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12 budget motherboards previewed: A dozen of Micro ATX motherboards for Intel and AMD processors

How much do you need to spend for a good, small form factor, motherboard that provides all the basics without a bunch of superfluous stuff? Which board is the best choice?

Whether it's a little all-round PC for family and friends or just a basic system to use on the side, sometimes what you want is a product without a bunch of bells and whistles. The most extravagant boards cost £100 and more, while for £45 you can already find a decent board in the budget segment that works fine with Intel or AMD processors. While the specifications perhaps aren't as exciting in this category, that doesn't mean that you can't find quality motherboards here.

For budget motherboards Intel created the B75 chipset. It comes from the same series as the popular H77 and Z77 chipsets. B75 motherboards are compatible with all Intel Socket 1155 processors from the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations. In terms of features B75 is a lot more limited compared to H77 and Z77.

Like H77, B75 is not able to overclock K processors via the multiplier. If you want to do that, you really need to buy a Z77 board. Motherboards using the B75 chipset aren't very suited for overclocking anyway, they haven't been tuned by the manufacturer to work outside of the standard parameters. Another similarity between the B75 and H77 boards, and different from Z77, is that it's not possible to divide the 16 PCI-Express lanes from the processor into two times eight lanes. That means SLI or Crossfire aren't going to work well, but for a budget PC that's not really relevant. You can read the rest of 12 budget motherboards previewed on