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Newegg FAQs

Find common FAQs for computer related topics.

Motherboards

These are questions and answers for computer motherboards.

Motherboard FAQs

Not every computer case will work with every motherboard. The size or form-factor of your motherboard matters a lot. Please take note of your motherboard’s form-factor so that you can select a case that will support it.

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Dell PC cases may be different sizes, so you’ll need to check your dimensions to see if your case is full-tower, mid-tower, or mini-ITX. Once you know the size of your case, you can search for a motherboard with a compatible form factor. Be aware that some boards can have a proprietary design that will not match that of your standard form factors of microATX, ATX etc.

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A computer case is a plastic or metal housing that contains the computer’s components such as the motherboard, hard drive, etc.

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A computer case fan is a fan that is installed into a computer case to create airflow to cool the components inside of the computer. They can come in a variety of sizes with the most common being 120mm and 140mm.

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The computer case is the plastic or metal housing that contains the computer’s components such as the motherboard, hard drive, etc. A power supply is normally housed inside of a computer case and is used to power all of the internal parts of the computer.

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If your computer case will not power on, check to see if the power supply is plugged in and turned on correctly. It’s also a good thing to ensure your powerstrip or any power protection your computer is plugged in also has power. Also, make sure that all the front I/O connections are correctly connected to the motherboard. If all of those appear to be correct and you continue to see issues, consult a PC expert to determine what the issue is.

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Most computer cases can be opened with common tools, or even without any tools at all. Look for screws or thumb-screws, usually along the back edges of the case. If you are having trouble opening the case, consult your manual or online videos, and be sure not to force anything. Computer cases are made to be easily disassembled/reassembled.

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Washing your computer case can be done, but the best method depends on the materials used in your case. Consider using compressed air for a lot of your cleaning, as this should be sufficient and is far easier and much less likely to hurt your components.

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It is possible to build a completely custom PC case, but it’s not a simple project. If it is your first time building a PC case, we recommend consulting an expert before doing so. There are also videos online that can give you a more complete understanding of the process involved.

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It is possible to 3D print a computer case, but there are challenges involved. It isn’t recommended for people new to either 3D printing or PC building. You can find some examples of 3D printed PC cases by searching online.

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You can reuse or switch out your computer case when upgrading internal parts as long as all components, like the motherboard, still fit.

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You can paint or customize many computer cases, though it’s best to do your research about the right materials to use in the process, depending on the construction of your case. There are many tutorials online that can introduce you to the world of case customization, but be aware that any after-purchase modification is likely to void your warranty.

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Computer cases do not usually cause problems for your PC, but sometimes the buttons or ports can break or fail. Also, if you do not properly clean your PC case you can end up with air flow issues, which can suffocate your hardware or even permanently damage it.

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Not all RAM is compatible with every type of motherboard. It is always best to use a compatibility checker when checking RAM compatibility or the Preferred Vendor List on the motherboard manufacturer’s website.

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This is not always the case, but manufacturers do often include one or more SATA cables along with other accessories with new motherboards.

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Graphics cards need specific connections on a motherboard like PCI express in order to work. There are also specific PCI express slots needed in order to fully use the power of certain graphics cards. Most modern graphics cards and motherboards are compatible with one another, though there are edge cases with extremely large or power-hungry GPUs that won’t work with certain motherboards. Checking the specifications for your motherboard and the graphics card will help you understand if you have any compatibility issues.

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DDR4 compatible motherboards DO NOT support and are NOT compatible with DDR3 RAM.

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Many motherboards don’t have Wi-Fi built-in, but it is very easy to purchase a simple Wi-Fi adapter that allows them to be compatible with Wi-Fi. If a motherboard has built-in Wi-Fi, it will be stated on the motherboard specification or product page. Sometimes, even if a motherboard supports Wi-Fi, you may need to purchase additional antennas for the board that allow it to communicate with your router.

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Motherboards with 2 LAN ports are commonly used for redundancy or teaming. The teaming, or combining, of two network ports can increase network bandwidth. More details can found in the motherboard manual.

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Some motherboards still have PS2 keyboard and mouse ports to support older and legacy peripherals.

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Certain CPUs include integrated graphics and can output to a display via the motherboard connection without the need for a GPU. Integrated graphics are typically not suitable for graphically demanding processes like gaming, but can be suitable for some users.

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Motherboards use a CMOS chip to store BIOS settings and require a watch-style battery to provide power to this memory when the system is powered off.

