Mega Motherboard Guide: All Common Motherboard Questions Answered

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All Common Motherboard Questions Answered

A computer cannot work without a motherboard. So when there are issues with your motherboard, it must cause you to panic. Know that I understand the stress and panic of furiously searching through the internet for answers to motherboard issues. Along with this, I also understand the confusion and growing unease of not finding the needed answers.

So I have created this masterlist of the most common motherboard questions. Take a look below and find all common motherboard questions answered

All Common Motherboard Questions Answered

Can I Upgrade My CPU Without Changing The Motherboard?

We want to upgrade our old CPU but don’t want to do the same for our motherboard. But before we do that, we need to ask if we can upgrade the CPU without doing any changes in the motherboard.

I will answer that question here:

Is It Possible To Upgrade The CPU Without Upgrading The Motherboard?

In short, yes, it indeed is possible. But there are only some specific situations where you will be able to do this. The first thing you need to check if you are thinking of upgrading just your CPU and not the motherboard is the socket of your processor.

You will need to check if you have a motherboard with a socketed processor. This means that you will have to find out if your processor has been physically soldered onto your motherboard. If it’s not soldered on, you will have to check if your new CPU can be plugged correctly into this processor. If it can, you can unplug the previous processor and put it in the brand new CPU.

However, you need to note that your new CPU has to be fully compatible with your motherboard socket. You don’t need to buy a CPU to test if it’s compatible with the motherboard socket you have. All you need to do is check the specs of the CPU you are planning to buy and look up the socket used in your motherboard.

This will help you determine if your CPU can fit into the motherboard socket that you have. Also, note that every manufacturer does outline the limitations of your motherboard socket. So if the CPU you are planning to buy doesn’t fit into that, you will be able to find that out beforehand.

You Need To Consider the Motherboard BIOS

Along with your motherboard sockets, you also need to keep the BIOS in mind while upgrading your CPU. This is because a vast portion of the CPU needs specialized settings. Also, a code called a microcode chain sequence needs to be executed when you turn on your PC with the new CPU for the first time.

Know that this code is unique for every CPU. But if you want this code to be executed, then your motherboard needs to support the sequence. However, you must be asking- how will you know which CPU code your motherboard will support?

To know that, first of all, you need to check the manufacturer’s site. There you will know what BIOS or microcode sequence gets supported by that motherboard. But, there is another easy way- note that a motherboard will accept the microcode chain sequence for every CPU released during that time frame. However, don’t forget that the CPU still needs to be compatible with the motherboard’s socket.

But, if you are buying a new CPU made after your motherboard was created, it’s possible that it won’t be supported. However, there is no need to get disheartened. Know that motherboard manufacturers do upgrade the BIOS of their board frequently so that it’s compatible with the CPUs that have been newly launched.

 When Can You Not Change The CPU?

Know that there are indeed times when you won’t be able to upgrade your CPU. This will happen if you have a processor that is soldered permanently on your motherboard. Know that this will be the issue you will have to face if you have a miniaturized or low-cost ultra-portable system.

If you have such a machine, then know that you will only be able to upgrade the CPU by replacing your whole motherboard. However, generally, even that is not possible. But this is an issue which you won’t face with your desktop PC. So you can make the needed changes there easily.

How To Check Motherboard Compatibility?

If you want to upgrade your PC without spending a tonne of money, then you might be looking forward to upgrading just your CPU. After all, other components and devices like keyboards, CD-ROMS, etc., haven’t changed a lot in the past few years. However, before you upgrade your CPU, know that it might not be compatible with the motherboard you have or might be planning to get.

So to help you out, here I will tell you about four major areas you need to check before buying a CPU. These are:

Motherboard Physical Socket Compatibility

Know that different kinds of processors connect to different types of physical sockets of a motherboard. Also, older motherboards are often not compatible with newer CPU models. So you need to check if the physical socket can accommodate the CPU before buying it.

Manufacturer Compatibility

You need to check which manufacturer you are buying the CPU from. Know that AMD and Intel are the only two notable manufacturers making CPU chips. These companies make a wide range of CPU chips that come with various capabilities and speeds.

They can run the same OS as well. However, from a hardwarePOV- these are very different and need different motherboards to operate.

RAM Compatibility

Note that CPUs tend to only work with one kind of memory. So, for example: if a CPU is optimized for DDR2 memory, it will only work with DDR2. Now, if you try to use DDR3 memory in this, then it won’t work. This is because different RAMs need different sockets to run, and you can’t change these on the motherboard as the sockets are soldered on.

