Which Motherboard Features Do I Need for a Home Theater?
Motherboards are designed for utility in general-purpose computers. They are not usually geared toward use in home theater applications. With so many motherboards to choose from, it can be difficult to find the best one.
Truthfully, there aren’t that many differences from motherboard to motherboard. The most recent motherboards are all capable of addressing DDR3 memory, sport 4 to 10 USB ports (external and internal), come complete with one or multiple PCIe slots, and support SATA300 and RAID drive configurations. Since it doesn’t take too much processing power to display video and render digital sound, the best motherboard for your home theater is the one that offers the features you need and leaves off the ones you don’t.
Take for example, the ASUS P7P55D Pro motherboard. At under US$200, this ATX motherboard has about everything you could possibly need for your home theater. It supports Core i7 and Core i5 (LG1156) processors and DDR3 memory overclocked to as high as 2133MHz. With room for up to 4GB of memory, two PCIe 2.0 x8 mode video card slots, and 14 USB ports, there isn’t much you couldn’t do with this motherboard as part of your home theater. Of course, this is a full ATX board. Even though many people are using full-size PCs in home theaters, some opt for smaller, compact computers to complement the rest of their home theater components. This brings us to the next question about choosing the best motherboard.