If you happen to be an avid gamer and one who spends a number of hours playing high-end computer games, then you would certainly be interested in knowing about the type of hardware that best suits your gaming requirements. Of course, if the only PC games that you play, happen to be Pinball or Solitaire or Minesweeper, then even an outdated, almost ancient Intel Pentium I processor will do just fine. However, if you're an action 'n' adventure freak who is totally into the likes of Need for Speed, Warcraft, Unreal, Age of Empires, Quake, Grand Theft Auto, etc. then it would be necessary for you to have a high-end computer with all the required hardware support. Motherboard is an important component of a computer because it acts as the core that is connected to other parts of the system.
Best Motherboards for Gaming PCs
Before we take a look at some of the individual computer motherboards, let us first get to know the preferred criteria i.e. hardware requirements that the best motherboard for gaming should have.
- Processor Compatibility: The CPU is the main workhorse of your computer and the component that is responsible for performing all the processing operations. A gaming PC will typically require a very fast and powerful CPU. At the same time, compatibility of the motherboard with the CPU is something which is considered as extremely important.
- RAM Slots: Gaming PCs have high RAM requirements. A motherboard that is meant for gaming should have a minimum of 4 RAM slots and it should be compatible with DDR2 RAM chips having a speed of approximately 1100 MHz.
- Graphics Card: The video memory or graphics memory is integral to high-end computer games which rely heavily on graphics and visuals. Usually, the regular motherboards have between 64MB to 128MB of inbuilt i.e. shared video memory. However, most of the high-end games will require you to have a video memory capacity between 256MB and 512MB. In such situations, you would require an additional graphics card which of course, needs to be compatible with the motherboard.
- PCI Slots and USB Ports:The ports and slots are known to play a significant role in high-end gaming. The motherboard is required to have a sufficient number of both (slots and ports); an ideal minimum figure would be 6 for the USB ports and 2 for the PCI slots.
Now that we have established the main criteria for selecting the best motherboard for a gaming PC, let us have a look at few of the motherboard models which fit the bill. Let us start with the Gigabyte MA785GM computer motherboard.
This newest release by Gigabyte is a dream come true for hardcore gaming enthusiasts. Built for compatibility with a number of AMD processors, this motherboard has a maximum RAM of up to 4GB (32-bit) and 16GB(64-bit). With 4 memory slots, 2 PCI slots, 12 USB ports and an on-board ATI Radeon HD 4200 video card to take care of the graphics department, this motherboard is definitely a must buy for gamers.
Asus M4N78 PRO
The Asus M4N78 PRO too supports a wide range of AMD processors like the AMD Athlon, Athlon X2, Sempron, Phenom II, Phenom X3 and Phenom X4. This motherboard too is capable of supporting a maximum of 4GB RAM (32-bit) and 16GB RAM (64-bit). It has 3 PCI slots, 12 USB ports, 2 PCI Express X1 slots and an NVIDIA GeForce 8300 chip that takes care of the graphics requirements. With a price tag of under hundred dollars, this product surely offers value for money!
One of the newest releases by Intel, the DX58SO is also loaded with quite a few features that would particularly please gamers. Four DDR3 SDRAM slots are amongst the first things which will catch your attention. The motherboard provides support for up to 16GB of RAM in total. Video memory is handled by two graphic cards, namely an Nvidia SLI series card and an ATI CrossFire counterpart. In addition to that, there are 12 USB ports, 6 Serial ATA 3.0 GB/s ports, 2 IEEE-1394a ports and other regular expansion slots.
This new motherboard by Asus is meant to provide stiff competition to the likes of Intel, Gigabyte and other manufacturers. A whopping 14 USB ports means that you never have to worry about connecting a large number of peripheral devices ever again. There are four DD3 DIMM RAM slots which ensure that speed won't be an issue. The user-friendly design of Asus P7P55D is a plus point which makes sure that adding or removing hardware components is completely hassle-free.
EVGA nForce 680i SLI
This motherboard is primarily modeled on the Nvidia 680i SLI chipset and is compatible with a series of Intel processors such as the Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme, Pentium EE and others. There are four DDR2 DIMM RAM slots which offer a total RAM capacity of 8GB. 10 USB ports, 2 PCI slots and a fair number of other expansion slots make it a good option for the serious gamer; it can surely be considered as a good motherboard for gaming, if not a great one.
This was a short overview on gaming motherboards for desktop computers. One should never compromise on the quality of motherboards because these components are considered the 'heart' of computer. Since each gamer's hardware and performance requirements are different from each other, labeling a particular motherboard as the best is a bit inappropriate. However, with a few ones having been shortlisted above, you can try them out and then decide which one of them happens to be the best.