The motherboard will also determine the kind of upgrades you can make, just in case you need some more power to handle demanding games. This piece covers a few qualities you need to be looking out for in a gaming motherboard. Let’s count together.
Computer gaming has become a staple hobby over the years for many people. It is always a great way to spend your spare time, and the reasons for this are literally endless. For instance, studies have found that apart from warding off stress and anxiety, some games can help improve mental function. This is especially the games that involve a decent level of strategy and hand-eye coordination.
To get the most out of your gaming experience, you need a powerful laptop or PC setup. This means looking out for high-performance specification features like the GPU, video card, RAM, storage, and processor. Most importantly, you will want to get a decent motherboard – that part of the computer that ensures different components of your rigid work as they should.
1. RAM Slots
Some of the latest games are overly demanding when it comes to random access memory. For instance, a game such as Fortnite won’t run unless you have 8GB RAM or more. However, most motherboards come out of the factory with the minimum amount of RAM, often 2GB to 4GB.
The best motherboards for online gaming will often have two or more extra RAM slots. This way, you can upgrade your RAM up to 16GB or more depending on your gaming needs and the processor type you are using.
The RAM slots are also referred to as the DIMM or dual in-line memory module. When getting a new motherboard, you should also pay attention to the type of slots it is equipped with. While earlier motherboards may have DDR or DDR2 slots, most modern generation motherboards will come with DDR3 or DDR4 slots.
Compatibility is a crucial factor, especially if you already have RAM cards you would like to continue using.
2. Processor Socket
As you might already know, the CPU is your computer’s brain. Motherboards usually come with processor sockets where the CPU is installed. Note that different processors will have different designs. This means that not any processor will fit on just any motherboard.
This is why it is advisable to consider the form factor and processor socket before buying a gaming motherboard. Some of the most common types of processor sockets include AMD, LGA, and BGA. To ensure socket compatibility, it pays to consider the CPU you intend to use before buying a motherboard.
3. Expansion Slots
As computer games keep evolving, their PC performance requirements evolve as well. Many modern video games often require high-end graphics cards, sound cards, and network adapters. This makes it crucial to ensure a motherboard contains a few extra PCI expansion slots before purchasing it.
This way, you can upgrade your computer by adding an advanced graphics card or other essential components for a better gaming experience.
In addition to these, always ensure your motherboard has enough expansion slots to connect all your peripherals and gaming controllers. This way, you won’t include extra costs in purchasing external connectors and adapters.
If you intend to play online gaming, you also want to consider your networking options before choosing a motherboard. While most motherboards will have LAN connectivity at the very least, strive to get one that allows Wi-Fi support.
These motherboards usually have PCI or PCI-E card slots for connecting network adapters. Many options will also allow connectivity through a USB dongle.
5. SATA Ports
Storage is also a critical element in computer gaming. The amount of HDD or SSD storage you have may limit the types and number of games you can install on your machine. Therefore, it pays to get a motherboard with several SATA ports to allow for expansion.
The more ports you have, the more you can install additional drives to enhance performance. These ports will also come in handy if you need to install an optical disc drive.
Just like many other components, SATA ports also come in a wide range of options. SATA 3.0 is an industry-standard, so go ahead and look out for this. Just in case you wondered, SATA stands for serial advanced technology attachment. The ports will determine how many drives and peripherals you can install or attach to your gaming PC.
So how much should you spend on a motherboard? Well, the answer to this question strictly revolves around your specific needs as well as your budget. The prices vary depending on the manufacturer, size, number of slots, and features.
Of course, you can get a motherboard for as little as $50, but this may not really promise an amazing gaming experience. If you are looking for a decent motherboard that supports many of the features mentioned above, it is best to put your budget on the higher side of the scale. This means keeping your budget somewhere in the hundreds.
For instance, the Carbon Z590 MSI MPG could cost as much as $400 online. Nonetheless, your motherboard doest necessarily have to be expensive to assure great performance. Always ensure your board matches the computer components you intend to purchase.
7. A Trusted Brand
Picking a motherboard also requires you to consider the maker’s reputation. You don’t want to spend a lot of money buying a motherboard with multiple exciting features, only to end up with a frozen PC in the middle of your game. In this case, MSI, Asus, Gigabyte, and AsRock are among some of the most trusted brands on the market. Choosing a reputable brand when buying a motherboard can help prevent inconveniences, regrets, and losses for the avid PC gamer.
With a powerful and reliable PC, gaming can be extremely fun. As you consider everything else, it is crucial to pick the right motherboard for your current and future gaming needs. With the above pointers in mind, it becomes easier to pick just the ideal board for a satisfactory gaming experience.