In the next few months, more and more buzz will be generated for new motherboards. That's because with the launch of Intel Core i7 processors, only new motherboards with the X58 chipset can be used. In other words, if an enthusiast wants to upgrade a CPU, the motherboard has to be upgraded as well.
A lot of information has been released by technology news websites on various motherboards such as the ASUS P6T Deluxe OC Palm, Intel DX58SO, MSI Eclipse and EVGA's X58 SLI motherboard. In order not to be overwhelmed by the plethora of articles on these motherboards, it may be a good idea to be clear head and focus our attention on the critical elements.
Crucial element 1: Speed
The overall speed of the computer system depends on the multiplier values of the system. For example, you can achieve higher performance if you tweak the multiplier values of the CPU or the memory. Overclocking enthusiasts will be most interested to know if the system can run reliability at the overclocked values.
In this area, the ASUS P6T motherboard offers an extra in the 2.5 "LCD displays that presents system configuration information, overclocking data, etc. This is useful for overclockers who want to tweak and monitor the system while it runs.
Crucial element 2: Graphics
The graphics of a computer system is another major component to take into consideration. Many software applications require a lot of graphics processing power to run smoothly. This includes professional software, such as video and audio editing software that performs a lot of zooming, panning, modeling of 3D objects, etc. Many 3D games also require powerful graphic processing for best effects.
Enthusiasts should check whether the motherboard has SLI (Scalable Link Interface) support. SLI is a technology developed by nVidia, and it's used for multi-GPU processing. Not all motherboards support this feature because manufacturers are required to pay a royalty to nVidia if they want to offer support for SLI.
Since SLI is meant for intensive graphics processing, only those who need it for business applications or gaming need to consider having this feature.
Crucial element 3: Memory.
The memory on a system affects the overall speed of the computer. With powerful processors, enthusiasts have to make sure that there will not be a bottleneck when it comes to memory. Having insufficient memory could mean that the system will run at substandard performance.
Motherboards with the X58 chipset offer support for triple channel DDR3 memory kits. Various memory manufacturers from Taiwan and China have already released memory kits that are timed perfectly for the Core i7 processors.
Enthusiasts should pay attention to the number of slots available. For instance, the ASUS P6T motherboard has 6 memory slots, allowing a max memory of 12 GB. Other motherboard options may have only 3.
As far as the motherboard is concerned, there are various editions available. Of course, one can expect the high-end editions to be much more costly. However, enthusiasts can still enjoy the increased performance at an affordable price if options are selected wisely.