How Does Motherboard Affect Performance? Complete Guide to PC Motherboards

For getting a computer for your ordeals, there are some things you will want to prioritize. For processor-intensive activities, you need to know which components affect your computer’s efficiency. That said, it’s good to know that computer components with higher specifications will provide more effective performance than components with lesser specifications. So, does the motherboard affect performance?

The motherboard of your computer doesn’t directly affect the performance of the system, especially when you’re gaming. This is because the motherboard has no direct impact on the actual specifications of the computer. On the other hand, overclocking your PC GPU and CPU impacts your computer’s performance.

So, what are the essential things to understand before shopping for a computer? Let’s consider them all below.

What Is A Motherboard And What Does It Do?

The motherboard also termed ‘Mainboard,’ is the component that coordinates and manages all other computer components and ensures they all work together. It helps all other components bridge with each other. Thus, enabling the RAM, GPU, CPU, and Hard Disk to communicate. Also, the motherboard oversees and manages how much power each of these components requires.

What Is A Motherboard

In fact, you can say the motherboard is the heart of the computer (synonymous with the human heart). It basically coordinates how much energy the different computer components and parts need to function properly.

It’s also important to note that motherboard sizes and shapes vary and depend on the size of your computer. Essentially, the form factor determines your motherboard’s shape and size. Although there are several form factors, the most widely adopted motherboard form factor in desktop computers is the ATX. But, for laptops, the form factors are much different and depend on the size of the laptop.

That said, we can see that the motherboard is a pivotal component of your computer.

Does Motherboard Affect Performance?

The motherboard or ‘mobo’ doesn’t affect the computer’s performance directly. As we’ve earlier stated, the motherboard connects all the computer components together and ensures intercommunication between them. So, it doesn’t directly impact the efficiency of the computer components, or in plain terms, how well a computer can function.

Does Motherboard Affect Performance

Therefore, the computer motherboard doesn’t really affect overall computer performance. The overall system performance depends on components like the GPU, RAM, CPU, Hard disk, etc., and sometimes, the motherboard can alter these components.

Thus, the motherboard can limit the efficiency of these other important components used for your computer build and limit their efficiencies.

How Much Does The Motherboard Affect Performance?

Fundamentally, the motherboard doesn’t affect the effectiveness of your computer components. However, the degree to which the motherboard can affect the effectiveness of your components depends on the component associated with it.

For example, an older generation motherboard will support some specific CPUs that are most likely older versions. Thus, using a newer CPU on an older motherboard will limit the capabilities of that CPU regarding its overall efficiency.

How Much Does The Motherboard Affect Performance

That said, your motherboard and components must be of compatible specifications for them to function optimally. If they aren’t compatible, the component in concern (e.g., RAM) will not function to its overall capacity because the motherboard doesn’t support its entire capacity.

The motherboard affects your computer’s efficiency in two different ways, and we’d talk briefly about them below.


The overclockability of your computer is directly impacted upon by your computer motherboard. Unfortunately, this also indirectly affects your computer’s performance. The term overclocking is a computer gaming word used in the computer industry that most individuals don’t understand. Now, let’s look at it briefly.

When building a computer, its CPU comes with a specific maximum speed of performance. If you use an efficient cooling system, then you can run your computer at the maximum processor speed, encountering no challenges.


However, it’s worthy to note that the stated maximum speed of your processor isn’t the actual maximum speed. You can adjust the maximum speed of your computer by setting a higher multiplier or clock rate. Basically, you impose on the processor via the BIOS to operate faster by manipulating and increasing the multiplier. Similarly, it’s just like you manipulating your car engine to work faster.

In overclocking, you’re simply increasing the clock rate higher than what was pre-programmed. This, in turn, increases the efficiency of your computer processor beyond its normal limits.

However, one major challenge with overclocking is that your processor will overheat if you don’t have an effective cooling system. Thus, causing the processor to get damaged, and the system can display the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). As self-medication, your computer can restart from a recovery point.

Now, how does the motherboard relate to overclocking?

Simple! An effective motherboard will regulate the voltage flowing through the components to prevent the components from getting fried. So, you need to understand that a motherboard has a significant role to play in the efficiency of these components and the overall system performance.


The chipset in the motherboard acts as a sort of regulator for communication between components in the motherboard. The components that communicate via the Chipset include the RAM, CPU, and others. Also, the chipset comprises two segments—the North and Southbridge.

Now, the North Bridge facilitates communication between the computer’s core components, such as the CPU, GPU, and RAM. Also note that the northbridge is vital in affecting the computer’s overclocking abilities.

On the other side, the South Bridge regulates the communication of the/O (Input/Output) of data and devices. The components it regulates include the BIOS, and USB devices, etc.

Does The Motherboard Affect FPS?

The motherboard doesn’t affect your computer’s Frames Per Second or Frame rate. Although the motherboard determines how effective your computer will respond or how well your computer games will load. So said, your motherboard has no direct impact on the FPS of your computer.

As we’ve established earlier, the motherboard enables communication and connection between other peripherals connected to it. However, although the m-board doesn’t directly affect the FPS, it does so indirectly. So first, let’s understand what FPS is all about. As the name implies, the FPS is evaluated as to how fast each frame on your computer display moves while gaming.

