You probably know that the motherboard is the central element of a configuration, whether it is a gamer configuration or not. Therefore, you must choose it wisely and we will help you understand how to choose your motherboard and offer you a selection of the best motherboards of the moment.
Understanding the criteria for choosing a motherboard
What is a socket?
First of all, we need to define what a socket is since it is a very important element when choosing its motherboard. The socket is where your processor will be placed.
So choose a motherboard with a socket compatible with your processor. There are a number of different sockets, but in this guide, we will focus on the two best known and most common in current PC configurations: The socket 1151, the socket AM4, and the socket 2011-3.
The AM4 socket: This socket is used by the new Ryzen D’AMD processors. Here is an article for more information on best X399 motherboard.
The socket 1151: Proposed by Intel for the sixth generation of Intel processor (Skylake), the socket 1151 is the most common and the most processor socket at the best performance/price ratio.
Be careful however, in 2016 came the seventh generation of processor called Kaby Lake which works on the same socket but even if motherboards compatible with Kaby Lake are often compatible with Skylake, the reverse is not true. You must, therefore, check the version of your processor and take it into account when choosing your motherboard.
More recently, Intel has released its 8th and 9th generation processors, Coffee Lake and Coffee Lake Refresh. For a Coffee Lake processor, you will need a motherboard with socket 1151 but suitable for Coffee Lake processors. So remember to check compatible chipsets if you choose a processor of the latest generation of intel.
The socket 2011-3: It was released in 2015 and it is dedicated to very high-end processors from Intel. If you want a computer just for gaming, socket 2011-3 is not for you.
Which format to choose?
Here are the two most common formats in PC configurations these days:
ATX format: It is the format that is most used because it allows you to develop your PC over time if you want to add components but also because the best motherboards are of this format. It is also the only reliable format for overclocking.
The Micro-ATX format: Also widely used, a Micro-ATX motherboard is smaller but offers fewer possibilities and connectors. It is nevertheless quite possible to make a PC Gamer with a Micro-ATX motherboard.
What is a chipset?
Each socket has several possible chipsets for a motherboard. Each of these chipsets offers different performance and characteristics that differ from each other.