12th Generation Motherboards: Which One is Right for You?
9 months ago
Now that Intel has released its 12th generation of Core processors, you might be wondering which motherboard to choose to get the most out of your new chip. Each motherboard will work with any chip in the 12th generation, but each one offers different features and benefits that may make it better suited to your needs than others. Here are some of the most popular options in each price range. If you need help deciding which board is right for you, our customer service team would be happy to help you!
When buying a motherboard, you need to consider which CPU your computer will house. If it’s an Intel CPU, then there are three sockets to be aware of: LGA1151 (Skylake and Kaby Lake), LGA2011-v3 (Broadwell-E), and LGA2066 (Skylake X). AMD uses different sockets based on what generation they’re using. For example, Threadripper works with AMD X399 motherboards while Ryzen works with AM4 boards. The last thing you want to do when building a new PC is buy a motherboard that won’t work with your current or future CPU, so make sure to check compatibility!
Processor Support and Considerations
Some Intel and AMD motherboards support a particular processor, while others can work with multiple generations of chips. If you want to buy a new chip, be sure to confirm that your motherboard will work with it. A bit of research online should give you all you need to know about whether your motherboard supports a newer CPU or not. The easiest way to do that is by seeing if anyone has posted about using it with a particular processor on forums such as Tom’s Hardware or Reddit's /r/buildapc subreddit. Another thing to keep in mind when buying an i5 or i7 chip—they require an LGA 1151 socket on motherboards; while they are compatible with older sockets, they won't work well in those boards.
Choosing RAM (Memory)
RAM (short for random access memory) stores information in semiconductors and it’s important because your computer won’t start up without it. The amount of RAM you need depends on what you want to do with your PC. For example, if you plan to run a lot of programs at once, like editing video or photos simultaneously, then more RAM will likely be better for you. On average, Windows 10 requires 4 GB of RAM to run well—but 8 GB or 16 GB might be a better choice if you multitask often or use high-performance software. If speed is most important to you, especially if you have multiple processes running on your PC at once, opting for faster processor and hard drive options can give your system a boost.
Choosing a GPU
The best motherboard and processor in gaming will not be worth much if you don’t have a graphics card that can run today’s AAA titles. Although there are plenty of lower-cost options, you want to go with a GPU that can handle modern titles at higher settings. For example, more powerful graphics cards like GeForce GTX 1070 and Radeon RX Vega 56 will make your games look so good, you won’t need to upgrade your hardware anytime soon. At minimum, aim for a 1050 or 1060 (GeForce) or RX 560 or 570 (Radeon).
Choosing an SSD
Solid-state drives (SSDs) represent a huge leap forward in storage. These tiny chips have a tremendous impact on performance and durability. When choosing an SSD, it’s important to make sure you pick a size that’s right for your needs. If you plan to store large files like videos, songs or photographs, think about getting one with at least 1TB of space. If your system boots from an SSD, I recommend having at least 256GB to 512GB of storage; it will provide ample room for your most commonly used programs and files.
Choosing the Power Supply Unit (PSU)
The power supply unit (PSU) is one of those things that are easy to overlook when building a computer, but it’s actually one of most important. Without a good PSU, your PC won’t boot up, let alone run optimally. However, there are a lot of different types and features to consider, so here are some tips on what type you need and how to choose it. Once you know what to look for, it should be easy enough to pick out a PSU that fits your needs. I recommend you read our buying guide first if you're in doubt about anything else related to computers before looking at specific models!
Choosing A Case
The right case should have enough room to fit your components but not too much extra space that you aren’t able to efficiently air cool all of your components. While there are only a few cases available on the market at present, you can narrow down your options by deciding how many fans you want in your build and whether or not you intend to watercool your CPU. For those looking to go with air cooling, it’s best to stick with micro-ATX or mini-ITX cases since they often offer more room for air circulation than ATX towers. If watercooling is an option, then larger full tower designs will work best as there’s plenty of room for radiators and reservoirs.
Features You May Not Need, But Are Nice To Have
If you’re buying a motherboard today, one thing to consider are future-proofing and compatibility. You can find CPUs that won’t be fully compatible with every motherboard from day one. In many cases, it isn’t so much of an issue – they simply might not run at full speed, or offer all their features – but in other cases, you may not be able to use your CPU at all without a new motherboard. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on features that might be nice to have but aren't crucial in deciding which board to buy today.