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How do I Choose the Best Motherboard Bundle?

M. McGee
M. McGee

A motherboard bundle is a retail version of a motherboard. These bundles come with various other items such as cables, daughter boards and software. The term bundle, or retail, sets the packs apart from barebones motherboards that only come with the board and a minimum amount of secondaries. In order for a user to determine what motherboard bundle is the best, it is important that he looks at what he already has and what he needs.

Many companies offer two versions of their motherboards; a motherboard bundle and a barebones motherboard. The barebones board is the version with as few extras as possible. These boards are typically purchased by users as replacement boards or by companies that need to assemble several systems.

A computer motherboard.
A computer motherboard.

A motherboard bundle contains several items outside the motherboard itself. Bundles contain all the common items, such as instruction manuals and installation software. Bundles come in a box, where a barebones board will likely come in a static bag. The rest of the included equipment varies based on the quality and purpose of the motherboard.

One of the first steps for any user buying a motherboard bundle is figuring out what she already has. Processors and computer cases come in several different form factors. If the individual plans on reusing either, the new board has to match the old components. Memory also has several different varieties and speeds. In order to use the old memory, the new board has to have the proper type and number of slots. Lastly, if the user has an expansion boards, such as a video or sound card, the expansion slots vary heavily based on the board’s form factor, so those will need to be checked as well.

Once you have narrowed down exactly what you have, you will need to look at what you need. Modern motherboards have several types of integrated equipment. If you are lacking a certain item, it is possible to find a motherboard bundle that has that item include on the board. Common integrated components are network and sound systems. Less commonly, a user may find an integrated video system. The integrated components on high-end motherboards change all the time, so users will often need to do a little research.

The last step in buying a motherboard bundle is putting it all together. Knowing what you have and what you need will drastically cut down the options available. At that point, you can figure out the price and style you want. Some boards come with random extras such as free software or additional components—these are often selling points to entice people, so be sure to read reviews first.

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    • A computer motherboard.
      By: VIA Gallery
      A computer motherboard.