When gamers are hard at work putting together the best possible gaming rig, it’s not uncommon for people to just go and pick up the first random motherboard they see that is relatively compatible with their RAM and CPU.
However, did you know that getting the best motherboard for your processor actually makes a sizable impact on your gaming performance?
In today’s quick guide, we’ll dive into the world of motherboards to get a better idea of what they are, what they do, and how exactly they affect your gaming sessions.
Let’s dive in!
What In The Heck Is A Motherboard & What Does It Do?
Now, typically gamers are a fairly tech-savvy crowd – but just in case you’re a little out of touch with today’s technological advances, let’s take a second to get a nice briefer on the basics.
A motherboard, which you’ll sometimes find being called a MOBO/Mainboard/PCB is essentially a big circuit board that connects all the various parts in your PC together and allows them to function as one machine.
For example, the motherboard is the part responsible for allowing the CPU (processor) and RAM (memory) to communicate with one another. And it’s the same deal for your hard drives, GPU (video card), and so forth…
In a nutshell, it’s the heart of your machine!
How Do Different Motherboards Affect Gaming Performance?
Now that we’ve got the lay of the land – let’s get back to the question at hand. That is discussing how certain motherboards can affect your gaming sessions in a positive, or even in a negative manner.
First and foremost, the obvious point to consider is compatibility. The motherboard you choose should be compatible with the core parts you’ve picked out for your build – namely, it should be compatible with your CPU and RAM.
Check out our list of the best gaming motherboards for i9 9900 processors!
Now, in addition to being compatible with your core parts, the motherboard should also support the peripherals you’ll be tacking on.
For example, if you’re planning to work in a wireless keyboard or a wireless headset using one of the BlueTooth adapters that run on the USB3.0 platform, you’ll want to make sure that it’s got integrated USB3.0 slots.
But, how exactly do you know if your core parts and peripherals can all be worked into one solid gaming rig?
Thankfully, today’s internet of things offers quite a few awesome tools that’ll help you do exactly that. The one we all use a bunch here at FragMeta when testing new PC builds is PCPartPicker!
Next up, once compatibility is all checked off and set in stone – you’ll want to make sure that the board you pick has got some decent overclocking capabilities.
Overclocking has a direct effect on your gaming performance since overclocking allows you to ramp up the direct performance of your PC, and thus make the game run smoother (increasing the average FPS margin), increase general runtime stability, and provide for an overall better experience at the end of the day.
The trick here isn’t to be tempted by a low-end cheap “budget” motherboard that promises some form of overclocking capabilities. In most cases, the capabilities will either play out to be nil to none or even run the risk of frying your entire setup if done wrong. And that’s definitely not something you’d want to deal with in exchange for saving $50-60 on your mobo.
High-end motherboards generally feature stable clocks, as well as a higher quality OC at the end of the day. It’s also a good idea to look out for motherboards that feature regulated voltage (VRM), as this can help safeguard the rest of your parts from being fried, should anything go wrong down the line.
Now that we’ve dealt with the two relatively obvious bits that can affect your in-game performance when it comes to different motherboards, let’s talk about the chipset and the role it plays.
The chipset of a motherboard serves as a “regulator” of sorts when it comes to passing data back and forth between the CPU, RAM, and other peripherals you’ve got on your PC.
Effectively, the chipset is made up of two main sections: the north and south bridges.
The north bridge regulates the communication between your core components, including the PCI-E peripherals such as your GPU. And it should be obvious that it plays an essential role in the overclocking capabilities of any given motherboard.
On the other hand, the south bridge is far less exciting as it mainly focuses on the input and output of data as a whole for the USB peripherals, the BIOS, and such.
However, as a team, both of the bridges make up one system, the efficiency of which is incredibly important when it comes to the general performance of your PC.
How To Choose The Best Motherboard For Gaming Performance?
Having gotten a little more up close and personal with motherboards and the finer details behind how exactly they impact your gaming performance – let’s talk about a few key things that you should keep in mind in order to pick out the best motherboard for a gaming PC that will allow you to crush your foes in games like League of Legends as though it was a walk in the park.
Focus On The CPU
When it comes to squeezing every bit of power out of your motherboard and gaming PC as a whole, the biggest component to worry about is the CPU.
You’ll want to go after one of the newest CPUs that boast stellar in-game performance. And once you’ve got one that you’ve zeroed in on, it’s time to find a motherboard that’s compatible with it.
Pick RAM That’s Compatible
The next thing to bear in mind is that you’ll want to find some solid RAM to back that awesome CPU that you’ve picked out.
These days, most motherboards will take either 32GB or 64GB of RAM. However, while it might be tempting to shell out some big bucks and get the best of the best – you’ll rarely (if ever) actually ever need 64GB of RAM while gaming.
So, with that being said – I’d recommend that you save some money and get 32GB of ram, in favor of getting a better CPU, a better mobo, or some of the fancier peripherals you’ve been drooling over.
Don’t Forget The Expansion Slots
Let’s not forget that the majority of core peripherals that you’ll need for a smooth gaming session such as a good video card or some solid-state drives run on expansion slots.
At this point, you’ll want to make sure that the motherboard you’ve picked out is compatible with the video card you’d like to have. And while it’s common these days to see people opting out of getting an SSD for their gaming rig – I strongly advise that you pick one up, as M.2 drives are going to save you a lot of headache, lag, and frustration down the line.
While most people don’t put too much thought behind which motherboard they should get for their gaming PC – the motherboard actually has a fairly significant role to play when it comes to your finite gaming performance.
In today’s article, we’ve covered the ins and outs of what a motherboard is, what it does, and how exactly different motherboards can boost or diminish your performance in-game.
And to help you pick out the best possible motherboard for your future rig, we’ve also provided you with some key insights on the most important factors that you should keep an eye out for while shopping around.
Now, it’s our turn to hear from you – shoot us a link to the gaming rig you’ve put together in the comments below for a chance to have it reviewed and featured here on FragMeta.