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What is a Computer Motherboard – 5 Important Parts

What is a Computer Motherboard - motherboard 2

You might have heard the term motherboard or computer motherboard.

In this post i will try and explain as simple as possible (Because if you can explain it simply it means you understand it) what is a computer motherboard.

Feel free to drop comments in the comment section if you think something is wrong or if i didn’t explain something well or for whatever reason!.

What matters is the end result. And that will be we both gain more information and more understanding of what is a computer motherboard.

What is a Computer Motherboard in general

What is a Computer Motherboard - balance 2

A motherboard(Mobo) is the main chip where all the other computer components are hooked.

CPU, GPU, RAM, fans, HardDrives, audio jacks, Power supply etc.

Also the motherboard manages all communication between the devices connected to it.

Also, you might have heard about form factor. It’s just the motherboard’s size.

You can take a look at different form factors by pressing this link. (from Wikipedia)

But let’s see some of the individual parts a computer motherboard has.

CPU

What is a Computer Motherboard - CPU 2

A computer motherboard has a CPU socket (place) and there is only one CPU socket for each motherboard.

Each generation of CPUs might have different sockets (even if it is from the same brand).

Let’s see some examples from Wikipedia.

LGA 1156/
Socket H
Year of Introduction : 2009
Intel
Core i7 (800 series)
Intel
Core i5 (700, 600 series)
Intel
Core i3 (500 series)
Intel
Xeon (X3400, L3400 series)
Intel
Pentium (G6000 series)
Intel
Celeron (G1000 series)”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_socket

For the first generation of I core series, the socket is LGA 1156.

Let’s see for another generation of I core series:

“LGA 2011/
Socket R
Year of Introduction : 2011/Q3 2011.11.14
Intel Core i7 3xxx
Sandy Bridge-E
Intel Core i7 4xxx
Ivy Bridge-E
Intel Xeon E5 2xxx/4xxx (Sandy Bridge EP) (2/4S)
Intel Xeon E5-2xxx/4xxx v2 (Ivy Bridge EP) (2/4S) “

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_socket

So the main decision about the motherboard is what CPU you want it to have.

Because for almost every generation of CPU you need another motherboard (because as we mentioned before a motherboard has only 1 CPU Slot).

Then based on the CPU socket you choose the extra features you want the motherboard to have.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

What is a Computer Motherboard - GPU 2

Well if you are a gamer, you must already know that the Graphics Card is the most important part for gaming.

Most common motherboards have one slot for GPU.

You might have heard about NVidia SLI or AMD Crossfire.

This setup is rarely useful even for serious gaming.

Most times with one graphics card you can play the latest game to maximum graphics.

Well as you know all gamers want their “heavy duty” PCs at some time but you can of course build these beasts of you have extra money to spare.

For example, i play only LoL. I have an AMD 4870 HD Graphics card and i can play at 100+FPS at max graphics.

When i was playing Lineage 2 C6 in private servers and multi boxing and botting was allowed, i opened boxes till my RAM and CPU were at their peak (well only 8 Lineage 2 boxes too bad !!).

The current slot the GPU is placed is PCI-Express 3.0 .

RAM

What is a Computer Motherboard - ram 2

A normal motherboard has from 2-4 RAM Slots.

The crucial thing to know is if the frequency of the RAM is supported by the CPU . Else you waste money getting higher frequency RAMs.

Another useful thing to know is the motherboard supports dual channel for the RAM chips.

In short terms, enabling dual channel speeds up the communication of the RAM with the CPU (and vice versa).

Hard Drive Disks

What is a Computer Motherboard - HDD 2
HDD

A normal motherboard usually offers SATA3 slots, and maybe M.2 slots.

You must have heard about SSD NVMe Disks. These are currently the fastest disks available and are placed in an M.2 slot.

Cheap motherboards might not have M.2 NVMe slot so be aware.

What is a Computer Motherboard - SSD 2
SSD

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

First let’s see what a Power Supply Unit does.

“A power supply unit (or PSU) converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use switched-mode power supplies. Some power supplies have a manual switch for selecting input voltage, while others automatically adapt to the mains voltage. “

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)
What is a Computer Motherboard - PSU 2

“The desktop computer power supply changes alternating current from a wall socket of mains electricity to low-voltage direct current to operate the processor and peripheral devices. Several direct-current voltages are required, and they must be regulated with some accuracy to provide stable operation of the computer. A power supply rail or voltage rail refers to a single voltage provided by a power supply unit (PSU).”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)

Because the current in our houses is alternating (goes up and down all the time), the PSU makes that current a straight line.

It does that because the computer parts need direct current.

It usually has a fan inside too.

From the other side it has wires to power the motherboard and other peripherals.

Conclusion

That’s all for now. In the future i might add more information. But if you have an idea of what should i add or fix, feel free to drop in your comments.

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George

6 Comments

  1. Hi. Thanks for your great and very well delivered article, it was very informative. I thought that your general description of the motherboard is very clear and easy to understand. And in addition to this I thought that your explanation of the additional peripherals that rely on the mobo, is about as clear as it could possibly be.

    I have just 2 slight issues with your article, firstly, it took a little longer to load than it possibly should. And I am on a laptop, so if I, were you I would take a look at the speeds of my site as mobile may be a problem to you. Secondly, although the reader is generally very receptive to being linked away from a site for further explanation, I think that you slightly over-use this technique and by the end of the article, it becomes just a little distracting.

    Like I said, these are only very minor points on an otherwise very interesting article.

    Rgds

    Ade

    • Thanks for the input. Always welcoming constructive criticism. I am thinking of putting an “ending” in each article to ask people to ask questions (whatever it is) or criticise constructively the article.

      Constructive criticism can make you go forward while flaming does nothing. Also if you have any suggestions about how to improve the particular subject on this article, feel free and leave a comment or PM me.

  2. Hello George, nice post you have up here. I believe you have successfully expatiate on the 5major components of a computer motherboard needed for it to function fully. The CPU being the central cordinate to which all actions are carried out on the system. You have taken a simplistic approach to explaining the components and it was very interesting while reading through.

    • Thanks. I always aim for as simple as possible. If you can explain something simply so that you get your point across, then it means you understand it youself.

  3. Hi George.
    I have read your post properly. You have nicely described the computer motherboard including 5 important parts of the computer. By reading your post I have known many unknown matters about computer motherboard. I will share your post to others so that they could gather knowledge from your post.
    Thank you so much for providing such an informative and helpful post.

    • No problem. If you want to suggest an improvement, feel free to do so.

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