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          • Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
          • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

          Question What makes a good motherboard?

          MMohammed

          Assistant Community Manager
          Staff member
          Sep 3, 2019
          88
          1
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          Whether you're thinking about buying your first one or springing for an upgrade, shopping for a motherboard can be strenuous. For some of us, it's a research-intensive process and requires a lot of consideration.

          Am I planning on regularly overclocking? Which slots - and how many of them - do I need my mobo to have? Then there's form factor to consider, and the list goes on.

          How about you? What qualities do you look for in a quality motherboard?
           

          jrg9206

          Junior Member
          Nov 18, 2020
          2
          0
          6
          A good motherboard is based on a computer system design, so you must keep in mind what might be the purpose of the motherboard such as Graphic/CAD/CAM, Gaming, Audio/Video Editing, Networking, and Virtualization. Also, be aware of the motherboard form factor will be part of a Thin Client, a Standard Thick Client, a Home Server, an Industrial Computer, or a Mobile Computer.
           

          UsandThem

          Elite Member
          Super Moderator
          May 4, 2000
          13,863
          4,472
          146
          A good motherboard is based on a computer system design, so you must keep in mind what might be the purpose of the motherboard such as Graphic/CAD/CAM, Gaming, Audio/Video Editing, Networking, and Virtualization.
          What makes a particular motherboard work better in things like gaming or video editing?
           

          jrg9206

          Junior Member
          Nov 18, 2020
          2
          0
          6
          What makes a particular motherboard work better in things like gaming or video editing?
          Basically, the differences lay in the capacity among hardware, such as: for Gaming the motherboard needs to support powerful multicore processor(s), High-end video cards (with maximum video RAM and specialized GPU), High-definition sound card, and speakers, High-end system cooling, an SSD, large amount of RAM, Large display or dual displays, quality mouse, optional gaming console, Headphone with microphone, Optional 3D glasses (if supported by the video card and monitor); and for Audio/Video Editing the motherboard needs to support specialized video card with maximum video RAM and GPU, specialized audio (sound) card and speakers, very fast and large-capacity hard drive, Dual monitors, powerful multicore processor(s), a large amount of system RAM, Quality mouse, and possible digital tablet or scanner.

          If you noticed, gamers frequently build their own systems, but some computer manufacturers make gaming PCs, so gaming computers are a unique type of PC. However, an Audio/Video Editing workstation is used to manipulate sounds (shorten, add, overlay, and so on) or video, so this type of system requires a lot of hard drive space and RAM.






           

          GrumpyMan

          Diamond Member
          May 14, 2001
          5,569
          94
          91
          Lights, lots of RGB.....j/k....determine what the computer will be mainly used for and go on from there as far as what you will be needing: wifi, processors/ram, what kind of storage will be needed, gpu needed, etc. etc....reviews read all the reviews you can when you narrow it down to 2 or 3 mobos within your price range. The components used on the mobos, like the quality of the capacitors used for example, from the manufacturer are important to me because I want durability for years.
           

          aigomorla

          Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
          Super Moderator
          Sep 28, 2005
          18,328
          1,031
          126
          Basically, the differences lay in the capacity among hardware, such as: for Gaming the motherboard needs to support powerful multicore processor(s), High-end video cards (with maximum video RAM and specialized GPU), High-definition sound card, and speakers, High-end system cooling, an SSD, large amount of RAM, Large display or dual displays, quality mouse, optional gaming console, Headphone with microphone, Optional 3D glasses (if supported by the video card and monitor); and for Audio/Video Editing the motherboard needs to support specialized video card with maximum video RAM and GPU, specialized audio (sound) card and speakers, very fast and large-capacity hard drive, Dual monitors, powerful multicore processor(s), a large amount of system RAM, Quality mouse, and possible digital tablet or scanner.

          If you noticed, gamers frequently build their own systems, but some computer manufacturers make gaming PCs, so gaming computers are a unique type of PC. However, an Audio/Video Editing workstation is used to manipulate sounds (shorten, add, overlay, and so on) or video, so this type of system requires a lot of hard drive space and RAM.
          uhh... simple answer no...

          There is no such thing as a good motherboard.
          Its either you have too much junk which is worthless and gets replaced with aftermarket.
          Or its you got overcharged because it was classed in "Gamer" which isn't really a gamer, but something like a ugly girl with lots and lots of makeup to make it look expensive.

