Is there any reason anyone should go to the trouble of building their own computer from the ground up – buy a motherboard and all those components, snap all the parts together, install the operating system and so on?
Well, you could do that if you are really particular about performance and getting a good deal. The kind of motherboard you get has a great deal to say about what kind of performance you get. And who’s to tell what kind of motherboard Dell and HP and Lenovo use?
Not to mention, there are so many little things you could control if you built your own PC – you could get the latest kind of USB port (SuperSpeed 3.0), you could get exactly the right kind of graphics card that you wanted – no more, no less, and you could buy exactly the kind of monitor you wanted.
You just won’t be locked some impractical configuration that the geniuses of the computer company put together. And of course, you’ll save some money this way.
Okay, now that you’re clear that building your own computer makes a lot of sense, let’s talk a little about how exactly you buy the most important component of your own hand assembled computer – the motherboard.
Most people don’t seem to realize this, but if there’s one part of the computer that you could point to and say – “That’s the soul, the main part of my computer”, it would have to be the motherboard. It’s not the processor or anything else.
For this reason, if you’re building your computer, you need to buy a motherboard first of all. Everything else that you buy, you buy to suit the motherboard you bought.
Picking a motherboard, of course, you do want to think about what kind of stuff you would like to plug into it.
Most parts that you stick into the motherboard – the hard disk, the graphics card, the sound card, the memory – happen to work to standard requirements no matter what motherboard you buy.
If there’s one kind of part, the most important, that requires that the motherboard be specifically built for it, it’s the processor.
The processor and motherboard need to be built for each other. Basically, you have a choice in two different standards when you’re talking about the motherboard-processor match.
There’s the standard adopted by Intel, and there is the standard adopted by its rival AMD. Both are mutually incompatible even if you could get very good performance with either. The first thing you need to do is to choose which standard you want to go with.
Intel is widely considered to be somewhat better when it comes to performance. AMD on other hand, while it does offer nearly the same kind of performance, is often far cheaper.
Once you make a choice of standard here, your next step is to choose how powerful a processor you need. If you’re going with Intel, you want to know how powerful the processor you’re planning on buying will be – the i3, the i5 or the i7.
Once you do that, you’re pretty much set for what kind of motherboard you want to buy.