How can I learn to design a motherboard

Assemble your PC yourself: This is how it works + configuration tips

The assembly of a PC is not rocket science and it does not require any great technical talent: You build the mainboard into the housing and insert the CPU, RAM and, if necessary, the graphics card into the slots provided; then mount an SSD (or hard disk) and, if necessary, a drive and, if necessary, connect the data cable and power supply; Attach the CPU cooler, organize the cables a little - and continue with the Windows installation.

If you take a look at the documentation supplied and perhaps consult a YouTube video here and there, you will be finished in a few hours with a PC that corresponds exactly to your own wishes and budget in all of its parts. It goes without saying that you also learn something and can be proud of the result.

In many cases, the selection of the components takes more time than the assembly of the PC. That is why we have put together three sample configurations, one each for a mini PC, an all-rounder and a gaming PC. Think of these solutions as ready-made shopping lists or as the basis for your own variant - whichever suits you best. Before doing this, we will give you tips for the various components.

If you want to skip the theory, you will find our PC configuration tips for beginners, all-rounders and gaming on the last page. Our compilations are on the As of April 27, 2021. Depending on the market, we are removing current hardware, which is only available at very high prices, from the compilations. This is especially true in the GPU area for the RTX 3000, Radeon RX 6000 and their predecessors. Also read:

These articles tell you what you should also pay attention to if you want to assemble and build your own computer.

Mainboard

The mainboard is also called the motherboard or motherboard. It connects all components of your PC with one another. It also comes with a base for the CPU and the main memory, an attachment for the CPU cooler and slots for expansions, for example the graphics card. A few functions are also typically located directly on the board, for example sound and network adapters.

On top of that, the mainboard provides external connections, including, for example, USB, video and eSATA. Connect the connectors pre-assembled on the PC case with a cable to the plug-in posts on the motherboard and only then breathe life into them. Motherboards are available from various manufacturers, such as Asrock, ASUS, and Gigabyte. Each board has a chipset that usually comes from the same manufacturer as the CPUs that fit on the board, in most cases from AMD or Intel.

Boards from different manufacturers that have the same chipset do not differ significantly in terms of their operating speed. When making your selection, pay particular attention to the following points:

  1. The dimensions of the board must fit into the desired housing. This is not just about length and width, but also, for example, the positions of the threads in the PC case or the holes for the fastening screws in the circuit board. To simplify matters, the manufacturers have defined various standards, for example ATX, µATX and Mini-STX. An ATX board can only be accommodated in a housing approved for this format. An STX board, currently the smallest common format, fits into a correspondingly small housing, but also into many larger dwellings.
  2. The motherboard and CPU must be compatible with each other. Example: In the current Intel slot LGA 1200, for example, only the specially developed Intel CPUs fit. The same applies to AMD's Socket AM4, in which the current AMD Ryzen CPUs (exception: Ryzen Threadripper) fit. In addition, the chipset installed on the motherboard and the BIOS must be compatible with the CPU. You can find out whether this is the case in the manufacturer's board description. A look at the specification of the chipset can also help: our separate purchase advice is particularly helpful for Ryzen mainboards and the mainboards for the new Intel CPUs.
  3. Despite the identical chipsets, there are differences in the equipment of different models, especially in the connections, the power consumption in different application scenarios, in the guarantee and support and of course in the price.

With the all-round PC, there is little you can go wrong when it comes to choosing a motherboard. With a gaming PC, however, you might want a few additional functions, for example better sound functions, particularly easy overclocking of the CPU, optimized network functions and / or RGB lighting for the next LAN party.

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