Motherboard: An Indispensable Part of Your PC

Tracy King updated on Aug 30, 2022 to Knowledge Center

If you are looking to buy a new motherboard, there are many questions you should be asking yourself. This article will help untangle the complexities and ensure you get the best motherboard model that suits your needs. We will also introduce you to the top five gaming motherboards in 2022. 

Motherboard: An Indispensable Part of Your PC

What Is Motherboard?

The motherboard is defined as a printed circuit board (PCB) for the computer that acts as a connecting point for various components like the central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), memory, and storage. It is a kind of backbone that allows a variety of components to communicate. It is also known as a logic board or mainboard. 

Types of Motherboard Form Factors 

A motherboard's form factors determine its overall layout, including size, shape, casing, power supply, and mounting holes. Here we have mentioned some of the common form factors of a motherboard.

 1) Form Factor ATX (Advanced Technology Extended)

It is used to mark in-depth motherboard configuration and dimensions to improve standardization. As an evolution of the Baby AT form factor, ATX was developed by Intel in 1995. The measurements of ATX motherboards are 11.2 × 8.2 inches. It offers advanced software-controlled facilities. It also provides less interference in access to drive bays and has excellent airflow. 

2) Form Micro ATX

Micro ATX is the next generation of ATX. Its measurements are 9.6 × 9.6 inches which are relatively more diminutive than a standard ATX. It supports up to four expansion slots that can easily integrate with ISA, PCI, PCI / ISA, and AGP. As its size is different from standard ATX, the mounting holes are different but compatible with most ATX cabinets. Form Micro ATX supports both Intel and AMD processors.

3) Form Micro Nano-ITX

Nano-ITX is another type of motherboard form factor first designed by VIA Technologies in March 2003 and introduced after two years in 2005. Its compatible design integrates with low-power-consuming devices like PVRs, in-vehicle devices, smart TVs, etc.

Best Gaming Motherboards in 2022 

Your choice of the best gaming motherboard ultimately depends on your budget and what you expect from your system. Here is the list of the top five gaming motherboards in 2022.

1. Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero

The Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus Series is Asus's highest-end consumer motherboard offering. Its price and features make it almost indispensable. Asus Maximus Z690 Hero is the entry-level model of the Z690. It is based on Intel's "Alder Lake" processors and DDR5 memory. It also has dual PCIe x16 Gen4 slots, which are valuable for high-end GPUs, storage, and networking. 

SPECIFICATIONS

Form factor: ATX

CPU support: 12th Gen Intel Core

Video outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1

Storage slots: 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s

Network: x1 Intel 2.5Gb Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E

RAM support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR5 6,400+ (OC)

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 5.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (in x4 mode)

USB ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4, 7x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 2.0

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2. Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme

This AMD motherboard is on the second number of our list as its advanced power and design allow users to boost their performance. It is the best X570 limited edition motherboard for your system with a combined chipset and CPU heatsink. Its price point may be as big as its e-ATX form factor, but it's packed with affluent features you won't find on other models.

SPECIFICATIONS

Form factor: E-ATX

CPU support : AMD Ryzen 5000 / 4000 / 3000 / 2000 / 1000

Video outputs: N/A

Storage slots : 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gb/s

Network: x1 Aquantia 10Gb Ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6E

RAM support : 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4 5,400 (OC)

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (in x8 mode)

USB ports: 6x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 4x USB 2.0

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3. ASRock Z690 Taichi

The RGB splash and the moving cogs over the I/O really stand out. It seems a little expensive, but Razer fans will love the Razer-themed Z690 Taichi, which integrates seamlessly with the Chroma ecosystem. Along with its uniquely elegant appeal, it has multiple aesthetic features like Dual Thunderbolt 4 ports and a solid audio solution. Its strong initial memory support is also one of the reasons it holds a spot on the top list.

SPECIFICATIONS

Form factor: ATX

CPU support: Intel 12th Gen

Video output: 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x Thunderbolt Type-C

Storage slots: 3x M.2, 6x SATA 6Gbps

Network: Killer Wi-Fi 6E; Killer E3100G 2.5G and Intel I219V 1G LAN

RAM support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR5-6400 (OC)

Expansion slots: 2x PCIe 5.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PICe 3.0 x1

USB ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C; Up to 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 9x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 3x USB 2.0

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4. MSI Pro B660M-A

 Featuring Intel's brand-new 1700 LGA, MSI is back to business with the Pro B660 series motherboards to support its updated 12th Generation processors. Micro-ATX motherboard PRO B660M-A DDR4 comes with the latest Intel B660 chipset and plenty of RAM. It is a reliable choice for budget-oriented or mid-range gaming computer systems.

