Motherboard parts and how they work

Center piece of motherboard: The motherboard is the main printed circuit board in a computer, also known as the motherboard. Other names for this central computer unit are system board and printed circuit board. The main function of the motherboard is to connect numerous components used for the operation of the computer.

What are the parts or components of the motherboard?

Next, let’s see what are the components or elements of the motherboard and its operation in general.

Center piece of motherboard: processor socket

The processor socket is the center piece of a motherboard, usually located near the center of the motherboard. It is also the centerpiece because it contains the computer’s processor.

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Center piece of motherboard: Also known as a cpu or processor, the CPU is the brain of the computer. It is responsible for fetching, decoding, and executing program instructions, as well as performing mathematical and logical calculations.

Memory slots

Located on the top right of the motherboard, the memory slots are used to house the computer’s memory modules. The number of memory slots can vary, depending on the motherboard, from 2 on low-end motherboards to 8 memory slots on gaming and high-end motherboards.

It is important to pay close attention to the type of memory that a motherboard supports, in order to purchase the proper memory modules. Newer motherboards support DDR3 memory, the current industry standard memory architecture, but motherboards with DDR2 memory slots and even DDR1 memory slots are still present on the market. An interesting aspect is that there are some older motherboard models that support different types of memory, and they usually come with two DDR1 memory slots and two DDR2 memory slots, or two DDR2 slots and two DDR3 slots. These motherboards were great options for people who wanted to upgrade a motherboard without having to upgrade all the other components as well.



Center piece of motherboard: Computer memory

Random access memory, or RAM, generally refers to computer chips that temporarily store dynamic data to improve the computer’s performance while it works.

Center piece of motherboard: BIOS

Center piece of motherboard: BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. The BIOS is “read-only” memory, which is low-level software that controls the system hardware and acts as an interface between the operating system and the hardware. Most people know the term BIOS by another name: device drivers, or just drivers. The BIOS is essentially the link between the computer hardware and software in a system.

Cmos battery

Motherboards also include a separate small block of memory made up of CMOS RAM chips that are kept alive by a battery (known as a CMOS battery) even when the PC is turned off. This prevents reconfiguration when the PC is on.

Computer cache memory

Cache memory is a small block of high-speed memory (RAM) that improves PC performance by preloading information from (relatively slow) main memory and passing it to the processor on demand.

Expansion buses

Center piece of motherboard: An expansion bus is an input/output path from the CPU to peripheral devices and is usually made up of a series of slots on the motherboard. Expansion boards (cards) are connected to the bus. PCI is the most common expansion bus in a PC and other hardware platforms. Buses carry signals such as data, memory addresses, power, and control signals from component to component. Other types of buses include ISA and EISA.



Center piece of motherboard: Computer chip sets

A chipset is a group of small circuits that coordinate the flow of data to and from the key components of a PC. These key components include the CPU itself, main memory, secondary cache, and any devices located on the buses. A chipset also controls the flow of data to and from hard drives and other devices connected to the IDE channels.

Contains the north and south bridges (northbridge and southbridge) The northbridge is a chip that connects directly to the CPU, while the southbridge is a chip on a motherboard that does NOT connect directly to the CPU.

CPU clock

Center piece of motherboard: The CPU clock synchronizes the operation of all parts of the PC and provides the basic timing signal for the CPU. Using a quartz crystal, the CPU clock brings the microprocessor to life by feeding it a constant stream of pulses.

Input / output ports

These ports are located on the back of the computer and are often color coded. Some examples of input/output ports are used to connect devices such as microphone, headset, monitor, keyboard, mouse, network cable, etc.

CPU fan

A fan located on top of a computer’s processor. Helps draw hot air in and out of the processor, helping to keep it cooler. Power Supply Fan – A fan located inside a power supply.



Switches and jumpers

DIP (Dual Inline Pack) switches are small electronic switches found on the circuit board that can be turned on or off like a normal switch.

Jumper pins are small protruding pins on the motherboard. A jumper cap or jumper is used to connect or short a pair of jumper pins. When the jumper is connected to either pin, through a shorting link, the circuit is complete and a certain configuration has been achieved.

Jumper caps are metal bridges that close an electrical circuit. A jumper typically consists of a plastic plug that fits over a pair of protruding pins. Jumpers are sometimes used to configure expansion cards. By placing a jumper plug over a different set of pins, you can change motherboard parameters.

Center piece of motherboard: Power connectors

Center piece of motherboard: No computer component can function without power, and a motherboard is no exception. The power connector, commonly a 20- or 24-pin connector, may be located near the right edge of the motherboard or somewhere near the processor socket on older motherboards. This is where the main power supply connector connects, providing power to the motherboard and all other components.

Newer motherboards have an additional 4-pin or 8-pin connector near the processor, used to supply additional power directly to the processor.

Power and reset button

This motherboard component is more common among high-end motherboards.

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