This is part 4 in our new PC Building series.
As its name suggests, choosing the right motherboard for your computer is vital to your build. A motherboard is a printed circuit that not only gives you a place to install most of your other PC components but essentially ensures that said components are working as they should be. As the PC evolved, manufacturers began to rely more and more on the motherboard as not just a hub but as the centerpiece of the design of one of the most important technological innovations of the 20th century.
Picking a motherboard for your rig isn’t just about what looks cool, sleek, or is full of RGP lights (although these are all great bonuses), but the tremendous benefits your decision can result in down the line. The right motherboard allows you to unlock the full potential of your computer.
When it was time to lay the foundation of our new gaming PC, we went with the ASUS Prime Z390. Check out how we installed this motherboard in the video below:
The appeal of the Z390 starts with its AI Overclocking abilities. Remember when we mentioned that motherboards are actually responsible for regulating and monitoring some of your computer’s essential processes? Well, the Z390’s AI Overclocking abilities evolve that basic, essential function by making motherboards smarter than ever before.
AI Overclocking allows the Z390 to keep track of the power of your CPU and your current cooling capabilities. It uses that information to offer automated clocking based on not only how your computer is currently running but what it’s performance potential can be. In essence, by overclocking, you can run your other components at higher speeds and more efficiently than they were designed to run — a big perk if you’re trying to play the latest games at the highest graphical fidelity possible.
If you’re a top PC builder who prefers to dive deep into your computer’s BIOS in order to manually tune the finer points of your computer’s functionality, you’ll find that the Z390’s AI Overlocking will soon become your faithful companion in the wild of programming possibilities. By recommending information like frequency and voltage estimations, it helps you better understand your machine’s performance potential.
Of course, the power of the Z390 isn’t limited to experts. The Z390 automated systems allow you to either manage certain functionalities by choosing between some basic options or just letting the motherboard handle all the grunt work. In either case, you’ll certainly be impressed by the ways that the Z390 is able to stay on top of your PC’s temperature.
By monitoring the temperature of multiple key sources (whether you’re using a fan or liquid cooling), the Z390 is able to regulate the current temperature of your PC and adjust key settings in order to account for what you’re currently running. Just checking some emails or reading helpful articles on PC parts found on your favorite pop culture and technology website (wink)? The Z390 can set your computer to an Extreme Quiet mode which ensures you won’t be disturbed by unnecessary fan noise.
Have you been playing Skyrim with modern graphics mods for the last 7 hours while watching Netflix in 4K on your second monitor? The Z390 will keep an eye out for temperature spikes so that you can continue using your impressive multitasking abilities to kill dragons while re-watching that one episode of The Office where Michael invites Jim and Pam over for dinner.
The Z390 isn’t just about regulation and monitoring, though. It also has some truly exceptional audio features. Headphone users will fall in love with its 3D surround sound technology support that finally lets you take full advantage of the gaming headset that you invested in when earbuds were no longer enough. If you prefer to use speakers, you’ll benefit from the Z390’s 120dB signal-to-noise ratio that helps ensure the cleanest audio quality.
Speaking of clean audio quality, the Z390’s can decrease instances of annoying audio pops as well isolate and enhance multiple audio tracks regardless of their source. If you’ve ever invested in better audio peripherals and wondered why they never quite seem to reach their full potential, the Z390’s audio features will certainly help you appreciate the difference between a great motherboard and a serviceable one.
In terms of ports and installation, you can rest assured that the Z390 not only supports major components but makes it easy to install them. One of the motherboard’s biggest selling points is its array of USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 3.1 Gen 1 ports. Rest assured that you’ll never have to do the USB port dance with this motherboard. All of your devices should easily find a home.
You know what one of our favorite features of this motherboard is, though? It’s the on-board customizable RGB lighting that can be tuned to reflect different lights and pulsating patterns, an expertly implemented piece of style that reminds you that your motherboard not only matters but that it can indeed be exciting. You won’t go wrong with the ASUS Z390 on either front.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.
Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!