Normally, it is relatively easy to know and decide when the time has come to buy a new graphics card or a new SSD, but what happens when we talk about updating the motherboard? It is the hardware component in which everything else is connected, and although it is sometimes underestimated it is one of the most vital components for the proper functioning of the PC. So how do you know when you should upgrade or change your motherboard? In this article, we will try to guide you about it.
We have already mentioned that the motherboard is one of the most important components of the PC because it is where everything is connected, but normally it is something that goes unnoticed and, in fact, where it is usually skimped when you are assembling a PC in pieces. After all, as long as it’s compatible with the processor, what difference does it make? The reality is quite different, and we will see why.
Update the motherboard to change platforms
The number one reason you would want to switch motherboards is to switch platforms. Either because you have Intel and you want to switch to AMD or vice versa, or because you have an older platform and you want to switch to a more modern one, you will have to change your motherboard almost totally even if it is only to be compatible with the new processor.
Of course, another reason to change the board that would come into this area is simply because you want a more powerful processor. If for example you have a motherboard and a processor that do not support overclock and you want to hit the jump, in addition to changing your processor, you will also have to update the motherboard.
More RAM, or faster
The second reason you might want to upgrade your motherboard to a better or simply more modern model maybe because of RAM. Your current motherboard may still be using DDR3 and you want to skip to DDR4, or simply because your motherboard doesn’t have enough sockets or doesn’t support more RAM, this is another factor that could lead you to change the motherboard.
Of course, being able to have higher speed RAM also means that you will need a motherboard that supports that speed, or at least that is better prepared to run at RAM speed by overclocking.
A more powerful graphics card
Improving the processor or RAM is good, but if you’re trying to boost gaming performance, you’ll need a more powerful graphics card. And in this respect, what does the motherboard have to do with it? For example, in PCI-Express sockets and their version; if you have a board that still uses PCI-Express 2.0, you won’t take advantage of all the bandwidth of modern graphics cards, because as you know, there are already AMD gpus that support PCI-Express 4.0.
Of course it is also necessary to take into account if for example you have a graphic that is modern and you simply want to add another one in SLI / CrossFire, since it is something that you will not be able to do if the motherboard is not compatible or does not have enough sockets to do what.
If you have an old motherboard, you probably don’t have the new standards like USB 3.1 or M.2 PCIe sockets for NVMe SSDs. If the SATA SSDs already meant a notable increase in performance at the time, the PCIe SSDs suppose it even more, so of course they may be a reason to consider updating the motherboard to a better or more modern one.
On the other hand, the same assumes USB connectivity. USB 3.0 is already a huge improvement over USB 2.0, and the new standards are even faster, not to mention the USB-C connectors that more and more devices use. Also, of course, your new motherboard could have more USB, which is never superfluous in the end.
Damaged or non-working parts
Finally, another reason that may lead you to want to change the motherboard is that you have problems with the current one. It’s not uncommon for PCI-Express sockets or some USB ports to fail over time, so buying a new board is the most direct solution to stop having these problems.
If this is your case, in fact, you should change the motherboard as soon as possible because at the moment that one of its parts fails, the problems usually come in chains.
Having characteristics that you did not have before
An example we have already put before with SSDs in M.2 format, which are relatively new and deliver much higher performance even than SATA SSDs. However, it is not the only reason to change boards, because you may want other new features, such as an integrated sound card with more channels, Tunderbolt 3 ports, etc.
Each new generation of motherboards usually brings with it many of these characteristics (in addition to being compatible with new processors), which little by little add up and when you are going to jump 4-5 generations, the performance benefits end up being very large to the point that the motherboard is worth updating for them.