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Can a motherboard slow a PC down?

May 2, 2011
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  1. Hi all,

    I thinking about purchasing the i5 2500k as a replacement for aging e6600 core duo. I am going to reuse my case, PSU, graphics card, etc. When I play Mass Effect the Processor usage is maxed out. The game stutters a lot of the time as a result. I also have Dawn of war II, GTA IV and Dragon Age. The CPU seems to working flat out with all of these games.
    Anyway, my question is how important is a motherboard? Will a cheaper motherboard hamper gaming performance? I plan to buy a faster graphics card next year to replace my ATI 5770. The Intel media series is £60 cheaper then the extreme series.
    I'd like to be able to overclock in the future when the processor is slowing games down and maximise its useful life. I won't be overclocking initially as the processor should be fast enough.
    I'd prefer to buy an Intel Board but the Asus series seem to be alright too.

    Advice greatly appreciated.

    Thank You
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    The price of a motherboard is generally dependant on the features it incorporates. As long as the motherboard supports your future plans well, there won't be an issue.

    If you're running the hardware at default levels (e.g. not overclocking) there shouldn't be any noticable difference in performance, but when it comes to overclocking different motherboards can make a huge difference.

    A few questions I would ask myself are:

    1. How many optical discs and hard disks do I have?
    2. Can I see those increasing, if so, do I have spare SATA connectors for that?
    3. Do I ever plan to CF or SLI and make use of more than one graphics card?
    4. Do I have enough PCI-EX1 and PCI slots on the motherboard once the graphics card is fitted? (Do you use a sound card, or tv tuner, or other card in your current system you'd like ot keep for example?
    5. Is the maximum supported RAM capacity enough?
    6. What do you reviews say about overclocking potential for example?

    Also check out the 5 way shootout we did on LGA1155 "Sandy Bridge" motherboards recently, by clicking here.

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