PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/Mobo's and ram


Desktop PC Enthusiast.
P8Z77V-LX, i5 2500k, Hyper Evo 212, 8gb ram and an Asus Amd Radeon 1Gb DDR5 EAH6770.

I have recently been researching the possibility of moving up a level to socket 1150 ( to try my hand at better games ) but, being unemployed, find the costs involved a bit prohibitave. My research indicates that my current 'older' components should be more than adequate, even today, except perhaps for the graphics card.
During my trolling of a myriad of sites I've come accross a number of recurring comments in particular regarding the motherboard and available space.
Reviewers of motherboards invariably say that such and such a board lack certain items or it could have done with extra usb3's or the like - but for lack of space.

My question is; given that laptops utilize the same sizes of ram as desktops,1,2,4 and 8gb sticks etc, but are only half the size, why do desktop motherboards still not use these half size slots and therefore free some space to include extra components.
I for one would be delighted to see wi-fi built into every desktop motherboard and on the latest versions perhaps an extra usb3 header. Another difficulty that might be overcome is the ram being in the way when a larger than stock heatsink is required.

Many Thanks,

P.S. I was hoping you might not be averse to recommending a suitable upgrade or two to my graphics card in the 100-150 Euro range so that I may try some of the larger, newer games. Cheers.

You are correct that your Core i5 should be entirely suitable even today, although the Radeon HD 6770 may be a performance bottleneck for some titles. It really depends on what you want to play, and at what resolution and settings. Regarding space on motherboards - laptops tend to utilize embedded, mobile, or otherwise compacted versions of various controllers and chips in order to meet their physical and thermal restrictions. SO-DIMMs could be theoretically used, but it would not address what reviewers are complaining about - the "lack of space" is either an illogical/inaccurate assessment of why a board does not provide whatever feature the reviewer wanted, or a lack of space dictated by ATX standards (for example the rear I/O shield can only be so large). There are desktop systems that do use SO-DIMMs, such as the Mac Mini. The primary downside to this configuration is cost and density limits compared to conventional DIMMs.

Regarding extra USB ports - USB hubs are an appropriate solution to that problem, as every USB port can be multiplied to support up to 127 devices, having even two or four ports on the motherboard is more than enough to accommodate whatever configuration of peripherals you may need.

Regarding WiFi, many motherboards do offer integrated WiFi, but it isn't a feature that I generally like to see in motherboards as it can sometimes lead to interference problems with integrated audio. Further, integrated or internal WiFi in a desktop can sometimes lead to connectivity problems if the system cannot get good reception (and moving the entire desktop may be impractical), whereas using a USB "dongle" can allow for more varied placement options with the use of a USB extension cable.

In both cases neither expansion device is very expensive or complex, and it is much easier to purchase such a peripheral than replacing the entire motherboard.

Now, regarding the graphics card upgrade - there are of course many options available within your budget. My advice would be to look into the games you'd like to play and determine what their requirements are; if there are titles that won't perform well enough on the HD 6770 then look for what graphics cards are supported for that game. From there you will have a better idea of what to purchase. Keep in mind limitations on your power supply, case cooling, and so forth as a more powerful graphics card may have higher power and cooling demands than your 6770. "Generically" speaking, something like the new Radeon R7 260X or 270X would be a competent upgrade, but depending on the games you would actually like to play it may be unnecessary.

If you need further information, feel free to ask.


PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

15+ years of experience

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]