One of the most important decisions you’ll make when building a new PC is which motherboard to buy.
Not only does the motherboard determine what kind of CPU and other components you can use, but it also plays a role in the overall stability and performance of your system. So, how much should you spend on a motherboard?
However, spending too little when making this purchase could leave you with some regrets down the road. Instead of getting an inadequate motherboard with limited connectivity and features for cheap, why not go all out and get what you want instead?
Here is a list of different motherboard prices and what they offer:
$50-$100: If You Want A Normal Build
These motherboards will get the job done and might even last you a while, but they won’t give you any bells and whistles.
You won’t be able to run SLI or Crossfire setups with these boards and their PCI express slots might only be x1 (which is slower than the full-size slots).
On top of that, many of these simply aren’t meant for advanced RAM configurations which can limit your future upgrades.
The good thing about budget motherboards is that if you don’t plan on getting high-end graphics cards anytime soon or using multiple video cards, then this price range will suit your needs for now.
If you plan on getting a lot of add-ons or doing extensive modifications though, you might be better off saving up for something more advanced.
$100-$200: If You Want A Powerful Build
This price range will give you the option to get either SLI or Crossfire (if your motherboard and processor support it) and 1x PCI express slots that run at x16 (full speed). You’ll also gain access to SATA 3.0 which can provide speeds twice as fast as SATA 2.0.
If you don’t plan on using multiple graphics cards anytime soon, but would like to get them in the future, then this is probably the right choice for you because it’s not too much money and still gives you room to grow over time.
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$200+: If You Want A Premium Build
Motherboards in this price range will give you the features and options that only high-end boards offer: SLI or Crossfire in full x16 PCI Express slots, overclocking utilities with onboard controls, USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, and multiple add-on cards such as Firewire ports.
When it comes to spending a lot of money on anything for your computer, there is always one big question that everyone asks: “what’s it worth to me?
” For example, if you are already planning to spend over $200 on a graphics card then it might be better to cut costs somewhere else rather than spending all your money on just the motherboard because you could get more bang for your buck by buying two cheaper video cards instead of just one high-end card.
On the other hand, if you don’t plan on spending any money on graphics cards but want to be able to use SLI or Crossfire in the future, then it would probably be wiser to go ahead and spend more on a motherboard with this feature available instead of having to upgrade later.
If you’re not worried about overclocking then there’s no need to spend extra money on these types of boards because stock cooling options are plenty reliable nowadays.
It’s also worth noting that if you aren’t using high-end hardware now and won’t be using it anytime soon (such as multiple graphics cards), then you might not need to spend too much money on this piece of your computer.
The motherboard is an important part of any computer, but the truth is that the average person won’t need all the features and options that high-end boards offer.
For most people, $100-$200 will be more than enough for what they’ll ever need out of a motherboard so it’s worth considering if you aren’t planning on spending extra money on multiple graphics cards anytime soon.
If you plan on getting advanced graphics cards or using multi-card setups then you should probably buy something with SLI/Crossfire capabilities. Otherwise, spending $100-$200 will be just fine for average users who only want to use one video card at a time.
The point of this article wasn’t to tell you what kind of motherboard is best for you, but rather to give a better understanding of the factors that determine which motherboard you should buy.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to spending money on a computer and there are a lot of options out there so don’t rush your purchase because the right board for you might be cheaper than you think.