Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Motherboard Dilema!


Chapter 3

The Motherboard.

The motherboard is the core of the machine. Imagine the motherboard like the foundation of a house.

The motherboard is the first item you should acquire, when you start building a computer from scratch. It needs to be compatible with the processor, the RAM, and the graphics card. In reality, the processor, the graphics card, and the RAM, need to be compatible with the motherboard. Confused yet? I will explain.

The motherboard choice is very important. Before you purchase it, you need to ask yourself what processor you are going to choose for your build. This is an easy one, you are either buying Intel or AMD. I wrote all about these in the first chapter.

Let's assume you are going with an Intel CPU, you will need to buy an Intel motherboard. The memory RAM also needs to be compatible with the motherboard. In the motherboard manual, it normally has a section on processor compatibility. If it does not, you will most likely find it online in the manufacture's website. It will also describe what memory modules offer the best compatibility.

Read the manual, it provides valuable information.

For a core i7, i5 or i3, the motherboard socket, or slot where you will fit the processor in, is Socket 1156. There are also some that use Socket 1155, Socket 2011 and Socket LGA 1136. The choice of socket is yours, the prices vary quite a bit. Once you choose the model, Socket and speed of your processor you will then buy a motherboard with that Socket.

The RAM will be DDR3, so, once you read the motherboard manual you will know what to buy. Another thing you will have to consider is the Graphics Card. Most motherboards offer an incorporated graphics solution, this is usually very basic and unless your needs are browsing web pages and writting letters, this will not do the job. If your needs are this basic, you can use the on board graphics and upgrade to a better graphics package at a later stage. For this, you will have to make sure you will purchase a motherboard with on board graphics, some might not have this facility.

There are also many companies that manufacture motherboards. The prices vary from about £50 for the budget ones, to about £400 for the high end models. The companies I would recommend are; Biostar, Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock and Intel. There are others but these, in my opinion, are the best.

So now the trick is to match everything up and you will have the core of a machine. You will still have other things to buy and more choices to make when it comes to the HDD or SSD, the Power Supply, the Optical Drive and other peripherals. These are the most expensive though and here is where you really have to think about what you want to achieve with the system you are building.

I hope these tips and general information helped you, on your quest to build the perfect PC.

Thanks for reading and all the best!

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