When people build a PC, the first thing they think about is the CPU. If anyone is building a gaming computer, then they will think about the GPU. But the motherboard is rarely the first, second, or even third component that’s considered about. So most people generally choose the cheapest possible motherboard that supports their CPU. But is that the right decision? In my opinion- not really. You need to think carefully before buying a motherboard. So now you might ask- How Much Should I Spend on a Motherboard?
The main reason you should prioritize the motherboard is that it supports the processor. Along with this, know that the motherboard is responsible for distributing power efficiently to the other components. Of course, there is also the fact that all the components connect to it. So it is the central hub that connects all.
As such, you need to give more thought to its purchase by considering all the factors that determine its price.
Here are the factors which determine a motherboard’s price:
You need to look at the connectivity features of a motherboard before buying one. This means that you need to check the M.2 slots, fan connectors, USB ports, SATA ports, etc. Thankfully, you will generally find this information in the product pages of a motherboard. So, you don’t need to count them physically.
Another thing which you should check is the Wi-Fi feature. Know that some motherboards offer this feature, so it’s advised that you check before buying. Now, note that the lesser the support for connectivity, the cheaper your board will be. But keep in mind that if you cheapen out on connectivity support now, it might be a problem for you down the line.
The first thing to consider is the RAM slots. After all, RAM determines how fast and efficiently your PC will run. Now, generally, most motherboards have 4 RAM slots. But if you want a cheaper board, then you will get 2 RAM slots.
When it comes to RAM slots, I advise that you don’t cheap out on them. Know that it’s always better to buy a motherboard that comes with a full four slots. This is because it will give you the option to add more and upgrade later on if needed.
As far as RAM compatibility goes, that shouldn’t be much of an issue. Know that most motherboards nowadays can support a wide variety of RAM speeds. But it’s better to check the motherboard’s product page to ensure that it supports the memory speed you want.
Since technology is rapidly changing and developing, so it’s essential to buy a motherboard that will last you for some time. After all, you surely wouldn’t want to buy another one just a few months or even a year after getting one. As such, you need to buy a motherboard with a flexible upgrade path.
Know that there are boards that support a couple of CPU generations. These are cheap ones and are suited more for temporary usage. But if you are planning on using your motherboard long-term, then look for one which comes with a more compatible and flexible motherboard. Such boards are going to be more expensive as well.
VRMs are known as Voltage Regulating Modules. These are the components that deliver the power to the CPU. This component is essential to the stability and cleanliness of the CPU. After all, it is the VRM that ensures that the CPU will continue performing efficiently under extra-stressful conditions as well.
These components make use of the incoming power supply by optimizing it for the CPU. As you might have guessed, this component is essential if you want to overclock your CPU. If you plan on overclocking your CPU, you will need to buy a robust and powerful motherboard with VRM.
After all, overclocking needs an increase as well as clean delivery in power. Know that a powerful VRM will also allow you to get higher frequencies but at lower voltages. So obviously, when it comes to VRMs, higher is the thing to aim for. But also, you need to keep in mind the temperature. The component should be able to stay cool at high temperatures.
Here too, the more influential the VRM, the more expensive it will be.
The price of your motherboard depends on the components you want with it. If you are building a gaming PC, then having a motherboard that comes with a custom-cooled VRM and a high upgrade path will be ideal. Of course, having more peripherals like fan support would be great too. Now, all this will rake up the price as well. Expect to pay anywhere from $500-$700 for these features.
But if you are building a PC for regular use, then there’s just no use in splurging on an expensive board. After all, if all you want is higher RAM and some USB slots, then going for a lower to mid-range motherboard will be enough. As such, the price will be determined by your purpose for buying the motherboard and what components you want in it.
Buying a motherboard is pretty straightforward. Instead of fretting about the whole board, get to know about the components you want in it. Once you decide on that, it will be easy to figure out your ideal motherboard.
READ MORE: What CPU Is Compatible With My Motherboard?
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