          You first got "Overclocking" tier... which has all the digital mosfets, extra mosfets, so many more mosfets that the board designers needed to play tetris to fit onto the board, and has cold stability to handle negative degree temps for LN2 pots.
          "Gamer" is a market tag which represents almost nothing but RGB.
          Its worse then "Enthusiast Tier" which IMO is a bastardization of "Enterprise" tier. Basically the two can be overswapped, Enthusiast tier is basically a dressed up enterprise tier with a bit more embellished cooling because they do not expect the boards to be sitting under 5000rpm industrial enterprise fans in a air conditioned server room.

          So to answer the OP's question.... there is really no such thing as a good motherboard.
          Its either a pretty RGB out lets overcharge the public because its used by Esports and has a "Gamer" tag.
          Or its a overclocking extreme board to get high overclocks and use specialized components which 99% of us wont use because it wont be sitting under a Liquid Nitrogen Sink, but lets charge them anyway tier.
          And finally you got your enthusiast tier, which is where most of the content creators, CAD, and all the other stuff not related to a corporation related IT falls under.
          And finally you got your enterprise gear, where all the expensive stuff unimaginable goes under and also where price tags can quickly escalate 10x the market price of consumer gear.
           
          Last edited:

          ElFenix

          Elite Member
          Super Moderator
          Mar 20, 2000
          101,143
          4,921
          126
          the last two motherboards i've bought have been definitely not enough (cheap asus matx - could use another ethernet port and another x16 slot or second nvme, maybe wifi as well) and probably too much (taichi which i'm not using to its full potential). so i guess, one that costs enough but not too much.
           

          MalVeauX

          Senior member
          Dec 19, 2008
          494
          85
          91
          Too broad to answer.

          The funny thing about a MB is that they all will work and do the job for literally every purpose, so they're all "good enough" in that respect. From there, it's about purpose utilization and building.

          Another funny thing is that in the pre-made market world, it's all about advertising what CPU or GPU is involved and rarely ever talks about the actual MB.

          For me, a good MB would be one that has no frill and whistles with "onboard crap." I don't want the "HD" audio junk. I don't want their cheap LAN components. I certainly don't want some built in WiFi junk either. I want good components and thermal handling with a lot of expansion capability. Minimalist so that you can purpose build. This doesn't exist.

          Very best,
           

          Leeea

          Senior member
          Apr 3, 2020
          260
          250
          96
          For me, a good MB would be one that has no frill and whistles with "onboard crap." I don't want the "HD" audio junk. I don't want their cheap LAN components. I certainly don't want some built in WiFi junk either. I want good components and thermal handling with a lot of expansion capability. Minimalist so that you can purpose build. This doesn't exist.
          It does exist! You just need a 286!
          https://www.ebay.com/itm/153254257146?mkevt=1&mkcid=28&chn=ps

          I am so glad that died. The day mainboard manufacturers realized that putting onboard audio on was cheaper then putting another ISA slot on was wonderful. Same with serial ports, networking, IDE controllers, USB ports, WiFi, onboard video, SATA controllers, and especially bluetooth.

          If you really hate it all that much, you can always go into the BIOS options and turn them off.
           
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          BurnItDwn

          Lifer
          Oct 10, 1999
          25,431
          1,044
          126
          All factors likely go into prioritization

          For me priorities would be listed below, in somewhat ordered order

          Cost is #1
          Chipset choice is #2
          Form factor is #3
          IO ports #4
          power delivery is #5
          ability to disable all the lights/doodads easily #6


          I want to spend the least amount of money, get the chipset i want, in the form factor I want, with certain # of SATA, PCI, PCI-EXpress, PS2, USB, etc ports, that delivers adequate power to the CPU, and can be installed with no lights or any other power wasty crap.
           

          mv2devnull

          Golden Member
          Apr 13, 2010
          1,321
          51
          91
          All factors likely go into prioritization

          For me priorities would be listed below, in somewhat ordered order
          Availability has a priority too when waiting for undefined time is not an option. A board in your machine is way better than ten shiny ones that are out of stock.


          for Gaming the motherboard needs to support powerful multicore processor(s)
          You mean, if I can put eight of these into motherboard, then it is good for gaming?
          There is always a different point of view.
           

