What Is a Motherboard? | Digital Tendencies

In the consumer technology world, the word motherboard is used a lot, especially when talking about brands like Asus and Intel. But what is a motherboard? That sounds pretty important. If you thought of your computer as a body, the CPU would be the brain while the motherboard would be the heart. It is responsible for power routing, which can be used to coordinate how all CPU components work with one another.

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Note that this is not the same as the CPU in which all calculations are performed. The motherboard simply organizes these calculations and their results. While it doesn't hold much power on its own, nothing else could work without the motherboard, which is why it is considered so important. What else you need to know:

Which components make up a motherboard?

There are different motherboard designs and form factors that have been updated over the years for different devices and advanced technologies. However, all motherboards have some things in common. All have circuitry to coordinate computer processes and a heat sink to absorb and divert heat to keep the motherboard cool during use. Most also have a secondary source of energy.

The most important thing you will notice when looking at a motherboard is that it has a lot of slots and connections. Since everything is routed through the motherboard, it must be in physical contact with almost all computer components. This includes main power supply, CPU, RAM slots, USB, PCI, video and sound cards as well as expansion slots.

When you use a wireless mouse or external keyboard, these have their connections along with every other essential accessory you might want. Because of this, a motherboard appears to be a ring of connectors – that is its main function.

Over time, the connections on a motherboard change based on current technological requirements. Because of this, an old motherboard may have many broken ports for outdated connections.

However, we will note two essential connections, specifically the connection to the CPU and the connection to the power supply (I / O). The CPU and power supply are widely considered to be the two most important motherboard connections and form the backbone of the circuit. Collectively, they are called the chipset – the core management of performance and processing for all tasks.

A brief history of the motherboard

The modern motherboard was invented long after the first computers. Early computers were usually simpler machines without having to coordinate many processes at the same time. Before the boom in the consumer market, there was not much demand for mass-produced motherboards.

However, that changed in 1981 when IBM released its personal computer, which is why laptops and desktops are referred to as PCs. These computers needed a way to regulate their activities for consumers. In response, IBM created the first motherboard that did this – a computer chip that took care of all the details while users did their digital tasks.

Initially this component was called planar and many additional names were used when it was first created. The term motherboard became the most popular because the circuit board essentially acted as the mother for all other computer components. For this reason, motherboard extensions are sometimes referred to as daughter boards.

How to update your motherboard

Most computer cases open from the side with the motherboard installed opposite the access door. This protects the motherboard from most hazards, and its vertical orientation helps keep dust to a minimum. Another advantage is that all expansion slots are easily accessible. Laying your computer on its side makes plugging in additional components a breeze.

It can sometimes be a chore to make sure your motherboard has all of the connections you need for your planned upgrades. Many motherboard upgrades are required to enable other improvements, such as: B. New GPUs or CPUs that your previous model did not support. This can be a significant cost, and it may not even be worth upgrading your motherboard at all.

If your motherboard is severely outdated, consider the cost of a brand new PC. Depending on how many components such as RAM and CPU have to be replaced, a new machine can make more sense. By doing a careful cost-benefit analysis, you can get the best performance and hopefully save some money in the process.

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