By Racey Carpenter
So you’re finally going to build that computer system on your own. You
will need to make a few decisions before purchasing any parts. What are your
computer needs; gaming, video or email? The next step is determining which chip
you will use, Intel or AMD and what the exact socket type will be. Once you
have determined this you can pick out a motherboard to cater to your specific
needs. Some people pick motherboards first while others pick the chip, kinda
which came first the chicken or the egg.
One thing to keep in mind is that each chip and motherboard have a special type of ‘socket’ that must match. An example of this is AMD popular ‘socket A’ chip. So make sure that the processor and motherboard are compatible.
You will need to know what type of video card you will use, PCIexpress or AGP. After you have decided this you can move on to picking out your actual board. Also keep in mind motherboards vary in size so make sure it fits your case.
Motherboards themselves have many types of options that you should consider when making a purchase. Think of motherboards as the base of your system. Everything is built on them so they need to be stable so you should not skimp in this area. Some important options to look for are S/Pdif out, USB and firewire slots, BIOS configuration for over clocking, hard drive options (sata, raid) and built in LAN connection. Almost all motherboards come with some sort of built in soundboard these days so if sound is important you should look into the specific codec of the board.
S/Pdif is short for Sony/Phillips Digital interface. This port is used when connecting your computer to a home stereo system or home theater. USB and Firewire ports are essential when connecting devices such as iPods and digital cameras to your computer. On all motherboards you should be able to get into the Bios, it is controllable and some boards allow you to over clock your processor to run at higher speeds relatively easily, gamers love this option. Motherboards built in sound boards are surprisingly good and have advanced rapidly, some even allow 8 cannel surround sound. You should be happy with any of the onboard sound options of today’s motherboards.
If you’re unsure about any of these options you will need to do a little
more research before making a purchase. Good Luck and don’t be afraid,
its easier than you think!