Choosing a Laptop Motherboard

Laptop repair has become much easier since more efficient computers and easy-to-find parts have entered the market. But motherboard problems remain one of the most difficult issues. Because most of a computer’s vital functions are carried out on the motherboard, when it fails, the laptop loses much of its capacity.

Years ago, a failed laptop motherboard more or less meant that you had to get a new computer. But that’s no longer the case today. It’s much easier to find a motherboard for a laptop repair regardless of make or model, and installation is much less complex and risky. And because there’s a greater variety of laptops and hardware systems, compatibility is not an issue either. The same goes for any other internal component. Click here to view some of the most commonly replaced laptop parts and learn how you can find the right pieces.

If you’re not too tech-savvy, you will want to do some homework before buying a new motherboard. There are several types, brands, models, and feature sets to choose from, and it all depends on what computer you have and what kind of user you are. The first thing you want to look at is compatibility: what kind of processor you have (usually Intel or AMD), the type of memory you use, and the form factor (i.e. it has to fit your laptop).

Next, you’ll want to look at the features. This is where the personalization takes place. For example, you can opt for onboard video or get a separate video card. The latter is usually chosen by gamers and people in the visual arts (such as film and photography), as it gives them the freedom to choose a more powerful card and upgrade as they see fit. Gamers often put multiple video cards together to maximize quality, but this requires a different, often more expensive type of motherboard.

You can also choose between onboard or separate network cards. With an onboard network card (also called an NIC), you free up room for other expansion cards such as video and sound, or simply for better airflow to avoid overheating.

USB ports are another consideration. All motherboards have an onboard USB feature, but they differ in the number of ports. Here, it’s a matter of how many USB devices you want to plug in at the same time. Always plan for more ports than you need in case you get more external devices later on.

It may sound complicated, but it’s a lot simpler than the terms let on. If you’re not sure, you may want to get a professional opinion from the shop, or a more knowledgeable friend, to make sure you don’t end up with useless hardware.