Does The Motherboard Affect FPS

The computer FPS handles how smooth your gaming experience will be and depends on major components like the RAM, GPU, and CPU. Also, it’s worthy to note that the GPU handles Computer Graphics, whereas the CPU functions as the brain of the Computer. Therefore, a low-quality motherboard will cause both components’ intercommunication and RAM to lag. Thus, we can see that the motherboard affects the FPS indirectly.

Can Motherboard Affect GPU Performance?

The motherboard doesn’t affect your computer GPU directly. Like the CPU and other important components, the GPU isn’t directly affected by the motherboard, so long as you use a compatible motherboard. However, the quality of the motherboard you use with your components can affect their efficiency if it’s not good quality.

Can Motherboard Affect GPU Performance

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit, otherwise known as Graphics Card or Video Card. It facilitates the creation and rendering of images, animations, and videos. In addition, the GPU assists the CPU in handling mathematical calculations so that the CPU executes other activities. Although, for FPS, the GPU is as vital as the CPU. But, it’s still useful that you understand your motherboard doesn’t affect your CPU and GPU the same way.

While it’s possible to overclock your computer’s GPU so that it provides the most efficient result, it’s worthy to note that your motherboard can still affect it. For example, if your motherboard has a poor set of PCIe x16 ports, it will invariably impede the efficiency of your GPU.

What Makes A Quality Motherboard?

A great-quality motherboard comprises an excellently working form factor, Processor Port, RAM, SATA, PCI Ports, and Features. Already we know the motherboard encompasses every other component on the computer and enables intercommunication between them. It’s also the most vital component. So said, let’s look at the following components.

What Makes A Quality Motherboard

Form Factor

As we’ve stated earlier, the most common form factor forms are the ATX and the micro ATX motherboards. Motherboards that contain the ATX or micro ATX form factors are expansive and offer better chances of scalability.


The kind of motherboard you purchase will determine the type and number of RAM you can use on it. Thus, you need to note that when shopping for a motherboard. We advise you to buy a motherboard that can support at least 16GB of RAM or one that provides over 4 RAM slots. This way, you can install and use two RAMs in two slots and upgrade later if you wish.

PCI Port

This is the standard Expansion slot for your computer on the motherboard. However, it depends on what purpose you have for the computer motherboard because if you’re planning on gaming with it, you might require a full-speed express x16 slot and several of it. A good quality motherboard provides Standard PCI ports and even smaller ports for other external cards such as the Wi-Fi adaptors and Sound card.


Also, the SATA ports are another major consideration when shopping for a good motherboard. Every SATA port enables you to connect to storage drives such as HDD or SDD and optical drive. Also, motherboards that provide up to the 6 GB standard or SATA 3.0 are highly recommended when shopping.


Last, a motherboard that comes with futures in it is a great plus because you won’t need to purchase extra expansion cards. One common feature that is integrated on most motherboards is the onboard audio. Also, note that great-quality motherboards provide Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features together but cost more.

How to Tell If Motherboard Is Bad?

Most times, it’s difficult to tell if your computer motherboard is bad. That said, let’s consider a few symptoms you shouldn’t ignore about your computer motherboard to tell if it’s bad or not.

How to Tell If Motherboard Is Bad

1. Physically Damage

One very notable sign that your computer motherboard is bad is that it shows you physical signs of damage. For instance, it doesn’t power on, or you notice a burnt transistor on the board, or even worse if the motherboard has a chipped offside. Even light problems can transcend into more fatal problems if not attended to properly.

If, while using the computer, you notice or observe the smell of a burning emanating from your computer, then the motherboard is bad.

2. Glitches

Another symptom you shouldn’t trivialize is when your computer freezes while using it. This occurs most when you’re loading a program and most times signifies a hardware problem. However, it’s not all freezes that are related to the motherboard. But, if it does it frequently, the more it does so, the more likely your computer is to crash.

3. The Computer Slows Down

Also, if your computer slows down more frequently than normal, that’s a sign you should note. For example, it may occur that your keypads are responding at a slower rate, PC screaming like a jet engine, or your programs are loading much slower than normal. In contrast, the fact that your computer is slowing down doesn’t imply motherboard problems but, whatever the case, it shows that your computer is not in good shape.

4. Doesn’t Recognize Hardware

This part can be really annoying and usually starts with small peripherals like USB flash drives, not reading. While it can mean that the external device is faulty, it can also mean that your motherboard is in trouble.

5. BSoD (Blue Screen of Death)

This is a fatal symptom in the computer, and no techie wants to experience this at all. The Blue Screen of Death is a sign of hardware system failure and implies that your OS can’t function at a safe level again.

Metaphorically, this means that your computer system is in a comma, not yet dead, but very close to it.


Does the motherboard affect computer performance? Not directly, no, never. However, based on some factors such as age, capability, and type of motherboard, it can indirectly affect your computer’s overall effectiveness. For example, it can indirectly affect the CPU, GPU, and FPS in different manners.

That established you must observe your computer well to know when it shows you symptoms of a bad motherboard.

Ronald Bryan

After completing my graduation in computer engineering, I started a business where I’m selling different types of laptops and their accessories. Besides my business, I love to do research and blogging on computer technology. While operating my business, I saw many of my customers didn’t have adequate knowledge about laptops. Therefore most of them are purchasing the wrong one and don’t get the right output they expected. That motivates me to write on this matter, and Laptopgeeky is the result of that. I created this site to share my knowledge with people who are looking for laptops for specific tasks.

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