Looking for the best gaming motherboard that money can buy? Buying a gaming motherboard is similar to buying a regular motherboard, except that you'll want to play close attention to a few specifications you wouldn't need to note if you were shopping for a typical computer motherboard.
Start with the basics.
You'll need to decide which processor you want to run in your computer. The motherboard-processor link is integral; different motherboards support different processors, so choosing a processor instantly narrows down the motherboards from which you can choose. Also, you'll want a motherboard that supports plenty of RAM, and that provides the correct video card slot - but more on that later.
Look for a computer motherboard that you can overclock.
Hardcore gamers typically want to overclock the motherboard and processor, so you should look for a computer motherboard that supports overclocking. You'll want a motherboard that allows you to change the CPU voltage and FSB speed in order to overclock your system. Overclocking comes at a risk, though, so be forewarned.
Shop around for video card support.
Video cards are the core of a gaming system, but the motherboard determines which video cards you can install. Look for a gaming motherboard that supports the video card type you want to use. The majority of video cards these days are PCI Express 2.0 x16, so if you want to use a card that uses this slot, make sure your motherboard has one. Some motherboards support dual video cards, and if you want the best graphic rendering at insane speeds, you'll want a motherboard with this option.
Memory, memory, memory.
RAM is vital in a gaming system, so you'll want a motherboard that supports plenty of RAM. Different motherboards support different types of RAM; look for the combination of memory type and number of slots to see if the motherboard meets your gaming needs. These days, you can find motherboards that support up to 32GB of RAM if you look hard enough and are willing to pay a premium. More and faster RAM is the rule with gaming systems.
You want a fast FSB.
FSB stands for Front Side Bus, and if you're looking for a gaming motherboard, you want the FSB to be fast. The faster, the better.
Select the right chipset.
Motherboards come with chipsets on board that work with different hardware. Like the motherboard processor slot, the chipset narrows down which hardware you can use in your system and how well your system performs. Make sure you know what you're getting with your chipset, typically referred to as northbridge and southbridge, in order to determine what hardware you can use with your motherboard.
SATA and RAID support.
Speed matters in a gaming motherboard, so you'll want a motherboard that supports SATA 2. For RAID, you'll need four SATA connections. A blazing fast system is useless without fast data storage and retrieval, so SATA and RAID matters.
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