Motherboards - Functions and Components

By: Ron Mark

Everyone knows what a computer is, even though not all of them know how to use one. There are many components that come into play when it comes to a running computer, each with its own purpose, but none of them is as important as the motherboard.

A computer has many different parts. Among them we can name the CPU, the brain of the computer, the hard drive, for storage, the RAM memory, which store data for quick and easy access, graphics card, for better 3D performances, sound cards, to enhance the audio experience, a networking card, so you can link your computer to others and many more.

While each of them is very important for the performance of a computer, all of them are linked together for proper functioning by one thing: the motherboard. A glossary definition for its purpose would be to provide logical and electrical connections through which the other system components communicate.

Motherboards link together the various components through conductive pathways, usually made from copper, which are placed onto a non-conductive substrate. They include various connectors for those components to be inserted in or attached to.

What do you usually find on motherboards? The first thing is the socket for the CPU. The sockets are designed according to the CPUs, forming an electrical interface with them, which means that you cannot place any CPU into a particular socket.

Other very important slots are the ones where the main memory is inserted. They store data for the CPU to access quickly, in order to perform the needed functions, making the system's overall speed higher. Each new development is meant to increase the overall performance of the components.

Motherboards have an integrated chipset which serves the purpose of building an interface between the front-side bus of the CPU and the main memory and the other peripheral buses. Without this, the CPU cannot communicate with external devices.

Another important component of motherboards is the Basic Input/Output System, or short BIOS. When a computer is turned on for the first time, the code run by that computer is BIOS. The function of this code is to identify and initiate other hardware components found on the system, like floppy disk drives, hard drives, or CD-ROM drives.

The clock generator of a motherboard synchronizes various components. Nearly every motherboard today includes connectors that can support devices used commonly. Among them we can name PS/2 and Universal Serial Bus connectors.

Since the manufacturers of motherboards decided that they should set a standard so universally compatible hardware can be created, there were lots of improvements in the field. PCI and AMR slots can be found in almost every product, and in them we can insert networking cards, audio cards, modems and other components specially designed for these slots.

Another connector found on a motherboard is the power connector. This receives the electrical power form the PSU and it is distributed among the components so they can function properly. Since not all aspects have been reached in this article, because they need a book for proper presentation, if you want more information regarding the functions of a motherboard, be sure to visit motherboardpro.com.

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