Normally, it is relatively easy to know and decide when it is time to buy a new graphics card or a new SSD, but what about when it comes to upgrading 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 it is usually something that goes unnoticed and, in fact,
where it is often skimped when you are assembling a PC by parts. After all, as long as it’s compatible with the processor, what difference does it make? The reality is quite different, and we are going to see why.
Upgrade motherboard to change platform
The number one reason you might want to switch motherboards is to switch platforms. Whether it’s because you have Intel and want to switch to AMD or vice versa, or because you have an old platform and want to switch to a more modern one, you’ll almost certainly need to change your motherboard, if only to be compatible with the new processor.
Of course, another reason to change motherboards that would fall into this area is simply because you want a more powerful processor. If, for example, you have a motherboard and a processor that does not support overclocking and you want to make the jump, in addition to changing the processor, you will also have to update the motherboard.
More RAM, or faster
The second reason why you might want to upgrade your motherboard to a better or just more modern model may be because of RAM. It may be that your current motherboard still uses DDR3 and you want to make the jump to DDR4, or simply because your motherboard does not have enough sockets or does not support more RAM, this is another factor that could lead you to change your motherboard.
Of course, having higher speed RAM also means that you’ll need a motherboard that supports that speed, or at least one that’s better suited to run at RAM speed by overclocking.
A more powerful graphics card
Upgrading the processor or RAM is fine, but if you’re looking to improve gaming performance then you’ll need a more powerful graphics card. And in this regard, what does the motherboard have to do with it?
To begin with, on the PCI-Express sockets and their version; If you have a board that still uses PCI-Express 2.0, you will not be taking advantage of all the bandwidth of modern graphics cards, because as you know there are already AMD graphics that support PCI-Express 4.0 even.
Of course, you also have to take into account if, for example, you have a modern graphics card 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 it.
Upgrade motherboard to improve connectivity
If you have an old motherboard, you probably don’t have new standards like USB 3.1 or M.2 PCIe sockets for NVMe SSDs. If the SATA SSDs already represented a notable increase in the performance of the equipment at the time, the PCIe SSDs represent even more, so of course they can be a reason to consider upgrading the motherboard to a better or more modern one.
On the other hand, the same means USB connectivity. Already USB 3.0 is 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 are using. Also, of course, your new motherboard could have more USBs, which are never too many in the end.
Damaged or non-functioning parts
Finally, another reason that may lead you to want to change your 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 motherboard is the most straightforward solution to no longer having these problems.
If this is your case, in fact, you should change the motherboard as soon as possible because when one of its parts fails, the problems usually follow.
Have features you didn’t have before
We have already given an example before with SSDs in M.2 format, which are relatively new and deliver much higher performance even than SATA SSDs. However, this is not the only reason to change motherboards, because you may want other new features, such as an integrated sound card with more channels, Thunderbolt 3 ports, etc.
Each new generation of motherboards usually brings with it many of these features (in addition to being compatible with new processors), which gradually add up and when you go to jump 4-5 generations, the benefit ends up being very large to the point that it is worth upgrading the motherboard for them.
In short, as a general rule you will not need to update your motherboard unless you want to change platforms, want features that you do not have now, or want to improve other pieces of hardware and need compatibility.
In any case, this important piece of PC hardware is usually the one with which users are most reluctant to change, and if there is no good reason to do so, it is something that we almost always leave until we completely change the PC.