Chipset Compatibility

Know that a CPU’s chipset must be compatible with the motherboard. After all, this chipset is responsible for transferring information securely between the graphics card/memory and the CPU at the top speed offered by your CPU.

But if the motherboard’s chips that support the CPU can’t support the new CPU’s chipsets, then you won’t be able to make use of the additional speed to get your work done. So it’s vital to ensure chipset compatibility along with the other 3 mentioned above.

How To Make Sure That You Don’t Have To Buy A Motherboard Again?

The motherboard of a system is its heart. So it’s common to wonder how long it will last and when you should replace it. But before thinking about replacement, many people try to determine its longevity. Know that you can expect a motherboard to last anywhere from 5-7 years. You might even be able to use it for 10 years.

But motherboards are often not used for that long. This is because of obsolescence. After all, often before a decade is up, there are new innovations which lead to better motherboards. As such, people end up replacing it. But till a new model comes along, you will obviously want to ensure that your motherboard lasts for as long as possible.

So we will give you some tips to make sure that your motherboard lasts longer.

Tips To Make Sure That You Can Use Your Motherboard Longer

Here are some tips you can use to get the most use out of your motherboard till you can buy an upgraded model:

Lookout For The Short Circuits

Short circuits are common in desktops which have been assembled by amateurs. While it doesn’t happen frequently in laptops, but it can damage those as well. Know that short circuits generally happen because the motherboard, which is responsible for conducting electricity before distributing it to other parts touches a metal. This generally happens in badly fitted PCs.

So make sure to check for loose cables and CPU coolers so that theres no sustaining damage to your board. When assembling your PC, check every small detail, even the screws, before switching the system on. Also, periodically check the CPU to ensure that nothing has come off. Remember that everything inside should be clean and arranged neatly.

Take Precautions Against Surges

Your PCs PSU or power supply unit is connected to the motherboard. So I advise you to invest in a PSU that’s right for your requirements. This is because if your PSU isn’t able to provide adequate power to the parts, then the board will fail. But there’s a more unpredictable problem than this and that’s power surges.

Power surges are common and often most motherboards and PSUs can safely adjust the voltages to carefully accomodate the smaller surges. However, it’s a different case if the surge is huge. In such situations, your board and everything connected can get fried.

Now no one really thinks that there will be a high power surge. So people don’t invest in surge protectors. But it’s more common than you might think. So I advise you to purchase a quality surge protector. It will protect your motherboard adequately.

Take Care Of The Outlets

One of the common reasons for motherboard damage is heat. Know that your computer needs to be kept in a cool room to ensure that there’s external cooling. But often PC’s fail because of internal heating issues. Know that components generate a lot of heat and that heat has to be dissipated. This is why there are heat sinks and fans to get this done.

But if those fans are not doing their job, then there can be a heat buildup which can result in a warped and damaged PC. So you need to regularly clean out the ventilation outlets of your desktop.

With 3 simple steps, you will be able to increase the longevity of your motherboard and PC. But know that if your motherboard fails or gets damaged due to any reason, you should look forward to replacing it with a high quality upgraded board.

Computer Has Shut Off And Won’t Turn Back On

There’s nothing quite as confusing or more fear-inducing than your computer suddenly shutting off and not turning back on. Now, there could be a lot of reasons behind this. Let me tell you the most common ones:

Reasons Why Your Computer Isn’t Turning Back On

PSU Issue

If your computer isn’t powering up at all, then the problem probably lies with the PSU. One of the easiest ways to check if it’s working or not is to disconnect all connected to it and then plugging just a fan in. If the fan turns on, then your PSU is working fine. But if not, then your PSU is the culprit. 

Motherboard Power Connections

If you find that the PSU is providing power, but the PC is still not turning on, it’s time to check all the motherboard connections. You need to make sure that all the connections therein are properly seated. So to check this, you need to first switch on the system and see what response you get.

Know that you will find that some noise and/or something will light up more often than not. If it does, then you can rest assured that your motherboard is getting power. Now, it’s time to move on to the next step- you need to check if some kind of text appears on the screen. If it does, then write it down.

If it doesn’t, then it’s time to focus on the beeps. So note down the beeps you are getting (for example: long and drawn out, short and fast, etc.) Then you can go to the board manufacturer’s site and search what those beeps or the text on the screen meant. But if you can’t find relevant results, then call the customer service of your motherboard manufacturer and tell them about the text you are seeing or the beeps youhave been hearing.

Bad hardware

Know that corrupted or malfunctioned hardware devices can result in your PC shutting off. In such a situation, it’s advised that you open Device Manager and find out the error source before troubleshooting it. You can fix these issues by powering up your PC in safe mode and then solving them.