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There are many reasons why a motherboard can fail, but among the most common causes are physical damage, electrical shocks, and excessive heat.

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Motherboards relay power to all components within your PC and are responsible for communication between the components. Without the motherboard, your PC cannot function. They also are responsible for a lot of the base features your computer will come with, like the amount of RAM, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi speed.

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Not all motherboards are expensive, but some of the more expensive motherboards have better components, faster ports, higher performance standards, and more component connectivity options. Be sure to consider all these factors before you buy a motherboard. For most system builds, the most expensive board is not required.

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Not all motherboards are cheap, but some motherboards can be cheaper because they do not share the same features or performance qualities of others.

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Computer motherboards are made out of fiberglass and copper, which form the printed circuit board, or PCB. Additional layers of lamination and electroplating are then added to construct the motherboard. These layers allow for more electronic connections to be built into the board.

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Some motherboards are green because they are coated with green colored polymer. This color became popular during the development of computers, but there is no special reason a motherboard needs to be green and in many cases, they are not.

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Apple designs the motherboards, and then Foxconn makes them using standard components.

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Popular Intel-compatible motherboard manufacturers include brands like: ASUS, ASRock, MSI, and Gigabyte.

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Popular Intel-compatible motherboard manufacturers include brands like: ASUS, ASRock, MSI, and Gigabyte.

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The first motherboard (originally called a planar or breadboard) was invented by IBM and sold on its first personal computer (PC) in 1981.

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Many companies manufacture motherboards, but some of the more popular manufacturers include brands like GIGABYTE, MSI, ASUS, and ASRock.

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There is no easy way to see which motherboards support Thunderbolt 3. You need to check the details page for a motherboard on a site like Newegg to see if it includes Thunderbolt 3. To view motherboards and other products that support Thunderbolt 3 on Newegg, click here

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Current motherboards that support PCIe 4.0 include the AMD X570 chipset when paired with select 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs and AMD TRX40 chipset motherboards. You can see a list of PCIe 4.0 compatible boards here. [LINK TO NEWEGG]

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Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know if a motherboard supports NVMe M.2 SSDs or not. Many newer motherboards come with NVMe M.2 SSD support. Checking a motherboard’s product page should not only show you if it supports M.2 but how many M.2 drives it supports as well. All M.2 slots are labeled on the motherboard or can be located using diagrams within your owner’s manual. If you are currently shopping for a motherboard, Newegg has created filters that allow you to quickly select only motherboards that support the M.2 connection.

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Unfortunately there is no easy way to know if a motherboard supports M.2 or not. Many newer motherboards come with M.2 support. Checking a motherboard’s product page should not only show you if it supports M.2 but how many M.2 drives it supports as well. All M.2 slots are labeled on the motherboard or can be located using diagrams within your owner’s manual. If you are currently shopping for a motherboard, Newegg has created filters that allow you to quickly select only motherboards that support the M.2 connection.

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There is no easy way to tell if a motherboard supports dual BIOS. You need to check the product details page for a motherboard to see if dual BIOS is supported. Some gaming motherboards have dual BIOS. Dual BIOS is a feature on a motherboard that contains both a primary BIOS and a backup BIOS.

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You can sell motherboards online at sites like eBay or Craigslist or potentially a local computer store (not large electronic chains). If you are going to get rid of them you need to recycle them at an approved location which may give you a small amount for the board.

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On Newegg’s motherboard page, you can select up to five motherboards and receive detailed specs for how they compare to each other.

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You can buy motherboards from online retailers like Newegg.com or from local computer stores. To go straight to Newegg’s motherboard category, click [here].

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Gigabyte motherboards are made in Taiwan. You can find Gigabyte Factory Tour videos on YouTube.

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ASRock Inc. is a Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturer that focuses on developing motherboards.

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Motherboard pricing is not predictable and is always changing, but in general, if you are looking to get the cheapest pricing, the best time to buy is during major sales like Black Friday or Cyber Monday or during the holiday season.

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There is no set time for new hardware to be released. New motherboards are released all the time. If you are looking to purchase a motherboard, the best time to do so is during holiday seasons when the prices are lowest.

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Almost any Intel Motherboard that has a “Z” in its model name can support overclocking. If you are using an Intel Xenon system then the motherboard will also more than likely support overclocking. Most AMD motherboards support overclocking as well. However, you really do want to check reviews and the Newegg product pages to ensure what level of overclocking support you will get.

