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What to Look for in a Gaming Motherboard?

gaming motherboard guide

Not every motherboard in the market is meant for gaming. And there are some factors that you should always look for when buying a gaming motherboard. Here in this guide, we will list all those important factors that make a motherboard ideal for gamers. A motherboard is the foundation of a gaming PC. So you have to choose a motherboard that supports the current and next-gen hardware as well.

Factors to Consider in a Gaming Motherboard

Here are the most important things to consider before buying a gaming mobo

CPU Compatibility

This is something that newbies don’t pay attention to, at last, they end up buying a CPU that isn’t compatible with their motherboard. Obviously, you cannot fit an Intel processor on an AMD-supported motherboard. So if you have an Intel gaming CPU, make sure you buy a motherboard that supports Intel CPUs only.

CPU compatible

CPU Socket

A motherboard socket contains a number of holes that align with the corresponding pins on a CPU. For example, LGA 1151 motherboard from Intel only supports Intel SkyLake processors only. On this socket type, you cannot install a Core 2 Duo processor. Similarly, in the case of AMD, processors that are meant for socket AM3 cannot work with an AM2 socket motherboard.

socket of a gaming motherboard to install a CPU

Form Factor

Gaming motherboards come in different sizes, and we refer to this as “Form Factor”. So before you buy a gaming motherboard, make sure it sits perfectly in your PC case.

In general, there are three sizes available in the market.

  • ATX
  • Micro-ATX
  • Mini-ITX

A motherboard holds more space in a gaming PC than anything else. ATX motherboards are bigger in size and need more space to fit in a PC case. On other hand, ATX form factor motherboards have enough space to install more than one gaming graphics card, storage devices, and other peripherals. For gamers, the ATX form factor motherboard is an excellent choice to have.

The Mini-ITX form factor mobos are an ideal fit for small PC cases. You cannot install more than one GPU on this kind of motherboard. The Micro-ATX motherboards have no room for expansion and can only be installed in small form factor PC cases.

Form FactorDimensions
ATX305×244 mm

Micro-ATX244×244 mm

Mini-ITX170×170 mm

Memory Support

When you look for a gaming motherboard, make sure you choose a board that has enough DIMM slots. We recommend you to go for a mobo that comes with at least 4 slots to upgrade your ram later on. Moreover, you should stick with a motherboard that supports DDR4 ram. The DDR4 memory modules are much faster in gaming as compared to DDR3 modules.

always opt for a ddr4 compatible gaming mobo

External Ports

The external ports on a motherboard have nothing to do with game performance. However, you can install extra gaming hardware with your PC later on. Modern gaming mobos are all equipped with the necessary slots that you might need in a gaming PC.

external ports on a mobo

Storage Ports

A gaming motherboard is incomplete without adequate storage ports. Make sure you pick a gaming mobo that has enough storage ports for multiple SSD or HDD. Many modern games take more than 100GB of space to install, so it is obvious that even a 1TB SATA hard drive wouldn’t be enough to store more than 10 games at a time.

Storage ports are essential in gaming motheboard

PCI Slots

The importance of PCI slots in a gaming motherboard cannot be ruled out. PCI slots allow you to connect more external cards to your motherboard. For gaming, it is important to have at least one PCI Express x16 slot on your motherboard. If you want to SLI or Cross Fire your GPUs, then you will need more of these slots.

Factors to Consider in a Gaming Motherboard

Also, you can look for other smaller PCI slots for installing a sound card, WiFi adapter, and other peripherals. However, these are some optional features to look for as modern gaming motherboards come with a built-in high-quality sound card, Wi-Fi adapter, Bluetooth, etc

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