Motherboard Parts: Motherboard Anatomy 101

The motherboard is the heart of every computer. Without it, a fully functional computer is impossible. All other important components of a computer are connected to it in order to make every part functional. To understanding the components of a motherboard, it is critical to understand first the important parts included in it. Be guided with the following most important motherboard parts that can be found in a typical computer nowadays.

The Processor or CPU Socket

The processor socket is where one or more microprocessors can be installed. There are several types of sockets around, but in general only two are actually used. These two sockets are used by Intel and AMD for PGA and LGA. If PGA is used the CPU will need to have pins for the socket’s holes, but if LGA is used then pins are not needed as it will just rest on the socket. Since the CPU socket is attached to a PCB, it is primarily designed to house the CPU from other parts of the motherboard. Aside from its primary function, the CPU socket also serves other important functions like providing a physical structure for the CPU’s support, facilitating replacement, supporting the heatsink and forming an electrical connection for the PCB and the CPU.

The Memory Slots

The other term for memory slot is memory bank. It is made for RAM modules and each RAM must be compatible with the motherboard used. In average, there are 2 to 4 memory slots and the most common ones include single and dual-channel technologies. The single channel technology uses one to three RAM modules in order to work perfectly. On the other hand, the dual-channel technology must use more than one slot otherwise the module will lose its strength. For this reason, a minimum of two slots with the same type of module, with the same memory capacity and the same manufacturer must be used. For example, if 1 GB memory capacity is desired, two 512 MB modules from the same technology type and manufacturer are needed for fully functional module strength.

The SATA and ATA Interface Connectors

There are lots of interface standards made in the last years but the most important two are the SATA and ATA interfaces. The ATA interface is the same as IDE. It primarily connects hard and optical drives where two drives can be attached to one ribbon in order to support the majority of modern hard drive storage capacities. On the other hand, SATA is the new interface commonly used in most computers nowadays. It is definitely faster than ATA and it only needs one device attachment. Its wires are also thin which helps in a faster cooling process within the computer.

Main Power Connector

The main power connector is important as it is the passageway of the power supply needed for an efficient motherboard performance. There are two types of main power connectors: the 20 pins + 4 pins and the 24 pins. For this reason, incompatibilities are possible as not all power supplies have the two types of main power connectors, so it must be significantly considered.

The Peripherals

The peripherals of the computer are integrated altogether. It generally includes nonvolatile memory chip for the system’s BIOS, a chipset forming the front side bus, peripheral buses and main memory, expanded card slot, power connectors, clock generator, sockets, main memory slot, and sound card. For latest motherboards, more peripherals are included since integrated circuits have cheap costs and sizes that can make efficient and cost-effective computers.

More specific motherboard parts can be learned from detailed manuals of understanding motherboards. Just pay full attention in understanding each part in order to learn everything correctly.