Why PC Motherboard Type Matters

I wrote about why graphical memory matters before, and how it’s not all about raw video card power. Here’s my post on why motherboards matter, a helpful guide if you’re new to building computers. A motherboard is the main PCB that is the ‘printed circuit board’ which is installed in typical computer systems. It is used to make possible the communication between the important electronic parts of a system, that is the CPU (Central Processing Unit) as well as memory and provides connections to other peripheral systems.

A motherboard is a “mother” of all components that shows how important it is for a computer system. Motherboard are produced in various sizes and shapes and varies from computer to computer and are more specialized for laptops which uses highly integrated, customized as well as miniaturized motherboards that is the reason why laptops are generally not easy to upgrade and costly when it comes to repairs and many times if one laptop component fails it requires the replacement of the whole motherboard.

A PC motherboard type matters a lot for your computer and is thus crucial for the efficiency and also depends upon the user’s needs and requirements.

Why The PC Motherboard Type Matters

  • To make the CPU Faster

For new PC’s upgrading your computer will not have many great changes to the performance, but if you are using one of the first generation Core-i5 or the Core-i7 then you would have some noticeable performance gains when you move to Skylake processor and in order to make that possible you would require a motherboard that can support such an upgrade.

  • To make the RAM Faster

In order to upgrade your RAM, you would need a motherboard which can support the RAM modules. For example if somebody has a DDR-3 and want to switch to DDR-4, it cannot be possible without upgrading the motherboard first.

  • How much space is in the case?

How much room there is inside your case allows you to choose the type of motherboard that will fit in that easily, whether it is compact or a really big build. There are Micro ATX boards which are generally bigger or the Mini ITX motherboards which are smaller versions. Check this post to read more about mini-ITX PCs and motherboards.

  • How many graphics and non graphic cards do you want to use?

The type of motherboard you are using is able to dictate how many graphics and non graphic cards you can use on the system, depending on the number of slots.

  • Can the motherboard work on your CPU?

Not all motherboards can work on every CPU and some processors might use the same socket but work in older boards, some boards require updates before they can be compatible with different processors. The best way to find out which one is compatible is usually through the manufacturer’s website. For example, all of the Ryzen processors should only fit AMD-based motherboards with the correct socket type. Intel CPUs would not fit on an AMD motherboard.

Motherboard have different price ranges as well and have certain features in common so if the user has any features in particular that he or she wants in their motherboard, only then they should go for their particular type.

Also. it is not only how fast the speed of the combination of your motherboard and CPU is alone since they are connected to the existing adapter cards which are in control of the video, storage, and sound as well as the processing speed and if these are not up to date or lagging in their performance, then the whole system would be slowed down.

Thus, the most important thing to consider when choosing the different motherboards for the PC is the compatibility rather than anything else.

 

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Why Graphics Memory Matters

Graphics memory is the memory in the computer system that is used for processing the graphics. The memory is located on the graphics card and it is specialized memory. In an integrated CPU it is a small block on the system RAM which may be used by the processor and is no different in many ways as the other RAM systems.

The memory of the graphics card or the RAM does matter quite a lot but it is not very important when it comes to the model. Having more memory does not necessarily mean that those computers equipped with lesser memories will be inefficient or slower. It is not always true that a laptop that has a 2GB graphics card will outperform an older laptop with only 1GB of graphic card.

The graphics card is used to render as well as to store every pixel that is displays on the screen. The graphics are stored in memory that is the VRAM when it comes to gaming and the GPU does the calculations that are required for the display on the screen.

Majority of the games require a maximum of 2GB of memory in the graphic cards maximum settings. Something like the GTX 760 would be able to run those games (review here). Just look for the name and how much graphical memory a card has. To play a smoother and a faster game however, the user would require a faster GPU.

Graphics memory, overall, does not matter so much and vendors nowadays are selling expensive cards with large memories because the generally people have this misconception that a larger memory size of a graphics card means the card is faster and more efficient.  The capacity of the memory of a graphic card does not have any impact on its performance as long as the settings that the user has do not use all of the memory.

The main aim of the graphics memory is to:

  • Load textures
  • Hold the depth buffer, that is the Z buffer
  • Hold the frame buffer
  • Hold other assets which are needed for the frame, that is the shadow map, for example

The textures and the size of the memory do depend on which the game the user is playing, for example a game such as the Skyrim is high resolution with a texture pack that has a 3GB of high quality of textures. Most of the applications use the graphics by loading and unloading as they are required and not all of them are needed in the memory of the graphics. So in a nutshell, the graphic cards memory allows a user to do the following quite easily:

  • It allows the users to play games on higher resolutions
  • It allows the users to play games on higher quality texture settings
  • It allows the users to play with higher render based analyzing settings

Overall the graphics memory is important buy why graphic memory matters is because of the graphics and the resolution that is required especially if a person is an avid gamer and likes to play high resolution games.

