What is the difference between a gaming and a non-gaming motherboard?
9 months ago
When purchasing a new computer, you have the option of choosing between two types of motherboards – gaming and non-gaming. What’s the difference? It all comes down to what you’re looking to do with your computer, so it’s important to know what you need before you make your decision so that you can find the right motherboard to fit your needs and meet your expectations. This article will tell you everything you need to know about gaming and non-gaming motherboards, so continue reading to learn more!
Anatomy of an ATX motherboard
ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) motherboards are just about as standard as it gets for PCs. There are some other form factors like Mini ITX, Micro ATX, EATX and BTX that have all gained popularity in recent years, but ATX remains king for desktops and servers. At its most basic level, an ATX board has slots for expansion cards on one side of its circuit board—usually made up of red and black ports—and a large bank of power connectors on its backside that connect to your PC’s power supply unit. The front side has slots for RAM (random access memory) along with four or five USB ports.
Gaming motherboards are better at these 2 things
Powering high-end graphics cards, CPUs, and multiple storage devices. For example, if you’re into games like Grand Theft Auto V or Star Wars Battlefront 2, having a PC that can handle 4K graphics means everything. And if you’re planning on connecting several hard drives to your PC at once (for backups), getting a board with 6 or more SATA ports is essential. So while there isn’t much of an advantage in these two areas when it comes to motherboards targeted at mainstream users who want to run multiple applications at once, having a more robust set of tools can give gaming PCs a leg up on their counterparts. This power doesn't come cheap, however; high-end boards are often more expensive than their mainstream counterparts.
Non-gaming motherboards have this feature too
Integrated graphics card. Non-gaming motherboards have integrated graphics (IGP) in them too; however, these aren’t usually as powerful as what you would find on a gaming motherboard. When it comes to processing power, IGP will get you far. You can also hook up other kinds of displays to an integrated graphics card like TVs or projectors for your presentations. So, if you don’t plan on playing games and only need average CPU and GPU power, then investing in an entry level non-gaming motherboard might be good option for you. However, when it comes to doing some heavy lifting on games or more demanding applications then a dedicated GPU is still needed.
Gaming motherboards have this feature but not this one
A true gaming motherboard needs several key features. First, it needs support for Intel's Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) or AMD's Ryzen Memory Profile Extension (RMP). XMP allows you to automatically overclock your memory to its highest rated speed, which should make your games play faster and smoother. Second, it needs support for Nvidia SLI or AMD CrossFire multi-GPU setups so that you can game at high resolutions with all of your favorite settings maxed out on multiple displays at once.