Choosing Intel Motherboards

Intel motherboards power the machines we use to play games, run apps and do all the other things we do with PCs. When you start up your laptop or desktop, it’s an Intel motherboard that turns on the system’s components, interconnects them and launches the operating system. While many of the core functionality has moved into processors, choosing the right mobo can still make or break your PC experience.

The CPU connects directly to RAM, where it fetches instructions for the various programs you install and run, but most other components must communicate with the CPU via a chipset. The chipset works with a specific CPU generation and relays commands to the numerous expansion slots, storage connections and USB ports.

As a result, the chipset’s design can greatly influence a motherboard’s overall capabilities, especially when it comes to handling demanding hardware and overclocking. In many cases, the best motherboards for a specific CPU will feature the same chipset as the CPU itself.

For example, the GIGABYTE Z690I Aorus Ultra (DDR4) Lite features an Intel 12th-generation “Alder Lake” CPU and the 600-series chipset that supports it. This is the same chipset that the chip maker offers with its more expensive desktop CPUs. But the more affordable mobo trims some of the higher-end features, including dedicated graphics card support and four to eight USB ports that can be configured for RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10 arrays. The trimmed feature set isn’t a deal breaker, however, given that most consumers don’t require those advanced capabilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *