Why You Need to Add a Motherboard to Your Gaming Setup


The motherboard is very important because it gives access to more upgrade options. It also allows you to enjoy more advanced hardware and software, which would otherwise be unavailable due to compatibility issues. So if you are thinking of getting a gaming rig or upgrading your current one, you need to inform yourself.

While budget boards are indeed great value for money, they do not allow you to get the most out of your system. If you want to squeeze every ounce of your processor and RAM, as well as have the option to add multiple graphics cards, then getting a gaming board is a must. They’re also packed with a plethora of features that are quite convenient for gamers. With that said, here is a quick comparison between regular/budget and gaming motherboards. Hopefully, this write-up can shed some light on why you need to add a gaming one to your setup.

Gaming vs Budget Motherboards

Gamers, especially the competitive ones, will always want to get an edge over their peers. This is why plenty of them prefer gaming motherboards over budget ones as it allows them to tweak other PC components to produce a better-performing system. Gaming boards also come with plenty perks that simplifies a lot of technical stuff. This means less tinkering and more time for playing.

A gaming motherboard used to have very subtle improvements compared to regular PC motherboards. Today, however, the updates are much significant. The best way to appreciate these changes is by taking a closer look at some of the gaming motherboards today. For this article, let’s use the C7Z170-SQ from Supermicro as our gaming motherboard example.

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Overclocking

Overclocking refers to the process of running your processor at higher than normal clock rates. Doing this typically spikes up operating temperatures, which has side effects (compromising processor life, for one). Still, such side effects can be addressed through simple solutions – for instance, using better cooling solution.

A motherboard that has a top-of-the-line PCB, coated with high-grade epoxy resin, and made of woven e-glass is very distinct from a regular motherboard. On top of this, gaming mobos have heavier traces of copper, which means that your machine is able to deliver signals with optimal integrity – even when overclocking.

You can’t overclock all processor chips, though. Some can be modified to allow overclocking, but that isn’t the case for every chip in the market. Intel, which is currently the preferred processor brand for gaming, tags its overclock-ready chips with K (i.e. Core i7-6700K). However be warned that Intel’s Skylake processor family, which the 6700K belongs to, are not great overclockers. It’s rare to see a 6700K, which has a 4.0-GHz base clock speed, go over 5 GHz. Anandtech and other review outlets couldn’t push it beyond 4.8 GHz.

Needless to say, the higher processor clock speeds will give you better performance. Games will load faster and moving to another level or area will also be quicker. And for CPU-bound games such as GTA V, expect more frames per second.

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Capacitors, Sockets and Video Card Lanes

Another distinctive feature of gaming mobos is their capacitors. For example, the gaming motherboard C7Z170-SQ has an X7R or an X5R-class chip capacitor (made of ceramic). In each motherboard, there are hundreds of these. Having low quality capacitors can either kill the mobo completely or cause lagging, intermittent gameplay.

Sockets are another area where gaming mobos separate themselves from budget ones. The C7Z170-SQ is made with sockets that are significantly thicker than those in budget boards, 15 microns versus 2 microns, to be exact. Moreover, gaming mobos usually come gold-plated sockets and multiple PCI-e lanes, which makes 2-way, 3-way and 4-way SLI/Crossfire possible. Both features are unseen in lower-end models.

gaming motherboard

I/O and Included Software

Recent gaming mobo releases always come with an extensive BIOS and a number of software that allows for overclocking even after booting into OS. Most of the time, they also come with apps that monitors the network and other system components. Another perk of gaming boards are their extensive I/O collections, which include multiple USB 3.0 ports and 2 Ethernet ports. Some even have Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Conclusion

While it is true that gaming motherboards are expensive, the number of features and perks that they pack make every cent worth it. You’ll also save yourself a lot of time and effort as these boards eliminate the need to go into the BIOS and tweak each value manually.

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