The motherboard is the central circuit board in a PC. The type of motherboard inside a computer has a significant impact on the system speed and future expansion capabilities. A motherboard holds a range of different components that are crucial to the function of the PC. These components include the expansion slots, memory, and processor.
Here are several of the major parts of the motherboard:
CPU socket – The CPU socket (also called processor socket) is intended to secure the processor in the right place. A modern motherboard with a Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) socket is desired for is ease in allowing the processor to be inserted into the PC with minimal difficulty.
Memory slot – Interchangeable memory sticks for the PC are inserted into the specific slots on the motherboard. Memory slots are either a single or dual channel. These memory banks vary in relation to the memory sticks accepted. A single channel slot is designed to accept any number of memories, while a dual channel is designed to accept matching pairs with equal speed and size capabilities.
Chipset – The chipset relates to the motherboards circuitry and is split into two sections known as Northbridge and Southbridge. The Northbridge chipset relates to the faster capabilities of the PC involving the AGP, PCI-E, BIOS, ROM and RAM. And the Southbridge chipset takes responsibility of the slower communication processes, such as those including the LAN, Audio, USB, IDE and SATA.
Interface connectors – The drives and motherboard attach to the interface connectors. A latest edition motherboard uses Serial Advance Technology Attachment (SATA) since it is faster than using the standard ATA connector. But SATA does have a drawback in that it is only designed to support the single drive.
Expansion slots – A PC includes a variety of expansion slots. An Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is intended to hold video cards, a Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) is designed to accept all other types of extension cards, and a Peripheral Component Interface – Express (PCI-E) is a more advanced edition of the standard PCI slot. The PCI-E slot is intended for the faster video cards.
Back panel connector – A motherboard is installed in the PC so that a range of peripherals are able to connect direct to this circuit board or to related ports via cables. Common peripherals to connect to either the back or side ports include the external speakers, keyboard, mouse, hard drive and printer.