GN Hardware Editor Patrick Stone recently had to purchase a DVI Dual-Link cable for high resolution output; for those unfamiliar, DVI Dual-Link cables (as opposed to Single-Link) are used for resolutions that exceed 1080p. For anyone running a high-resolution display without an HDMI or DisplayPort cable, a DVI Dual-Link cable is a requirement. They are sold in both DVI-I (digital/analog) and DVI-D (digital only) variants. Dual-Link DVI cables host an additional two columns of pins (six total pins) in the center of the DVI header, single-link cables do not have these pins. The extra pins are what enables the bandwidth of a high-resolution display.
During our search for a cable, we discovered that many manufacturers sell fake dual-link cables; that is, the pins required for dual-link are present, but the pins aren't actually wired within the cable. They're just for show. Attempting to use one on a high-resolution output simply wouldn't work. They can normally be spotted (if not through reviews) by their thinner cable housing.
We've posted several articles that discuss what determines a "good motherboard for gaming," but until today, haven't had the chance to properly define what some of the more important board components do. Oscillating clock crystals, MOSFETs, chokes, the VRM, and other low-level motherboard components are defined in this post.
Judging from our forums, motherboards are one of the more nebulous components for hardware -- they all feel similar to each other, and from a specs sheet, it looks like there's not much separating one board from another. Part of this is because Intel and AMD have moved several controllers to the CPU, part is because the deeper differentiators between quality are often not listed on a product spec sheet.
After numerous questions from a large reddit thread, we've decided to start a new video/article series exploring the components on the components -- or what comprises each individual piece of hardware. Starting with the motherboard made sense.
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