How to Select a New PC Motherboard

When you need a new motherboard on your computer, you may be overwhelmed by the options to replace the motherboard. However, choosing a motherboard is not as complicated as you think. Keep these guidelines in mind as you shop for a new PC motherboard:
Select the type of motherboard that will fit your computer case. Almost all computers made in the last few years use ATX cases and ATX motherboards but making sure of that never hurts. Older cases may use AT or Baby AT motherboards.
If you need help classifying your case, take it to your local hardware store and have a technician tell you.
Remember that FSB stands for Front Side Bus. The faster the bus on a new motherboard, the better the performance – and the more expensive RAM modules will be. (At higher bus speeds, more data is sent to the CPU at once, and the data gets there faster.) Most CPUs work with a range of bus speeds.
Shop for the best controllers. Today’s motherboards have built-in hard disk controllers that vary widely in performance. Therefore, be sure to compare the estimated speeds of your motherboard controller and supported hard drives.
Consider on-board FireWire, Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, and network and audio hardware. Why force yourself to add a separate adapter card later when you can buy a motherboard with networking, FireWire, Dolby surround sound, and USB 2.0 ports that are included?
RAM capacity is important. Check the type of RAM supported and the maximum amount of RAM your motherboard can accept.