Best motherboard: You have to pay attention to this when buying
The motherboard is the heart of every computer. It ensures that processor, hard drive, graphics card and other components can work together – provided that all components are compatible with each other. We will tell you which are currently the best mainboards and what is important when making a selection.
Processor and mainboard (socket) must fit together
Processors today mainly come from two manufacturers: Intel and AMD. The biggest difference between the processor models of the two companies is the so-called socket.
The socket is the place on the motherboard where the processor sits. Therefore, socket or mainboard and processor must be compatible. Before you buy a mainboard, you have to decide whether you have or want to buy an Intel or AMD CPU.
The current motherboard sockets are 1700 for Intel and AM4 for AMD.
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Make sure you have enough slots
The number and type of the remaining slots (apart from the processor) is also decisive for the choice of the right mainboard. The so-called PCIe slots are important for connecting graphics, sound and WLAN cards.
For example, the graphics card requires a PCIe slot x16. However, since the cards today have a powerful cooling system installed, they take up more space. The result: Usually the next slot is omitted because it is covered.
In general, the more slots a mainboard has, the better. And if you can invest a little more money, you should make sure that the mainboard of your choice does not have x1 slots but x4 slots. This makes your mainboard and thus your PC future-proof.
SATA and NVMe connections for fast hard drives
How many data carriers do you want to block? You should be aware of this before you decide on a mainboard.
SATA is now the predominant standard used to connect hard drives, DVD or Blu-ray burners and other data carriers. Therefore, many motherboards have four to six SATA ports, which should be enough for most users.
Things are different with NVMe. NVMe hard drives have the so-called M.2 format. This means that the data carriers are particularly small and are plugged directly into a slot on the mainboard like a graphics card. A future-proof mainboard should therefore have at least two NVMe slots – or a PCIe slot x4, in which you can install an M.2 adapter card.
The right motherboard for your case
Not every mainboard fits in every PC case. Mainboards usually have the form factor ATX or mATX, which is compatible with most midi and big tower cases. However, there are also mainboards with the form factor (mini-)ITX. This makes the boards more compact so that they also fit into smaller housings. However, if you use a standard case, there is a risk that the mainboard's holes will not match those of the tower – so you won't be able to attach the board.
Intel mainboards: Recommended models
The MSI mainboard offers many connection options. Image: © SATURN 2022
If you are looking for a mainboard for an Intel processor of the current socket 1700 generation, we recommend the MSI mainboard MEG Z690 Unify-X . As recommended above, it offers many connection options: five M.2 slots and six SATA sockets are on board.
Alternatively, the Asus mainboard ROG Maximus Z690 Hero and the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master are recommended.
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Our recommendations for AMD mainboards
This motherboard for AMD processors also offers five M.2 slots and six SATA sockets. Image: © SATURN 2022
Our first recommendation for the mainboards for AMD processors also comes from MSI: the MSI MEG X570S Unify-X Max . It's basically the same model as our Intel recommendation – the mainboard also scores with a lot of connection options.
As alternatives, we recommend the Asus mainboard ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero and the MSI model MEG X570S Ace Max .
Buy now Mainboards AMD Socket AM4 at
- Before you buy a motherboard, you need to know which processor you want to install on it so that you can choose the right socket.
- The form factor of the motherboard is important in order for it to fit into your PC's case.
- Make sure you have enough connectivity options like PCIe slots, as well as SATA and NVMe ports to be future-proof.