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How to pick a Motherboard


When picking a motherboard, your first priority is to make sure it has the right socket to match the CPU. Intel has the LGA1151, LGA1200 and LGA1700 sockets. AMD sockets are: AM4 and AM5 (for Ryzen CPUs), TR4 / TRX40 / sWRX8 / sTR5 socket (for Threadripper CPUs).

The second priority is the motherboard chipset. For Intel, the high-end chipset is the Z790 (socket LGA 1700 for Intel Raptor Lake 14th Gen CPUs) is the ultimate choice but comes at a premium price point due to its support for DDR5 memory and PCI-Express 5.0. It is recommended only to those who overclocks or is interested in having a top tier hardware.

Moreover, unlike in the past, you do not need high-end motherboards to have good results in overclocking, so our suggestion remains a midrange Z690 model. It is worth to choose the top models only if you require the features they offer. Cheaper alternatives are the H670 and B660 (socket LGA 1700, Intel Alder Lake 12th Gen CPUs) – these chipsets are the best choice for the average user.

For AMD, AM4 socket supports A520, B550 and X570 chipsets: the main differences concern the number of SATA and USB 3.2 ports, PCI-e 4.0 lanes, with X570 having the best multi-GPU, overclock and PCI Express 4.0 support. As already said about Intel, for the average user a good B550 is enough, while you can bet on an X570 if you require the extra features it offers.

AM5 only supports DDR5 memory and B650E / X670E chipsets feature PCIe 5.0 support and AMD EXPO technology (Extended Profiles for Overclocking, similar to Intel XMP).