How to Buy a Motherboard

Introduction

Creating a custom PC is much easier than trying to guess which computer maker offers the right combination of features to satisfy your needs. Putting a system together yourself is pretty straightforward, and the job should take less than a single afternoon so long as you have a number of key ingredients.

As with cooking a meal, preparation is crucial. The most important decision you'll make for your custom PC is which motherboard to buy. Motherboard prices and specifications vary tremendously. And this isn't a choice that you can make in a vacuum, either, since it has an impact on almost every aspect of the system, from the CPU to the storage.

The Big Picture
What factors are most important when comparing motherboards? The processor? The chip set? Storage? Find out how these and other features will affect your system's performance. more

The Specs Explained
Is the fastest processor always the best choice? What type of memory should you look for? We explain which specs are most important, and why. more

Motherboard Shopping Tips
You'll want to consider the price, performance, and priority of several features before you look for a new motherboard. Our tips help you find the best value. more

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