What Does a Motherboard Do for Gaming?
Plenty of people opt to build their own gaming PCs instead of buying pre-manufactured models. Not only does this give you optimal control over the components of your setup, but it can also be far more affordable. When you start piecing your gaming rig together, you’ll need to think about the most important components.
A motherboard, which is the communication powerhouse of the computer, is one example. If you’ve ever wondered, what does a motherboard do for gaming?, this guide is designed to help you find the answer.
What Is the Motherboard’s Job?
First and foremost, let’s discuss the primary responsibility of the motherboard. You can look at this piece of hardware as a communication hub since it helps all of the other components in your computer talk to one another and connect efficiently. When you start looking for a motherboard, you’ll notice there are plenty to choose from, and they come in an array of sizes, different compatibilities, and different power levels.
With that said, you’re going to need to choose a motherboard that is compatible with the other peripherals you’ll be connecting to your gaming PC. It will determine what RAM you can use and even the processor you select.
This is because each motherboard has specific sockets that are only adaptable to certain products. You won’t be able to pair certain items together because they won’t physically fit.
Is the Motherboard Important for Gaming?
Now that you have a clear idea of what a motherboard does in a PC, it’s time to consider what does a motherboard do for gaming. In terms of performance, the motherboard doesn’t do much.
Even if you were to spend more money on a high-end motherboard, you might see one FPS worth of difference in your games. The quality of the parts and the ports on the hardware are where your money will be put to good use.
A faulty motherboard means that your computer won’t be able to function. It’s commonly known that lower end motherboards are made with lackluster parts that don’t enable your other hardware to function. This will inevitably lead to you needing to invest in a better-made piece.
However, if you take the time to source a high-quality motherboard with the ports you need, you’ll be in good hands. Not only will you not have to worry about the hardware breaking or failing, but you’ll also have everything you need for your current and future setup.
You’ll first need to think about all of the other peripherals you want to have in your gaming PC. For example, if you need two slots for your GPU or the ability to upgrade your RAM, you’ll want to find a more expensive motherboard.
What to Look for in a Gaming Motherboard
At this point, you should be ready to start looking for the motherboard that will piece your entire system together. Here are a few important things to think about when you start shopping around:
1. CPU Socket Type
The first thing to take note of is the type of CPU you’ll be using because motherboards are usually dedicated to specific CPUs. For example, Intel will work with Intel and AMD will work with AMD. However, you can’t choose any Intel or AMD motherboard, as the socket type is the most important consideration.
When you look at the specs of your desired processor, you’ll notice it has a specific socket type. For example, LGA 1151. You need to make sure the motherboard you’re choosing also has an LGA 1151 port for both pieces to be compatible.
2. Form Factors
Also known as the size of the motherboard, form factors are important to consider as well. This is when you’ll need to take the size of your computer case into account, as your desired case will be able to fit specific sized motherboards.
The most common form factors are mITX, mATX, and ATX. ATX is seen as the standard size, but mITX and mATX are quite common because they are more budget-friendly than the others.
3. RAM Compatibility
There are four different factors to think about when choosing a motherboard that is compatible with your RAM: type, speed, capacity, and the number of slots. There are two main types of RAM (DDR3 and DDR4), and motherboards will be compatible with one or the other.
You’ll also need to make sure your chosen motherboard supports the speed of your RAM, for example, 2133 Mhz, and this can be found in the specs. The capacity is the amount of memory the board can work with, and if you want a high-performance rig, you’ll need a lot of memory and a stronger board.
In terms of RAM slots, you’ll need to think about the memory you need. For example, if you want a total of 8GB of RAM and require two RAM ports, your motherboard should offer two slots. Additionally, if you intend on increasing your memory, you’ll want a room to grow.
Other important things to consider include CrossFire and SLI support, LAN and WiFi features, as well as USB ports and expansion slots.
When asking "What does a motherboard do for gaming?, the answer is little to nothing in terms of performance. However, as it is the communication hub for your setup, you’ll need to think carefully about your purchase.
An insufficient motherboard leads to an onslaught of problems down the line, which is why you’ll want to invest in a quality piece of hardware. Ensure you have the right slots, that the board supports enough power, and still gives you room to grow into a more powerful gaming PC in the future.