How to choose motherboards? Do CPUs matter? Big size or small size? Let me give you some answers and suggestions for your motherboard selection.

1. Depends on Your CPU: AMD or Intel?

First of all, choosing motherboards depends on your CPU. If you haven't decides which CPU brand you are going to get, please refer to:

How to Choose CPU? Intel vs. AMD

2. CPU socket

Before choosing a right motherboard, you must know what LGA CPU can fit. You can refer to the following table to see if the motherboard you want to buy fit your CPU.

[table id=45 /]
Intel socket spec
AMD socket spec

Take Intel i7 8700 as an example. 8 represents the 8th generation of Intel CPU spec, which means it is compatible with CPU socket of LGA 1151.

3. Chipset

Intel

Intel's chipsets include H310(low-end), B360(middle-end), H370(middle-high-end), Z370(high-end), and X299(top-notch).

Usually, B360 and H370 are the two most common specs and their difference is becoming negligible. On the other hand, Z370 and X390 support overclocking.

The following are common match between CPU and motherboard chipset:

[table id=46 /]

P.S. I strongly recommend not buy a motherboard fitting H310 chipset because it is made of low-quality materials.

AMD

AMD's chipsets are A320(low-end), B450(medium-end), X470(high-end), X399(top-notch).

Generally, you should buy a motherboard with the minimum level of mid-end. I don't recommend a motherboard matching A320 chipset based on the concern about its manufacturing materials.

If you have the need for overclocking, you can buy X470 motherboards.

4. Motherboard size

There are four motherboard sizes:

motherboard size

E-ATX (Basically, only top-notch motherboards would be at this size)

ATX (large-size motherboard) *recommend it to users who don't have the need for a small computer case.

M-ATX (micro-ATX) (small-size motherboard)

ITX *unless you have the need for a small-size computer, this size is not recommended.

P.S. Small motherboards, to save space occupation, are usually made of low-quality materials, and aren't able to spread heat well.

5. M.2 or overclocking?

I will be particularly talking about special needs regarding M.2 and overclocking. If you are no interested, you can skip this part.

M.2 Pcie SSD

If you want to add M.2 PCI-E SSD to your computer, your motherboard has to support M.2 PCIE. Some motherboards have M.2 slots, but they are not compatible with PCIE but SATA. So you have to pay attention to it before purchase. Generally, motherboards that support the minimum chipset level of B250 is compatible with M.2 PCIE SSD. But if you need two slots for this kind of SSD, you are recommended to buy a Z370 motherboard.

High audio quality

Those who have a high requirement for audio are recommended buy high-end gaming motherboards whose audio system are specially strengthened. However, if you care about audio so quality, you would rather buy an audio card rather than upgrading your motherboard.

Overclocking

You can only choose Z270 motherboards provided that you are going for overclocking games. I would recommend buy a Z270 motherboard priced at over 220 SGD.

Multiple GPUs

There are three ways to make this happen:

  1. SLI (NVIDIA): in this case, motherboards must support SLI. This kind of motherboard is usually of Z-series.
  2. CrossFire (AMD): some medium-level motherboards support CrossFire. However, they likely don't have enough width to make GPU perform fully well.

6. Brand

There are 4 main motherboard manufacturing brands:

  • ASUS
  • GIGABYTE
  • MSI
  • ASROCK

7. Motherboard selection

Based on your CPU, you can select the following matched motherboards:

Intel

Intel Core i7 8th Gen - high-end gaming computers

Because i7 belongs to multiple-core-and-high-frequency CPU, it can perfectly match motherboards which have enough power supply. Such that, CPU frequency won't go down because of overpowering and overheat.

Intel Core i7 8th Gen - for PUBG players

Gamers who play PUBG can buy overclocking high-frequency memory card and Z370 motherboards which allow XMP function and overclocking.

Intel Core i7 / i9 9th Gen - high-end gaming computers

Because of the increase of cores of i7 / i9 9th Gen, they can considerably consume power. Thus a great motherboard with stable power supply is critical for performance.

Intel Core i5 / i3 - middle-end gaming computers

i3 / i5 is of middle-end/low-end processor whose clock rate is not pretty high. However, this kind of chipset is usually made for games having moderate requirements, so the only demand is the stable power supply of processors.

Intel Pentium / Celeron / Core i3 - word-processing computers

They are low-end processors whose manufacturing materials are all right. They are suitable for small motherboards.

AMD

RYZEN 7 - high-end gaming computers

This type of CPU is tailored for the need for overclocking, adequate power supply, and fine manufacturing materials.

RYZEN 5 / 7 - middle-end gaming computers

Generally, users choose this type of CPU whose power supply is not bad. Its matched motherboards can be as follows:

RYZEN 3 - low-end gaming computers

RYZEN 3 is a low-end processor. You can consider Gigabyte's or MSI's motherboards. Usually, I recommend Gigabyte's motherboards, while MSI's motherboards are cheaper.