Decide The Processor
Intel and AMD are the two main processor manufacturers in the market today. You must buy a motherboard which is compatible with the brand of processor that you want to use. Motherboards are specific to the processor. Buying a motherboard that supports an Intel processor will mean you can’t use an AMD processor with it and vice versa.
You must also check the socket of the processor that you intend to buy. A socket is the technology of the interface through which the processor and motherboard are connected to each other. Choose a motherboard that supports the socket type of the processor you intend to buy.
Memory (RAM) Capacity
RAM is one of the most important components of the computer. For regular usage (internet and word processing and basic gaming) you will need not more than 2 GB or ram. The required amount of RAM in your computer will increase as the workload that you plan to exert on your system increases. Ensure that you buy a motherboard which has a lot of RAM capacity, even if you are not utilizing it. You can always choose to install 2 GB of RAM even if your motherboard supports 16 GB of RAM. This extra RAM capacity will enable you to upgrade the actual amount of it in the future in case you decide to use it for more demanding applications.
It is important that you buy a motherboard which has an on-board sound chip to let you connect a pair of speakers to your system. Remember that most average and advanced users don’t need a dedicated external sound card unless you are planning to use your computer for media (sound specific) works. Not all onboard sound chips of the motherboard come with the ability to support a 5.1 channel speaker system. You will need to check this out specifically in case you are planning to plug a 5.1 speaker system to your PC.
Look to buy a motherboard which has at least 128 MB of on-board graphics memory along. In all probability you will purchase a dedicated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) if you are planning to use your computer for gaming or advanced media related functions. Even if this is the case you must consider buying a motherboard with on-board graphics chipset for the unfortunate occurrence of your GPU going kaput.
Remember that motherboards are one of the most important components of your system and getting it wrong will mess with all other components of your PC.