What is motherboard? What is Motherboard?

In the world of consumer technology, the word “motherboard” or “mainboard” comes up a lot, especially when talking about brands like Asus and Intel. But what is a motherboard? And more importantly, what does it do?

If you think of the computer as a body, the motherboard is a cyclic system. The motherboard is responsible for routing the power, which helps coordinate how all the components work together.

Note that the mainboard is not the same as the CPU, where all the calculations are done. The motherboard simply organizes these calculations and their results. Despite keeping such a simple task, nothing else can work without a motherboard, that’s why mainboard is considered so important. Here’s what you need to know about this unit.

What is Motherboard? What is the function of it?

The motherboard is like the body’s circulatory system

The main purpose of the motherboard is to transmit power and provide a central location where all components can communicate with each other. Your motherboard alone should not affect performance at all. However, depending on the chipset (more info on the chipset will be available), your motherboard may enable higher performance when paired with other hardware.

Another important function of the motherboard is to load the operating system. An on-board firmware chip that stores the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). This very lightweight application is the first thing your computer loads, allows it to read data from the hard drive, and finally, loads the operating system. As the name suggests, BIOS is “basic”. The point is to make all components recognize each other before the operating system loads.

The functionality of the motherboard is largely determined by the chipset. Motherboard chipsets are responsible for handling the communication between your various components, and they come from CPU manufacturers (AMD and Intel both have a variety of chipset options). You will often see CPU manufacturers release new chipsets along with new generations of processors. That’s because chipsets are where most of the motherboard innovations happen, allowing users to use more RAM and access features like PCIe 4.0, and more.

Motherboards also handle the hurdles of building a computer. The motherboard layout is purposeful, the important power transmission and communication parts should be located close to the parts that need them. For example, your CPU receives power through the motherboard. However, the motherboard also has a voltage regulation module (VRM) placed between the power connection and the processor to maintain consistent power supply.

Where is the motherboard located?

The motherboard is located inside the computer case, where most of the computer’s components and peripherals are connected. With desktop computers, the motherboard is located on the left or right side of the case and is the largest circuit board.

What components make up a motherboard?

Everything in the computer must be connected to the motherboard
Everything in the computer must be connected to the motherboard

There are a number of different motherboard designs and styles, which have been updated over the years for different devices and by evolving technology. However, all motherboards have a few things in common. They all have circuitry used to coordinate the computer’s processes and dissipate heat to absorb and redirect heat to help the motherboard stay cool during use. Most have a secondary power supply.

The first thing you will notice when looking at any motherboard is that it has a lot of slots and connections. Since everything is routed through the motherboard, it needs physical contact with nearly all of the computer components, including the main power, CPU, RAM slots, USB, PCI, video and audio cards, as well as expansion slots.

If you use a wireless mouse or an external keyboard, they have connections along with any other essential accessories you might want. This utility is why the motherboard appears to be a circle – that is its main function.

Over time, ports on motherboards tend to change based on the needs of current technology. This is why an old motherboard can have many defunct ports for outdated connections.

In most cases it’s the peripheral ports. The motherboard handles internal connections like RAM and CPU, and also handles external connections like USB and Thunderbolt. In addition, motherboards provide networking ports (via Ethernet, WiFi, or both) and often provide video connectivity (if your processor has an integrated graphics card on board).

Connections have changed and adapted over time, but the purpose of the motherboard remains the same: It is a central component of the PC. Everything that connects to a computer has to connect to the motherboard in one way or another. Even the USB ports on the front of the computer case connect directly to the motherboard.


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