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Choosing A Motherboard Bundle

Buying a motherboard bundle is one of the fastest and most cost effective ways to upgrade your PC, but how do you get the best value?

 

Choosing A Motherboard And CPU Bundle

 

When you're building a gaming PC or home computer, the very first thing you should think about is the upgrade path. Sometimes you don't want to just upgrade your CPU, and may need extra interfaces on your motherboard, so a great way to improve your specs and remain cost effective is a motherboard bundle.

What Is A Motherboard Bundle?

The most common motherboard bundle will include: -

  • Motherboard (duh)
  • CPU
  • Memory
  • CPU Cooler

This means you will just need to pair the bundle with a case, PSU (Power Supply unit), GPU and storage. Usually, a motherboard bundle is ideal for PC builders who already have a PC and just need to upgrade the heart and soul of their rig. A motherboard that supports faster RAM clock speeds, has a PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and a comprises a faster CPU is an ideal scenario.

Upgrading With A Motherboard Bundle

Let's take a typical upgrade path from an Intel Core i7 8700K:

  • Intel Core i7 8700k
  • ASUS Z370-a
  • GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  • 256GB SSD
  • 2TB HDD
  • NZXT H710i Case
  • 550W Gold PSU
  • 16GB 3200MHz RAM (2x 8GB)

The Core i7 8700K 3.70GHz has a Turbo frequency of 4.7GHz, so was obviously a capable gaming CPU before the latter part of 2020, with six cores that will handle multi-tasking and CPU-intensive titles, but this processor was superseded by Intel chips such as the Core i5 10600K and AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X. On the basis of value alone, it would make sense to upgrade the processor to take advantage of higher core counts and speed from new chips.

Note: If you wanted to sell the motherboard, RAM and processor in the second user market (eBay for example) you could recoup some of your upgrade spend, too.

Intel - CCL Recommends: Intel Core i5 12th-Gen Motherboard Bundles

The logical choice would be an upgrade to the Intel Core i5 Alder Lake generation, with the Intel Core i5 12600KF having a 3.7GHz base clock speed and Turbo of almost 5.0GHz (4.9GHz). This chip has 10 cores (6 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), so can handle CPU-hungry titles and will multi-task your daily grind with ease and aplomb.

The Intel Core i5 motherboard bundles come with between 8GB and 16GB DDR4 memory, which are Intel XMP-ready to get the best clock speeds recommended by the smart guys in the long white coats.

Our MSI and Gigabyte motherboard bundles unleash the full potential of the 12th-Gen chips, with features like core boost technology (MSI). You'll also get excellent connectivity and interfaces with 12th-Gen LGA 1700 boards, with features like MSI's Lightning 20Gbps USB & USB-C connection, and Lightning Gen 4 PCIe for M.2 SSDs.

Back to the upgrade path for our old PC, and the GTX 1070 Ti from the previous PC would mean that the new PC build would be capable of playing the following games at recommended specifications: -

  • GTA 5
  • VALORANT
  • Halo Infinite
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Fortnite
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • The Witcher 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Forza Horizon 5

As you can see, this makes for an excellent upgrade, playing the latest games and handling its business very well.

AMD - CCL Recommends: AMD Ryzen 5 Motherboard Bundles

With AMD, there's a couple of great choices in both the Ryzen 5 4000 and 5000 series.

The AMD 4600 and 5600 motherboard bundles offer a superb raft array of features, with motherboards that are designed to get the most out of AMD Ryzen silicon. Motherboards like the excellent B550M are still one of our best sellers, with M.2 interfaces for fast storage, and PCIe 4.0 to get the best out of your graphics card.

We're huge fans of the Ryzen 5 4600G in general, as we said in our blog special not long ago, due to it's crowd pleasing nature at the affordable end of the AMD CPU scale. This would make a great upgrade for PCs that are a few years old, and starting to show their age in the latest applications and games.

AMD vs Intel upgrade path is always worth mentioning. AMD builds are much easier to swap out components in future, as the company has always dedicated itself to creating a longer upgrade path (which means higher lifetime value of a customer).

Again, the GTX 1070 Ti from the remains of the PC hardware means the new PC build is capable of playing the same games at recommended specifications: -

  • GTA 5
  • VALORANT
  • Halo Infinite
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Fortnite
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • The Witcher 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Forza Horizon 5

Motherboard Bundle Options

It is definitely worth mentioning that these motherboard bundles are also customisable. CCL will build your motherboard bundle, and also upgrade the specification should you require it.

Next to the Buy button on the motherboard bundle product page you will see a "CUSTOMISE" link. Clicking this will open up all the available upgrade options for each component.

 

Custom Motherboard Bundle

Custom Motherboard Bundle

 

Last Word

The example above is for a typical upgrade path from a very popular processor - the i7 8700K - though your path may be different. You should also remember that when you upgrade with a motherboard bundle that you will need to reinstall Windows on a formatted SSD or HDD. You should always reinstall windows when you make any major hardware changes.

The easiest thing to do is move all of your files and folders you want to keep from your SSD over to your HDD, leaving just the operating system (Windows). You can then reinstall Windows on your SSD once the new hardware is installed, and use the HDD for long term storage. More info on this can be found our "3 Things You Should Do AFTER You Buy A Motherboard" article.

View All Motherboard Bundles