Motherboard: Features, Functions, Ports, and Components

motherboard in detail with their component

If we simply call a ‘Motherboard‘ as the “backbone of the computer” then there will be no conflict with this statement. In every device, whether it is your smartphone or your smart screen laptop, the motherboard purpose is to hold the various peripheral at a single place without any haggle.

With this post, you are going to learn all— from basic to advance— about the term motherboard. We also listed some of the frequently asked questions at the end of this post. So, be sure to check them.

What is a Motherboard?

By definition, a motherboard is a sheet of non-conductive material on which there are multiple conductive linearly that holds the entire circuitry to connect the various essential electronic components of any computer system.

In short, it is a single platform that allows proper communication and connectivity among all the parts of a computer so the computer works properly without any interruption. 

Generally, the motherboard is a printed circuit board (PCB) that holds all essential components like CPU, hard disk, RAM, graphics, all other computer hardware components, etc that help the computer to function properly. 

However, multiple types of the motherboard are available in the market having different design fit, size formation, needs, budget, and high-performance speed. 

Note: All the information in this post, from now, is solely for the general-purpose personal computer.

Motherboard Alternate Name

Motherboard Alternate Name

These are some of the alternative names of the motherboard:

  • Mainboard
  • Main circuit board
  • Planar board
  • System board
  • Logic board
  • mb
  • Mboard
  • Mobo
  • Mobd
  • backplane board
  • base board

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What are the Features of a Motherboard in a Computer

Some characteristics of the baseboard are listed below:

  • Motherboards relative have a different connection and compatibility which again differs from chipset to chipset and company to company.
  • Each type of mainboard design, case, size, power supply are made according to the requirement. So they all are compatible to work properly. 
  • Each type of mainboard design supports working only with specific types of processors and a few types of memory.

These are the Features of a Good Motherboard.

Function of Motherboard

These are the various motherboard functions:

  • The backbone of every personal computer on which CPU, RAM, hard disk, etc are installed.
  • Transmitted the proper power supply to all essential components of the computer.
  • Allows proper communication among all parts of the computer. 
  • Provide slots for external peripherals.
  • Managing the data flow or traffic of information.
  • BIOS also dwells on the mainboard. However, BIOS controls various electronic components within the main computer system.

How does a Motherboard Work?

How Motherboards Works?

On pressing the power button, SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply) starts powering the motherboard.

After that data is transferred through available buses (USB or other ports) to respected input and output devices. Moreover, in general, there are two terms that are related to data transfer. One is northbridge and the other is southbridge chipset.

Northbridge part bridges data includes CPU, RAM, and PCIe, as they are present in the upper part of the baseboard. Firstly, the RAM starts sending data to CPU which compiles and interprets it to a certain output.

After that, the southbridge part bridges (BIOS, USB, SATA, and PCI) awakes in which firstly, the BIOS checks for the right sequence and all the input and output device that is connected to it and starts the sequence of awakening the system.

Here the BIOS starts consuming the input data from the storage device to boot to the system OS.

Main Components of Motherboard

These are some of the common yet main components of a personal pc mainboard:

  • Mouse & keyboard: Two types of mouse and keyboard connectors.
    • PS/2 connector
    • USB
  •  USB ( Universal serial bus): enables the communication between components of the computer mainboard and host devices. 
    • USB 1: speed: 1.5 Mbps – 12 Mbps
    • USB 2: ‘High Speed’ rate of 480 Mbps
    • USB 3: Raw data transfer rates of 5 Gbit/s for USB 3.0 and 10 Gbps for 3.1.
  • Parallel port or LPT port: connect scanner and printers for sending or receiving multiple bits of data. Parallel ports use a 25-pin female DB connector, had an 8-bit data bus, and a maximum cable length of 15-feet. 
  • CPU Chip: a processor performs all the tasks that take place inside a computer system.
  • RAM slots: usually there are more than one slots available for RAM but in several motherboards, more than four slots are available for RAM 
  • Floppy controller
  • IDE controller: Integrated Drive Electronics responsible for controlling the hard drive. 
  • PCI slot: Peripheral Component Interface slot allows you to connect additional PCI devices like network cards, sound cards, modems, video cards, etc.
  •  ISA slot: Industry Standard Architecture, connects the input device and the modem. 
  • CMOS Battery: complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, used to store BIOS setting in the computer motherboard. It also stores date and time.
  • AGP slot: Accelerated Graphics Port, the port for a graphics card
  • CPU slot: CPU socket, the connector on the baseboard that connects a CPU.
  • Power supply plug-in: necessary electrical power to make the computer system well functioning. It has 20-pins, and the connector can go in only one direction.
  • SATA Connector: Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, it has a 7 pin interface that connects SATA hard disks and optical disks.
  • Expansion Card Slots: help in adding an external card 
  • Game Port: to connect all types of gaming devices.
  • Sound Card Connectors: connecting audio devices such as speakers and microphones.
  • Display Connector: connect the monitor of the computer to the mainboard.
  • COM (Communication) port: connect devices such as mouse and modem
  • BIOS (Basic Input/Output System): responsible for booting up your system and to initialize the system device like RAM, hard drive, video display card, and other hardware.

These are also some other Motherboard Components.

Some Other Motherboard Components

These are some of the other components of a mainboard:

  • Cache memory
  • Chipset
  • Diode
  • Dip switches
  • Electrolytic
  • Fuse
  • Game port and MIDI header.
  • Internal speaker
  • Keyboard controller
  • LCC
  • Network header
  • Obsolete expansion slots: AMR, CNR, EISA, ISA, and VESA.
  • Obsolete memory slots: SIMM.
  • Onboard LED
  • Parallel port header
  • PS/2 header
  • Resistor
  • RTC
  • Serial port header
  • Screw hole aka the mounting hole.
  • SCSI
  • Solenoid
  • Voltage regulator
  • VRM (voltage regulator module).

Motherboard Form Factors and Types

These are the various motherboard form factors:

  • AT (Advanced Technology)
  • ATX (Advanced Technology Extended): most common type
  • Baby AT
  • BTX (Balanced Technology Extended )
  • DTX
  • LPX (Low-Profile Extended)
  • Full AT
  • Full ATX
  • microATX (Smaller footprint than Advanced Technology Extended)
  • NLX (New Low-Profile Extended)

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Popular Manufacturers

The following are the popular manufacturers of the motherboard.

  • Intel
  • ASUS
  • MSI
  • Gigabyte
  • ASRock
  • Aorus
  • Biostar

With this, our article on “Motherboard” ends. But these are some important frequently asked questions that people generally ask on google.

General FAQs

Explain the Characteristics of Motherboard

The motherboard is the main printed circuit board. It contains the buses, or electrical pathways, found in a computer. The baseboard accommodates the central processing unit (CPU), RAM, expansion slots, heat sink/fan assembly, BIOS chip, chip set, and the embedded wires that interconnect the baseboard components.

Who invented the motherboard?

The first motherboard was invented by IBM (International Business Machines) and used in the IBM Personal Computer, which was released in 1981.

Does gaming depend on a good motherboard?

Yes, gaming depends on a motherboard. Without a good baseboard, you can’t able to extract that much of entertainment and flexibility. Moreover, overclocking is only done on the reputable gaming baseboard.

How can I choose a motherboard?

Processors, memory, chipset, form factor, BUS, expansion slots, and connectors are some important things you should keep in your mind while choosing a Baseboard.


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