Page 1:Part 1: Component Selection
Page 2:Processor And Graphics Selection
Page 3:Motherboard Options
Page 4:Remember The Memory!
Page 5:Hard Drive Selection
Page 6:Power Supplies And Other Components
Page 7:Part 2: Choosing The Right Vendor
Page 8:Purchase Price
Page 10:Part 3: Putting It All Together
Page 11:Installing The CPU
Page 12:Installing The CPU Cooler
Page 13:Installing The Power Supply And Motherboard
Page 14:Installing Other Components
Page 15:Motherboard Cable Installation
Page 16:Device Cable Installation
Page 17:Final Words
The motherboard is one of the most critical selections in any build. There are hundreds of possibilities, but choosing a case, processor, and graphics solution first may reduce them down to just a few possible best matches. Fortunately, our Beginner's Guide to Motherboard Selection contains most of the information needed to initiate first-time builders. In fact, the plethora of previously-published information available allows us to narrow motherboard selection down to a list of criteria:
- What form factor will best match the selected chassis?
- If the chassis uses riser cards, do the correct expansion slots align?
- What socket does the CPU use?
- Has the board been approved to work with the chosen processor model?
- Will the system need onboard graphics?
- If onboard graphics are used, which monitor interface will be required?
- How many graphics devices will be installed?
- If onboard sound is used, what type of audio system connection is required?
- How many network connections will be used?
- Will IEEE-1394/FireWire/Sony i.Link be useful?
- What other external connections might be required?
- How many non-graphics expansion cards will be used, and which slot type is required for each?
- How many Serial ATA and Ultra ATA devices will be connected?
- Will RAID be required? If so, what modes are needed?
- How many memory modules will be installed?
- Will the board be overclocked?
- If top performance is a priority, what features can be given up?
- If a wide variety of onboard features are required, can a small amount of performance be sacrificed?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you're ready to take a closer look at our Motherboard Reviews!
- Part 1: Component Selection
- Processor And Graphics Selection
- Motherboard Options
- Remember The Memory!
- Hard Drive Selection
- Power Supplies And Other Components
- Part 2: Choosing The Right Vendor
- Purchase Price
- Part 3: Putting It All Together
- Installing The CPU
- Installing The CPU Cooler
- Installing The Power Supply And Motherboard
- Installing Other Components
- Motherboard Cable Installation
- Device Cable Installation
- Final Words