Motherboard Definition , How Works, Function, Types and Parts of It
Motherboard known as mobo, mb or mainboard is a hardware part of your PC and without it you cannot even start up the computer. This piece of hardware have the function to interconnect the other parts of a PC and how we like to say it can be “the computer backbone”. It has the crucial function to hold together other important parts like CPU, memory (RAM), video card (GPU), hard drives (HDD, SSD, SSHD), sound card or other I/O (input/output) devices. Top 5 manufacturers that you can choose are ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock and Biostar.
Types of Motherboard
There are a lot types but most important formats that users pick is ATX, mATX and mITX.
– ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) format is biggest one from these three and it measures 305 x 244 mm.
– mATX (micro ATX) is with 25% tiny than ATX standard. It measures 244 x 244 mm and is perfect for needs of a normal user.
– mITX (mini Information Technology eXtended) standard measures 170 x 170 mm and can be mounted in CubeTower and MiniTower types of cases. Also a lot users want mobility feature for their PC and keeping the performance of a desktop. Cases that hold this type of mobo can be easy deployable.
Parts of Motherboard | How Works
When you look for the first time at a motherboard, in your mind may appear the sensation that you don’t know everything :D. Is not difficult to understand how works each part of mobo so we can start explaining.
motherboard – gigabyte
It is located in center of motherboard being the most important piece mounted on it. The CPU can control all other piece of hardware transmitting the flow of energy through mobo. Northbridge and Southbridge play an important role in such tasks.
Of course there nothing will function if we don’t have power. Connector that gives power to motherboard and all other components is situated on right side edge and commonly is a 20 or 24-pin. Because the CPU requires the direct power suply, there is mounted another 4 or 8-pin power connector.
Those slots are 3rd in order of importance for functionality of your computer. Are located in upper-right part of a mobo. Number of them can vary from 2 to 8 slots. Low-end range and old mobos supported only 2 slots of RAM. Also low scale form factor like mATX and mITX have only 2 slots. Mid range commonly have 4 slots. High-end motherboards used for different needs of users (server-based, workstation or gaming) have up to 8 slots of RAM. Feature like working in dual-, triple- or quad channel slots is another benefit to increase the performance of your computer expanding the working bandwidth of your memory.
Another characteristic of RAM slots is the generation of installed memory. There are four standards of memory modules present on the market: DDR1, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4. For each generation of memory modules your mobo need to have the right slot.
Graphics Card Slot
I think all heard about video cards and what them do. Of course a video card has the function to make what you see and watch on monitor even smoother and at high FPS (Frame Per Second).
We can install a video card on a slot situated right below the CPU socket. This slot it comes on 2 generation: AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) mounted on older mobos and PCI-E (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) on newest ones.
Of course a video card can be bought considering the needs of user. For a office computer, that component is not necessary, working very well with integrated graphics solution from CPU. Oposite, a gaming configuration or workstation that working on 3d modelling must contain a potent video card.
Those additional slots have the role of installing on it custom components like a TV tuner, sound card, extra memory storage (SSD) or why not one extra video card. All slots are situated below graphics card slot and come in 2 different type: PCI used for older mobos and a low-scale form of PCI-E used on newest ones. Of course, some mobos come in with both types of expansion slots. Number of slots can be determined by the form factor of mobos, more on larger ones (eATX) and few or nothing at all on low scale.
SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment and is used to connect the storage devices and optical drives with mobo. Here we have a good variety of models: SATA1 (1.5 Gbit/s, 150 MB/s), SATA2 (3 Gbit/s, 300 MB/s), SATA3 (6 Gbit/s, 600 MB/s). Specific SATA ports are also on the market to satisfy the different needs of users: eSATA (e from external) is used for external connectivity, mSATA (Mini-SATA) was designed for connectivity of SSD with mobo from a notebook or laptop, SATA Express is an interface that supports either SATA or PCI-E storage devices and M.2 (NGFF – Next Generation Form Factor) was meant to replace mSATA port being able to support tiny SSD installed especially on small devices like tablets or ultrabooks.
BIOS Chip and Battery
The chip was meant to keep the information required to boot the computer till operating system take control of computer. The role of the battery is to keep the chip powered when the computer is unplugged.
Front Panel Connectors, USB Headers, Audio Header
Looking in the front case of your computer we will see the power button, reset button, power led, USB ports and audio jack. All of this are also connected in the right-bottom of mobo except USB Header located near the 24-pin power connector.
This panel is like a door between outside the PC and the mobo of computer. Is located on left-edge of mobo when we look at it and can be accesibile from rear of the case. Devices like mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, headset and so on all are connected through I/O Panel.
In the past, on mobos there were found two parts named Northbridge and Southbridge. First was responsible for coordinating the flow of data between CPU, RAM and video card and second one had mission to control the data between processor and peripherals devices like network card, sound card, mouse, keyboard etc. This two parts combined formed the motherboard’s chipset. Now the technology evolves and the Northbridge disappear, his function being included right in CPU for fast communication speeds with memory and graphics card. There also remain the chipset, in place of Southbridge, situated like the name say, in south of mobo.
In conclusion, motherboard is another crucial piece of hardware of your computer and like we like to say if the CPU is the brain of a PC, then mobo is the heart of it. Don’t miss the comment section, please leave us a feedback or possible questions.