Monday, June 16, 2008

Buy A Computer Motherboard

The motherboard allows the processor to branch out and communicate with all the computer components.It can be considered the nervous system of the PC.
computer motherboard
Almost everyone knows that the motherboard is the most important component of your computer. At one point or another, every other component connects to the motherboard. Your motherboard choice controls your future upgrade paths. Want to upgrade you RAM? You first have to check and see what type your motherboard will take, and how much it will support. Want new video card? Your motherboard will need an AGP slot. Get the point?

If you choose the wrong motherboard in the beginning, you may face big trouble when you going to upgrade your computer. Today's motherboards are a lot more sophisticated than the one's in past. If you are used to these older systems, you will need to come up to speed on the latest boards. Where you once needed an IDE controller card, the connectors are now built right on the motherboard. USB was once an option ,now it is integrated on every board. Some boards go all the way, offering built on SCSI controllers, 10/100 Ethernet support, onboard video and sound, etc. Buying a motherboard is a trade off. First you need to decide what you want and then buy a board which has the best combination of features for you.

There are three levels of motherboards.

Bare-bone boards - These boards are comparatively inexpensive. These are the types of boards you usually get if you are not into PC hardware and don't want to deal with frustrations. You just want to build it and turn it on. These boards have built in sound and video, and sometimes other gizmo's too, like a modem. They don't usually overclock well and don't have a wide range of CPU support. Many times, pre-built PCs come with these types of boards, and this is one of the reasons you should be following this tutorial. If you’re going to bother building your own PC, get a board that’s worth your time. This isn’t it.

Secondly- These level of boards are most commonly used. These boards come with a single CPU slot, EIDE controller, etc. Most don't have built in video, although more of them have built-in sound. This is fine, as long as it is easily disabled. They support a wide range of processors, and with more voltage and multiplier settings, they are more overclocking friendly. Some of these boards offer RAID capability. With the proper amount of PCI slots, this type boards are great.

Thirdly- you have the beasts which most of us cannot afford. These are the dual processor boards, often with built on NIC and SCSI, a shipload of PCI slots. These are more for NT work stations than your desktop PC.

Some things you want to bear in mind:

Board Layout - You should consider where everything is placed on the motherboard. Is there a big capacitor right near the CPU slot, blocking where your CPU fan will go? Is there a bunch of crap that will block your full-length PCI card from fitting? Are the memory slows in a position where you’d need to remove the floppy drive to get at I them? You need to know roughly what you will be plugging into this board and know if anything will get in the way. This also depends on the size of the case you are using. Its not good to use larger board with a mini-tower it is asking for trouble

Slots - You need to pay attention to how many PCI slots a motherboard has. For most of us the standard 5 or 6 PCI slots will be fine. Make sure the board has an AGP slot and if necessary, ISA or CNR slots.

Manuals - You should buy a board with a good manual. Make sure to look at the manual before buy and make sure you can understand it. Most well known brands have decent manuals. Asus, Abit, FIC, Tyan, Shuttle and a few others come with nice manuals. Another thing to keep in mind is that the better-known manufacturers often have nice web sites, and you can get support info there, too.

Form Factor - I would recommend you to going with the ATX form factor. ATX integrates all of the connectors, whereas with AT, you have to plug all of that crap in. AT boards use that big DIN keyboard connector which is a relic.

Chipset - The chipset is the hub of your motherboard. You need to pay strong attention to what chipset a motherboard has before you purchase it. The chipset is fully responsible for what hardware your motherboard will support now and in the future. It controls everything. If your motherboard won't support ATA-100, AGP 4x, etc, the chipset should responsible for that.

Hardware Support - Pay attention to the specs to make sure that the board will support the hardware you would like to use. If possible, allow room for expandability beyond what you will be using as this will ensure you can use the board for awhile. If there are embedded components such as sound or video, this is fine as long we you are able to disable it easily.

Reviews - Finally, before purchasing any motherboard, find out what others think of it. Experience is the best ever.

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