Does Motherboard Affect FPS? Answering the Eternal Question

Does motherboard affect FPS

When it comes to gaming, we all want to squeeze out the last bit of performance from our systems. But then again, there’s always the need of knowledge. Which component can actually affect in-game framerates?

Here, we’re going to shed light on the key factors of FPS and also discuss the contribution of a motherboard in boosting the FPS of games. Logically speaking, a tech enthusiast would deny the possibilities on a general discussion. But hey, we know better.

So, if you’re interested in the facts and, of course, the truth, then follow my lead on this one. We’re about to touch all the info necessary to bring closure to this discussion.

What Actually Does A Motherboard do?

Before we head into the detailed discussion about FPS and all that, I think we really need to know about the motherboard itself. Basically, a motherboard is sort of the bridge between all the main components that you have in your computer. The prime purpose of a MOBO is connectivity.

What actually does a motherboard do

Let me give you a heads up. CPU, RAM, and GPU have a direct impact on gaming FPS. And the motherboard is the hardware unit that connects all of them to offer a synchronized output.

Here’s a keynote. Not all motherboards are the same. Be it while considering compatibility or size. There are motherboards of various chipsets for both AMD and Intel CPUs. There are various form factors as well. Normal ATX, E-ATX, Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, and so on.

Running a PC without a motherboard is fairly impossible. As you’ll see, in all PC cases, there’s a dedicated motherboard tray, if not anything else.

FPS and All You Need to Know About It

If you’re a gamer, you already know what FPS is. But still, let’s go through the basics. FPS or Frames Per Second is also known as “Update Rate.” Some even prefer calling it “Burst Rate.” The rate frames change on the screen of the display is basically it. The number of refreshes in a set 1 second time is the exact FPS.

30-60 FPS is the accepted standard in most cases. Anything below that is considered to be laggy or “not” smooth. In modern times, a lot of first-person shooter gamers demand more than 200 FPS even. That may sound a bit insane. But it does have an impact on professional gameplay.

There’s a common equation that every gamer understands. The more hardware power, the more FPS. Which technically isn’t untrue. Faster and more powerful components do result in more FPS. But, to get more than native 60-75 FPS, you might want to get yourself a high refresh rate monitor.

Motherboard Facts That Affect Performance/ FPS

Well, a motherboard doesn’t actually have a direct impact on the on-screen FPS. However, it is connected to the components that do. So, there are specific motherboard factors that have an indirect role in contributing to the FPS game.

Let’s discuss!

  • Overclocking Power

Overclocking Power

VRMs are often overlooked by many users. But it does play a key role in the overall performance. Voltage regulator modules (VRM) convert the power taken from the PSU and make it usable for the CPU. So, if you think about power efficiency, the motherboard VRM quality matters a lot.

The more power phases a VRM has, the better CPU overclocking is made possible. Power phases are essential. So, you might want to look into them in more detail while you’re making your purchase. These look like small cylinders surrounding the CPU.

Depending on the value and performance of the motherboard, you’ll come across 4-8 power phases in total.

The base clock speed and the multiplier can give you an idea of the frequency of the CPU. The higher the equation, the more performance you’ll be able to get from your CPU. It’s as simple as that.

Note:  CPUs have a direct impact on FPS, and a weaker CPU can cause bottlenecks with a powerful GPU.

  • RAM and Expansion Slots

RAM and Expansion Slots

To enable XMP, you’ll need a motherboard that supports it. RAM overclocking is a thing. And you’ll need high-quality components in a motherboard to ensure a proper overclock can be done. Ram performance can back CPU performance. No better example than the AMD APUs like the 3400G.

Cheaper motherboards have support for only 32GB RAM. Not that you really need more in the current gaming scenario. But it really doesn’t hurt to keep enough headroom.

Then, of course, comes the expansion slot factor. If your motherboard doesn’t have a slot for a proper NVME SSD or something like multiple GPU support, you might be falling short on possible extra performance.

SSDs can have an impact on game loading times, and multiple GPUs offer better FPS with SLI or Crossfire. A few extra PCIe expansion slots are always appreciated if you ask me.

  • The BIOS

This isn’t necessarily something that impacts FPS straight up. But it does ensure proper functionality of the components connected to the motherboard. A motherboard BIOS upgrade is very important if you want to run upgraded hardware properly. A new-gen CPU performance can significantly boost FPS.

Some Benchmark Results

Let’s compare two high-end motherboards while keeping the other components exactly the same and see how much difference we actually get.

In this test, the CPU used is the Ryzen 7 3700X, and the motherboards are the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 and the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Ultra. The GPU used in the test is an RTX 2080 Super and Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro Series 4*8GB DDR4 RAM (3600MHz).

Let’s look into the results!

Game Title X470 (Average FPS-Minimum FPS) X570 (Average FPS-Minimum FPS)
Resident Evil 2 104-142 (1080P) 108-141(1080P)
Battlefield 5 154-181(1080P) 156-182(1080P)
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 150-179(1080P) 148-178(1080P)
Devil May Cry 5 170-198(1080P) 171-200(1080P)
Metro Exodus 105-132(1080P) 105-131(1080P)
Apex Legends 154-181(1080P) 155-181(1080P)

Technically speaking, the X570 board from gigabyte has better components in general. The difference from the X470 board isn’t all that much. But we really couldn’t deny that it exists.

These tests were run in high settings. If you wanna look at the results in more games and in 1440P, check out this video.

The Final Frame

“Does motherboard affect FPS?” I bet you’re pretty clear now about the topic by now. The motherboard is the heart of your PC, but it definitely isn’t a core performance unit. So, directly impacting FPS isn’t a possibility. But in a roundabout way, it actually can.

If you have a good budget and want the boost (However minimal), you can consider high-end MOBOs. They even offer better aesthetics and cool gimmicks. That’s pretty much it for now.

Hope you enjoyed the read. Until next time!

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