The thing about choosing which gaming motherboards to buy is that it isn’t really about the board. Gaming machines are a different breed, built by gamers with individually chosen parts. The motherboard’s main requirement here is that it be compatible with the parts chosen. Gamers need machines with excessive capabilities in speed and visual detail. Most monitors are quite capable of providing the display, if the graphics adaptor can live up to the required levels. This in turn needs the motherboard to live up to the graphic card’s capabilities, in terms of the bus system, form factor or size, and necessary chipsets. The same thing applies for the processor, LAN cards, memory, HDD, cooling fans, and the power supply. Without a heavy-duty motherboard designed to extract the maximum out of each of these parts, neither the individual parts nor the computer as a whole will perform to expectations. This means that gaming motherboards are not just about compatibility, but maximum compatibility. Another important difference is the need for built-in cards. Ordinarily, motherboards come with all the cards built-in, such as LAN, display and sound cards. But these cards are mostly useless, as far as gaming is concerned. The point here is that the motherboard would be better off with more space for add-on cards, extra memory and so on, instead of the onboard cards. Motherboards that satisfy all these points would still need to pass benchmarking tests. Buy only those boards which are rated positively by hardware and gaming review sites. Manufacturers make their products available to reviewers before it launches in the market, so every new board already has reviews that indicate clearly if it is good enough for gaming. The next stage of tests concerns over clocking and upgrade capabilities. Gamers are some of the biggest fans of overclocking, where clock rates for parts are moved up beyond the specs. If overclocking on a motherboard’s bios goes wrong, it can fry everything inside. For those wondering why fiddle with it, it is because gaming needs that edge beyond what a standard machine offers to everyone else. If every gamer has the latest parts and all of the gamers are equally talented, the one who wins is the guy who overclocked the machine. Gamers often use overclocking to push every part to the extreme end of its capacity. This means that gaming motherboards need quite a bit extra performance capability beyond the specs. As for the upgrades, the problem is that the parts are good enough for at most six months or a year. After that, new games and versions are released which need the latest parts and won’t work with old ones. If the motherboard is unable to accept a twice a year upgrade of all the other parts, then it’s not a gaming motherboard. In summary, gaming motherboards are an entirely different breed from the ordinary board that comes in an ordinary computer. These boards are compatible with high-performance parts and have an inherent capacity for allowing excess performance. Don’t buy a board if doesn’t clearly say that it is a gaming motherboard.