The motherboard is the component that connects all the PC parts together and allows them to communicate with each other. It also regulates the power sent by the power supply, so having a capable enough motherboard is important for the overall performance of the PC. However, specifically, we’re going to go into whether the motherboard affects the FPS when gaming.
When gaming, it’s important to have a stable frame rate so your gaming experience remains smooth and uninterrupted. Also, you’ll want a high enough frame rate for the smoothest gameplay possible, so you’ll want to take note of which components influence the frame rate, and try to minimize any negative effects they have on the frame rate.
Answer: Typically, the components that have a direct impact on gaming performance are the graphics card, and the CPU and RAM can impact the frame rate to a lesser degree. However, in this post, we’re going to explore whether you need a gaming motherboard if you need a good motherboard to overclock, and what components influence frame rate
Does The Motherboard Affect Performance?
Not taking overclockability into consideration, the choice of the motherboard has no effect on performance. For the best performance possible, you may want to pay attention to what hardware the motherboard of choice supports; for instance, a motherboard may not support the CPU of choice or limits ram speed.
There are some fantastic motherboards with the Z370 chipset, but that only supports at most the Intel 8th generation. What this means is that you cannot possibly pair a Z370 motherboard with an i9 9900k or any 9th generation CPU. The implications of this are that you will not be able to use the latest Intel CPU technology and the 9th gen CPUs seem to be aimed mostly at gamers.
In regards to overclockability, it has a direct effect on performance because you’re directly increasing raw performance. This performance can come from overclocking the CPU which can yield more FPS in games. Not only does it increase FPS, but overclocking also increases performance across the board. The motherboard of choice matters when overclocking since the top tier genuinely has a higher quality OC than the low-tier boards.
When looking for a motherboard that has good overclocking potential, you must look for a board with a good quality voltage regulator module(VRM). The VRM is the most important aspect of a motherboard when it comes to overclocking, and inferior boards may actually damage the CPU if it can’t sustain an overclock.
What Makes A Motherboard Good?
- Quality of components
Does The Motherboard Influence FPS?
The motherboard is just the mainboard that connects all the components together and allows them to communicate with each other, it doesn’t directly influence the frame rate. However, it can indirectly influence the frame rate by allowing you to overclock components such as the CPU, and overclocking capabilities usually vary between motherboard types.
The motherboard has 100% influence on how far you can overclock your CPU, and this will constantly affect how much FPS your PC can generate. A faster CPU will always produce more frames per second depending on how much is bottlenecks the GPU. So basically, a bad motherboard won’t allow you to push your CPUs clock speed as far as a good motherboard could.
Also, your motherboard can allow you to overclock your RAM which can have huge frame rate benefits, this is usually done by increasing the frequency of your memory. The longer the CPU waits for information from the RAM, the worse the frame rate will be. Usually, when building a gaming PC, it’s recommended to always increase your memories frequency as the performance benefits can be significant.
To even overclock in the first place, you need to ensure that your motherboard has the overclocking feature, if so then you need to boot into the BIOS to manually overclock. Sometimes the automatic overclocking feature doesn’t do any good and causes instability issues, we recommend you understand the basics of overclocking before using the automatic feature.
Do I Need A Gaming Motherboard?
Motherboards made specifically for gaming usually won’t influence your frame rate, and you could get away with a much cheaper standard motherboard. It’s just that ‘Gaming’ motherboards come with extra features such as built-in WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity, and also they tend to look better supporting RGB. Whenever you see a component with ‘Gaming’ in its name, it’s usually a marketing term used to target the gaming audience.
However, we don’t recommend skimping on the motherboard as buying the cheapest motherboard will mean the motherboard will lack features such as overclocking and usually lack safety features such as Dual-BIOS. And like any cheap component, cheap motherboards tend to have shorter lifespans requiring you to upgrade much earlier.
We also don’t recommend buying the most expensive motherboard you can find as that doesn’t do any good, and you’ll be wasting a lot of money on features you may not use. Usually, the most expensive motherboards are EATX motherboards and won’t fit in a regular ATX case. Purchase a moderately priced motherboard so you don’t spend less on components that actually increase the frame rate.
