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Technical Specifications guide.
| The whole computer is built up around
a motherboard, and it is the most important component in the PC. The motherboard
is a large printed circuit board, which has lots of chips, connectors
and other electronics mounted on it. Computer nerds simply call it a motherboard.
Inside the PC,
data is constantly being exchanged between or via the various devices
shown below in figure. Most of the data exchange takes place on the motherboard
itself, where all the components are connected to each other.
In relation to the PC’s external devices, the motherboard functions like
a central railway station i.e. a junction of all devices as shown below
in figure. All traffic
originates from or ends up in the motherboard; which is appropriately called
the most important component of the PC
Physically, the motherboard is
really just a big plastic sheet i.e. PCB (printed circuit board) which is
full of electrical conductors generally copper. The conductors (also called
tracks) run across and down, and in several layers, in order to connect all
the individual components, and transfer data between them.
is mounted in the PC box using small plastic brackets and screws. The cabinet
and the motherboard are made to suit each other, so there are holes in the
metal for the connectors mounted on the board. Finally, the motherboard has
to be connected to the PC’s power supply installed in the cabinet. This is
done using a standard connector. Following is the picture of a standard motherboard
There are various
types of components mounted on the motherboard, which one need to know about
and identify these before buying the motherboard.
The active devices
on the motherboard are gathered together in chips. These are tiny electronic
circuits which are crammed with transistors are also called surface mounted
devices i.e. SMDs. The chips have various functions as described below:
- ROM chips,
which store the BIOS and other programs.
- CMOS storage
battery, which contains user-defined data used by the setup program.
- The chipset,
which normally consists of two, so-called controllers, which incorporate
a number of very essential functions.
One will also find diffrent sockets on
a motherboard. These sockets are simply a type of holders are also
termed as slots, which have been soldered to the motherboard most of the
times. The sockets are built to exactly match a card or a chip. CPU socket
is open for the CPU (processor) to be inserted in it. There are some other
open sockets i.e. slots which are used for RAM and PCI interface cards
The idea of a socket
is, that you can install a component directly on the motherboard without needing
special tools. The component has to be pushed carefully and firmly into the
socket, and will then hopefully stay there.
Plugs, connectors and ports
also contains a number of inputs and outputs, to which various equipments
can be connected. Most ports (also called I/O ports) can be seen where they
end in a connector at the back of the PC. There are given below:
Generally, the various
connectors are soldered onto the motherboard, so that the external components,
like the keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers, etc., can be connected directly
to the motherboard. In addition to these sockets, connectors and ports, the
motherboard contains a number of other contacts. These include:
- Ports for the
keyboard and mouse.
- Serial ports,
the parallel port, and USB ports.
- Sockets for
- The big connector
which supplies the motherboard with power from the power supply.
- Other connectors
for the diskette drive, hard disk, CD-ROM drive, etc.
- So-called jumpers,
which are used on some motherboards to configure voltage and various operating
- A number of
pins used to connect the reset button, LED for hard disk activity, built-in
Buying a MotherBoard
of the motherboards on the market are produced in Taiwan or China, Taiwan
is said the leader in the area of motherboards. The first issue to work out
is, which CPU you want to use. For example, if you want to use an Intel CPU
or processor, there is one line of motherboards you can choose between which
support Intel CPU. If you choose an AMD CPU, there is another line of motherboards
which support AMD CPU. And the difference lies in which chipset is being
used in the motherboard, so you need to choose the motherboard very carefully
for which processor you want to buy.
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