Can fit any motherboard in any case
Buy mainboard: what you need to pay attention to
Top mainboards for PC screwdrivers
Which mainboard do I need now? As is well known, complete systems are out of the question for PC screwdrivers, they want to choose and coordinate every component of their computer themselves. The heart of the DIY PC is the mainboard. We explain what to look for when buying and present offers for Intel and AMD CPUs.
Buy mainboard: The CPU socket must fit
At Intel, two - or rather two and a half - sockets are currently common: The most modern Intel CPUs with Skylake and Kaby Lake architecture (core processors of the 6th and 7th generation) fit into the LGA1151. Its further development, often called LGA1151v2, was developed explicitly for the 8th generation (Coffee Lake). In the extreme segment, the LGA2066 for Skylake-X CPUs dominates, which can, however, cost significantly more than 1,000 euros. AMD has AM4 for Ryzen and Ryzen 2 processors and TR4 for the professional Threadripper variant.
Buy a mainboard: Pay attention to the features
The chipset installed on the mainboard usually decides how well you can overclock a processor and how extensive the onboard components are. This includes the number of PCI Express slots for graphics cards - if you want to build a Crossfire or SLI system with two or more adapters, you need the corresponding number of slots. But also network interfaces, the quality of the audio chip, the number of USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports, SATA interfaces, RAID functions, M.2 slots for very fast SSDs, the number of RAM Slots or optional mainboard heat sinks, which can be of particular interest to overclockers, make the differences between the models. For example, if you want to assemble a gaming PC and place little value on overclocking, you will get along well with a mainboard in the middle price range.
Intel LGA1151: Mainboard for Skylake and Kaby Lake
If you want to use a new Coffee Lake processor (for example the fast six-core Intel Core i5-8400), you need a Z370 mainboard. From a price-performance perspective, the Asrock Z370 Killer SLI (around 130 euros, for a price comparison) is a good choice.
AMD AM4: Mainboards for Ryzen and Ryzen 2
There are various interesting models depending on your budget. Gigabyte offers a good and at the same time inexpensive entry-level model with the GA-AB350 gaming in the ATX form factor (around 75 euros, for a price comparison). This board is also available "one size smaller" with a similar approach for cases that only fit a Micro-ATX model (Gigabyte GA-AB350M-Gaming 3, for a price comparison). By the way, Gigabyte offers a BIOS update for both models to support the second Ryzen generation.
Anyone interested in a Raven Ridge CPU (Ryzen with integrated GPU) or a high-end Ryzen model will probably be happiest with a mainboard with an X370 or X470 chipset. From a price point of view, the Asrock X370 Pro4 is extremely attractive (around 100 euros, for a price comparison). It offers decent basic equipment, the best connection to the integrated GPU (Raven Ridge only) and even a USB Type-C port on the back panel. Thanks to a corresponding BIOS update, Ryzen 2 CPUs are also correctly recognized. Brand new, but also relatively expensive, are motherboards with the X470 chipset, which was released parallel to the second Ryzen generation (Pinnacle Ridge). If you also want to spend a little more on your motherboard, the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming (around 150 euros, for a price comparison) is a worthy representative with top equipment.
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