Do I Need A Good Motherboard To Overclock?
Certain motherboards may not support overclocking which is a feature that directly influences the overclockability of your processor. If you’re going with a standard Z690 motherboard, then overclocking is supported, but the other chipsets (H670, B660, H610) will not support CPU overclocking.
The H610 motherboards do not support memory overclocking, but they do support XMP profiles of up to 3200MHz. If you have a memory that can overclock further, then you’re missing out on a few frames per second in certain video games. However, a standard motherboard should support for XMP overclocking past 4000MHz.
This means it could be a complete waste purchasing an Intel “K” processor, the K stands for unlocked(overclockable) for those who don’t know. Even though your processor is overclockable, your motherboard doesn’t have the capabilities to do so, so this is a waste of money. If you don’t have an overclockable motherboard, you can save money going for a non “k” processor.
Certain motherboards will also make the overclocking processor more streamlined, this is because they feature nice and easy-to-navigate BIOS interfaces. This is a huge benefit to individuals that aren’t accustomed to overclocking, so when you make the process easier, they’re less likely to see it as a huge obstacle.
VRMs Influence Overclockability
When buying a motherboard, the most overlooked feature is probably the VRM which stands for Voltage Regulator Module. This module is responsible for regulating the voltage between the CPU and the motherboard, and a bad motherboard usually has insufficient voltage regulator modules for overclocking.
The VRM consists of power phases, and generally more power phases mean a better overclock. More power phases mean that the voltage stability of the VRM outputs will be to a higher standard. Power phases on motherboards look like small cylinders surrounding the CPU, and there are usually between 4-8 power phases depending on the board.
Having a decent motherboard usually means your VRM will have more phases and better heatsinks which allows your CPU to receive stable voltages when overclocking. When your processor is overclocked, this means it requires higher voltages to keep it stable, and a bad motherboard with poor VRMs will be bad at doing this job.
The frequency of a CPU is the product of (Base-Clock-Speed x Multiplier). For example, if the CPU has a base clock speed of 200 and a multiplier of 16 then the frequency of the CPU will be 3.2Ghz. The multiplier is usually set to auto which means it will set the fastest multiplier allowed by the CPU. You can find more on the topic of overclocking here! BIOS Guide How To Overclock Your CPU.
The Quality Of Components On The Motherboard
For performance, it will be best to know that the parts you’ve picked will suffice in harsh conditions. Poor hardware tends to fail under stress, and motherboards are weak to heat. VRMs are sensitive to heat, so I recommend finding a power supply with a heatsink covering the power phases.
Even though motherboards today are built to high standards, some of the cheaply made motherboards are susceptible to heat. Bad capacitors under the influence of excessive heat will experience capacitor bulging. Bulging capacitors cause destructive problems in the future as they can eventually burst at the seam of the capacitor.
Also Read: Motherboard Lifespan
What Effect Does The BIOS Have On The Motherboards Performance
Even if you don’t plan on overclocking, the BIOS(Basic Input/Output System) for your motherboard is one of the most important parts of your computer build. The BIOS makes sure that all the components connected to your computer are functioning correctly and if otherwise, it will let off an error sound also known as beep codes.
Even when all your components are working correctly, the BIOS is responsible for the boot sequence and loads the OS from the selected drive into memory.
However, the most interesting part about the BIOS is customizing your hardware’s presets such as the CPU and RAM. The BIOS is where you go when you want to squeeze as much performance out of your hardware by increasing voltage settings, and clock speeds. A good BIOS can make the difference when performing an overclock as bad ones can be confusing to some individuals.
Does Aesthetics Affect Performance?
Aesthetics like RGB are completely unrelated to the performance and quality of a motherboard however this is a sought-after feature that adds a visually pleasing aspect to your whole build. If I had to pick one between aesthetics and performance, I’d always pick performance. Never buy a piece of hardware just because it is visually pleasing, you will be disappointed when it doesn’t perform as well as you thought it would.
Aesthetics is like a bonus you get when you buy the latest hardware, and should never be the main priority when picking up hardware.
