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
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.
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.
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)”
For the first generation of I core series, the socket is LGA 1156.
Let’s see for another generation of I core series:
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) “
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)
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.
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 .
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
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.
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)
“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.
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.