The motherboard is the most important part of any DIY computer. It's where everything loads through, and where all your components are mounted to. When choosing a motherboard, there are many factors to consider, such as form factor (ATX/mATX), chipset (Intel vs. AMD), PCI-E slots, SATA ports, RAM slots, fan headers, number of USB ports, and more.

The most common motherboard form factor is the ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) board. It's a hefty-sized board that has additional capacitors on the left side to make sure your PC boots up reliably even during power outages. Motherboards, much like other PC components, come in a variety of form factors, including ATX, MicroATX, and Mini-ITX. The majority of home computer motherboards sold at your local computer store or purchased online will be one of these varieties. 

Why ATX Motherboard?

ATX motherboards are the most popular amongst PC builders, gamers, and hardware enthusiasts because they offer a nice balance between price and features. Right off the bat, you get 1-3 PCI-E x16 slots so you can install graphics cards, plus 2-4 PCI-E x1 slots for other expansion cards. You also get 5-7 SATA ports, so you can connect multiple HDDs/SSDs directly to the motherboard without using a SATA controller card. The board will have on average 6+4 pin CPU power connectors that are needed to run most CPUs available today (although some new boards require 8-pin CPUs). Lastly, ATX motherboards feature more RAM slots compared to smaller form factors, which allows you to install up to 32GB of memory if desired.