|All of the motherboards we show will work properly with each processor shown on the same page. The boards all have built in audio and networking and will all provide the same level of performance. The motherboard is the backbone of your computer. Generally, the higher priced motherboards will give you a greater number of connectors and faster types of pathways for the information to travel to and from components and peripherals.
Memory - Motherboards will have either 2 or 4 memory slots (8 memory slots on workstation boards). We recommend a board with at least 4 memory slots.
Drive Connections - There are two current type of drive connectors:
SATA3 drives use a drive cable to connect optical, mechanical hard drives, and SSD drives to the system. Boards will have between 2 and 10 SATA ports.
M.2 is a slot on the motherboard surface. M.2 drives plug directly to the board with no cable. M.2 drives can be up to 5 times the speed of SATA3. Motherboards will have 0 to 3 M.2 slots.
USB - Three types (USB 2.0 / 0.5 Gb/sec), (USB 3.0 / 5.0 Gb/sec), (USB 3.1 / 10.0 Gb/sec). Boards will have a combination of different numbers of different speeds of these three types. With some ports out the back, plus headers for devices like front USB & card readers. See each board details for specifics.
Video Connections - Most motherboards will have good GPU based modern video. This is the equivalent of a $40 to $60 separate video card. The boards will have a combination of the following video connector types - VGA (Analog), DVI (Digital) , HDMI (Digital) , Display Port (Digital). All boards that have at least two connectors can display to dual monitors.
Note: Intel Socket 2011/2066, and AMD Threadripper/Ryzen CPUs (except Ryzen "G" series) have no integrated video and require a separate video card.
Expansion Slots - Boards have a different number of: PCIe slots - x1, x4, x8, & x16 slots are 1" to 4" long; are used for newer, modern expansion cards. Traditional PCI slots - Rarely still used - are for older or slower devices.
Sizes - Motherboards come in two main sizes, ATX (roughly 9" x 12") and Micro ATX (roughly 9" x 9" or less). If you are buying anything built in a case from us, all of our cases accept either ATX or Micro ATX.
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