Does the Motherboard Affect Gaming Performance?


Can a motherboard improve your PC’s gaming performance and increase FPS?

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Yes, but also it depends on several factors.

A motherboard alone is practically not going to do anything. But when you combine it with a quality CPU, a good GPU, and adequately fast RAM, you will have great gaming performance.

We are going to assume that you have top of the line CPU, GPU, PSU, SSD, RAM, and proper ventilation in the chassis.

Does the Motherboard Affect FPS?

A motherboard doesn’t affect the frames per second you get in a game directly, but it will help your GPU and CPU perform at their full potential and thus lead to better gaming performance and FPS.

A good quality motherboard allows you to do several things that can indirectly improve the gaming performance of your PC.:

  • It allows for easy overclocking of your processor.
  • It also offers a high-quality PCIe port, these days PCIe x16 ports have 8 GB/s, 15.7 GB/s and the latest PCIe 4.0 has 31.5 GB/s speeds. More bandwidth means faster data transfers in not only GPUs but also PCIe-based SSDs.
  • Better Memory support.
  • M.2 expansion slots. Some even have a heat spreader for those.
  • Better Ethernet LAN ports and better Wi-Fi connectivity. Both are essential if you want to play games online.
  • Some high-end motherboards also have a great sound card built-in. Sound is one of the biggest parts of gaming that is usually overlooked until you couldn’t hear someone sneaking behind you in CS GO.

Is It Worth Spending A Lot On?

We don’t recommend you spend a ton of your budget on the motherboard alone.

A mid-range motherboard is going to do just fine and the effects on the gaming performance would be so minuscule that they’d be barely noticeable.

The money you save can be spent on a better processor or GPU. SSDs are also a big improvement over traditional Hard Drives. They make the levels and maps load exponentially faster.

What to Look For In a Motherboard?

If you are in the market for a new motherboard, then there are several key features you should keep in mind if getting the best gaming performance is your target:

Form Factor:  ATX boards are the norm, but micro ATX are just as viable for gaming, especially if you want to have a relatively portable setup.

Processor Socket: Your processor needs to be fully compatible with the motherboard you are selecting. Otherwise, it will not either fit at all, or perform well.

RAM Slots: The more, the better, but you also need to look at the DDR type and maximum frequency supported.

PCI Slots: If you need your GPU to perform at full speed, you need a PCI Express X16 slot. If you want to use a dual GPU setup, you will need another full speed slot for that.

SATA Ports: SATA ports allow you to attach HDDs, SSDs, and optical drives.

USB Ports: A modern motherboard should have USB 3.0 ports as well as a couple of Type C ports.

Overclocking: A good motherboard should allow you to easily overclock your processor. This will have tangible effects on the overall gaming performance as well as FPS.


Does the motherboard affect gaming performance?

Yes, but it is usually not a big jump. A mid-range motherboard with quality features will be better for your pocket.

You also need to consider that in order to upgrade your processor, you may need to upgrade the board down the line as well.

Most motherboards are outdated in around 2-4 years, so spending a lot on something that can’t be reused in your new build is not recommended.

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