How To Choose A Motherboard Expert Advice


From a PC case perspective, all cases will have “header cables” that run from its front ports, power/reset buttons, and LEDs. Each of these cables terminate in a female header connector of some kind. Each type is standard in implementation; for example, a USB 2.0 header cable will end in a five- or 10-pin connector , while USB 3.0 always uses the same big 19/20-pin header connection. These are surfaces inside a PC case that allow you to install an aftermarket cooling fan for additional interior ventilation. The most typical fan sizes used in PC cases are 80mm, 92mm, 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm, with 120mm and 140mm being the most common. You’ll want to be sure, if you’ll be adding fans, that the ones you buy match the size of the mount.

Since 2000, many Slimline systems have used variations on the FlexATX motherboard instead. The VT-310DP is the first VIA motherboard to feature dual Eden-N NanoBGA processors and Gigabit Ethernet. The VT-310DP and the single-processor EPIA SP also support SATA hard disks, making them suitable for low-demand NAS storage and multimedia server applications. The EPIA PD motherboard is a suitable choice for point-of-sale systems because it has four serial ports . The 22-pin extension connector usually is installed in line with PCI slot 6, which is the second one from the right; the slots are usually numbered from right to left starting with 7 as the one closest to the processor.

If you do not anticipate using all the PCI slots you can either omit cutouts as required or specify ‘knockouts’. For knock outs, we leave several very small metal ‘bridges’ or ‘tabs’ that keep the center in place until the user decides to physically remove it. The standard slot-style cutouts for PCI card access are shown in Figures 12, 13 and 14. To locate the stansberry research youtube board correctly within your enclosure, offsets must be added to these coordinates so that there is sufficient clearance between the edges of the board and the enclosure walls. Figure 5 – Suggested placement of ventilation cutouts and enclosure exhaust fans. Allow a minimum 0.250″ (6.35mm) clearance from other board edges to their corresponding side panels.

In some of the systems, the power supply has a completely proprietary shape as well and the motherboards are not fully standard ATX either. If you want to upgrade the power supply, you must use a special Dell-compatible power supply. And if you want to upgrade the motherboard , you must buy a standard power supply to match.

Mini Tower – At a typical height of 15 inches, these cases are designed to take the micro ATX motherboard. They can accommodate liquid cooling solutions, but space is more cramped than in the other, larger cases, especially if a long, high end graphics card is also installed. While personal computer cases are designed to be free standing, cases for servers are designed to fit horizontally into rackmount systems.

An Extended-ATX motherboard has more PCI expansion slots than the ATX. These are ideal for servers, high-end workstations and they are popular with those who are extremely devoted to video games. Some motherboards include embedded sound, video, and/or LAN adapters as standard or optional equipment. In the past, such motherboards were often designed for low-end systems, and used inexpensive and relatively incapable audio and video components. But nowadays many motherboards include very capable audio, video, and LAN adapters, and cost little or no more than similar motherboards without the embedded peripherals. If you buy such a motherboard, make sure that the embedded devices can be disabled if you later want to replace the embedded adapters with better components.

In December 1999, Intel introduced a riser card design modification for ATX motherboards. The design includes the addition of a 22-pin connector to one of the PCI slots on the motherboard, along with a two- or three-slot riser card that plugs in. The riser enables two or three PCI cards to be installed, but it does not support AGP. The best way to tell whether your system has an ATX-family motherboard design without removing the lid is to look at the back of the system.

Most current LPX systems support Pentium III processors and SDRAM, although a few models support Pentium 4 processors and DDR memory. These are relatively low-powered GPUs that are great for the usual productivity tasks, but only support less graphically demanding games (like e-sports titles). Motherboards come in different sizes, meaning that you have some flexibility in building your PC to fit into your environment. If you have plenty of space then you might want to use a full-size tower case, while if you’re building a home theater PC that’s meant to sit beneath your family room TV then you’ll likely want a much smaller case. As you do your research and compare motherboards, you will want to make sure that everything you want to accomplish is supported.