Let’s talk motherboards for a second.
Once your found all the hardware that suits your needs it is time to put them all together.
The next logical step is to pick a motherboard. This is a rather large printed circuit board which contains all of the needed sockets to plug in your hardware (PCI-x, S-ATA, RAID, …).
General rule when building your own computer is to make sure that all the parts in the computer are in harmony (we’re almost talking kung-fu here). So a few things to keep in mind when picking a motherboard…
Always take a good look at which cpu socket is available on the motherboard. Notice that the manual which comes with the cpu you bought will show the type of socket is required. Very frequently used sockets are: AM3 (amd cpu’s), socket 1156 (intel), socket 775 (intel), socket 1366 (intel).
There is no need to say that your motherboard should have the exact same socket available or your cpu will simply not fit :’)…
Same goes for the RAM memory, take a look at the manual or on the sticker which is on the RAM. It should say which type it is DDR, DDR2, DDR3, SDRAM, … . The motherboard should be able to handle this type of RAM. It is mostly so that, a motherboard which can handle DDR3 RAM, will also be able to handle DDR or DDR2 ram.
Also make sure that your motherboard can handle the amount of RAM your purchased. No use putting in 8GB if the mobo only supports 4GB.
We already discussed GPUs. So for the motherboard the only thing you should know is if your GPU requires an AGP or PCI-x slot. For “new” computers this will most likely be PCI-x. If you are using or are planning to use SLI. Keep in mind that you need at least 2 PCI-x slots.
Hard drive compatibility. There are different types of hard drives, the most commonly used are IDE (ATA) and SATA. IDE is a thin wide cable, SATA is a small and compact cable.
The front side bus is also very important. This was also discussed in an earlier post. If your RAM and CPU can handle high speed data transfer, but your front side bus cannot. Than all of your precious performance will be lost forever!.
Make sure it’s compatible!
There things should get you well on your way to your own build computer…