There are several reasons to upgrade your computer’s motherboard. The most obvious one is to upgrade the CPU. Because with intel processors, you need a newer motherboard with every new gen of CPUs. Ryzen CPUs on the other hand, are backward compatible, most of the time anyway.
So, how to upgrade the motherboard? Well, you just check for hardware compatibility and then replace the old motherboard with a new one, it’s as simple as that.
For a more in-depth guide, continue reading below.
Why Would You Upgrade a Motherboard
There are many reasons to upgrade the motherboard. Sometimes, the motherboard fails like other components of a computer. Bad BIOS(Basic Input Output System) flashes and bad power supplies, overheating, short circuits can damage the motherboard. If that happens, you have to upgrade or replace your motherboard. Or sometimes, you may buy a new powerful CPU, RAM, or graphics card for purposes like gaming, graphics design etcetera which may not be compatible with your motherboard. Then you must upgrade to a more powerful and compatible motherboard.
Things to Remember Before Upgrading Your Motherboard
When changing the motherboard of your computer, you can’t just dive in head first. There are a few things you need to check first.
- Replacing a motherboard is a time-consuming process compared to replacing other components of a computer.
- You cannot just buy a motherboard and replace it. It has to be compatible with other components.
- The power supply needs to be powerful enough to supply the necessary
- You may need to change the case of your computer because of the size issue of a motherboard.
- Though a regular motherboard doesn’t cost enough, a powerful motherboard can cost much compared to other components.
Choose the Right Motherboard for Your Computer
To choose the right motherboard for you, you have to follow the next section.
Check Compatibility with the Old Components
Many manufacturers manufacture motherboard. But, there are only two CPU vendors. You cannot upgrade to any motherboard because the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the motherboard need to be compatible with each other. Check your CPU. Most probably, it would be from either Intel or AMD.
Now, you have to choose a motherboard that is compatible with your CPU. Both companies manufacture different processor sockets for their chips. Just do some google search for your CPU’s socket type and then, choose a compatible motherboard.
Power Supply Compatibility
Older motherboards generally require a 20-Pin main power cable from the power But, recent motherboards generally require a 24-Pin main power cable from the power supply. Check your power supply. If you have an older power supply, then you need to upgrade to a new one.
Optical and Hard Drive compatibility
Your optical and hard drive may be connected via IDE (generally ribbon cable) or thinner SATA (newer connector). Older motherboards used to have two IDE-ports where many newer motherboards have only one IDE port. So, if you have two or more than two IDE drives, then you have to buy a compatible motherboard for that.
Computer Case compatibility
Now, you have a list of motherboards that are compatible with your other PC components. Now, you have to think about board size. Most of the PC cases are designed for ATX form factor motherboards. But some cases can fit smaller mATX motherboards and some can fit the smallest ITX motherboards. You have to limit your searches to only motherboards that are compatible with your computer’s case. Or you can replace your computer case with a suitable one.
How to Replace the Old Motherboard with a New One
After choosing the motherboard, it’s now time to replace the older motherboard with the new one. Follow this section if you don’t have enough technical knowledge of computer hardware installation.
Remove other components and cable from the old motherboard
You can do this in two ways: 1. You can keep your existing operating system or 2. You can wipe your boot drive and start from scratch. If you want to do the second thing, keep your operating system in hand so that, you don’t have to wait for the OS (operating system) after installing the new motherboard.
After opening the case, you will find a lot of cables inside your PC. Take photos of the rear panel and interior so that, you can reconnect all the cables without any tension. Now, start removing cards like RAM, CPU, GPU etcetera from the motherboard without any hesitation. Remove the screws by which the motherboard is connected to the case. Keep them in a secure place. Detach all the cables and wires which are connecting the motherboard to the power supply, case’s front panel, hard drives, fans etcetera.
Replace The Old Motherboard With The New
After removing all the screws, you can easily lift out your motherboard. Keep your old motherboard in the bag of the new one. Now, pop out the input/output panel that is attached to the case. Your new motherboard has its own i/o panel. Now, insert the new i/o panel. It’s time to install the new motherboard. It’s efficient to install the processor (it’s a cooling fan too), and the RAM before installing the motherboard.
RAM is easier than the processor to install. There is more than one slot for RAM in a motherboard. Install your RAM to one of the slots. Install your processor to the new motherboard as it was installed on the old motherboard. Don’t orient the processor incorrectly. Now, attach the processor cooling fan to the board. Plugin the fan’s power cable to the board.
Attach Components to the New Motherboard
It’s time to reconnect all the components that were disconnected in step 2. Put all the expansion cards into their appropriate slots. Connect all the cables following the photos you took. If you face any problem in reconnecting them, watch the manual and the diagram. You should take extra care of the USB and FireWire cables because there is a chance of mixing these up.
Front panel connectors are too complex. You should be very sincere about this. To get the power/reset switches and activity lights to work, the connectors have to be matched up with proper pins. You will find the proper layout in the motherboard manual.
After doing all the things, it’s time to close the case. Now, re-attach the rear-panel cables and turn on the computer. It should boot if all the procedures were correct. You will see your new motherboard’s flash screen. Now, enter the BIOS and check the drive and RAM configuration to know that everything is recognized. Now, set the boot-device priority, and enable USB or PCI Express support (if your board requires).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is installing a new Windows required if I install a new motherboard?
Ans: No. But you should install the updated Windows.
2. If I install a new motherboard, will all of my files be deleted?
Ans: No. If you install a new motherboard, no harm will be done to your files. But if you re-install Windows, you must do a backup of your files.
3. Does the new motherboard need to be compatible with other components of your PC?
Ans: Yes. Your new motherboard needs to be compatible with your CPU. See the section named “Check compatibility with the old components” to get your answer.
The motherboard is the main board of your PC by which all other components of your PC are connected and perform as a computer. Sometimes, your motherboard may fail to perform or you may want to upgrade a PC component that is not compatible with your motherboard. Then you need to upgrade to a new motherboard. But how to upgrade the motherboard? After reading the whole article, now you know how to upgrade the motherboard.