Know that if you can’t find the issue even after this, then it’s advised that you take your desktop to a computer service center.

Will Replacing A Motherboard Erase Or Affect The Data/Memory?

If you are looking to replace your old motherboard with a new one, then the first thought in your mind will be of your data. So you must be wondering if replacing a motherboard will affect your memory. I am here to give you the answer to that.

Will Your Data And Memory Get Lost If You Replace Your Motherboard?

Note that the answer to this question is- no. Your data won’t get lost or erased if you plan to replace the motherboard of your PC. This is because changing your motherboard does not affect your hard drive or RAM. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution, and so you should create a backup of all the data before changing the board.

Also, sometimes hardware replacement doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. As such, you might need to reinstall the Windows on your system. You will most probably have to reinstall Windows along with the other applications if you are upgrading your motherboard. So, it’s always better to have a backup in case something goes wrong.

But note that if the motherboard getting fried also affected the hard drive, then you should recover the data in it as soon as possible. You can do this by connecting the drive to another PC and transferring the data to it. This will keep all your data safe.

Does Motherboard Matter For Graphics Card?

Are you planning on upgrading your PC and making it suitable for gaming? Then your first thought must be to get a new graphics card. However, since a motherboard is the central hub of a PC, it’s not uncommon to wonder if it actually matters for a graphics card?

Here I will tell you the answer to this question.

Will It Matter What Motherboard I Have To Support My Graphics Card?

The short answer is- not really. Most of the motherboards won’t make any noticeable difference in your gaming performance. So, it’s not necessary to splurge on an expensive motherboard. Going for a mid-range board is most advised.

How To Choose A Motherboard For Gaming Purposes?

Here are the two factors you need to keep in mind while choosing your motherboard for gaming purposes?

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Overclocking

One prominent feature your motherboard needs to have that will help in gaming needs to be overclockable. Know that being overclockable will allow it to give a significant boost to your processor in terms of performance. After all, if you increase the CPU’s overall clock speed, that will lead to faster and high productivity and workload completion.

So, if you are focusing on overclocking,then it’s advised that you opt for higher-end and expensive motherboards. After all, they will have the high-quality features and components required for carrying out intensive tasks.

Longevity

A gaming PC puts a lot of pressure on its motherboard and other components. So you need to ensure that your motherboard lasts as long as possible. As such, you need to buy a motherboard which comes with plenty of warranty. Choose a motherboard where the manufacturer offers at least 2-3 years of warranty.

For example: know that Asus offers a 60-month warranty on its motherboards. So to ensure longevity choose a reputable motherboard manufacturing company.

How To Overclock Your Motherboard For Gaming?

Nowadays, most people want a motherboard that can be overclocked. This is because many want a better PC performance especially while gaming. So here we will tell you how you can overclock your motherboard and CPU. But first, you need to recognize which CPUs and motherboards actually allow for overclocking.

How To Find A Motherboard That Allows Overclocking?

Look For AnOverclockable CPU

Want an overclockable motherboard? Then it needs to be accompanied by a CPU that Supports Overclocking. Now note that an overclockable CPU is made generally by two companies- AMD and Intel.

So if you are buying a CPU from Intel, then look for those which have ‘K’ in the name. Also, you can buy theirsixth-gen CPUs as well. Those are unlocked as well. As for AMD you need to look for the Black Edition as well as the models with Non-Athlonchips.

Look For An Overclockable Motherboard

When it comes to overclockable motherboards, Intel and AMD are the two options you should choose between as well. If you select Intel, then choose those motherboards which come with a ‘z’ in the name.

As for AMD, you should choose either the X orB-series. But know that there are many other AMD models which support overclocking. You will find a list of them on the company’s site.

How Can You Overclock Your PC?

Now that you have an overclock supporting CPU and motherboard, it’s time to overclock your system. Follow the below steps to get it done:

Clean Your System

Overclocking generates a lot of heat so first it’s important that you clean your desktop’s fans and ventilators. This will ensure that the system can cool well. Also, make sure that you keep the system in a cool environment so that there’s less chance of damage.

Get Into BIOS

One of the easiest ways to overclock CPUs is by using BIOS. To do that first you need to download a software that can help you overclock the motherboard and CPU. However, the kind of software you use will depend on the type of CPU and motherboard you have bought. For example, if you are using Intel, then go for XTU or Extreme-TuningUtility. On the other hand, if you are opting for AMD, then go for Ryzen Master.

