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Choosing a motherboard for a higher end DIY project


Years past, I was reasonable up on all the various components that went into a desk top type computer.  I built quite a few, and the last one, still whirring along but not as fast as some of the newer software needs, is between 7 and 8 years ago.

I know what I want for memory speed and type (DDR4, 3600), and probably will go with the flat board PCI type hard drive for the primary drive to hold Win10 and all it's needs. 

I've used ASUS motherboards in the past, but now see that there aren't just a few to choose from, but many.  I'm not adverse to Gigabyte, both who seem to have been in business for awhile.  I don't need to overclock much or at all.  A modular power supply would be nice, but I don't need fans that change color like a cuttlefish at the slightest provocation on either the power supply or chip cooling device.

Some advertise themselves as 'gaming' boards, and I see that usually means a wifi antenna port rather than an RJ-45 to hard wire to the router, and no or little on-board graphics, I assume any gamer worth his or her salt would chose and see if they can even buy a high end graphics board to allow them all that comes with it.

I really can go with ASUS or Gigabyte for motherboards, and would like to have at least one RJ-45 ethernet on board and optimized for that, and the ability to use an   I-7 or -9 chip.  I see that a 490 or 590 seems to designate the chipset with all the wonders in support that they do, with some even saying that they'll support the latest CPUs from Intel (which makes me wonder if once that is established as the norm, the lower level cpus won't be able to be found any more if one goes kerplunk.

So, if those who are gurus and have studied this recently, can you give me any hints about what to look for, or avoid like the plague, in the quest to get a pretty good motherboard, which can make use of the Intel chip on-board graphics for now, two monitors if I can?  This would allow me to focus on a few boards rather than try to digest the whole gamut.  I see both NewEgg and Amazon seem to be about the same for offerings. 

And of course any thoughts on memory brand, board type main SSD drive types, and power supplies and CPU coolers would be appreciated, if you have an opinion.

And do I need to throw in a DVD/BluRay reader/writer as was pretty much standard on my last builds?

Thanks.   Dale

Well last year during one of the lockdowns I built myself a new desktop. I'm an AMD person so used an MSI m/b, the MSI B450-A PRO MAX Motherboard  which is ATX format with DDR4, LAN, USB 3.2 Gen2, M.2, VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and takes an AMD RYZEN 5 3400G with on board Radeon VEGA Graphics. I'm sure they must do an INTEL board as well. I am very happy with it and I am not a gamer. I had to add a card for extra SATA support as using the M.2 slot for an SSD takes up two SATA ports. I dont run Windows btw strictly Linux  ;)

I think MSI are worth a look.


Thx for the report.  I'm sort of mired in Win land with all the legacy software I have for that platform and on this particular computer I'm replacing.  Some of course is group ware, but many necessary and familiar programs only run under Win.

I will look to see what this company has to offer for Intel hardware, I've heard of them but never used them.

Interesting that using some plug in stuff soaks up a couple of ports and an add on card was needed to get some SATA connectivity.

All helpful, and thank you.

I have a gamer system not really that new and bought the new  flight sim. Was b,own away by all the data to sift through just to upgrade graphics card.

I am curious to follow what you choose and why. I have an idea I may need a work at home rig soon. Maybe  not intense  gaming but will need horsepower.

I just want to chime in and mention that if you're looking for a motherboard optimized for Ethernet, look for one with Intel LAN. As for onboard graphics, you can use the Intel graphics for now, but if you plan to do any gaming, you'll want a dedicated graphics card.
When it comes to two monitors, look for a motherboard with multiple display outputs, such as HDMI and DisplayPort. And as for the DVD/BluRay reader/writer, it's up to you if you still want one, but they're not as necessary as they used to be.
In terms of recommendations, you might want to look into the best motherboards for Ryzen 7 5800X, as they're currently one of the top-performing CPUs on the market.


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