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Any motherboard with the LGA 1151 socket and a 300-series chipset is compatible with Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs. Z390 motherboards will be compatible out of the box; however, other 300-series boards may require a BIOS update.

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A majority of motherboards have a version of BIOS flashback. Brands have different names for them. Gigabyte calls it Q-Flash+, MSI calls it Flashback+, ASRock has BIOS Flashback, and ASUS calls it USB BIOS Flashback.

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Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know if a motherboard supports Bluetooth or not. Some newer motherboards have Bluetooth support without additional peripherals, but many motherboards don’t have Bluetooth. Check the features of the motherboard to see if a particular one supports Bluetooth. Even if your motherboard does not have this capability, you can easily buy a USB Bluetooth adapter to give your computer Bluetooth accessibility.

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Any motherboard with a AM4 chipset slot will work with Ryzen 7 series CPUs. Some, however, may require a BIOS update if you do a 3000 series Ryzen 7 versus a 2000 series; it’s important to check the motherboard prodcut page to ensure compatibility. Click [here] to view a list of compatible motherboards on Newegg.

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Ryzen 7 processors use the AM4 slot. Popular types that use this slot include X570, X470, and B450 and B550.

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Ryzen 5 processors use the AM4 slot. Popular types that use this slot include X570, X470, and B450 and B550.

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Any motherboard with an AM4 socket type will work with the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs; however, only the X570 chipset will work out-of-the-box. Any other motherboard chipset (like B450) may need a BIOS update for a Ryzen 3000 series processor to work. Click [here] to view a list of compatible motherboards on Newegg.

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Any motherboard with the LGA 1151 socket and a 300-series chipset is compatible with Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs. Z390 motherboards will be compatible out of the box, however, other 300-series boards may require a BIOS update.

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Any motherboard with the LGA 1151 300 Series socket is compatible with Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs. Many builders recommend Z390 motherboards for Coffee Lake CPUs.

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Any motherboard with an LGA socket (i.e. 1151, 2066, 2011, 775, etc.) and a compatible Intel MB chipset (e.g. Xeon series, 7 series, 8 series, etc.) is compatible with an Intel CPU. Using filters like those on Newegg.com, you can quickly sort through products to find the motherboards you seek. You can view Intel motherboards on Newegg [here].

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Any motherboard with the LGA 1151 socket and a 300-series chipset is compatible with Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs. Z390 motherboards will be compatible out of the box, however, other 300-series boards may require a BIOS update.

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Aside from their pricing, motherboards are different in multiple ways. From form-factor, to the chipset, number of RAM slots, how much I/O they have, if they support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and even including the number and speed of PCIe slots. There are many things that differentiate a motherboard.

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Motherboards can be very important for gaming, given that they regulate a lot of the critical support necessary for gaming. Things like CPU support, PCIe Gen version, amount of RAM, and RAM speed are all features of your motherboard.

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Motherboards that have Wi-Fi built-in are very convenient, but Internet speed is not solely dependent on a motherboard’s Wi-Fi capabilities.

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There are many different types of motherboards, including XT, AT, ATX, Mini-ITX, microATX, and more. There are also custom form-factors that are design for very specific use-cases (like unique form factor PCs, those of major System Integrators like Dell or HP or smart phones).

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The lifespan of a motherboard varies and can depend heavily on usage and upkeep. It isn’t unusual for systems to continue running for a decade, but to take best advantage of new technology, upgrading to a new system board every few years or so is advised.

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Motherboards regulate the temperature and power of each component and the communication between the different parts of your PC. They are also responsible for features that can affect performance like PCIe generation support and even higher-end RAM speed support.

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Motherboards are programmed via the BIOS of the motherboard. Their hardware components run power through circuits to other components like the CPU, hard drives, SSDs, CPU fans, graphics card, and more. They are also responsible for the communication between PC components like the CPU to the RAM or storage components (e.g. HDDs or SSDs).

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Computer motherboards are made out of fiberglass and copper, which forms the printed circuit board, or PCB. Additional layers of lamination and electroplating are then added to construct the motherboard.

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Computer motherboards are made out of fiberglass and copper, which form the printed circuit board (PCB). Additional layers of lamination and electroplating are then added to construct the motherboard.

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Most motherboards do not have built-in graphics capabilities. The CPU installed on the motherboard can have support for integrated graphics, so graphics processing, in that case, comes from the CPU, not the motherboard. Some motherboards for very specific applications can have embedded graphics cards on the motherboard that work with the CPU to manage graphics processing.