          BurnItDwn

          Lifer
          Oct 10, 1999
          25,431
          1,044
          126
          Availability has a priority too when waiting for undefined time is not an option. A board in your machine is way better than ten shiny ones that are out of stock.
          Good consideration


          I too am only willing to deal with old slow obsolete stuff "waiting" for new parts availability for so long before plan B or plan C options look more attractive ...

          I bought an X570 mobo after getting my Ryzen 3600 even though I would rather have spent less $$$ on a "good enough" updated B450 board which hadnt yet come out at the time.




          Now, Im waiting for CPU availability for my upgrade to 5600x (and then I can stick the 3600 as an upgrade in my wife's PC)
           

          Leeea

          Senior member
          Apr 3, 2020
          260
          250
          96
          Cost is #1
          Chipset choice is #2
          Form factor is #3
          IO ports #4
          power delivery is #5
          ability to disable all the lights/doodads easily #6
          That is a good idea to look at it like that, I also have a very different perspective:

          Form Factor
          Memory speed support
          Perceived quality (including power)
          Perceived onboard audio quality
          Expected lifespan ( chipset )
          Cost
          RGB
          Onboard features ( WiFi, Bluetooth, fan headers, m2 slots, sata ports, etc )
          IO ports
           

          Tempacc42069

          Banned
          Nov 25, 2020
          4
          0
          6
          For a good mobo i search for the stuff that can really overclock well, like the mobos that have a higher end chipset eg x570, i dont care about rgb and that sort of junk i just care about function when buying a mobo, do not let these "gamer" motherboards fool you into buying an expensive mobo even though a cheaper one (with the same chipset) will perform just about the same as the "gamer" one, you wanna buy a mobo?? Then function first, asthetics second. You flip those around and you may regret it either in terms of performance or just wasting too much money.
           

          Entangled

          Banned
          Nov 28, 2020
          80
          9
          11
          Whether you're thinking about buying your first one or springing for an upgrade, shopping for a motherboard can be strenuous. For some of us, it's a research-intensive process and requires a lot of consideration.

          Am I planning on regularly overclocking? Which slots - and how many of them - do I need my mobo to have? Then there's form factor to consider, and the list goes on.

          How about you? What qualities do you look for in a quality motherboard?
          Ultimately a good motherboard becomes one that you do not know that you have.
           

          blackrain2

          Junior Member
          Aug 26, 2018
          22
          1
          41
          Used to be the quality of capacitors over a decade ago. Not sure what the quality of capacitors are these days on these newer boards
           

          sandorski

          No Lifer
          Oct 10, 1999
          67,929
          3,023
          126
          Pleasant aesthetics
          Good Audio
          Built-in backplate
          at least 4 SATA ports, although I'm down to using only 1 these days
          BIOS Flashing without CPU
          Good quality Components used
          Good Cooling of components
           

          lifeblood

          Senior member
          Oct 17, 2001
          976
          65
          91
          Before all else it must be reliable. Regardless of what I use it for, if it doesn't reliably do it then it doesn't matter how cool it looks or how much expansion it has. So that means things like quality caps, sufficient solder, etc. It also implies not including anything I don't need. It cant go bad if its not actually installed on the board. It also implies a quality manufacturer that will support you if it does go bad.

          After that then really its all about what you need. My daughters PC has a glass side and there she wants lots of RGB headers for cool lighting effect. Mine is a black box so RGB stuff is unwanted.
           
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          Midwayman

          Diamond Member
          Jan 28, 2000
          5,673
          296
          126
          Lots of people are talking about RGB, and RGB is important on a MB, but you're forgetting about the most important bit. Overall scheme and how much plastic 'armor' they put over the chip sets. The more of the base PCB you can see, the slower you know it is going to be. Plus if you have a white case or something, you're really going to want to match that.
           
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          Jimminy

          Member
          May 19, 2020
          66
          23
          41
          White cases are definitely the best. When you spray your case with 3M adhesive and then sprinkle on plenty of glitter, you'll find it shows up much better on white plastic. Especially with RGB lighting.

          You'll swoon, even with an intel 8080, or Rockwell 6502.
           
          • Haha
          Reactions: AnitaPeterson

          biostud

          Lifer
          Feb 27, 2003
          15,241
          526
          126
          It depends on your usage, but build quality and high quality components, and long term support are always a good thing. Then buy whatever that has the features you want.
           

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