Not all games however require high level of quality or pixels. Of course, a higher resolution game would obviously require higher amount of memory to be used and if a particular game requires a constant level of high quality to be maintained in the game, then better graphics would be required as well, which means a higher memory card would be needed.

What Video Card Is Equivalent To The PlayStation 4?

The SONY PlayStation 4, or commonly known as the PS 4, is a video gaming console that was developed by Sony and follows a series of PlayStation consoles. It is used for playing games as well as for social media interaction as well. Its previous version was the PlayStation 3 and this is the newer and the upgraded version.

The graphics card or the video card that is equivalent to the PlayStation 4 which can be used to recreate on the PC can be the Radeon RX 480 to give the similar effects of the PlayStation 4 on a PC since it has a similar teraflop count as the PlayStation 4 and only uses 4GB memory. Others have also used modified HD 7870 video card in order to build a version of the PlayStation equivalent. If you can afford the slightly more expensive GTX 760, that would ideally be a Playstation 4 GPU equivalent. I wrote about it as my first post on JimiIsHappy.com.

Nowadays people are moving from consoles to playing on their personal computers. Thus, developing their own console equivalent on the PCs makes it easy for the gamers to build their own gaming system on their PC. This is more powerful, faster, and more efficient than the consoles.

PC equivalent of current generation consoles

PC games were the beginning of ‘gaming’, as any gamer can tell you. A gamer who takes his/ her game seriously, has surely tried the PC gaming, if they haven’t actually started as PC gamers.

However, with the modernized, ever revolving techniques in gaming, the PC has started to become somewhat superfluous in the gaming world. Of course, the PC is starting to become obsolete as laptops and tablets hand held devices are becoming the trend for gamers.

While this is true for individual games, there still exists that fraction of gaming society that prefers a fair game on the screen of a PC. The PC games are large in variety, low in cost and so easily affordable. The control of the mouse and keyboard also offers a unique experience to gaming.
Add to this the feeling of nostalgia, and even the most enthusiastic gamers would put PC games on the same level as the current generation consoles.

The PCs which are equivalent to the current generation consoles are elaborated below. When looking for a gaming PC that provides the same power as the Xbox One or Playstation 4, make sure to do your research. I’ve outlined one such strategy in this post.

  • Origin Neuron

This is a gaming machine in an elegant design and is ideal for desktop gaming. There is a large amount of storage with a customizable casing. It is also compatible for 4k gaming.

  • Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

This is yet another gaming PC which is compact yet upgradeable and is extremely fast with the intel’s latest processor that is Coffee Lake. It has an ultra quality HD display and high 3D performance for games. This PC is also good for VR gaming.

  • Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition.

This one also provides great 4k gaming performance with a variety of games that can be played on this. It is equipped with a great amount of RAM and is suitable for most game playing.

Tips on building your computer & saving money

It is no doubt that smart phones and tablets have become extremely advanced and a user may check their e-mail, do basic gaming, browse the internet, make video calls, send text messages, as well as write lengthy documents; the list is endless.

This however, still does not make traditional PCs obsolete as one may still get more out of a PC when it comes to functionality. A personal computer is the most comfortable thing for a lot of people; nothing truly beats the feel of a mouse and a keyboard, a combination that makes typing quicker and navigating seamless. The user experience is also a lot better for many people, if not all. For gaming enthusiasts, however, to experience playing on maximum settings requires a PC and to do that, they would need to build on their own.

When it comes to basic browsing the web or word processing on a regular computer available at the local computer shop is alright for basic requirements. Even a laptop would do just fine. When it comes to hardcore gaming and high setting requirement, nothing beats building your own PC where you can have complete customization to meet all the video game requirements.

Tips On Building Your Own PC

Building your own PC can be tough but just as fun. You can choose your own parts, components and everything that goes inside. It is however, not everyone’s piece of cake and requires the knowhow and the skills of computers.