What Does The Motherboard Chipset Do?
The motherboards chipset is an aspect of the motherboard that can have an impact on the potential performance of your PC. Your chipset is responsible for how the hardware communicates with each other, and there are chipsets for both Intel and AMD bases systems.
Different chipsets will have different features and these features should be considered if you’re building a gaming PC. Certain chipsets won’t support overclocking, and we all know overclocking is loved by many gamers. Overclocking is able to increase FPS and performance across the board.
What Is The Chipset & Does It Affect Performance?
The Chipset is part of a group called the “Data Flow Management System”, and its main purpose is to regulate the flow of data between the processor, RAM, and Peripherals.
Within the chipset, it consists of two sections, the northbridge, and the southbridge. The northbridge is responsible for communication between the Processor, RAM, and PCI-E. Interestingly, the northbridge plays a role when overclocking your processor, this is because the north-bridge frequency is often used as a starting point for the processor operating frequency.
The southbridge is the least interesting part about the chipset, this is because it is responsible for the input/output for the system. It focuses on USB, Audio, and BIOS communication. The northbridge and southbridge are meant to communicate together and they both need each other for the efficiency and productivity of a motherboard.
Choosing Motherboards For Best Gaming Performance
Since we’ve established that the motherboard indirectly influences the gaming performance, we’re going to specify which components influence the frame rate and whether it directly or indirectly influences it. This may help you better allocate money to components that actually influence the frame rate. For example, we don’t recommend buying a super expensive motherboard and a really cheap GPU.
The graphics card is the most important component when it comes to building a gaming PC as it has the biggest impact on the frame rates. The graphics card’s main purpose is to accelerate the graphical performance of your PC, so you definitely want a capable GPU for gaming. The CPU also influences the FPS, but not as much as the GPU, but we don’t recommend skimping out on the CPU as this can bottleneck your GPU. The RAM speed influences the FPS directly also, and slower RAM can bottleneck the CPU.
The power supply indirectly influences the frame rate as having a power supply that doesn’t supply enough power can underpower components such as the GPU and RAM resulting in lower frame rates. We never recommend skimping on the PSU as it can be quite dangerous.
The CPU Is The Number One Priority
When you want to choose a motherboard, you should already have your chosen processor in mind. We’re going to assume you’ve already picked your processor, now all you need to do is find which socket is compatible with that CPU. After you’ve done that, you will need to find which chipset is best for your CPU.
For example, an I9 9900K goes with an LGA1151 & the Z390 chipset. Z390 boards can support up to Intel’s 9th gen CPUs INTEL ONLY.
So, making sure your motherboard is compatible with your processor is literally the most important things to ensure, if they’re incompatible then everything else is irrelevant.
Make Sure The RAM Support Is The Best For Performance
The next important thing on this list is making sure your motherboard supports your desired amount of ram. Motherboards either support a maximum of 32GB of ram, or 64GB of ram. The cheaper motherboards usually support 32GB of ram which is actually more than enough for gaming in 2019. The day 32GB of ram will be insufficient for gaming is far into the future.
Expansion Card Support
On to PCI & PCI-E slots, a motherboard should support at least 1xPCI and 1xPCI-E slots. These slots are usually reserved for the GPU and various other cards such as a sound card and a network card. Make sure your motherboard has enough of these slots to ensure enough headroom for when you desire to insert an extra expansion card.
Find A Motherboard With M.2 Slots
M.2 slots are fantastic for gamers if they choose to install an M.2 drive. The addition of an M.2 drive is fantastic for loading speeds, and booting speeds. The M.2 drives of today are faster than SSDs and HDDs and they also store more data.
In conclusion, the motherboard indirectly influences the gaming performance because it’s indirect control with components that do directly influence the gaming performance. The motherboard has the capability to overclock other components such as the CPU, but to do so, you’ll need a capable motherboard with a good enough voltage regulator module.
We don’t recommend purchasing a super expensive motherboard because that money can go to other components such as the GPU or the CPU where they have a direct influence on the gaming performance. But never skimp on the motherboard as it could lack important features.