How to Identify Motherboard Speed

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Identifying the speed of your computer’s motherboard in terms of performance can be quite difficult and crucial at the same time. If you use your computer to play graphics-hungry video games, crunch numbers of high-end software such as video editors and 3D modelers, knowing how fast your motherboard can go is quite important.

Materials Needed:
- Benchmark software
Step 1
One of the easiest ways to know how fast your computer’s motherboard can go is by checking the box that came with it upon purchase. Most motherboards quote on their box their maximum supporting speed for other components. For example, certain motherboards display on their packaging the maximum Front Side Bus or FSB speed the motherboard can take. However, the numbers printed on the box may not be the real speed the motherboard will be performing in real life, as you will need to have a CPU that operates in the same level for it to achieve the maximum speed.
Step 2
Another simple way to check your computer’s motherboard speed is by looking up the maximum speed on your computer’s Basic Input/Output System or BIOS. During your computer’s initial boot, press the 'ESC' key or the special BIOS activation key on your keyboard to go into BIOS. Scroll through the various options using the arrow keys until you have found your machine’s motherboard speed.
Step 3
For a more detailed analysis, you can also use benchmark software to check and monitor motherboard speed. Benchmark software is a specially-developed program designed to measure various performance indicators of a computer, such as that of motherboard speed. Benchmark software such as 3DMark and Phoronix Text Suite can be found and downloaded on the Web and are generally free of charge.
Step 4
If you want to check the motherboard speed by benchmarking and have already downloaded the necessary benchmark software, you will have to install it. Double click the software’s EXE file and follow the instructions. Make sure that there are no other programs running to prevent errors during installation. If the installation procedure requires the computer to reboot, do so.
Step 5
After it has been installed, run the benchmark software. Depending on the software you have downloaded, checking the motherboard speed requires you to go through a number of menus. Simply follow the instructions on the screen or read the help file that came along with the software.
Step 6
If the benchmark software refuses to run or does not display the motherboard, it may be because of your computer not meeting the software requirements. Check the system requirements of the software and install another compatible benchmark software application if necessary.