is the heart and central nervous system of your PC. Your Motherboard (sometimes called a motherboard) is where all the other parts of your computer connect and interface/communicate.
For example, motherboards have a CPU socket where you plug in the CPU, PCIe slots (also called expansion slots) where you plug in add-on cards like video, network, or sound cards, and memory slots (technically DIMM slots) where RAM modules are connected.
Motherboards also contain your system’s ports and other features, such as USB, video output (for integrated graphics), storage connections, and the list. Install any PC component that must be plugged directly into the Motherboard.
Is the Motherboard Important for a Gaming PC?
Do motherboards affect performance? No, motherboards do not directly impact your computer’s performance. However, the importance of a computer component does not depend solely on how it affects the performance of the system or the game.
Motherboards play a crucial role in any PC, and the type you buy will determine your new computer’s overall functionality and reliability, among other things. It is not hard to imagine that it plays a key role.
Your motherboard choice will determine what features you have access to, what parts you can plug in, and how many future upgrades you can make. Other details include how certain fast parts like your RAM can run M.2 SSD and even your graphics card.
Skimping on your motherboard purchase by selecting the cheapest board you can find can come back to bite you later, as it might have missing features that you need for your PC build or a future upgrade.
However, while the Motherboard is important, that doesn’t mean you should spend too much of your overall budget on the Motherboard.
How to Check Motherboard and CPU Compatibility?
Let’s choose a compatible motherboard for your build, starting with CPU and motherboard compatibility Fortunately, to find out if your Motherboard is compatible with your CPU, and you must make sure that your Motherboard’s chipset (such as AMD’s “B450” chipset) uses the same type of socket that your Motherboard uses.
Your CPU (such as the “AM4” socket used by almost all modern AMD CPUs) In this example, the B450 chipset uses socket AM4, so it’s good to know if your CPU is AM4.
To check these things, look at your CPU’s and Motherboard’s product list.
What is the Type of CPU Socket?
CPUs are differentiated by their physical layout/composition and socket type. All CPUs within the same family/series use the same socket type; For example, the AMD Ryzen 3000 series uses socket type AM4 (FYI: so do all previous Ryzen series).
The current Intel socket types are LGA 1151 (for 9th Gen Intel) and the newer LGA 1200 (for 10th Gen Intel). When choosing a motherboard, you should choose one with the same socket type as your CPU.
To do that, look at the Motherboard’s chipset type (which, in layman’s terms, is the motherboard type).
Different chipsets (such as AMD’s B450 or B550 chipsets, for example) support different CPU sockets. If you’re confused, don’t worry, it’s very simple once you see what I mean.
Matching the Socket Type to a Compatible Motherboard
All you have to do is take note of your CPU socket type. So for AMD, the main consumer socket is AM4, which has been used on many different AMD motherboards over the years.
Next, choose a motherboard that supports socket type AM4 (such as B450, B550, or X570, all of which use socket AM4). A motherboard’s supported socket type will always be listed in the specs.
For Intel, the latest 12th Gen ‘Alder Lake’ CPUs use the new LGA 1700 socket, which is only found on Z690 motherboards at the time of writing.
Intel 11th and 10th Gen CPUs use the now older LGA 1200 socket found on the Z490 and Z590 chipsets (and others like the budget-oriented B460 and B560 chipsets ).
Since most people building a new PC overwhelmingly use current or previous generation CPUs, let’s look at the latest compatible chipsets for the latest AMD and Intel CPUs.
Just note that these are not complete lists of ALL supported chipsets, just the latest ones recommended for that particular CPU series.
Compatible Motherboards for AMD RYZEN 5000 (Socket AM4)
1. X570 (for advanced users)
2. B550 (best value)
3. X470 (may require BIOS update)
4. B450 (may require BIOS update)
Compatible Motherboards for AMD RYZEN 3000 (Socket AM4)
Compatible Motherboards for INTEL 12TH GEN (Socket LGA 1700)
Compatible Motherboards for INTEL 11TH GEN (Socket LGA 1200)
Compatible Motherboards for INTEL 10TH GEN (Socket LGA 1200)
How to check Motherboard and RAM Compatibility?
When choosing a motherboard for your gaming computer, you should also ensure that it is compatible with your chosen RAM modules. Check the following to find out if your Motherboard and RAM are compatible.
Motherboard Must support the type of RAM (DDR4 or DDR5)
By this, I mean the general type of RAM. The current standard is DDR4, the previous one was DDR3, and now DDR5 has just been released on select Intel Z690 motherboards for Intel 12th Gen CPUs (AMD should support it in their next motherboard release in 2022). Motherboards will only support one type of RAM (DDR4 or DDR5, never both).
The Motherboard must support RAM speed.
Also, check if your Motherboard supports RAM speed. Buy 3200MHz modules. Check that 3200 MHz is officially stated in the supported RAM speeds on your Motherboard list.
