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What Computer Hardware Is A Motherboard?
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You may have the necessary critical components to have a functioning system: CPU, RAM, PSU, HDD/SSD. But, where does it all connect? What conjoins everything so that it may function as one? The Motherboard.

The Motherboard acts as the roadways of information in between the towns of essentials. The circuitries are the highways and the capacitors are the gas stations.

At first peak, a Motherboard has many different slots and components soldered and integrated into it, and this may seem quite intimidating at first glance, but for the most part, it is mainly a pretty simple manner and every portion of this board has a major function.

What Is This? Each Motherboard has a different location on where to place its components, but essentially, they all coordinate in the same manner.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) slot is generally a square socket with many pin holes in it located near the end of one side of the motherboard. This is where the CPU and Heat sink goes. The CPU is the brainpower and the heat sink is placed on top of it to draw heat away from the CPU.

Generally across from the CPU slot are 2 or 4 long, thin rectangular slots with latches on either ends of them. These are the Dual In-Line Memory Module (DIMM) Memory slots, which accept the Random Access Memory (RAM) and when properly in place, the latches will snap them in. The RAM basically acts as computer data storage to assist the CPU.

A smaller rectangular piece with 24 box-like inputs (20 pin legacy) is where you plug in the Advanced Technology Extended (ATX) Power Connector of the Power Supply Unit (PSU) into, to feed the Motherboard with power. There may be a similar looking piece with either 4 – 8 box-like inputs that can be fed with a +12 volt power cable to administer additional power to the motherboard.

Next to the ATX 24 pin receiver, there is generally a legacy Floppy Disk Drive (FDD) connector, to accept those legacy Floppy Drives you read about in books. Near those, there are usually a couple legacy Integrated Development Environment (IDE) connectors that accept older Hard Drive Disks (HDD) before Hard Drive Disks became serial.

The Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) connectors may vary from 2 to 12, depending on the type of Motherboard purchased. These are much more efficient than the IDE connectors as they allow for smaller cords to be accepted which allows better airflow throughout.

Legacy Accelerated Graphics Ports (AGP), Peripheral Component Interconnect PCI or PCIe (PCI Express) are generally south of the CPU slot and these are designated entirely for graphic cards. The AGP are rare these days as well as the PCI slots, since PCIe are now the modern look, able to provide a much faster process for video cards.

Colorful components on one side of the Motherboard, somewhat sticking out over the edge are designated the connectors for integrated peripherals. These peripherals generally consist of (PS/2) for Keyboard and Mouse, Serial Port, Parallel Port, (For legacy or modern printers) Video Graphics Array, Digitial Video Input, High Definition Multimedia Interface (VGA/DVI/HDMI), for the monitor(s), Firewire/IEEE (Network/Video/Audio), USB (Universal Serial Bus), Ethernet (Network) and Audio (For speakers).

There may be pins, either 3, 4 or as many as 7 or 8 pins grouped with labels underneath them or within them sticking out; this is for the case’s: fan input, audio input, USB input, LED (Light Emitting Diodes) input and/or power/reset button. Not all these features will be included with every case; some may just contain a power button.

Integrated Components Needing No Input These pieces can be left alone. They usually are little to no use for us to mess with chips or boxes with writing on them that can be seen with a magnifying glass or extremely well eye sight. But in case if you like to know everything, or want to be a Mobo guru, here is information regarding them.

The Capacitors can vary in shape and length, but are littered throughout the Motherboard. These store electric charge and are used for several reasons such as for smoothing the output of the power supply or blocking direct current.

The integrated black chips that look like spiders with several metal legs can be used for quite a few things such as a floppy disk controller, serial ports, parallel ports, temperature sensor, fan speed monitor or an integrated audio codec chip.

The Basic Input Output System (BIOS) flash chip looks like one of the integrated black chips; however it has a major use that cannot be skipped. This is built in software that is the first code run by the computer when switched on. The primary function of the BIOS is to set up the hardware and load the operating system. This is significant, because if we did not have that, then any external inputs would not be detected.

The Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) is a round metallic looking item that contains a battery in it. This battery can be pushed out in case if the BIOS password needs to be reset, time needs to be reset, or the battery goes bad.

Heat sinks can be distributed on the Southbridge, which typically implements the slower capabilities of the mother board, or on an integrated graphics processor. These metallic sheets sticking out are, just as used on the CPU, attract heat away from the mounted component.

Basic Literature There seems to be a lot of Information just based on the Motherboard and there are many, many variations of Motherboards that can have multiple CPU slots, to allowing multiple graphics cards to coordinate with each other.

In order for a Motherboard to function, it needs to have a way to maneuver the hot air that is generated from this hardware that can cook a small chicken in just a few hours. And what is needed is a Computer Case, whether it is entirely liquid cooling or just utilizing fans to push the heat away.

The Motherboard is your computer’s information transportation.


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