Thinking about motherboards is enough to overheat your brain unless you’re an expert computer geek. Focus on the required essentials though, and it becomes a lot more manageable.

Firstly, you’ll need a motherboard that’s compatible with your CPU. If you’ve opted for an AMD CPU, then your motherboard will need an AM4 socket. Intel Core processors, meanwhile, need an LGA 1151 port, but you’ll also need to make sure the motherboard’s chipset is compatible with the generation of the chip you’re using.

Then you also need the relevant ports. A DisplayPort socket is mandatory for the Pro since the LinkBox only has a Mini DisplayPort output for transmitting video. Sorry HDMI, but you’ve been dumped. What does a DisplayPort look like? Essentially a HDMI port that’s had its end slice off, leaving a straight edge. A USB 3.0 port or higher and a HDMI output for connecting up your TV/monitor should also be on your checklist.

Asus’ Prime B350-Plus AMD B350 is the motherboard we picked, which is available at Overclockers for a reasonable $139 price. But the best motherboard for you really does depend on the other components you’ve invested in, namely the CPU.

Total rig cost so far: $538

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