Articles :: Motherboard Basics Rev 1.1 :: Motherboards.org

MoboCop · 10-30-2004 · Category: Tech-planations


Definition of a motherboard

The motherboard is the primary printed circuit board(PCB) in a PC. All of the basic circuitry and components required for a PC to function are either contained in or attached to the motherboard. The motherboard typically contains the system bus, processor, memory slots, serial and parallel ports, expansion slots, and peripheral controllers. The motherboard may be alternatively referred to as the mainboard, system board, or even maincard or mothercard, but regardless of what you call it, it is the central component that enables all of the other parts of a computer to mesh.

Identifying your motherboard

Use Mobo ID Tools to search by part number, or BIOS ID string. Alternatively, you can post your question to the resident ID gurus in our Motherboard Identification Forum.

Information about your motherboard

Once you have identified your board, you can consult MOBOT manufacturer listings for information about your board. In addition to general company info, many of our expanded manufacturer listings also have links to specification sheets, manuals, and BIOS upgrades for specific motherboards.

Installing your motherboard

Step-by-step instructions to help you install your motherboard can be found in our Installation and How to Build a PC sections.

Components of a motherboard

The diagrams below shows the component layout of a typical motherboard. Just click on the part you are interested in for a detailed photo.

The motherboard's general size, layout, and component placement is known as the form factor. The example above is an ATX board, which is the most common form factor, but there are several other standard dimensions available.

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