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HOW DO I CHOOSE A MOTHERBOARD?

Last response: in Motherboards
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November 2, 2010 3:08:34 PM

Hello,

I have already chosen everything else, from CPU to keyboards.
but I really don't know how to choose a motherboard.

Here are the facts I already know about motherboards:
1. you have to find the compatible one with the CPU
2. there are 3 different types of Mobo (ATX, microATX,... something i forgot)
3. FSB is something that connects ur CPU to the RAM, therefore the faster it is, it's better.
4. some have 3.0 USB and some don't
5. Some can handle SLI/Crossfire, and some can't
6. some can handle overclocking, and some can't

That's everything I know. How can I compare different Mobos?

ex:
"ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard"

I'll bold the words that I don't understand.

Also, if there are anything else that I should know about the Mobo, please let me know

Thank you in advance

More about : choose motherboard

November 2, 2010 3:11:02 PM

if I look at this:

Phenom II X6 Six-Core CPU Ready

Supports Exclusive ASRock UCC Chip - Unlock CPU Core feature

ASRock DuraCap (2.5 x longer life time), 100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors

Supports ATI Quad CrossFire, CrossFireX

1 x eSATAIII Connector, 5 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x IEEE 1394 ports

Smart Swith Design: 1 x Power Switch with LED, 1 x Reset Switch with LED, 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED

Supports ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash, OC Tuner, IES, OC DNA, Multi-Speed Fan Control

7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec) , Premium Blu-ray audio support

ErP/EuP Ready

Free Software: CyberLink DVD Suite - OEM and Trial; Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB - Trial

I have no idea what theses things mean... could someone please explain?
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a c 108 V Motherboard
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November 2, 2010 5:34:55 PM

OK, let's start at the beginning... First, there are more than just three types of motherboard Form Factors (ATX, BTX, ITX, etc.), but don't get yourself too concerned with that. The vast majority of motherboards are ATX. If the motherboard you're looking at/interested in doesn't specify its Form Factor, there are other ways to determine the Form Factor. An ATX motherboard will have the I/O "ports" at the left side of the motherboard (when looking directly at the side that has the I/O ports)

In your first post, the bolded words/characters (from left to right) are:

ASRock = Manufacturer
870 = Chipset
EXTREME3 = Model name
AMD = CPU support (it means this mobo supports the AMD line, instead of Intel)
AM3 = CPU socket type (any of the AMD CPUs that have the AM3 label will work)
SATA 6GB/s = data transfer speed (your SATA devices will transfer data up to 6GB/s)

The most important thing to know about any motherboard is compatability. Choosing the right motherboard isn't very difficult, but for those who do not know about motherboards or other devices, it can be a reasonably frightening experience. We all started somewhere...

How to choose the right mobo for you depends on how you answer the following questions, but at this point, it may be irrelevant, as you have everything but the mobo:

1. What is your budget?
2. What is the MAIN purpose for the new build/board?
3. Is this a temporary build (something to help you get by until you have your budget)?
4. Do you have a preference toward either AMD/Intel or ATI/Nvidia?

The reasoning for the questions is simple. You don't want a gaming motherboard to operate a server. Similarly, you don't want to buy HTPC components for a workstation computer.
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a c 108 V Motherboard
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November 2, 2010 5:47:27 PM

Jineus said:
if I look at this:

Phenom II X6 Six-Core CPU Ready
This means the mobo can support AMD's hex core line of CPUs


Jineus said:
Supports Exclusive ASRock UCC Chip - Unlock CPU Core feature
This means that if you wanted to use the 555 Black Edition Dual Core CPU and "unlock" the two additional cores (not guaranteed to work), then this mobo also supports unlocking.