  • Flexible design of cases. The retail personal computers have desktop cases that are too short, have a more sculpted line and have built in features like memory cards as well as HDMI ports but such casing have little room to fit in upgraded video or graphics card if it is required. The best idea if you get stuck with one of these is to skip the 10 inch long GPUs and to go for a proper Antec, cooler master and other well known vendors.
  • Have strong power supply. Usually PCs that are already built cannot even power a regular video card sometimes and so even if there is wattage already, an extra six pin of PCIe connector would be a great idea. Even a low end card is a great option but since even the 23 inches of the LCD monitors have become quite affordable, there is a possibility to play your favorite games in high resolution now. You can easily get a high power supply and an ideal video card.
  • Motherboard choice. It is often not easily understood what motherboard is inside a regular retail PC before the user buys it.
  • Quality parts of the computer. It is always advisable to choose the PC parts yourself to know what goes inside since there is no way of figuring out what is actually inside the retail computers and often even the retailer support team does not know either.
  • It is best to install the Windows platform yourself from an OEM disc and this way you can be sure of a fast as well as clean install every time you need to upgrade. Sometimes the files for the OS install are preloaded on a different hard drive partition and if the hard drive malfunctions then the whole system suffers and this means refreshing the whole machine and re-installing the whole system.
  • Upgrading as and when you want. If you have bought a PC from a vendor and you have added something by yourself on the system such as an extra RAM or a new video card from an entirely different source rather than the vendor and so the vendor might refuse to honor the existing warranty on that basis if any part of the computer or any component breaks. If you buy a retail PC and then you decide to modify it, you can have a lot of disputes with the support staff at the vendors. If you have built your own PC you can add whatever you like such as video card or additional RAM as and when you need it.

Tips On Saving Money On PC Hardware

Buying a retail PC from a vendor is generally more expensive, especially if you are looking for better models and newer or faster components. Companies generally make money on added things like more storage or memory or upgraded graphic cards, etc. When you decide to build your own PC there can be a lot of cost savings and you can make a great powerful machine than those high priced models.

  • Plan it. The most important part of building your own PC with cost savings in mind is to plan each and every purchase and component before purchasing them. For example once you have selected your required processor you can start with a motherboard that is compatible with the processor and once you have selected which one you want, you can then go for a memory storage that will work with it. There are various reviews and tips on the internet from computer enthusiasts that can help through this selection by comparing prices.
  • Keep on researching. There quite often promotions, upgrades and upcoming products and versions which you can stay updated on through the manufacturers websites or even through dedicated technology websites. For example, if a particular manufacturer is going to come up with a faster model this year, it only makes sense that the previous model is going to be selling for cheaper now. It is the best to profit from the knowledge and wait till you get a good bargain.
  • Newer isn’t always better. Just because there is a newer and a more expensive version out there doesn’t mean it is necessarily better. A top of the line video card might be an ideal choice for you but if you can get a same performance in two models lower, why not? It will help you save costs.
  • Choose where to buy from. You do not necessarily have to buy all your components from one place. You can wait around and see where you can get the best deal, it may be online or maybe from a different sale.
  • Buy Open Box parts. If you keep a look out, you may find some stores which sell open box parts. These are open box parts that have been opened but not have been used and are obviously cheaper in cost. Some might consider buying them a bit risky, the best is to make sure you can return it if it is broken.
  • Buying used parts. If you are really short of cash, then you can also buy used computer parts online. This is the cheapest, yet riskiest of all method. Buying used parts online means there is probably no option of returning them and neither have you seen them so it can be quite risky since there is no warranty either.

Lastly, tips for saving money should also include what you should do. You should definitely:

  • You should buy from shops that are focused on hardware parts or specific hardware websites

    You don’t need all the fancy lights to make your system work. Invest in the important components first, then spend your money on design!
  • You should buy from a person who has some positive feedback or reviews
  • You should look for parts that may still have the warranty from the manufacturer.
  • You should be patient, building a computer from scratch and trying to save money means you need to wait around for the best deals
  • Always go for reliable sellers

Conclusion

Building a computer is not always easy and it is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires a lot of hard work and most importantly, it requires patience. You need to be a computer enthusiast to actually want to make you own PC and be really involved in the nitty gritty details that go on with it. It is the ideal choice for gamers and for all those who are into the profession where their work is really computer intensive. Gamers require a large amount of storage capabilities as well as high definition quality and pixels along with high resolution. They also require high speed and fast processing machines and the best deal they can get is building their own PC, where they can hand pick they choice of components. It is also the cheap option.

It should however be remembered that building your own PC might be fun but it may also be risky as when you are buying your computer parts and components from a variety of places and putting them together yourself. You should know that there is going to be no warranty you can simply go and claim or a person waiting to fix your PC for you. There will also be no customer support or a helpline that you can simply call and get your issues fixed. Keeping these in mind, there will always be the warranty that comes with the components that you buy. If you are comfortable with this and know your job well, then there is nothing like building your own PC!