If you see “OC” listed after the speed, it simply means that you need to manually set the speed in the motherboard BIOS (software) to run the module at that speed very easy to do As explained here, you can see the BIOS setup.
RAM should not exceed the Motherboard’s maximum RAM capacity
It’s also good to know the maximum amount of memory your board can support, especially if you’re building an extreme system with a ton of memory or planning to upgrade later.
This shouldn’t be a problem for most builds, as it’s rare to use the upper limits of what a board supports (any decent modern board will support a healthy 32, 64, or 128 GB, etc.).
The Motherboard must have enough RAM slots.
Full-size ATX motherboards will have 4 RAM slots, but Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards may only have 2. If you get a board with only 2 slots, don’t buy 4 RAM modules.
But you always want to get 2 modules and never 1, as with 2 modules installed, your RAM will run in what is called “dual channel” mode, which will slightly increase performance (not much, but it makes a difference).
If you check the above things, you will be good to go 9 times out of 10, But it’s worth mentioning that there are certain cases (if you’re unlucky) where a particular set of RAM won’t be compatible with a certain motherboard, even if all the above specs match.
Why, Unfortunately, it just happens, and that’s why motherboard manufacturers provide what’s called a QVL (Vendor Qualified List) for their motherboards, which lists the RAM modules they’ve officially tested to work with that board.
But the thing is that manufacturers can’t test and list all available RAM models for all their boards, so many modules will still work fine even if they are not QVL listed. Modern hardware is good that way; usually, it just works.
So overall, the DIY community consensus is that it’s safe due to the low potential for compatibility issues regarding Motherboard and RAM (especially if you stick to the more common RAM brands). Ignore the QVL and buy any RAM you want.
Does the Brand of the Motherboard Matter?
When choosing a motherboard, there are only a limited number of manufacturers (brands). To ensure maximum reliability and quality, you want to stick to the 4 big names in the motherboard game: Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock (in no particular order).
Other companies produce some motherboards (such as Biostar and EVGA), but unless you have a good reason and know just what you’re doing, we don’t recommend deviating from the big 4.
But of course, not all specific models are created equal, so just because one of these manufacturers creates a board doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good buy. Always do your research.
As for which motherboard manufacturer is the best among Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, and ASRock, there is no single clear winner that stands out above the rest. As mentioned, it’s about comparing specific models and personal preferences.
Once you start using different boards during your DIY life, don’t just take our word for it and blindly pick the first Motherboard you see.
Always ensure that the particular model you choose has all the features you want, especially if you have additional requirements compared to the average PC user.
People also asked
Do you need a Specific Motherboard to play?
The Motherboard you buy usually won’t affect your gaming performance until you go to higher-end models. Motherboards do not directly influence gaming performance, But it allows your graphics card and processor to perform better (or worse).
It’s somewhat similar to the impact of a solid-state drive on FPS. It doesn’t directly affect frame rate, but it makes your PC more responsive overall, and your games will load much faster.
How much RAM do I need to Play?
16GB is the recommended amount of RAM for playing most games and will provide a noticeable boost in performance from 8GB. You will also be able to run apps in the background without affecting gameplay.
Is DDR5 better than DDR4?
Compared to DDR4, DDR5 RAM has a higher base speed, supports higher capacity DIMMs (also called RAM sticks), and consumes less power for the same performance specs as DDR4. However, DDR4 still has some key advantages, such as lower latency overall and better stability.
Is 32 GB of RAM Excessive?
In most situations, 32 GB of RAM can be excessive, but this is not always true. There are situations where 32GB is a suitable amount. It’s also a good way to future-proof your PC, as the requirements increase over time.
Which GPU is better for Gaming?
1 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 10GB The best graphics card for PC gaming right now, and 2 Geforce RTX 305, 3 Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT The best GPU for Gaming overall.
Is GTX better than RTX?
Nvidia’s RTX series of dedicated graphics cards are far more powerful than the Geforce GTX series. This is due to an architecture change that increased performance and enabled features specific to RTX-series cards.
Can RAM affect FPS?
RAM will affect FPS, and you need at least 16GB to maximize your FPS without spending too much. It’s more than just the amount of RAM that affects FPS. If you want the best performance, you should use two channels on your RAM.
Every component of your PC connects to your Motherboard Motherboards run all the PC functions, and nothing will work without them. Knowing How to decide on a motherboard is important when building a PC or replacing your current Motherboard.
Choosing a motherboard for Gaming depends on what you want to select. Still, you have to remember everything about CPU Compatibility, the Type of CPU Socket, check the Motherboard, and RAM Compatibility. We have mentioned the more practical considerations above.
Read everything carefully and think about finding the best mother to play with. So I hope this article is very helpful for you. If you have any questions, you can ask us; we are here to answer you. Also, could you share your experience with us?