A motherboard, also known as the mainboard, is one of the most critical components of a computer. It is essentially the backbone of a computer system and plays a crucial role in connecting and coordinating all the other components of the computer. It directly impacts the performance of the connected components like memory, processor, graphics card, etc.

Therefore, you must pay attention to all the motherboard factors to select one that provides excellent performance. Moreover, if you plan to upgrade your PC, ensure your motherboard will support your upgrading needs. But it’s only possible when you are an expert or have read a buying guide like the one you’re currently reading to make the best choice. 

Start With Your Motherboard Budget

When it comes to premium motherboards designed to handle High-End Desktop (HEDT) CPUs such as Core X and Threadripper, the price range can vary greatly. You can find entry-level models under $100 (£772), while high-end options cost over $1000 (£772). To give you an idea of what to expect in each price range, here’s an overview:

Motherboard Up to $100/£80

Motherboards within this price range, whether they are designed for AMD or Intel processors, can still feature the premium X370 chipset for AMD processors, which allows for overclocking. While motherboards with built-in Wi-Fi typically start at around $80/£60 or more, it’s possible to find models with a range of features, such as onboard Wi-Fi, at lower sale prices.

Under $150/£140 motherboard

At the lower end of this price range, you can find boards with Intel’s Z490 chipset, which are necessary for overclocking. On the other hand, there is an increasing number of AMD boards with high-end chipsets like X570 and premium features such as Wi-Fi that are becoming available.

Under $200/£180 motherboard

As you move up to the premium category, features such as stronger heatsinks, better power phases, better VRMs (voltage regulation modules), and more RGB lights become increasingly common. These features are essential for competitive overclocking.

Additionally, premium motherboards offer a greater number of ports, including more USB 3.0/3.1 Gen 2 connectors. Intel’s Z490 chipset boards, primarily used for overclocking, typically start at or above $150 in this price range.

Between $200 and £180

Before the release of Z490 and X570, this price range was considered premium for mainstream platforms. It was where you could find the highest-quality board components, large heatsinks (sometimes with extreme styling), and I/O covers designed to create a premium aesthetic.

The feature set would often include powerful overclocking capabilities, which may not be necessary for most mainstream builders.

Here is how to choose a motherboard.

The motherboard may be the most crucial part of a computer since nothing else can work without it, and it decides what future upgrades are possible. Here are some things to consider before choosing the correct motherboard.

Finalize a Compatible Chipset

A motherboard’s chipset is the best place to learn about its features. All your computer’s internal parts connect to a motherboard to communicate, but the hardware and software that manage and utilize those connections are known as the board’s chipset.

Although some CPUs can only work with a certain type of chipset, this is not always the case, so be sure to examine how your chipset and CPU work. If you choose the most expensive consumer-grade Intel or AMD CPUs (Core X or Threadripper), you’ll only have one option for a suitable chipset (X299 for Intel or X399 for AMD).

The older B450, B350, and B300 chipsets and the B550/X570 chipset still support overclocking. Upgrading to an X570 board is beneficial if you require extra ports and SSDs. The more premium B550 boars are equally as pricey as many X570 options, if not more. 

Ensure Processor Compatibility 

The compatibility of the motherboard’s CPU should be your priority when choosing a motherboard along with the chipset. Motherboards are made to work with specific CPUs, so it’s crucial to verify that the two devices are compatible for a successful upgrade or new build. You should also compare the motherboard’s chipset to the CPU you’ve chosen.

Some CPUs can use different chipsets that offer various features, so it’s essential to consider which chipset will work best with your desired CPU. By considering these factors, you can ensure that your motherboard and CPU work together seamlessly to create a stable and efficient computer system.

Check Motherboard Size

After considering CPU compatibility and chipset support, the next consideration when choosing a motherboard is the form factor, which refers to the size of the final PC build. It’s essential to consider how much space you have available for the motherboard, depending on whether you want a small PC to display on your desk or a large workstation requiring its desk.

The form factor you choose will determine the case’s size, affecting the computer’s overall size and portability. Motherboards generally come in three sizes, and the motherboard’s size will determine the finished structure’s potential dimensions. The following are the most common sizes of the motherboard and choose one carefully.


Mini-ITX boards, the smallest and often most expensive form factor for motherboards, allow the construction of extremely small PCs. Mini-ITX boards' severe lack of expansion slots makes them ideal for computers where space is an issue. Most ITX boards contain a single expansion slot and few additional RAM or storage connections.


Even though it is only slightly smaller than the full ATX, Micro-ATX provides performance that is quite comparable to ATX. But it often has fewer expansion slots and less room for future upgrades due to the tiny size of the board.


