Choosing a Motherboard

Your motherboard serves as your PC’s central communications backbone— a point through which all components and external peripherals connect. The most important thing to remember when browsing our options is that each one of these motherboards has been carefully cherry picked by MAINGEAR to offer the best overall value, features, and performance. Our configurators are also designed to only present compatible motherboards to you, so you never have to worry you’re making the wrong decision.

The key areas where motherboards differ are form factor, connectivity, features, and expandability.

Form factor. Pretty straightforward. Will it fit in your new MAINGEAR PC? If you’re seeing a motherboard as an option in this configurator, the answer is yes.

Connectivity. Consider what kind of ports you’ll need. Do you require Thunderbolt? 10G LAN? Do you need a certain number of USB ports? What about Wi-Fi and Bluetooth? Do you need an optical audio port to connect your surround sound? While most motherboards will offer ample connectivity for all, it’s important to review the specs if there’s a connection type you’re seeking specifically.

Features. Premium motherboards will oftentimes include some additional hardware and software features. Hardware features may include diagnostic LED screens to make diagnosing issues easier, a BIOS flashback button for stress-free BIOS management, and refinements such as gold-plated connectors. Software features may include a host of utilities for everything from fan control to lighting to overclocking. Typically, a more premium motherboard will include a more comprehensive software suite. With that said, all MAINGEAR PCs are fully optimized and configured prior to shipping.

Expandability. The motherboard dictates how many components can be integrated into your system. Our most basic options are generally sufficient for majority of users, but those seeking support for multiple PCIe devices (sound cards, capture cards, networking cards, additional graphics cards, etc) or a high number of NVMe SSDs, will want to be sure their choice can accommodate that. It’s important to choose the right configuration for the job at hand. Most gamers just require single-GPU, single-SSD configurations, which makes any of our desktops a viable option. An animator, however, may require multiple graphics cards, or a wealth of storage drives to hold media and backups, and with that the proper motherboard would be required.

Feeling ready to make the jump into a new build? Head over to our custom configurators to spec out your new system here. If you'd rather leave the research and customization to the experts, take a look at our Ready to Game systems here.

Too many options? Still have questions? Give us a call at 908-620-9050 or reach out via email to Our entire staff is made up of gamers and creators alike, and we’re happy to lend a hand with configuring your new PC, however you plan to use it most!

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