Basics of Computer Hardware
Motherboard is the main electronic circuit board in the computer on which all components are mounted or connected. Motherboard can be described as the "heart" of the computer. A motherboard is the central or primary circuit board of the computer.
Most motherboards include:
- Socket(s) or slot(s) for mounting microprocessor(s)
- Slots for RAM memory chips
- Chipset which forms an interface between the CPU's front-side bus, main memory, and peripheral buses
- Non-volatile memory chips containing the system's firmware or BIOS
- A clock generator which produces the system clock signal to synchronize the various components
- Slots for expansion cards
- Slots for IDE (Hard Disk Drive, CD ROM Drive etc.)
- Slot for Floppy Drive
- Socket for connecting power cable from SMPS for distributing power to the CPU, chipset, main memory, expansion cards and other components and devices in the CPU box.
- Connecting panel for connecting various Input and Output devices located outside the CPU box viz. Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer, USB Drive etc.
Motherboards are different for different processors i.e. a motherboard for Intel Pentium III processor cannot be used for a Intel Pentium IV or AMD Athlon processor. Therefore, if anyone desires to upgrade his computer to a new faster processor, he will be required to change the motherboard also.
The motherboard picture above shows a motherboard with details of mounting /connecting major components and the connecting panel picture shows connection of various Input and Output devices to the motherboard.