"Gaming" motherboards

  • #1
Stephen Tashi
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is the terminology "gaming motherboard" just marketing? Do they, in general, have features that distinguish them from ordinary motherboards?

(I don't play computer games. I'd like build two new computers based on Gigabyte brand AMD motherboards and I don't want them to require a lot fans and be noisy. Gigabyte had started calling some of their motherboards "gaming" motherboards.)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
verty
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They typically have slots to run 2 video cards, as well as better heat sinks and sometimes better overclocking features, for example more options for RAM timings, clock frequencies, etc.
 
  • #3
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Also usually more decorations, funny metal/plastic addons and gizmos what looks cool/heavy duty.
 
  • #4
Drakkith
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I'd like build two new computers based on Gigabyte brand AMD motherboards and I don't want them to require a lot fans and be noisy.
I don't think the motherboard is ever the limiting factor for performance, so you're probably okay getting something that's less noisy and less expensive.
 
  • #5
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Why would a motherboard be noisy and require more fans?
 
  • #6
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Why would a motherboard be noisy and require more fans?
Some motherboards are expected to run out of (original) specs: some others are just too compact (this not always means small size) to have adequate cooling otherwise.
 
  • #8
(I don't play computer games. I'd like build two new computers based on Gigabyte brand AMD motherboards and I don't want them to require a lot fans and be noisy. Gigabyte had started calling some of their motherboards "gaming" motherboards.)
So? Don't add any fans on the board save for the CPU fan.

I have an Aorus Gaming K3. No fans on the board when I bought it. And so it goes for the more expensive models I think. You add the fans, they don't come pre-installed. The cool thing with Gigabyte motherboards is the Fusion LED's. It just looks great!
 
  • #9
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Yes, but if you don't overclock your MB, I don't see why you need more fans.
I like overclockable MBs for an odd reason - underclocking. If they start to age and fail, I can always slow them down.
 
  • #10
Tom.G
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More fans = cooler operation = longer component life (roughly 2x life for each 10°C cooler)

If you upgrade every few years you probably won't run out of board life, at least on the higher grade ones like you are considering.

In a reasonably 'well built' machine, often it is the power supply that fails early (the filter capacitors die and you get enough AC ripple on the DC output that the motherboard won't run). Again it's the temperature and power supplies usually run hot. Install an oversized power supply so it runs cooler while just loafing along.

You can also get quieter fans with less air movement. Many fan brands state their noise level in the technical specs. along with airflow.

The big thermal sources are the Video card(s) and, of course, the CPU. The CPU cooling seems to be well designed these days, but often the video card(s) could use a cabinet fan aimed directly at them.

If you intend to overclock the system, the cooler the whole thing is the faster you can set the timing before everything stops working. But that is another whole can of worms!

Have Fun! And keep us updated on what you end up with.

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #11
rbelli1
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gizmos what looks cool/heavy duty.
Don't forget the blinky lights. You can never have too many blinky lights. If your "gaming" rig doesn't disrupt the flight patterns of everything in the sky you are doing it wrong.

BoB
 
  • #12
phinds
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Don't forget the blinky lights. You can never have too many blinky lights. If your "gaming" rig doesn't disrupt the flight patterns of everything in the sky you are doing it wrong.
:oldlaugh:
 
  • #13
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My guess would be extra slots for graphics cards and ram. It’s pobably just rated for huge power draws.

Here’s the thing though: for most high end graphics cards, they aren’t pulling their power from the board. They’re on powered risers and usually have additional power couplings too. These can and should be connected directly to your PSU.
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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Also, manufacturer provided software/firmware overclocking and customization tools.

But not fans. Even if it has fans, they are the least significant fans in the computer.
 
  • #15
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Fans tend to be 4 pin molex connectors, which can be gained together from a single source.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Fans tend to be 4 pin molex connectors, which can be gained together from a single source.
I was responding to your first sentence about extra slots; probably not extra fans, but even then it wouldn't matter. Let me be a little more explicit:

The OP was worried about extra fans on the motherboard causing a noise issue. They would not because they would still be the least significant fans in the computer. CPU, GPU and case fans are all typically much louder than motherboard fans.

Here's an example:
https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-CROSSHAIR-VI-HERO/
Near as I can tell, there are no fans on the motherboard.

But here's one with two:
http://www.legitreviews.com/evga-680i-lt-sli-motherboard-review_477/3
 
  • #17
Stephen Tashi
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The OP was worried about extra fans on the motherboard causing a noise issue.
Actually, what I'm worried about is the requirements for fans - including fans not part of the motherboard.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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Actually, what I'm worried about is the requirements for fans - including fans not part of the motherboard.
Choice of motherboard does not affect the requirements for other components' fans. Those components have their own requirements.

The typical way to minimize fan noise is with larger, slower spinning fans. You will have considerable flexibility with the CPU fan (often a big source of noise). There is less flexibility with the GPU fans, but you may be able to pick somewhat based on their fan noise (which you should be able to research). Good thermal and noise management may also require a large case, so that you can use large/slow case fans.
 
  • #19
Stephen Tashi
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Choice of motherboard does not affect the requirements for other components' fans.
However, it does affect the requirementd for case fans. I've had motherboards where the memory and "system chips" got so hot that they required fans blowing directly on them. I'm curious whether "gaming" motherboards typically require such measures.
 
  • #20
However, it does affect the requirementd for case fans. I've had motherboards where the memory and "system chips" got so hot that they required fans blowing directly on them. I'm curious whether "gaming" motherboards typically require such measures.
No.

Typically, chipsets carry large heatsinks on them even a small fan to cool them if that's the case, but that doesn't make any noise.

Memory modules do not require fans. The more expensive ones carry their own heatsinks too.
 
  • #21
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CPU, GPU and case fans are all typically much louder than motherboard fans.
I have some bad experiences with this. Cheap chipset fans are often trying to compensate for the small size with high RPM, ending as the most disturbing part of a PC, giving out a noise like a dental drill...

Actually, what I'm worried about is the requirements for fans - including fans not part of the motherboard.
A good case fan is a bless for the PC. I suggest to get something with thermal RPM control, even if it is not an actual requirement.
Just be sure that the PSU fan and the case fan are not working against each other...
 
  • #22
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It's been a long time since I have seen a northbridge fan. Manufacturers seem to have gone to giant heat sinks instead. I suspect for reliability reasons.

For an equivalently provisioned system, I expect no difference in power consumption from a "gaming" and "non-gaming" motherboard.
 
  • #23
rcgldr
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Somewhat of a sidenote - Most of the noise on my desktops is from the video card fans, and it turned out to be quieter overall to remove the sides of the desktop, which resulted in the video card fans running slower (due to lower temperature inside what were enclosed cases). The other fans like the CPU fan, PSU fan, case fans (front, rear, top) are relatively quite compared to the video card fans, at least when running some 3d application like a game or a 3d benchmark. Otherwise, when not running some 3d app, the desktops are fairly quiet.
 
  • #24
Stephen Tashi
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it turned out to be quieter overall to remove the sides of the desktop.
Ease of assembly and maintenance is improved by doing away with cases altogether.

ComputerCase.JPG
 

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