COMPUTER MOTHER BOARD TYPES AND FUNCTIONS

Motherboard components

Definition

The motherboard is a printed circuit board and foundation of a computer that is the biggest board in a computer chassis. It allocates power and allows communication to and between the CPU RAM, and all other computer HARDWARE components.

Types of Motherboards

Motherboards come in different sizes, known as form factors. The most common motherboard form factor is ATX. The different types of ATX are known as micro-ATX (sometimes shown as µATX, mini-ATX, FlexATX, EATX, WATX, nano-ATX, pico-ATX, and mobileATX). A smaller form factor is ITX, which comes in mini-ITX, nano-ITX, and pico-ITX sizes. Some motherboards, such as the NLX and LPX form factors, had a riser board that attached to the smaller motherboard. Adapters go into the slots on the riser board instead of into motherboard slots.

Figure 3.39

Relationship Between Motherboard And Other Computer Hardware Components

A motherboard provides connectivity between the hardware components of a computer, like the processor (CPU), memory (RAM), hard drive, and VIDEO CARD. There are multiple types of motherboards, designed to fit different types and sizes of computers.

Each type of motherboard is designed to work with specific types of processors and memory, so they don’t work with every processor and type of memory. However, hard drives are mostly universal and work with the majority of motherboards, regardless of the type or brand.

Below is a picture of the ASUS P5AD2-E motherboard with labels next to each of its major components. Clicking on the image directs you to a larger and more detailed version.

The functions of a computer motherboard are as follows:

  • The motherboard acts as the central backbone of a computer on which other modular parts are installed such as the CPU, RAM and hard disks.
  • The motherboard also acts as the platform on which various expansion slots are available to install other devices / interfaces.
  • The motherboard is also responsible to distribute power to the various components of the computer.
  • They are also used in the coordination of the various devices in the computer and maintain an interface among them.
  • Some of the Sizes in which the motherboards are available are : BTX, ATX, mini-ATX, micro-ATX, LPX, NLX etc..

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