Windows 10: What's a Good, Affordable Motherboard?

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  1.    26 Apr 2016 #21

    ruzzi said: View Post
    What's so special about ATX?
    Nothing. It's a standard board size, 305 X 244 mm (12 x 9.6 inches). microATX is 244 mm square or smaller. An ATX board can have 7 card slots. mATX is limited to 4.

    No overclocking? I think that some games may give enhanced framerates with overclocking, but the benefit may not be justified by the risk of instability. (You can also overclock the graphics card, most easily with software distributed by the card's maker. That has a definite effect.)

    Graphics cards normally use PCI-E X16 slots. If you're sure that you will never want to use multiple graphics cards, one X16 slot is enough. No single GPU (graphics processor unit) that I know of today is adequate for gaming at 4k resolution, but I assume that you're not contemplating that.

    (An aside: In the past, both nVidia and AMD have made cards with two GPUs on them. They are basically single-slot SLI [or Crossfire] setups. Usually very expensive, though. But they permitted SLI with a single slot.)

    I don't know about future proofing. For gaming, the strongest dependence is probably on the graphics card. Nearly all graphics cards in desktop PCs use a PCI-E X16 slot, and I have read nothing that leads me to expect that to change any time soon. If you'd like to build a PC that you could sell in 2020 for any large fraction of what you paid new, that strikes me as unlikely, even though the rate of advance of PC technology has slowed in recent years.
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  2. Posts : 3,211
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       26 Apr 2016 #22

    My thoughts about ATX and mATX. Mostly it is board size and that dictates the resources on them such as PCI, PCIe X1, PCIe X16, etc., slots and the case size. More slots for Add-in cards means a taller case.

    My history with building computers started in '94 in a local computer shop and all the Custom computers we built used AT-style motherboards, a lot of OEM were moving to PS/2. The AT keyboard plug was as big as one's thumb rather than the pinky-size PS/2 plugs. The mice used a 9-pin Serial port. Even the PS/2 ports are being left off more-modern boards/computers in favor of USB. All-in-all it's just technology marching on. I was recently given an 80386 40MHz computer [Custom] with an AT board and the keyboard and mouse to work with it.

    One other point on the AT and ATX differences, the AT power switch connected directly to the power supply while the ATX switch connects to the motherboard, pressing it tells the motherboard to get things started. There's usually continuous power to the ATX motherboard even when completely off but not unplugged.
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  3.    27 Apr 2016 #23

    More than one PCIe x16 you need badly only if you want to use multiple GPUs but it can also be used with x1, x4 and x8 cards.
    x16 is used mostly for GPUs although there are few for other Xs.
    Most of other than GPU cards come with x1 as they don't need the bus speed of full x16 except for some rarities. It's very flexible bus.
    Ordinary PCI buses are needed for some legacy HW and you can get away without them if you don't desperately need them for cards you already have and can't be replaced with PCIe equivalents.. They are rare on newer MBs and going into history together with IDE (PATA) disk interface, floppy disks and even CD/DVDs
    Keep in mind that you may loose one of PCIe buses on account of most GPUs except for most simple ones covering them.
    So, full ATX MBs have more expandability features but no performance gains over smaller formats.
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  4.    27 Apr 2016 #24

    Here's my build so far. I definitely won't do X-fire or Sli.

    Intel Core i5-6500, MSI GeForce GTX 970, Cooler Master HAF 912 USB3.0 - Lighter Rig - xlooks Saved Part List - PCPartPicker

    I already got a PSU and good conputer case. But I hope I can find lower priced ones. Can you guys suggest a lower priced but "future proof" PSU and computer case for this build?
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  5.    27 Apr 2016 #25

    ruzzi said: View Post
    Here's my build so far. I definitely won't do X-fire or Sli.

    Intel Core i5-6500, MSI GeForce GTX 970, Cooler Master HAF 912 USB3.0 - Lighter Rig - xlooks Saved Part List - PCPartPicker

    I already got a PSU and good conputer case. But I hope I can find lower priced ones. Can you guys suggest a lower priced but "future proof" PSU and computer case for this build?
    Just can tel you that Gold Certified PSU means that it might save you few bucks per year on electricity bill and is not a guarantee of it's quality.
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  6.    27 Apr 2016 #26

    CountMike said: View Post
    Just can tel you that Gold Certified PSU means that it might save you few bucks per year on electricity bill and is not a guarantee of it's quality.
    I see. But what computer case do you recommend to substitute the one I picked out? The one I picked out is $60 which to me is a bit pricey. Can you find one lower priced but has good cable management and air flow for my build?
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  7.    27 Apr 2016 #27
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  8.    27 Apr 2016 #28

    BunnyJ said: View Post
    Its the same price as the one in my build.
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  9.    27 Apr 2016 #29
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  10.    28 Apr 2016 #30
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