the Major Custom computing guide to motherboards

One component to connect them all...

The motherboard is a critical component of a computer because it provides the connections and channels that allow all of the other hardware components to communicate with each other. This includes the CPU, which is the "brain" of the computer and performs the majority of the processing tasks. The motherboard also contains slots for memory modules, which provide temporary storage for data that the CPU is working on.

In addition to the CPU and memory, the motherboard also has slots for other hardware components, such as graphics cards and storage drives. These components are typically connected to the motherboard via the PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) bus, which is a high-speed interface that allows for fast communication between the different hardware components.

The motherboard also includes various ports and connectors for attaching input/output devices, such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It may also include on-board audio and networking capabilities, as well as a variety of other features and capabilities that are determined by the specific model and design of the motherboard.

Choosing a Motherboard

When choosing a motherboard, there are several factors to consider, such as the size of the motherboard, the type of CPU it supports, the available expansion slots and ports, and the overall build quality. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a motherboard:


The size of the motherboard, also known as the form factor, determines how many components can be attached to it and how it will fit inside the computer case. The most common form factors are ATX and microATX, but there are also smaller Mini-ITX and larger Extended-ATX (E-ATX) motherboards. Choose a size that will fit your computer case and provide enough space for all of the components you want to use.

CPU compatibility:

The CPU (central processing unit) is the "brain" of the computer, and the motherboard must be compatible with the specific type of CPU you plan to use. Most motherboards are only compatible with a certain range of CPUs from a specific manufacturer, such as Intel or AMD. Make sure to check the compatibility of the motherboard and CPU before purchasing.

CPU sockets come in different sizes and shapes, and are typically designed to be compatible with a specific range of CPU models from a specific manufacturer. For example, the LGA 1151 socket is used with Intel's 8th and 9th generation Core processors, while the AM4 or AM5 socket is used with AMD's Ryzen processors.

Expansion slots and ports:

The motherboard provides slots and ports for attaching additional hardware components, such as graphics cards, storage drives, and other peripherals. Make sure the motherboard has enough of the right types of expansion slots and ports to support all of the components you want to use.


The quality of the motherboard can affect its performance, stability, and overall lifespan. Look for motherboards from reputable manufacturers that are known for producing high-quality products. It's also a good idea to read reviews from other users to get an idea of the build quality and performance of the motherboard.


Motherboards can come with a variety of features and capabilities, such as built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RGB lighting, and overclocking support. Consider which features are important to you and choose a motherboard that offers the ones you need.


Motherboards can range in price from around £50 to over £500, depending on the size, features, and overall quality. Consider how much you are willing to spend and choose a motherboard that provides the features and performance you need at a price that fits your budget.