Choosing a Motherboard, PC Case and PSU

Selecting a compatible motherboard, case and power supply unit for your PC

To begin with, study the range of Motherboards on offer, and try to buy the best you can afford. Not only will this increase overall performance, but it will make future upgrades that much easier.

Our PC Parts Checklist will guide you through making the right choices and asking the right questions when buying your new hardware.


In most cases, it will be the Motherboard specification that will determine the best components to compliment it. When making purchases of the following items, refer to your Motherboard manual so that you can be advised by the sales person on which items will be compatible.

A typical PC Motherboard

If you find yourself bewildered by the range and types of motherboard on offer, take a moment to review the posts made by members of our Message Forums. In particular, the PC specs - Proposed forum will give you a good idea of what hardware other members are buying and building with and help with Motherboard features is available in the Motherboards forum.

Reputable Motherboard Brands: ASUS, Abit, MSI, DFI

PC Case

A typical PC Front Panel

PC Case style is always a personal preference. If the PC Case is supplied with a PSU, make sure it is the correct type for your motherboard. Newer Motherboards need an ATX PSU, whereas older versions require an AT PSU. Make sure that your Motherboard will physically fit inside the PC Case before buying.

The 'blank bays' (two shown here, below the CD-ROM) will allow space for future drive upgrades.

Reputable PC Case Brands: Akasa, Antec, Chieftec, Coolermaster, Lian-Li

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

A fitted PSU with fixing screws circled in red

If not supplied with the case, be sure you buy the correct type of PSU for your Motherboard (see above) Be aware that certain newer CPU's will require a high power PSU. Try to find a PSU with a high power rating - 500W for example.

The PSU is shown here already fitted to the PC Case. Note the fixing screws, circled in red.

Reputable PSU Brands: Antec, Enermax, Tagan