Here’s why you don’t need an expensive motherboard

Have you ever wondered why some computer motherboards cost more than your CPU? There was a time when your choice of motherboard could take a heavy toll on your PC’s performance, but nowadays the real difference is almost non-existent unless you go for it. really low end.

Still, expensive motherboards do exist, like the MSI MEG Z690 GODLIKE, retailing for the occasional two grand.


The thing is, do you Actually derive a tangible benefit from its use? Here are some reasons to avoid expensive motherboards, especially if your budget is tight.

The price is justified, but not for you

Before we understand why expensive motherboards are not for you, we must first consider why these motherboards are so expensive in the first place. The short story is that while it’s largely just branding and hype, expensive motherboards do have a few legitimate benefits.

For one thing, expensive motherboards will almost always throw everything away and the kitchen sink. This means you’ll often see motherboard features and parts like Thunderbolt 4, PCIe Gen 5 slots (both PCI Express slots and m.2 slots) all around, DDR5 RAM, multiple USB ports, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and amazing in-car audio. The motherboard itself is also thicker and accepts more complex PCB traces, to allow faster connectivity all around the board.

True, you will always find a lot of stuffed animals that you do not need. In the case of MSI’s MEG Z690 GODLIKE, the motherboard comes with an integrated LCD screen that can give information about temperatures, integrated buttons for reset and power, and most importantly, a thick casing and heatsinks. with a plot of RGB. When we say it’s filled with RGB, it’s because this thing could land a 757 in your office.

These things are fine, but you really don’t need them. At least not all of them. Still, for the right people, it has some neat perks you can take advantage of. In the case of some ASUS ROG motherboards, you have something called “DIMM.2”, which gives you an extra DIMM slot (not RAM compatible) that can be used for additional m.2 NVMe SSDs through a special adapter.

High-end chipsets aren’t as necessary as you think

Surprisingly, some of the things you don’t actually need are high-end motherboard chipsets, like Intel’s Z690 or AMD’s X570. Unless you plan on doing certain things, you’ll be fine with the mid-range ones. Yes, even with a Ryzen 9 or an Intel Core i9.

There’s no need to pair your high-end processor with an equally expensive motherboard. As long as it has reliable VRMs and connectivity, it will be fine. The technical differences between the B660 and Z690 motherboards in the case of Intel or the B550 and X570 motherboards in the case of AMD boil down to the high-end chipsets supporting more PCIe Gen 5/4 lanes and the socket support for overclocking. That is just about everything. You won’t see a performance hit running your Core i9 or Ryzen 9 on a low-end chipset.

Most of the features you want to worry about will come from your motherboard choice or manufacturer rather than your chipset. In fact, as a general rule, if you have a choice, it’s better to buy a good B660/B550 motherboard than a cheaper Z690/X570 motherboard. You’ll likely have a better and more stable experience with the lower-end chipset in these scenarios.

When should I buy an expensive motherboard?

If your budget is tight, saving money on a smarter motherboard choice is a recommended course of action. However, it’s not like expensive motherboards have no place. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t exist, after all.

If your system exceeds the price mark of several thousand dollars and you have many high-end components, such as several high-speed SSDs, premium RAM, an ultra-expensive GPU and a powerful power supply to back it all up, you can start. consider adding an expensive motherboard to your build. As nifty as they are, they’re best for reliable, lightning-fast connectivity, and if you want to make smart use of everything in them, then you might as well have one.

However, most people do not respect this mark. That’s why you should probably look for a smarter motherboard choice instead.

What should I look for in a cheaper motherboard?

Buying a cheaper motherboard doesn’t mean buying the very first one that fits your budget. We told you earlier that your motherboard choice wouldn’t have a big impact on your performance, but there are some options that you should avoid due to their other downsides.

Here are some factors to consider when buying a motherboard.

VRM/power supply

Check the VRMs of the motherboard you plan to buy. These are the MOSFETs, inductors, and capacitors that you can find around a CPU socket, and they are responsible for providing reliable power to your CPU. It’s not the easiest thing to check, especially if you’re inexperienced, so the best way to get an opinion on a motherboard’s VRM is to search the motherboard online for reviews. . If you’re lucky, you might find an in-depth review that mentions how good or bad a motherboard’s VRMs are.


Check your motherboard connectivity options. Compare it to a list of components you assembled and see if everything fits and is completely compatible. If you have chosen both a PCIe Gen 4 graphics card and a PCIe Gen 4 SSD, check if you have both a PCIe slot and a Gen 4 compatible m.2 slot and if you have enough ways to perform both.


Check if your motherboard’s networking options are suitable for your specific use case. Also, be sure to read reviews about a motherboard’s modem quality. In many cases, it’s better to sacrifice things like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in favor of other, more important parts of the motherboard. If you really need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can get a Wi-Fi card to bring the functionality to your PC.

You don’t need an expensive motherboard

While spending more money on your motherboard was once a worthwhile investment, these days the real technical differences between most cheap and expensive motherboards mean you can get away with a well-researched, cheaper option. and have an experience that’s 99% as good as you’ll get with an expensive option.

Hopefully you can now make a more informed purchase.

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