Upgrading your computer motherboard might be a cheaper alternative to buying a brand new PC. Whether or not to upgrade your motherboard is a subjective question, it truly depends on factors like, among other things, personal preference.
More so, these factors are also important when contemplating between replacing or upgrading the components attached to it. Let us look at some things you should consider before upgrading your motherboard.
Don’t Rush It…
Firstly, don’t be in a hurry to upgrade yours. The truth is, a motherboard’s lifespan is between 7-10 years. However, if you aren’t good at taking care of your PC motherboard, it might take less time before you’ll need an upgrade.
But if you’re not a heavy user and don’t put pressure on your motherboard, it can last much longer. Some motherboards are over 20 years old and are still working.
Exhaust All Other Options
Only upgrade your motherboard after you’ve exhausted all other options. The truth is, some motherboards cost more than some low-end PCs. Therefore, it isn’t always a cheaper alternative to buying a new PC.
So, before you upgrade, try upgrading your video card and RAM. It’s cheaper to upgrade your graphics card and add a faster RAM than upgrading the whole motherboard or CPU. Also, the RAM and video card boost might improve your PC’s performance better than if you got a new motherboard or CPU.
Another thing you need to know is this: installing your motherboard/CPU is difficult. First of all, you’ll have to remove each adapter card. Then you’ll need to take out all the wires or even disconnect parts of your case. And guess what? You’ll have to do it all over again.
In addition, your existing adaptor cards are one of the dependencies of your motherboard or CPU. These include a modem, sound, port cards, and video. Your motherboard needs the adaptor cards to take care of the video on your monitor, the sound you put in your speakers, and the internet in your browser.
One more thing you’ll have to consider is this: you might need to remove all power supply and existing memory modules. It would be best if you did so because a new motherboard upgrade may force you to let go of every memory module you obtained over the years.
When It’s Broken
As discussed earlier, upgrading your motherboard can be daunting and expensive. Given that you can use it for a very long time, you may not need to upgrade it just yet, unless, of course, for this reason: when it’s broken.
So, when you realize that your motherboard is no longer responding and you’ve tried several repairs and tests, then you may upgrade it. The motherboard isn’t common maintenance or replacement hardware, so only replace it when it’s causing your PC several problems.
More so, when there’s a component failure or parts connected to the motherboard are out of date (such as older CPU component type, DDR2 memory), it’s a sign that you need a new motherboard.
In addition, component failure on the motherboard might also be when your system is unstable or doesn’t boot. You should probably replace it at this point.
When You Need to Upgrade Your System
Perhaps your system no longer meets your needs, especially if you’re a programmer or a gamer, upgrading to a new CPU might be necessary. Also, if you need to upgrade your system and add new components, you might replace your motherboard.
The reason is that these components (RAM, CPU, etc.) might need a motherboard compatible with them. So, if you want to boost your RAM or add a faster core in your CPU but your motherboard doesn’t support it, then you can, of course, upgrade to one that supports it.
As I said earlier, upgrading your motherboard is entirely subjective. Some might want to consider the technological advances made. It’s possible that what you have is now obsolete or may not meet the demands of current technology.
Motherboards come with specific capabilities. So, even if you update the BIOS firmware and add new capabilities to the motherboard, it still won’t give it new abilities.
For instance, let’s say your motherboard only supports USB 2.0 ports; it can’t automatically upgrade its native capabilities to USB 3.0. After all, the motherboard chipset is already soldered.
The thing is, motherboards will support only a few new generations of a particular CPU line. Therefore, you can upgrade your CPU to a slightly recent model. And this applies to RAM as well.
However, it has a limit. It’s essential to find out what these limitations are from your manufacturer before deciding. You can do this by reviewing the technical documentation on your manufacturer’s website.
Alternatively, instead of replacing the motherboard, you might want to add a PCI card that supports the capabilities you’d like to add. For example, if you want to upgrade to a faster Ethernet port, more SATA ports, or a USB 3.0 port, then get a PCI card that supports these capabilities.
However, the new PCIe 4.0 card is a new feature you might prefer. If that’s the case, then you might need to get a new motherboard that will support it.
Finally, as I said earlier, replacing your mother may not be necessary, and it’s always subjective. After considering all the factors explained above, it might boil down to age. You might have already used your motherboard for more than five years; therefore, age might be an indicator for replacement.
As a result of age, you might begin to notice that your system is slower. The fault could come from your hard drive. You can quickly fix this issue by getting an SSD.
Also, it would help if you were sure that the problem isn’t coming from your CPU because it might be struggling to keep up with current software demands. Another indicator could be that after seven years of use, your browser now takes an eternity to load.
At this point, it will be safe to say that what you do need to replace is your computer system. You could get a fairly used one that’s more recent in terms of generation than the older one.