SPECIFICATIONS

Form factor: microATX

CPU support: 12th Gen Intel Core

Video outputs: 2x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1

Storage slots: 2x M.2, 4x SATA 6Gb/s

Network: x1 2.5Gb Ethernet

RAM support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4 4,800 (OC)

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4

USB ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1

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5. Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)

It is a good choice for consumers who don't want to spend too much on a flagship chipset, but still want to be able to purchase vital accessories. It is a considerable investment to get a one-stop solution for affordability, functionality, and performance.

SPECIFICATIONS

Form factor: ATX

CPU support: AMD Ryzen 5000 / 4000 / 3000 / 2000

Video outputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI

Storage slots:  2x M.2, 8x SATA 6Gb/s

Network: x1 Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 5

RAM support: 4x DIMM, up to 128GB, DDR4 5,100 (OC)

Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (in x4 mode)

USB ports: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1

Check price

How Does A Motherboard Work?

It assists in communication between different parts of a computer, as well as housing most of its components. All other components of the computer are connected to the motherboard, which holds the computer's microprocessor chip. It is either the motherboard itself that runs the computer or the components that plug into it to enhance its performance.

What Are the Common Components of A motherboard?

The motherboard includes the following main components:

  1. CPU: It controls the overall functionality of the computer system with its logic circuitry. It processes instructions to ensure the performance of the operating system and other computer components.
  2. RAM: Solid-hard disk drive where applications and data are stored and executed. There can be two to four RAM slots in a motherboard.
  3. Keyboard and mouse: There are two types of keyboard and mouse connectors in a motherboard which are known as PS/2 and USB.
  4. ROM BIOS: It is known as a non-volatile memory that holds firmware like the basic input/output system or BIOS.
  5. Power connector: It is a connecting slot that provides an external power supply to the computer. Some 20-pins maintain a power supply of around 110 ac.

Tips for Handling the Motherboard 

  • For any reason, if you take the motherboard out, keep it in mind that never leave it on a metal or hard surface like glass. It is advisable to leave the motherboard on antistatic plastic or other soft surfaces like clothes to avoid any damage.

Hold it with your fingers underneath and above

  • Never hold a motherboard directly from the PCB, as it is one of the most delicate elements. The plastic and metal used to make them provide greater rigidity in that area. Carefully hold it with your fingers underneath and above the RAM sockets. 
  • Unplug every external connection before taking the motherboard out from your computer. Unplug your system from the power supply and wait a minute after it turns off properly.
  • Clean the motherboard after a while because cleanliness is essential for every single component of your motherboard.
  • Be sure to install the motherboard sideways, first connect the rear connector and then carefully assemble other connections into the system.

In Summary

A good motherboard defines the ability of your machine as it is considered the central hub of a computer system. It is a crucial part of the computer where data is transmitted over data buses. It is an incredibly vital component of your computer that you will be able to choose. 

Whenever you assemble or dissemble the motherboard, please follow the motherboard handling tips for better maintenance. We have also mentioned different specifications of motherboards, and you are free to distinguish them based on your needs, budget, performance, and speed. You can also go for other options from the top motherboard manufacturers like ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock.

FAQs about Motherboard

More questions about motherboards you may be interested in:

1. Is it OK to touch the motherboard with your hands?

Yes, you can touch the motherboard with your hands but make sure to discharge static electricity. Wait a minute after you turn off the system until the electric elements are discharged completely.

2. What kills a motherboard?

Commonly, overheating can kill your motherboard. Therefore, make sure the CPU box has adequate cooling to reduce excessive heat. Additionally, improperly seated components, electrical surges, and partially or incorrectly connected cables can destroy motherboards. 

3. What is the lifespan of a motherboard?

Maintaining and cleaning your motherboard can extend its lifespan by up to 20 years or even more. You'll likely have to upgrade the motherboard's hardware when the available hardware becomes obsolete. However, the motherboard itself should continue to function normally.

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