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Thread: Budget Motherboard Question

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    Default Budget Motherboard Question

    I am building my first computer. I have to wait til i get my tax return so in the meantime ive been doing alot of research. I am trying to find the best motherboard between 50 & 80 $ and I'm having some trouble. My priority is quality components. I don't really care at all about extra pcie slots, display ports, fancy heatsinks, m.2, high quality audio, or any of the other marketing stunts. Im having trouble distinguishing what sets a $50 mobo from an $80 mobo, other than those aforementioned things that I dont care about. all i care about is quality components. like i said ive done alot of research and im pretty sure i want to go with asus or gigabyte but i am finding it impossible to find out the info i want, such as what capacitors and transistors they use and how durable the board is. any guidance would be appreciated.

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    cheapie's Avatar
    cheapie is offline That weird furry girl they warned you about
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    Default

    We'll need some more information than just that. The main things I can think of at the moment are:

    * AMD or Intel?
    * Which socket?
    * Which form factor?
    * Do you need integrated video?
    * Do you have a preference as to where to buy it from (as different stores often have different prices)?

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    As cheapie says, we'll need more details about what your total budget would be.

    For example, I could recommend a very cheap motherboard based on socket AM1 but you'd only be able to use some AMD processors that are cheap and have built in video but are low performance, and you won't have any means to upgrade to a more powerful processor at a later time.

    Or, I could suggest a motherboard suitable for Intel processors, recommend a cheap Intel processor, but many months later when you'd have the money you'd be able to buy an expensive high performance processor.

    My advice would be to wait a couple of moths or so until motherboards with socket AM4 show up. The first motherboards are rumored to appear at the end of March.
    AM4 is the new cpu socket from AMD, and the first processors on this socket will be the APU kind (which means they have video cards built inside the processor and other multimedia functions, audio, video encoding and decoding) around start of May or June. Around December, the Zen processors (high performance, no video card built in) will appear so if you won't be happy with the performance of these APU chips, you'd be able to upgrade then.

    Even if you don't like AMD and prefer Intel, you may still want to wait for these motherboards and processors to show up, just because it will shake up things and the prices of some processors and motherboards may change.

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    quest for silence's Avatar
    quest for silence is offline Silencer & heathen relic of a human (™ by OW)
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    Default

    I guess the OP asked something different: I think he's more interested to understand and recognize which components (mosfets, inductors, capacitors and so on) are used on different motherboards, in order to assess which are the better graded parts (and so the inner "quality" of any specific board).
    Best, Luca

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    Many things that I can think of will justify the cost. I'll talk in the general sense: what do some motherboards have that justify the $100/$150/$300 price tag?

    - A better chipset. Intel and AMD make chipsets tailored according to market. Going for a more expensive chipset will get you a design that tailors to higher performance needs/workloads.

    - More features. You may not care about the 'fancy' stuff, but it has its place in the market. M.2 for example, could be used by people who need as much storage space as they can get, so that they can add another large SATA hard drive and keep their OS drive as an M.2 drive.

    - More powerful VRM. If you buy a cheap motherboard, you won't be able to put an expensive CPU in it - it won't be able to handle all the load that the CPU requires. For example, a 125W AMD CPU will consume 100A of current at 1.25 V, which is the general voltage of a CPU. Try passing that much current through a wire. Also, VRM has to convert all the voltages from the PC's power supply to the fine voltages the CPU requires. A better VRM does this more effectively.

    - Some of the cost may simply come from brand value. An Asus motherboard will be pricier than a similarly-specced Biostar motherboard, simply due to Asus' established reputation.

    - Size. A larger motherboard will have more features built-in, and will be expensive, comparatively. An ATX motherboard will be $80, for example, when a micro-ATX motherboard, being relatively smaller, will be $50.

    Asus and Gigabyte are both established names. You won't go wrong with either one. Go with the one you get for relatively cheap that has all the features you want.

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