Motherboard

The motherboard is one of the most important parts of the PC.The motherboard is also referred to as the main board, system board, logic board or planar board. A computer has many components, each with their own roles and functions. The role of the motherboard is to allow all these components to communicate with each other.

an imageThe motherboard is a printed circuit board that is the foundation of a computer, located at the bottom of the computer case. It allocates power to the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components. Considering the fact that all the other components are installed on the motherboard or connected to it, it is safe to say that the motherboard is the central piece of a PC, the component that brings it all together.

  • THE BIOS (ROM)

    The BIOS chip contains all the basic instructions that manage the computer when it is switched on. Read Only Memory is permanent memory. When the computer is turned on the PROCESSOR looks for basic data/information in the ROM (BIOS). The processor needs to know how much memory is present, if a hard drive is connected and other vital pieces of information. Without this basic information the computer will not work. The processor searches for this information automatically. ROMs are ‘read only’; you cannot save your work to it.

  • DIMM SOCKETS (RAM)

    The computer’s memory is Random-Access Memory and it is pushed into the dimm sockets. This is temporary memory and is used to store data while the computer is on. If the computer is turned off all the data is lost. RAM holds data that the computer has to constantly check in order for the software you are using to work properly. Files that are in constant use are held in the RAM.

  • EPROM

    EPROM or Erasable, Programmable, Read Only, Memory. It is possible to write to and read from this type of memory. Usually this is found in small hand-held computers. Often it can be removed from the computer in the form of a ‘cassette’. It works a little like a floppy diskette. The motherboard shown above does not have EPROM memory.

  • THE CHIPSET

    The chipset directs the data moving around the computer to the right places.

  • SLOTS

    There are usually two types of slots on the motherboard. AGP slots are for graphics cards whilst PCI slots are for devices such as modems, network cards and sound cards etc.

  • ONBOARD SOUND

    Many motherboards do not require a separate sound card as they have onboard sound capabilities. Onboard sound is normally quite basic and an extra sound card is only needed if the computer system is to be used for serious sound/audio work.

  • PORTS

    All computers have ports. These include PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse connections, a parallel port for a printer and scanner, serial ports for external modems and possibly a mouse, a number of USB ports for connecting devices such as digital cameras and finally fire wire connectors for digital camcorders.

  • FLOPPY CONNECTOR

    The computer's floppy drive (also known as the 'A' drive) is connected here.

  • IDE CONNECTOR

    The hard disk, CD and DVD are connected to these. It is usually possible to connect up to two devices to each IDE connector.

  • THE PROCESSOR

    The processor is inserted into the processor socket. This carries out most of the work controlling most functions of the computer. A processor may look a little like a black square but internally it is a highly complex piece of electronic engineering. Companies such as INTEL and AMD make processors.

  • THE RESULT

    In 2016 over 50% of websites are accessed from mobile phones. This is a whole nother game. Hardware is something mobile users don't have in mind. They don't open their phones and work with their insides. Mobile phone users are so convenient that they expect a smartphone or tablet is supposed to work instantly. There may be differences between Android and iOS but that's pretty much it. We expect that in 2016 and beyond, hardware is just some given fact only manufacturers have to care about.