Motherboards

What is Motherboard? Which are the Best Budget Motherboards in 2021?

A motherboard, also known as the mainboard, system board, or logic board, is a printed circuit board that acts as the nerve center of a computer by connecting hardware such as the microprocessor and RAM. Two or more panels may be connected via various connectors and Sockets to form a laptop in modern electronic systems. It’s typically where all components are mounted except the power supply unit (PSU), which has connector ports mounted on it instead of being plugged in directly to the PC case from inside out.

The two most common types of motherboards are ATX and Micro-ATX boards. The pins on a motherboard can take any number of forms depending upon the age and manufacturer of the motherboard. However, they all serve the same basic purpose: to attach hardware components and allow communication between them. To get to know about the best budget motherboard first you have to know what are the different parts of it. The information about all parts of motherboard are given below.

Parts of motherboard

A motherboard is a board that holds many of the crucial components in a computer like CPU (Central Processing Unit), RAM (Random Access Memory), and other chips such as sound card, video card, Northbridge chip, and Southbridge chip. It also houses connectors for input devices such as keyboard and mouse, serial communication ports, parallel communication ports, etc., memory slots; processor socket and so on.

The motherboard is one of the essential parts of a PC because it connects almost everything in a system. Its size generally categorizes the motherboard form factor, usually denoted by the number “ATX” or “mat.”

Glossary of standard chipset term

We’ve put together a glossary of standard chipset terms to help you understand your motherboard chipset and how it affects performance.

Clock generator

A clock generator is a chip in the chipset or Super I/O controller that generates several crucial CPU and system clocks from a single reference frequency input. The CPU bus uses a non-multiplexed command/address and data lines generated by the clock generator.

Read More: 7 Best Motherboard for Ryzen 7 3700x in 2021 – TechZena

System Management Bus

Also known as SMB, this is one method by which some chipsets can communicate with devices such as advanced configuration and power management (ACPI) and management devices (e.g., IBM Active Protection System).

System Management Interrupt

Also known as an SMI, a particular type of interrupt sent by hardware to the CPU that allows certain chipset features to work. For example, when you close a laptop lid, the SMI tells your OS to hibernate, so any open files are saved.

Phase-Locked Loop

The clock generator uses frequency dividers and phase comparators to generate correct internal timing signals from an external clock source, often the front side bus or Hyper Transport interface. The accuracy and stability of these clocks are critical if CPUs and other components will run correctly at their rated speeds.    

Voltage regulator

An IC that supplies proper voltages to the various parts of the motherboard according to their needs. Voltage regulators are often built into the chipset.  

Hyper Transport

A high-bandwidth, low-latency interconnect standard intended to replace the front-side bus for chipsets and CPUs. Hyper Transport is also used on video cards. Most newer processors have at least one Hyper Transport socket, while most older models do not.

RAMP/Light PATH

RAMP (registered accelerated move port) is a technology designed by VIA Technologies to maximize memory and I/O bandwidth in multi-core processors with a shared L3 cache or system memory. RAMP works between Northbridge and Southbridge to enhance bandwidth or move data directly between RAM and I/O. Light PATH is VIA’s implementation of the USB 3.0 standard, providing high-speed connections between system components (e.g., storage devices, graphics cards) without burdening the CPU with traffic control duties.

Best budget motherboard in 2021

1. Highpoint Rocket RAID 620

The Rocket RAID 620 is a two-card RAID 0/1 solution in an affordable 2U chassis. It’s powered by an LSI SAS1078 chipset which supports up to four SATA 6Gb/s ports with the option to add four more via external mini-SAS connectors on the second card. The lower profile Raiser plating lets you mount the controller just about anywhere in your case, while dual 80mm fans keep your drives cool.

Two gigs of RAM are included, which is nice considering most controllers don’t include any. The Rocket RAID 620 has a lot to offer for its price tag and makes an excellent choice for enthusiasts on a budget or space-conscious workstation builders.

2. ASUS Crosshair V Formula

Since the first Crosshair was introduced all the way back in 1999, ASUS’s flagship AMD boards have been known for their performance, overclocking potential, and feature sets. The new Formula continues this tradition with an AM3+ socket, dual x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated), 8-phase power design, Lucid Logix Virtu MVP support, UEFI BIOS, and support for AMD’s latest FX processors.

We also get 4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports, 8 x USB 2.0 ports, 12 x USB 3.0 ports (6 back panel + 6 via header), dual gigabit Ethernet with teaming, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, ASUS iControl software, Bluetooth 4.0 / Wi-Fi adapter, and much more. If you’re looking for one of the best AM3+ boards around that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Crosshair V Formula Z.

3. Fractal Design Core 1100

The brushed aluminum front panel gives this case a modern feel while keeping the price low enough to attract budget-minded users. The case measures 8.3″H x 6.7″W x 13.4″ D and weighs just over 10 pounds, so it should slide easily into most backpacks or laptop bags. The front panel features a dual-speed fan controller that can run both fans at the same time or one at a time for silent operation when you’re not gaming. There’s also an LED on/off switch that controls the blue strip where Fractal Design’s logo is printed, giving you complete control of your build colors without resorting to Windows tweaking tools.

4. Aero cool Aero 500 Black

This steel microbats’ case has room inside for up to six 3.5″ drives (2 external + 4 internal) as well as a 5.25″ optical drive and three more 2.5″ drives. It has two 120mm intake fans on the front panel, which you can remove to install 240 or 280mm radiators for water-cooling builds.

The top panel features a place to mount a standard dual 120mm radiator with a pre-cut grill, so you don’t have to take it out of the box to use it. You also get four USB 3.0 ports, audio input/output jacks, and an LED on/off switch for the blue power light at the bottom of the case, just above where your GPU will sit. This cleanly styled steel microbats’ case is easy on the eyes.

FAQs

Can you use an AM3+ CPU with a motherboard based on the 9xx chipset?

No. The socket has been changed from 940 to 942 and from 9xx to 970. The only chipsets that support both 9xx and AM3+ are the seven series chipset (780G and 770)

What is the difference between UD3 and UD5?

UD3 lacks SATA 6.0 GB/s support and uses only 2 phases for the CPU VCore. UD5 has all 3 SATA ports, 6.0 Gb/s, 4 phases for the CPU VCore, and an additional degree used for the iGPU.

What is the difference between Realtek ALC887 and ALC889?

The ALC887 has no support for X-Fi audio. The ALC889 is with full support for X-Fi.

What is the advantage of 802.11ac?

– Speed/performance – Most devices are still only sporting 802.11n, with a theoretical max of 450 Mbit/s. 802.11ac, on the other hand, offers speeds up to 1,300Mbit/s (with the 11ac protocol).

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