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Motherboards - Which should I use?

Mother Boards and CPUs go together like a nuts and bolts, each is dependent on the other.

When shopping for a mother board make a list of things to consider..

  • Is this machine used for business
  • Will you be doing heavy graphics work
  • Will you be editing audio and video
  • Will you be rendering 3D videos and graphics
  • Will you be playing hot new games
  • Extra Hardware you will be running
  • Am I on a tight budget

Once you have answered those preliminary questions you are ready to start shopping. If you have an unlimited budget, GREAT.

On board peripherals or not? If you are going to be doing any heavy multimedia then onboard adio and video my not be the best solution for you.

While most of todays motherboards are adequate for many games and photo editing, they are not the wisest nor best investment for your new PC. For heavy graphics like the newest HOTTEST games, or for editing video or rendering 3D video or graphics, a separate video card is the only way to go.

As for audio, on board adio is fine for most people since only the true audiophile will know the difference and most audio features can be done through software

If you decide to go with on board LAN be sure and chose a motherboard with Gigabit LAN (1Gb speed) minimum, as this is going to be the future of internet and LAN networking as well.

When buying a motherboard you should also consider what type of case you will be putting it into and what CPU you will be using. Personally I prefer to use Intel Processors and Mid to Full tower cases. Your choice of CPU may vary but I would caution tou to stick with either Intel or AMD and would further suggest not using the cheap versions of these chips (Celeron or Duron), but more on that in a different article.

Next consider RAM, you always want the option of  having plenty of RAM and so I will recommend at least 3 to 4 slots, and a motherboard that will handle at least 2gigs, 4 is mbetter though. If you are building a new system, by all means go for a motherboard that uses DDR or DDR2 style RAM.

Next lets look at front side bus (FSB) speed, this is the speed at which data can travel from the CPU to the memory. Most motherboards today have 800Mhz FSB and that is my minimum recomendation, unless you are on a tight budget. Why skimp on motherboard speed if you are going to buy fast components? Using a Fast CPU on a slow motherboard would be like using a Ferrari to shuttle people around in Disneyland's parking lot. What a waste of horse power!

Finally when choosing a motherboard do a little research, read a few reviews posted by others who have used or are using the board you are considering.

Some of my personal choices these days are ASUS and MSI they are popular motherboards and both have a pretty stable track record for performance and durability. ASUS while slightly more expensive than the MSI is actually a pretty solid choice. MSI is slightly lower in cost and is a very reliable motherboard too.

The list on the right contains articles that share most of my technical experience. I hope you will find then easy to understand and useful as you venture forth into the world as a power PC user.

One last word of caution: PC repair and upgrade requires both mechanical aptitude as well as logical thinking and some degree of programming ability. While I am willing to share my knowledge of PCs here with you, I can not and will not assume responsibility for any damages or losses you may suffer from the use or misuse of information contained here. If you are not comfortable building or repairing your own PC, or if you have trouble understanding the knowledge contained in these articles, I URGE YOU to seek out a professional repair technician to do the work for you.

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