13 Common Motherboard components

Motherboard is a vital part of our computer system. Before going in detail about motherboard components, it is trivial to know about the motherboard in general.  Motherboard is the computers central hub through which other internal and external peripherals can connect. Data flowing as electrical signals is communicating to other parts of the computer through mother board. Fundamentally motherboard is a PCB (Printed Circuit Board) to which other parts of the computer like keyboard, mouse, printer etc are attached using wires or cables.

PCB’s use less space and are framing with less voltage than normal circuit boards. This PCB may include around 6 to 14 layers of fiber glass and copper connectors for providing power. Besides motherboard being an important component in a computer, motherboard alone constitutes different components inside them. Moreover, it is time to analyze the motherboard components and their functions now. Snoop here to know the latest tech updates.

Motherboard Components

Various motherboard components

Form factors

The dimension of the mother board which provides a design categorization is called as form factor. However, the motherboard with specific form factor can be fitted to its specific case or body only. Popular form factors available are Micro ITX (Information Technology Extended), Micro ATX (Advanced Technology Extended), ATX, Extended ATX. For information, ITX is actually an assembly of Small Form Factor boards called as SFF.

Chipsets

To perform peripheral and interface functions for the processor many chips and circuits are needed. A group of chips and circuit is called as chipset which forms one of the important motherboard components. They specify how motherboard will transfer data or signals to other peripherals. For instance, a chipset is made up of two parts namely North Bridge and South Bridge.

North Bridge is fixed to CPU using front side bus. It helps in data communication with the PCI Express Bus and also high speed components like memory, processor and also video card. South Bridge connects to SATA interface, other USB ports and also to slower elements like serial or parallel ports, PS/2 etc

Processor Sockets

First to know that sockets are slots or a place where processor is made to sit on the motherboard. These can be removed as per need and need not be soldered. Using correct socket type for a processor is a challenge faced for assemblers thus making it one among the vital motherboard components. Furthermore, there are most common two types in a socket namely Pin Grid Array (PGA) and PGA types have pins on the CPU whereas LGA has pins on the socket. Furthermore, another popular type namely ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) is used which the contacts in the socket are made loose by lifting a lever to connect to CPU.  

Co-processor

On the other hand, co-processor helps the main processor in designing graphics and performing mathematical calculations thus making it the one among the top motherboard components.

Clock generator

The primary work of Clock Generator is to generate clock signals. Well, it oscillate between low and high frequencies thereby synchronizing the functionality of various components of the motherboard. Finally, it is a much needed motherboard component.

Memory slots

Memory slots as the name says is responsible for holding the memory chips for primary memory. Primary memory referred as RAM stores data and other instructions for the CPU. We need to take into consideration the number of memory slots as they determine the total memory needed to run the computer. Furthermore they can help in efficiency of the computer thus making it as vital motherboard components. High end motherboards used preferably for gaming purposes may require around 8 memory slots while 2 slots are enough for low end motherboards.

DDR1 and DDR2 are common memory slots available while the latest slot is DDR3 for supporting newer motherboard structures. The circuits for a desktop the circuit boards from where the memory comes for a desktop are known as DIMMs (Dual or Double Inline Memory Modules). For laptop it is known as SODIMMs (Small Outline Memory Modules). Previously SIMM (Single Inline Memory Modules) were using which supports 32-bit bus whereas DIMMs can support 64-bit bus.

Expansion slots

We can get the help of expansion slots to attach external devices to the computer forming it an important motherboard components. This will increase the capability and also enhances the functionality of the computer. Video card, sound card, network card and also other disk interface cards. There are in general three types of expansion slots. They are

  • Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP) – Used for fitting video card or graphic card. Generally they come in brown color. It runs on 32 bit bus.
  • Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) – Supports 64 bit bus which is high speed. Comes in white color. PCI are longer than AGP slots.
  • Peripheral Component Interconnect Expense (PCIe) – These are the latest expansion slot and are relatively faster than other slots. PCIe comes in different sizes.

We can get the help of expansion slots to attach external devices to the computer forming it an important motherboard components. This will increase the capability and also enhances the functionality of the computer. Video card, sound card, network card and also other disk interface cards. There are in general three types of expansion slots. Such as

  • Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP) – Used for fitting video card or graphic card. Generally they come in brown color. It runs on 32 bit bus.
  • Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) – Supports 64 bit bus which is high speed. Comes in white color. PCI are longer than AGP slots.
  • Peripheral Component Interconnect Expense (PCIe) – These are the latest expansion slot and are relatively faster than other slots. PCIe comes in different sizes.

Power connectors

Power connectors are a type in motherboard components with a special 24 pin block connector allowing motherboard to connect to power supply. Old motherboard components have a set of 6 male pin connectors called AT connectors. Eventually, the latest type has 20 or 24 pin of female connectors.

BIOS

BIOS stand for Basic Input Output System and are an example of firmware. Firmware is a type of software which is already coded into read only memory. Furthermore it helps in booting process and also kick starts the memory to allow OS to start its work. Also, it is an IC containing all information about the settings of the motherboard. We can change the settings by going into BIOS mode.

CMOS battery

CMOS refers to Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor which helps in storing basic BIOS settings. It is important to know that Hard drive configuration, date and time, memory, boot sequence etc comes under those settings. The CMOS battery is made up of lithium of 3 volts.

Storage Connectors

Storage or external disk connectors are significant motherboard components. However, it help in connecting storage devices like optical drives, magnetic hard drives and SSDs. The interface through which the storage devices work is called as SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) comprising 7 pin connectors. Next, another connecter called PATA (Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment) or IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) is quite old comprising 34 pins for floppy disk connection as well as 40-pin for IDE type hard disks.

For information, the major advantage of using SATA ports is that they are smaller and faster. Moreover, they can reach speed upto 600 Mbps compared to IDE which can reach only about 133 Mbps.

Cabinet Connectors or Front-panel connectors

Motherboard is attached to a cabinet to which many other buttons are present. Infact, these buttons connect to the motherboard to perform various functions. Furthermore, Front audio for microphone, Front USB, Power Switch, Reset Switch, Power indicator and also HDD LED.

Rear Connectors or Back-panel Connectors

Generally, many connectors are join in back side of the motherboard namely keyboard, mouse, speakers Ethernet connector and USB connector. Afterwards, they also form the important motherboard components as they help in extended user convenience.

Conclusion

As a result, we have discussed the common motherboard components which will be useful when assembling a motherboard on our own. Thus, it is important to choose correct type of motherboard to obtain optimized performance in a computer. You can even check out the above mentioned motherboard parts diagram.

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