The biggest and most popular form factor, ATX, is simple to construct and has the most chance of future system expansion and improvements. The cost of ATX boards ranges from affordable to luxurious and everything in between. ATX is a great motherboard option if the size is not an issue for your project.

Size 9.0 x 7.5 inches 9.6 x 9.6 inches 12 x 9.6 inches
Expansion Slots 1 4 7
RAM Slots 2 Up to 4 Up to 8
GPUs Up to 1 Up to 3 Up to 4
SATA ports Up to 6 Up to 8 Up to 12

Other Important Features to Consider

When learning how to choose a motherboard, there are many other features and parameters to take into account. To help you choose the best motherboard for you, take a look at some important specifications:

Memory Slots

When your PC is powered on and running, your CPU requires a place to store data, which is known as “random access memory” or RAM, and is inserted into a memory slot. Modern PCs typically have a minimum of 4GB of RAM, and the amount of RAM dramatically affects how quickly your PC operates.

With more RAM, you can run multiple programs simultaneously and utilize more resource-intensive programs. Upgrading RAM can extend the lifespan of older computers by many years. As operating systems become more complex and feature-rich, more RAM is required for browsing.

Therefore, when selecting a motherboard, it’s essential to consider how many memory slots it has. While most builds may not require more than two RAM sticks, as time goes on and system requirements for video games and other applications increase, more RAM may be necessary.

For hardcore gamers or professionals using graphics-intensive apps or performing 4K video editing, it’s recommended to choose motherboards with four RAM slots to accommodate their higher RAM needs. You should choose a motherboard that can accommodate at least 32GB DDR memory. 

Expandable Slots 

In the past, there were various types of extension ports, but nowadays, Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) ports are the most common. Some older devices may still require PCI slots, which some motherboards still have.

Adding graphics, sound, and network interface cards to your computer can significantly improve its performance, but each card requires its expansion slot. It’s essential to consider your computer usage goals and whether you may require future upgrades.

ATX motherboards typically have the most expansion slots, providing users with the greatest potential for expanding and optimizing their system. Selecting a motherboard with multiple expansion slots ensures that your PC meets your needs and can be upgraded as necessary.


Many users require specialized peripherals for their jobs, education, or games. The ports on your motherboard show what devices your computer can support. Motherboard connections like SATA and fan headers can significantly impact the performance and appearance of your setup.

Even if you purchase a case with six fans, you cannot fully utilize them if your motherboard only has four fan connections. The same is true of SATA storage devices and the connections that go with them. Up to the extent of potential storage connections on your motherboard, you can only add system storage.

Integrated on/off switches

These components may be useful during the initial construction phase or when testing components or running benchmarks on an open case. However, onboard buttons, which may include options for clearing the CMOS or performing basic overclocking, are not essential for the average user.

LED diagnostic readouts

The traditional practice of using a small speaker that connects to motherboard headers to produce diagnostic sounds when encountering an issue has become obsolete. In its place, many mid to high-end boards now feature a two- or three-digit display that serves a similar function, displaying an alpha-numeric code when a problem arises.

This feature can prove to be extremely beneficial during computer building or upgrading if you forget to connect something, improperly place a component, or if one of your components is defective.

Wifi & Ethernet 

Having a Wi-Fi connection is crucial if your PC is not located near an Ethernet port. Without it, your computer could not connect to the internet, limiting its functionality and potential uses. A Wi-Fi connection enables wireless connectivity to the internet, allowing you to use your PC in many locations and reducing the need for long, unsightly Ethernet cables.

Furthermore, selecting a motherboard with Wi-Fi 6 is recommended if you plan to keep your PC for an extended period of time. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology, and it offers several advantages over its predecessors, including faster speeds, improved reliability, and better performance in crowded environments.

For those using their computer as a server, having a motherboard that can combine two connections into one can be advantageous, as a single Gigabit Ethernet port may not provide sufficient bandwidth for internet traffic. Individuals with demanding wired network requirements may benefit from selecting a motherboard with 2.5Gb or 10Gb Ethernet.


The motherboards that keep everything together in most computers are the only ones you’ll buy for yourself. After choosing the type of motherboard used to make your PC or that will serve as the structure of the pre-built PC you’ll be purchasing, you should consider the company that made it.

Some businesses specialise in making motherboards for gamers with enough room for GPU expansion and LED lighting systems, while others concentrate on more commonplace systems. I hope this article is of great help to you and from this you can decide which motherboard is suitable for you.

Abdullah Sarfraz
Myself Abdullah Sarfraz and I am an SEO. My hobby is reviewing the latest tech-related products. For the past few years, I am working on amazon affiliated sites therefore, I came to know my interest and chose this field, now I have good experience in it.