August 12, 2011
Basics Of Buying Gaming Motherboards
Basics Of Buying Gaming Motherboards
Buying gaming motherboards is not just about the board, but how it fits into the other part choices. Thing is, a gaming machine is usually a custom-built affair, with every part chosen for its high performance capabilities. What the board needs to do is be compatible with each of these parts.
What To Look In Gaming Motherboard ?
What gamers really look for is extreme speed and stunning detail. A monitor has the capacity for high resolution display, but it needs a powerful graphics adaptor for this. In turn, a powerful adaptor needs a motherboard which has enough capacity to handle the card and transfer data quickly enough between the display card and other parts. This means the right form factor (size), heavy-duty chipsets and an efficient bus system.
Some Other Specs !
The motherboard has to pass the same test for each of the other parts, including the HDD, memory, LAN card, cooling fans and power supply. Unless the board can match the speed and power of each of these parts, the system as a whole and the individual parts will not be able to provide the full power of their capability. Hence, gaming motherboards not only need to be compatible, they need to be compatible in the extreme.
Also to be noted that motherboards today have almost everything built-in, including display adaptors and sound and LAN cards. These built-in parts might be enough for basic applications. But gaming needs go well beyond what these onboard cards can provide. For this, the board needs to be able to accommodate as much extra memory and as many add-on cards as possible.
If and after a motherboard has passed these compatibility tests, the next thing to look for would be benchmarking test results. Manufacturers provide gaming sites and hardware review sites with access to parts in advance of the market launch. This means the reviews are already available when the board hits the market. Don’t buy a board unless shows positive results for gaming in benchmark tests.
Another couple of very important requirements that need to be fulfilled are over clocking and upgrade possibilities. Over clocking is used to make parts run at faster clock rates than the specified ratings. Changing clock rates on a motherboard’s bios setup is a critical procedure, because too much change will fry the board and take out some of the major parts along with the board.
For those wondering why fiddle with it, it is because gaming needs that edge beyond what a standard machine offers to everyone else. If every gamer has the latest parts and all of the gamers are equally talented, the one who wins is the guy who overclocked the machine. Gamers often use overclocking to push every part to the extreme end of its capacity. This means that gaming motherboards need quite a bit extra performance capability beyond the specs.
There’s also the question of upgrades. Every part in gaming has a window of between 6-12 months, after which it becomes obsolete. This is because new games released every year can be played only on the latest parts. They just don’t work on old configurations. So the motherboard needs to have the capability to survive these biannual part upgrades.
To sum it up, what is required of gaming motherboards is a capacity to match all kinds of high performance parts. It has to be able to get the most out of today’s parts, and have the excess capacity required to keep up with tomorrow’s parts. The best judge of this capacity is the board manufacturer, so make sure the motherboard maker has labeled it as a board fit for gaming.