Choosing a Motherboard

Choosing a motherboard is probably the most important part of any computer build.  All your components will connect to it and most rely on it for power.  No other component will effect stability as much as this purchase.  Does this mean you need to spend a ton of money to get a good one?  Absolutely not, you can get a very nice motherboard that is priced really competitively.

motherboardAsus M2N-Sli Deluxe Motherboard

Motherboard 1

Asus P9X79 Pro (LGA2011)icon - Suitable for gaming, video editing, or any tasks that require a lot of processing power.

Motherboard 2

Asus Sabertooth Z77 (LGA1155)icon - Suitable for the more serious gamer, home video editing.

Motherboard 3

Asus P8Z77-V LX (LGA1155)icon - Suitable for gaming, home computers of any kind.

Motherboard 4

Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 (AM3+)icon - Suitable for home computer, gaming computer.

TIP! Once you come up with your own computer builds choose your motherboard and CPU first, then get the rest of the components that are excepted by your two key components.

How I Choose a Motherboard

Budget is usually the deciding factor for me whether it will be Asus or Gigabyte.  If money is really tight I'll go with Gigabyte, if I have a little more room to spend, I'll go with Asus.  Yes, I know I talk about not being brand loyal, really I'm not, Asus has just simply been the best for too long to ignore them.

Next off, I narrow down the search results by choosing a motherboard that will work with a CPU in my budget.  Usually, I almost pick the two at the same time.  You can do this easily after you pick a CPU by selecting a compatible motherboard socket.

Finally, to pick exactly which board, I look for a board that has all the upgrade slots that I'm after, maybe a slot for the video card, at least 4 RAM slots, ample room for hard drives, whatever I need for the specific build.  When I've found what looks like the board I want, I read and read about reviews on that board to see if it's totally rock solid.

What used to require additional cards has become standard on the board, LAN, USB, Firewire, even audio and sometimes video.  Keep this in mind when looking at components.  When looking at builds here, I'll let you know which builds require the specific parts.

Go from Choosing A Motherboard to Parts Of A Computer
Learn how to build your own computer

Updated October 14 2013

My Core Computer Part Picks

Internal Computer Components