WE WERE REALLY SPOILED FOR CHOICE WHEN IT CAME TO MOTHERBOAR­DS IN 2022. Both AMD and Intel released new platforms meaning we had a huge variety of boards to choose from. In September, AMD released its AM5 platform, which added support for DDR5 memory. High end X670E boards were joined by X670, B650E and B650 boards. Four chipsets? Actually, they all use the same chip. It’s just that the X series uses two of them, while the B series uses one. AMD says it intends to support AM5 for several years to come. If it has a long life like AM4 did, then you can expect to be able to upgrade to a Zen 5 or Zen 6 processor with just a BIOS flash. Just a month later, Intel released its 13th Generation CPU range accompanie­d by Z790 motherboar­ds. Z790 is more or less an evolution over Z690 with a better I/O thanks to the inclusion of more PCIe 4.0 lanes. This means Z790 boards typically have improved support for high bandwidth devices and controller­s, including things like more PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots or things like USB 4 or Thunderbol­t 4 controller­s. Sadly, high quality motherboar­ds are now expensive. It wasn’t long ago that a $500 motherboar­d was regarded as ultra-premium. Now, $500 is considered mid-range. But if you are prepared to pay, at least you can expect a high-quality product. Things like the power delivery, cooling, USB port count and speeds and support for faster M.2 drives mean you’ll have a motherboar­d that will happily power a system for many years to come, no matter what you use a PC for.

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