I have built a few computers in my life and I have a decent understanding of all the parts and what they do as well as how to compare them to one another however, I don't know much about motherboards :/ . When I look at 2 motherboards all I can really see to determine which is better is the amount of ports on the back, the ram slots, and the PCIE slots. But, thats about it I don't know how to tell if one is better for overclocking than another and many other things can someone explain it like im 5 lol Thanks!
it mostly comes down to features and quality of components.
more expensive gernerally means more features but most users don't need half of these features.
then theirs the other part that has the higher quality components, better controllers, better headsinks, less USB noise etc.
go for the motherboard you want, and if you want overclocking most ATX mobos can do it quite well.
So long as it isn't junk, and does what you need it to do, it's good.
Key things to look for in a motherboard
Are the power phases appropriate for the processor you plan to use? do research into the particular power phases on that board, more is usually better but some brands have better phases than others. For example MSI has great power phases but they are analog and therefore offer less stability than power phases on different brands.
Pay attention to how the Pcie is handled on that board if you plan to use multiple slots
Are the reviews at least 4/5? I find reviews extremely useful to cover things you might overlook. Motherboards notoriously have many bad reviews so i look for something that has an 80% rating if it's less than that tread carefully also pay attention if more than 2 or 3 reviews share the same issue.
Finally does it have the right features? if it doesn't don't be afraid to upgrade/downgrade accordingly, I personally tend to get low end boards with lots of power phases because I don't need features and I love to overclock. I'm using a $125 motherboard in a $2500 rig don't overspend for the hell of it.
Well, if you know what processor your want, determine what you're going to use it for, and how. (Just some gaming? Or do you need fifty-billion USB ports, extra PCIe slots for add-ons, and a kick-ass audio codec to boot?)
Most people are not power users, and, honestly, even most gamers would be satisfied with an H81 board, because they only need that one PCIex16 slot, two DIMM slots, and a couple USB ports for a mouse and keyboard. Beyond that, if you plan on using a high-end CPU, you'll want to see if the VRM has a heatsink attached, and, if you can figure out how many phases it has, more is generally better. If you have USB ports on your case, check and make sure your motherboard has them as well.
Now, if you plan on doing some overclocking, you need to pay more attention to the VRM. Try to get a board with a well-built heatsink, and with something that has at least 6+2 phases; preferably 8+2. You should also take a look online for videos, or screenshots, of the BIOS so you can familiarize yourself with the overclocking features. Basic boards might allow you to just modify multipliers and change your voltage offset, while more advanced boards will allow extensive manual control of voltages and load line calibrations - this is why I like Asus boards a lot.
Beyond that, it is looking at the board's lay-out - will any of the PCIe slots interfere with one-another, or other features of the board? (Can you use your front-end USB with your GPU?)