If a personal computer (PC) were to be compared to a human being, the motherboard would be likened to the brain, the very center of all activity taking place.
Also referred to as the system or logic board, or the main board, a motherboard is actually a complex circuit board that contains a variety of components needed for the computer to perform, including the vital central processing unit or CPU. Without the motherboard, a computer would be completely useless and rendered totally inoperable.
The Great Importance of Motherboards
Today, PC motherboards are equipped with a variety of different high tech features, all of them serving a specific and important purpose. In order to get the most for your money, and because they are one of the most vital components of the entire computer, you will want to know as much as possible about motherboards and what you should be looking for when buying your next PC.
The motherboard and its endless number of circuits are connected to the computer’s hard drive and its disk drives, as well as the sound and video cards, and the random access memory (RAM), which allows the computer to read and write data that it accesses from the processor, also called the central processing unit.
The main components of a PC motherboard and their functions include:
– Expansion Slots: Expansion slots, also called PCI local bus or conventional PCI, will vary from one motherboard to the next as some have more than others. These slots serve the purpose of connecting peripherals to the computer such as network, sound, and video cards.
– The Chipset: A motherboard is comprised of two chips which serve as the controllers, allowing the computer’s processor to interact with all of the attached components that are already installed as well as those added manually via the expansion slots.
– The Processor: Different motherboards will support different processors, which are also called microprocessors or central processors, with the most popular types being made by the manufacturers AMD or Intel. The modern processor is easily recognizable by its small, square shape and numerous, rounded metal connectors that are located on the underside.
It should be noted that not all motherboards are created equal, some are far more involved than others and contain more features, and are therefore, more expensive, and some are made to only be compatible with certain operating systems (OS).