Deciding whether it’s the right time to upgrade your motherboard is tricky. It’s a vital component of your system, but sometimes it feels like you don’t know it very well — especially when your computer starts to slow down.
There are many reasons why upgrading your motherboard is a good idea. We’ll go through the top five here before providing you with a quick rundown of important aspects to consider when buying a new motherboard.
- Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Motherboard
- Five Considerations When Upgrading Your Motherboard
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Motherboard
Reason #1: You Want Faster CPUs
This is perhaps one of the main reasons to give your system an upgraded motherboard! Although, if you have a relatively new CPU, the performance gains experienced from a newer one are minimal.
However, if your process is older than three or four years, you’ll notice astronomical gains when upgrading your motherboard alongside the CPU.
Reason #2: You Want Quicker RAM
Newer RAM iterations require motherboards that can support these models. For instance, if you’re using DDR3, you can’t make the switch to DDR4 or new without changing the motherboard and CPU first.
Avid gamers suggest upgrading your motherboard when a new RAM becomes available. But be mindful of the performance boost (or lack thereof). Going from DDR3 RAM to DDR5 will feel significant; smaller jumps may not.
Reason #3: You Want Improved Graphics Cards
This is the best reason to upgrade your motherboard, depending on who you talk to.
A higher GPU, CPU, and motherboard will feel like you’re operating a completely different system if you edit videos or games. Consequently, your games run faster, you’ll experience less lag, and you can increase the in-game graphics settings.
Reason #4: You Want Speedier Data Transfers
Upgrading to USB 3.0 or SATA III boosts the speed of data transfers from one hardware to another. But that isn’t the only way to achieve this.
New motherboards support the highest PCIe standards, enabling you to use the superior PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2.
Reason #5: You Want Brand-New Features
Believe it or not, there are always technological developments in the motherboard world. And by upgrading, you can take advantage of them all!
Five Considerations When Upgrading Your Motherboard
However, before getting too excited about your brand-new motherboard, familiarize yourself with the five considerations below. After all, you want your upgrade to work with the rest of your system.
#1: The Form Factor
Measure your current motherboard before going on the hunt for a new one. ATX boards are most popular because they come with expansion slots. But depending on your setup, you may want a micro ATX.
#2: The CPU Socket
Only three sockets are applicable today — LGA, BGA, and PGA. They have the following characteristics:
- LGA — used by Intel, popular.
- PGA — used by AMD, popular.
- BGA — aren’t as popular because they’re permanently attached to the motherboard, so they can’t be upgraded or serviced.
The socket on your motherboard determines which process you can buy. So, decide on the CPU before upgrading the board.
#3: The RAM
Usually, a motherboard that can handle at least 16 GB of RAM is recommended. Alternatively, you could search for a board with four or more memory slots, allowing you to install 2 RAM components at the beginning, with room to spare for future memory upgrades.
#4: The PCI Slots
PCI slots allow you to connect expansion cards. If you’re a gamer, you need a motherboard with enough slots to handle at least one PCI Express x16. But many avid players suggest having multiple.
Most motherboards come with standard PCI slots and smaller segments for other cards like wifi adaptors and sound cards.
#5: The SATA Ports
Each SATA outlet enables you to connect storage or optical drives such as HDD or SSD. Your new motherboard should have enough SATA ports for all your drives.
Additionally, it should provide standard SATA 6 gigabytes, otherwise called SATA 3.0.
As long as you keep all the considerations in mind and all components are compatible with one another, upgrading your motherboard is incredibly rewarding. Your PC will feel like a whole new machine, from faster data transfers to enhanced graphics!