Jineus said:
ASRock DuraCap (2.5 x longer life time), 100% Japan-made high-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
Self-explanitory

Jineus said:
Supports ATI Quad CrossFire, CrossFireX
also self-explanitory

Jineus said:
1 x eSATAIII Connector, 5 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x IEEE 1394 ports
This line is telling you what and how many available external connections the mobo has

Jineus said:
Smart Swith Design: 1 x Power Switch with LED, 1 x Reset Switch with LED, 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED
This line is telling you that this mobo has the respective LEDs mentioned to let you know that when a switch is used, its respective LED will illuminate

Jineus said:
Supports ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash, OC Tuner, IES, OC DNA, Multi-Speed Fan Control
This line tells you the addiitonal features of the mobo. I'd refer to the mobo manual for better details on these features.

Jineus said:
7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec) , Premium Blu-ray audio support
This line is telling you that this mobo supports 7.1 HD audio, which is integrated into the motherboard.

ErP/EuP Ready

Jineus said:
Free Software: CyberLink DVD Suite - OEM and Trial; Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB - Trial[/quotemsag] Free DVD burning software

I have no idea what theses things mean... could someone please explain?

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November 2, 2010 6:01:13 PM

Thank you for clarifying those! I'm having a better idea of what a Mobo is.

1. my budget is around $1,100
2. for games, movies, and multitasking (multiple browsers/documents/etc.)
3. I'll be using this PC for about 3 years. (upgrades in the middle if needed.)
4. I already chose out CPU and GPU

This is my build.

DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers (I chose this crappy one on purpose.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo+CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mouse+Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I haven't ordered this yet, so feel free to give me advice/tips/comments.. etc.
but MOST IMPORTANTLY. I don't know which motherboard I'm suppose to get.
I'll be overclocking a little bit, and maybe crossfire later on, but crossfire is optional.

Thank you
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a c 108 V Motherboard
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November 2, 2010 6:26:18 PM

Sorry, I can't view Newegg from my office (site is blocked), so I can't be much use in telling you if those components are good. What I can tell you though is:

1. PSU - look for 80+ Certified (at least bronze); 500-600 W (w/ at least 2 +12V rails) if doing a single GPU; 750-850 W if going for a multi-GPU setup. Read the specs on the PSU, make sure there are dedicated PCI-E cables.

2. GPU - make sure that the the GPU matches the PSU, in terms of the PCI-E connector(s). You don't want to buy a GPU that uses a 6-pin socket if your PSU has 8-pin connectors, or vise versa.

3. RAM - Lower latencies are more important than higher frequencies (MHz). Also, ensure that your RAM matches the mobo. For example, if mobo supports DDR3, don't buy any DDR2. DDR2 and DDR3 have the same number of pins, but the gap between the pin sets is in a different location, making it impossible to install incorrectly.
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November 2, 2010 6:39:09 PM

1. It says 80 plus, and its 650W

2. PSU: 20+4Pin
GPU: It doesn't say... I can only find "PCI Express 2.1 x16"

3. is latencies this? "7-7-7-21"
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November 2, 2010 7:13:29 PM

Ok, I had a bright idea. I looked at those links from my phone. The GPU you have picked out requires 2 6-pin PCI-E connectors from your PSU.

The PSU you've selected is a good one, as it has 2 x 6+2 PCI-E dedicated cables. This means that you could connect two of your GPUs to this PSU, or in the event of upgrading further, you could also connect two GPU with 8-pin power requirements.
I say "connect" as opposed to "power up" because powering the two cards alone can be done without question, but depending on other connections and tasks, you may find some power-related issues with the current PSU installed.

And yes, the 7-7-7-21 is the latency
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November 2, 2010 11:10:06 PM

uhhh....... so its good? :) 
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Best solution

a c 108 V Motherboard
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November 2, 2010 11:17:39 PM

yes, you'll do fine with what you've selected.
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November 2, 2010 11:41:57 PM

yep, I chose that combo. Thank you sirs.
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November 2, 2010 11:46:41 PM

Your PSU shouldn't have problems powering up that card. It looks good.
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November 2, 2010 11:46:51 PM

Best answer selected by jineus.
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September 3, 2013 3:11:22 PM

wow someone finally gave DIRECT answers, not beating around the old bush
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