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What makes a good motherboard good?

Last response: in Motherboards
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July 9, 2011 2:20:31 AM

Sorry for asking such a basic question, but I scoured the forums/websites without much good information.

What features should I be looking for?

I think the general break down of a motherboard is
1) can it overclock cpu/gpu (how can i find this out?)
2) wat are the different sata features and what do the numbers mean? what is raid?
3) wat feature lets me know that you can sli/cross fire? what do the numbers 16x/8x mean?
4) what are some extra features that you look for?

Random Q: are extra case fans hooked up to the motherboard or the power supply?

Thanks in advance, just enthusiastic about learning more about computers.
July 9, 2011 3:04:18 AM

usually on the website it will tell you what features it has. the different SATA no. means the max bandwidth, we are at sata 3, with a bandwidth of 6gb/s. IDK much about raid, but i think it is the configurations of two or more hard drives, like i said IDK so don't quote me. the PCI-e slots are numbered 16/x4, 8/x8 means it has two slots and that is the bandwidth that those two slots support when you have two cards in. ideally, you want x8/x8 so it is SLI ready (16/x4 only does xfire). BTW sli and xfire is where two cards of a similar speed are working together to improve performance. the fans are attached to your mobo.

Sorry about the brief and "gibberish" answers, if there is anything you want me to clarify, please ask.

what to look for in mobo:
sata3
x8/x8 slots (IDK if you can get higher, i manly build on a budget that is just enough to get mobo with x8/x8)
"bonus" features
BIOS (this is purely taste, i like the bios of the new asus boards that let you use your mouse insead, also look if it has an "easy" mode if you are "new" to computers.
the ATX form factor (in other words the size)
if budget allows, heatpipes between the heatsinks
if budget allows, USB 3.0 front pannel

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July 9, 2011 8:54:20 PM

ty that was helpful information
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a b V Motherboard
July 9, 2011 9:05:11 PM

Raid is configuring two or more hard drives to run together, there are many variants on the theme,
Wengi's comment on crossfire /sli is slightly erroneous,
Sli is Nvidias multiple card scheme and crossfire is Amd/Ati's version, both are capable of running at full 16/16 speeds dependant on your mobo supporting that
8/8 is acceptable 16/16 would be top end gamer or graphic editor territory and 16/4 or 16/1 isn't worth troubling yourself over tbh
fans can be attached to the mobo or straight to the psu, it depends on the connector it has available, there are adaptors though to change it both ways
The mouse capable bios referred to is known as eufi, it is a more userfriendly bios yes
form factors, M-atx small mobo, A-tx 'normal size mobo, E-atx big Mobo, make sure your case choice supports the mobo's size, if you buy an M-atx mobo, your case must support it as well although Atx is the 'usual' sizing
usb 3.0 on the front panel,, you need a usb 3.0 header on the mobo and a cable that will feed to the front panel, a lot of mobo's have usb 3.0 at the rear and you just feed the cable through the back of the case into those, again, adaptors are available
anything else you want/need?
If its a new build your planning, check out the homebuild section, and fill in
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261222-13-build-adv... for us, it'll help us help you :) 
Moto
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July 9, 2011 9:16:44 PM

TY moto, I'm slowly learning about computers, and it is something I am slowly becoming much more enthusiastic about :D 

If you don't mind could you compare some of these motherboards and tell me where the additional cost comes from and if those features are worthwhile? I feel like an analysis of cost/features would be really informative.

Ty in advanced :D 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... my current mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... another similarly priced mobo?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... why is this mobo so much cheaper? it seems to provide the same sli, touch bios and smart ssd response of the higher end gigabyte
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July 10, 2011 4:55:06 AM

design, heatsinks caps etc. is my "guess" at why the two gigabyte board are different. i think the AsRock board is a better board because i see heatpipes on it, none of the gigabyte boards have heatpipes. it probably offers other features as well, like i said above, ask someone who knows a bit more about this, i pratically know nothing compaired to some of the other forum users
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a b V Motherboard
July 10, 2011 10:55:49 AM

As well as the quality of components used, capacitors etc they have different gimmicks,
touch bios is useful if as the description says you have a touchscreen, other than that its just a bios screen like any other,
sli/crossfire speeds, as previously stated 8/8 is the minimum you would want to settle for
but if you see a 'feature' on a motherboard you are curious about, google it, find out what you can about it and decide if its of use to you, or something that you wouldn't care about if it wasn't on your new mobo,
every manufacturer has their own tricks to try getting you to buy their stuff,
its a wise consumer that knows what he/she's shopping for
Moto
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