Is the A320M motherboard good for gaming?
9 months ago
Are you looking to upgrade your PC for improved gaming performance? Are you wondering whether or not the A320M motherboard from MSI is good enough to support your gaming habits? The answer, in both cases, is yes! By picking up an A320M motherboard you’ll be getting plenty of bang for your buck. This model offers up excellent graphics and sound at a low price point—making it ideal for anyone who wants to upgrade their computer but doesn’t want to sacrifice much in the way of performance.
The Intel A320 chipset
This chipset is a little older, and in its heyday it was used on all sorts of desktop motherboards. However, these days it's generally relegated to entry-level boards that don't get much use. But if you're looking for an AMD-based motherboard, many manufacturers still make them with this chipset. It's not going to be terribly expensive—in fact, we spotted some great deals as of press time on Amazon . The MSI Micro ATX AM4 A320M Gaming PRO board has four USB ports, two DIMMs (for up to 32GB RAM), and three PCIe x16 slots along with support for M.2 storage devices.
The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
AMD’s new Ryzen 3 2200G is an entry-level APU. Although it’s not as powerful as their Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 7 2700X processors, it costs half as much. It makes a great option for budget builds that don’t need a ton of processing power—it should be enough to get your games up and running smoothly. Many customers may ask whether or not an A320M motherboard can handle its modest speeds, though, so let’s look at that question in more detail.
Overclocking the CPU
So you’ve got an AMD A320M chipset and want to game, but not sure if overclocking your CPU is a good idea. For those of you that don’t know what overclocking is: it’s simply increasing a component’s performance by using specialized equipment (the CPU in question here) or changing settings within software (like Windows). As a rule of thumb, only overclock your components if you’re looking to eke out every last bit of performance. Overclocking is easy enough to do —you just need to know what you're doing— so even if you want to play around with it later on, why not get started right away?
Choosing a graphics card
First, you’ll need to choose a graphics card. A good rule of thumb is that a powerful processor and graphics card will beat out an average processor paired with a high-end graphics card. This comes from knowing that most games are optimized to run on specific cards—and if you pair your beefy Intel Core i7 processor with a mid-range Nvidia or AMD graphics card, it’s not going to be as effective as pairing that Intel Core i7 with an Nvidia GTX 1070. So when choosing your components, just make sure they complement each other well. If you have more questions about which graphics card is best for your build, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email!
If you’re building a gaming PC, it goes without saying that you want to load up on some high-performance components. RAM is pretty crucial here—the higher your speed and capacity, the better performance you can expect from your system. But picking out memory isn’t exactly a simple task. There are different types of memory, and each one has its pros and cons depending on what sort of system you’re building. If you have no idea where to start when picking out RAM for your build, our handy guide below should give you all of the info you need before hitting Amazon or Newegg to start placing an order.
Choosing an SSD
If you’re new to building a computer, one of your first tasks will be selecting a solid-state drive (SSD) for your system. But how do you know if an SSD is right for you? With so many options on today’s market, it can be tough to decide. And it gets even harder when confronted with terms like M.2 and PCI Express that don’t mean much to casual users. To help guide your purchase decision, we’ve put together a quick rundown of some of today’s most popular drives and their respective uses. This guide will also help answer some questions about newer options such as PCIe-based drives and form factors like M.2.
We do our best to give readers multiple options when we write a product review, so if you don't agree with our choices, let us know in the comments and we'll have another go at it. The G4560 is your budget option: It's a dual-core with hyperthreading (the ability to use two processing threads per core) that retails around $100. This means it's perfect for games that don't use many cores, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If you want a more powerful option, try something like an i5-7500 ($200), which has four cores and eight threads.
It all depends on your other components. Generally, it’s a good idea to go with at least a i5 processor and 8GB of RAM if you want to get serious about your gaming. You’ll also need an optical drive and a hard drive (usually 1TB) so you can install your operating system. If you opt for one of AMD’s cards, keep in mind that many don’t support CrossFire, which means two GPUs are required instead of one. As for graphics cards, NVIDIA is generally a better option than AMD but does cost more. Regardless of who makes your card, make sure you pay attention to its power consumption requirements; some graphics cards require as much as 500W!