Last time around we picked the Storage for PC Build 2017, and it was the cloest we came to actually staying within the budget allocation. We’re now back on track for a $1000 PC gaming build. With the nitty gritty of the PC already picked, including the storage, CPU and RAM, we can now pick a motherboard which will be compatible with all the items we’ve chosen.

Before we start things off with the motherboard for the GD Build Guide 2017, let’s see where we stand after last week's purchase. On average you said you liked to spend about $100 on storage, but we had a budget of just $80. We ended up landing somewhere in the middle, with the majority voting for a 60GB SSD + 1TB HDD combo for $87. That should be plenty to get us going.

Here's how the PC build 2017 is now panning out. We've got around $605 with which to buy a graphics card, monitor, mother, PSU and case. That’s a tall order, but let’s get on with picking the motherboard. The Motherboard is best described as the heart of your rig. Its reliability is central to the running of your PC, since every component within your build interacts with it and connects through it.

Component GD Choice Proportionate Spend Budget Allocation Actual Spend
Graphics Card   26% $260 TBA
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 18% $180 $189.99
Monitor   18% $180 TBA
Motherboard   9% $90 TBA
RAM  Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz 8% $80 $119.99
PSU   8% $80 TBA
Storage DREVO X1 Series 60GB SSD + WD Blue 1TB 7200 RPM HDD 8% $80 $86.98
Case   5% $50 TBA
Total   100% $1000 $396.96

What Motherboard is the Best Buy for a Ryzen 5 CPU in 2017

We’ve had a tiny bit of overspending during the opening stages of the PC Build 2017, leaving us with a tight budget of around $90 for the motherboard. This immediately writes off some of the more luxurious options, meaning we’re going to have to opt for some lower-end ATX or mini ITX motherboards.

GD Build Guide 2017 Ryzen Motherboard Options

Having opted for a Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, this immediately limits which motherboards we have to pick from. This is blessing in part, as there are countless motherboard variations out there, each of which offer slightly different technical doodads in comparison to one another. Being Ryzen 5, we’re looking at AM4 motherboards in order for the CPU to be compatible. All AM4 mobos are also DD4-compliant, so no worries on that front. We've got a budget of around $90 for the AM4 motherboard in the PC Build 2017.

In terms of the options, the primary choice is going to be between ATX and Micro-ATX. Micro-ATX will allow us to do a smaller build, however it does making putting the components together a little trickier, and it will limit our options somewhat when it comes to cases.

Remember our targeted budget is $90, and we're already over budget, so if we splash the cash here it may mean skimping on another component further down the line.
All you need to do is vote in the poll at the bottom of the page and let us know which storage configuration you would put in a $1000 build!

What to Look for in a Motherboard

Motherboards can be one of the most complicated things to choose if you’re not sure what to look for. There are literally thousands of variations, with various sizes, numbers of slots and extra enthusiast options like allowing for easier overclocking. The key things to remember are to choose the appropriate form factor to fit in your case and support the hardware you need, socket compatibility with your CPU (you can find info on sockets on each CPU page here on GD), SLI/CrossFire capability and overclocking utilities.

Hardware Guide: What To Look For In A Motherboard

How To Install a Motherboard

The motherboard is undoubtedly the trickiest component to install in any build. Fortunately it’s only going to be the second part you slot in your case after the PSU, so there shouldn’t be much getting in the way.

Installation of each motherboard is going to vary on a case by case basis depending on the motherboard itself and the size and shape of the case. As a general rule you’ll want to fit the blanking plate first. This is a external cover appropriate to your motherboard which only allows access the ports you have on your motherboard. It’ll look like something like the image below.

At the rear of the case, usually next othe fan window, there’s a gap in which the blanking plate will fit. Just line it up, make sure it sits the right way to fit your motherboard, and clip it in.

Now you’re going to want to take your motherboard out of its anti-static wrapper and check out where the screw holes are, lining up where its screw holes need to screw into the case, and aligning the rear ports against your blanking plate you’ve already installed. Once you’ve got the motherboard in the right space, you then need to make note of all the screw holes it covers.

Now remove the motherboard, put it down, grab some risers (screws) and head around the other side of the mounting panel. The risers are screwed in from the reverse of the case, running through the case and poking out the other side to keep the motherboard from making contact with the case. Try to put a screw into every available screw hole on the motherboard.

With that done, it’s time to slot your motherboard back into place once more. Line it up with the risers poking out the case and then gently push it on. Once it’s on, screw down the corners of the motherboard first, and then move onto any other holes that align with risers. A word of warning - you want the screws to keep the motherboard nice and secure, however you don’t want to do them up too tight as it may crack the motherboard.

With the motherboard now in place you just need to wire it up with the PSU. You’ll need to plug in the main power connector This is usually a 24-pin power connector coming straight from your PSU, and it needs to be lined up and slotted into the appropriate slot on the motherboard. Just clip it and it’ll hold. Simple.

Then you need to check if you need any secondary power connectors. This is going to vary among motherboards, but they’re typically four-pin or eight-pin. If you’re struggling to find which these are, they should be identified in your motherboard’s operating manual.

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 1 - How Much Should You Spend on A Gaming PC

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 2 - Which CPU is the Best Value for Money

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 3 - How Much RAM do you Need for Gaming

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 4 - Is It Better To Buy an SSD or Hard Drive for PC Storage

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 5 - Picking the Right Motherboard

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 6 - Getting the Correctly Sized Case

Poll closed: 17:55 Apr-27-2017
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