Know that whatever program you choose will give a very detailed peek into the state of your CPU. So you will be able to know what’s going on in your system and understand it better. Know that when you run the software by selecting the Test option you will be able to see the core temperature of your system.

Note that the test can take up to an hour to complete. Once done, keep in mind that you should only proceed further if the temperature is lower than 80 degrees. If it’s not, then you need to take measures to cool down your system more.

Change Multipliers

After the above steps, head to Advanced Tuning before choosing the Multipliers feature from there. These are CPU ratios that correspond correctly to the CPU speed. For example, x32 multiplier means that there’s a great 3.2GHz turbo frequency. Now increase the multiplier by just one number over all the cores.

Now test if the overclock is stable. To do this, run a Stress Test again. This time it will run for just 10mins. If it goes perfectly well, then bump up your multiplier with just one more number. You need to then run the test again. Keep on doing this till you get a failure result or a computer crash. Once that happens, you need to scale back the multiplier number.

If you are satisfied with the overclock number, then you need to carry out some more stress tests. Also, keep an eye on the core temperature. If everything goes well, then you have successfully overclocked your PC.

So now you will be able to enjoy gaming with your overclocked PC. However, as I said before, you need to keep your PC cool so that it doesn’t get overheated and crash.

How To Connect A LED Strip To Motherboard?

LED strips give your entire PC a flair that will make your system look amazing. But to get that style, you need to learn the process. So I am here to help you with just that.

How Can You Successfully Connect The LED Strips Securely To Your Motherboard?

There are mainly two ways you will be able to connect the LED strips to the motherboard. These are:

RGB Headers

If your motherboard has RGB headers, then your job will be easy since all you have to do is plug the LED strips in it. These are four little pins that are present right near the board’s bottom. But if you don’t have these headers, you will need a different hub or controller, like an excellent manual controller. 

It’s better that you plug in the controller to any of your USB headers present right on the board. This will light up the LED strip, and you will be able to use the controller or software to control it.

MOLEX Connector

Another way is that you can use the LED strip with a Molex connector. For this, you will have to take out the wires and put them into the connector. Always ensure that you are inserting the wires according to the voltage. The connector generally comes with three voltages- 5v, 7v, and 12v.

Note that the 12v wire is yellow, while black is the one for grounding. Now, if your strip is a 2-pin one, then you need to utilize a male connector. After that, you will have to plug that into the female connector (Molex) straight from the power supply. This should solve the issue, and your motherboard should light up.

Motherboard Ethernet Not Working

The motherboard’s ethernet not working is a common phenomenon and not something to get overly tensed about. But you will still obviously want to know the solution toit.So I am here to tell you how you can fix that.

How To Fix Broken Motherboard Ethernet?

Here’s how you can fix your motherboard’s ethernet and make it work again:

1. Plug Your Ethernet Cable Correctly Into Another Port

Try plugging your cable into a separate port of the router. If this solves the issue, then you need to look into replacing or repairing the router. But if this doesn’t yield results, then you can try again after changing your ethernet cables.

2. Fix The OS

If nothing is working, you need to figure out if your operating system is at fault. First, you need to check the operating system and, for that, set up your Live-Linux disk. Then boot up from thereon. If even this doesn’t work, then it’s time to look into the hardware.

3. Update The Drivers

Now it’s time to check if you have bad drivers in your system. Most commonly, such ethernet issues occur if you have outdated drivers. So, update them to the new version available. Now, if your ethernet isn’t working, then you might not be able to download it to the PC where the issue has shown up. In this case, use another desktop to download new drivers and then transfer them to the affected PC using a USB drive or external storage device.

Since these 3 are the most common solutions for ethernet issues, they should solve your problem if you try them out.

Motherboards are one of the essential components of a computer. If your motherboard gets damaged or fails to work, then your computer will shut down. It’s as simple as that. So if you are experiencing motherboard failures of the sort listed above, you don’t need to worry anymore. Just follow the instructions written above and get all common motherboard questions answered. However, if the problem isn’t getting solved even with these instructions, I would advise you to contact a computer service center.

About the Author Michael E. Yates

Hi! The words you are going to read comes from me! A geek passionately and a writer of 5+ years professionally. If you ask about my likings, well, I love to tag along with upcoming technology trends. Though I also have contributed to many more technology sites through my writings. If you ask about my dreams, then one of them is finding an instant solution for every device malfunction, so I am creating a blog post. A blog post that will help more people like me. I, introduce thepcstuff.com the result of my hard work and patience. Do not worry, with me and my team behind the computers will make sure every vital information related to technology reaches all of you people. So, if you are ready to go on an adventurous ride with thepcstuff.com and me, let's get started!

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