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Computer motherboards can be infected with malware. The motherboard’s BIOS can be infected and will launch as soon as the system boots.

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A computer motherboard can potentially bottleneck or downgrade computer performance if it’s severely out of date. Architecture changes from generation to generation like DDR4 for RAM or PCIe Gen 4.0 are supported by the latest motherboards and can have a direct improvement on your computers’ performance.

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Yes, motherboards can be reused as long as they are properly stored when they are not being used and have been cleaned before reuse. If the motherboard is defective, it becomes a fire hazard and should be safely discarded.

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Yes, they can be recycled. Typically, local trash companies will provide instructions about how to properly recycle e-waste. Some may even pay you a small amount for the waste. Motherboards also contain gold and can potentially be recycled for cash. Some recyclers will perform the gold recovery and pay you for it.

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Yes, motherboards can be replaced – just make sure your replacement board supports all your existing components and fits in your case.

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No, most motherboards cannot support both an Intel and AMD CPU.

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Yes, motherboards can overheat. A computer needs good airflow throughout the case to cool down components; this ensures that hot air is removed effectively to prevent overheating. Motherboards designed for high performance and overclocking often come with extra cooling features.

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As long as a motherboard and GPU are fully compatible with each other, the motherboard shouldn’t limit your graphics card performance.

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Motherboards can be repaired, but it can take a while to find the exact issue, and motherboard repairs are best left to professionals. Damage to any motherboard is usually complicated to repair and often it can be better to just buy a new one.

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Motherboards can be fixed depending on the part you need to replace, but this should be done by a trained professional.

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Typically a graphics card does not damage a motherboard, but if installed incorrectly or if incorrectly repaired with faulty soldering, yes, it can damage the motherboard. You can also run into issues with very large or heavy GPUs combined with motherboards that aren’t physically strong enough to support them.

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Motherboards are usually the most valuable part of a computer when scrapping a PC. In the hands of the right recycler, the metals used in motherboards can be worth salvaging.

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Some rare motherboards are waterproof, but the majority of motherboards are NOT. Make sure you check your motherboard’s specifications and owner’s manual before you test anything.

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Many motherboards are plug and play, in the sense of not needing any additional setup once the proper components are connected; however, this may NOT be the case for some motherboards. Please make sure the motherboard has the correct socket type for your processor and that the motherboard is compatible with your processor out of the box.

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Motherboards are interchangeable as long as all other components are compatible with the replacement motherboard. It always best to use a compatibility checker to verify this before purchasing and installing a new motherboard.

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Motherboards are breakable, but not easy to break. They are designed to be durable and to withstand very high temperatures, but sometimes motherboards can sustain physical damage, electrical shocks, and even experience heat issues. In any case, always make sure that you handle your PC hardware with care and be careful not to apply too much pressure. Motherboards that have CPU socket pins for LGA(Land Grid Array) CPUs have pins that are extremely prone to damage when proper installation steps aren’t followed. Always consult owner’s manuals before building, and watching videos from hardware experts on proper motherboard handling and building techniques can help too.

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Motherboards work with a specific RAM type, usually either DDR3 or DDR4. Newer DDR4 motherboards are not backwards compatible with DDR3 motherboards. RAM speed is also motherboard specific; checking the Preferred Vendor List on a Motherboard’s manufacturer website will help you know if the RAM is compatible.

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Motherboards can sometimes be backwards compatible if they share the same CPU socket. AMD is a great example for processors that are backwards compatible with older motherboards; however, it’s always best to make sure you verify this with a compatibility checker.

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No, not all motherboards are the same size. Motherboards are categorized primarily by size (form factor), such as: mini-ITX, micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, etc. Depending on the size of your computer case, smaller/larger form factors may be compatible.

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Almost all computer motherboards have sound built-in and some have the option to add sound cards into expansion slots.

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A computer case is the plastic or metal housing that contains the computer system’s core parts such as the motherboard, hard drive, etc.

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A large majority of motherboards have a version of BIOS flashback. Brands have different names for them. Gigabyte calls it Q-Flash or Q-Flash+, MSI calls it M-Flash, ASRock has BIOS Flashback, and ASUS calls it USB BIOS Flashback.

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A computer case fan is a small fan inside your computer. There can be multiple fans of different sizes throughout the case. Their primary goal is to help airflow throughout the case.

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