So you may or may not have heard of a Motherboard, but if you have you may not know what it refers to. So I’ll try to explain.
Inside all computers are many items that all need to talk to each other, or if you will, a place to hang out. This is the motherboard, it has slots and connectors for add on cards, Fan headers, CPU Socket, Lighting connectors etc. And the board itself has Chips and connectors that interconnect all these items so they can communicate. So you can see that this thing we casually call a Mainboard or Motherboard, is really quite important. If you use the wrong one, parts won’t fit, or the system simply won’t work.
Types of mainboards
There are many types, from the size to the CPU they are designed for.
So aside from specialist boards for manufacturing and specialised equipment. The 2 most common boards are made to take either Intel or AMD CPU’s. Then there is the Size, these are made to a standard so that you know what size case you need to buy. We have ITX, mATX (Micro ATX), and ATX, these are the most common, there are a few others but not often used. ITX is for very small form factor computers. mATX are your most common basic home computers. and the ATX are for Gamers or workstation computers. But of course standards are made to be broken, so you can make a workstation out of an ITX or a basic computer from an ATX, but these are the most common configurations.
Then there are chipsets. This refers to the main controlling chips on the motherboard that allow everything to communicate. And there are usually there are a few levels, and each one differs, by the complexity and number of items that can be handled on the board. So a basic chipset, may have 4 X USB 2.0, and 2 USB 3.0, and 2 RAM slots, and a mix of PCIe slots, whereas, a higher Chipset, will have more of each of these. Maybe 4 RAM slots a few more of each of the USB connectors/Headers, but also may have better connections and power filtration. Allowing for “Overclocking” (something I will explain in another Tech Tuesday). So once again we realise that when building a computer the Right Motherboard is a very important choice.
Motherboards have a BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and this needs to be updated from time to time, as the manufacturer finds improvements and bug fixes. This is something that can be done at home, but be careful as an interrupted BIOS update can render you mainboard inoperable. So best done by an expert.
I hope this helps explain a little about one of the mysterious bits inside you “Computer”
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