Understanding Motherboard Types: How to Choose the Right One

Knowing different motherboard types is important if you want to assemble your own computer. It is also useful for troubleshooting computer problems easily. Over the years, lots of motherboards have been out in the market and most of the time there are new models released each year. To get familiar with the different types of motherboards especially in choosing one, check the following listed classifications of motherboards:

Based On Dimension:

Baby AT Motherboard

This motherboard is 8.5 inches wide and 10 inches long. Usually, it is easily recognized as the DIN keyboard connector is placed on the top right corner of the motherboard. In general, it is made for classic Pentium processors as it has a socket 7 ZIF slot. It is also called Baby AT since its overall size is just two thirds of a regular AT motherboard.

Full AT Motherboard

This is the very first type of motherboard made and it measures 12 inches wide and 11 inches long. It suffered lots of problems in peripheral installation and troubleshooting as the overall design is not so good. Its accessibility is poor as well since the drive bays are installed above the motherboard. Also, the expansion cards cover the processors leading to poor system ventilation and high risk of overheating.

ATX Motherboard

ATX is 7.5 inches in width and 12 inches in length. It is generally made for Intel processors. Its bus speed is around 100 MHz and it has a soft power support which only means that the operating system can shut it down. The USB ports and I/O ports are also integrated directly. The best thing about it is the way everything is positioned; the Baby AT parts within is rotated in 90 degrees so the cards in the bus architectures will not cover the processor, thus aiding in efficient system ventilation.

Based on the Type of Processor:

Socket A Motherboard

Otherwise known as Socket 464, this motherboard is made for Durons and AMD processors. It is made in Pin Grid Array with 462 pins and the bus speed is around 100 to 200 MHz.

Socket 370 Motherboard

This is made for Celeron, Pentium III, VIA C3 and VIA Cyrix III processors. It is in PGA package with 370 pins and the bus speed runs around 66 to 133 MHz.

Socket 378 Motherboard

Also known as Socket N, this motherboard is made for Pentium 4, Pentium 4EE and Intel Pentium M processors. It is built in PGA package with 478 pins. In average, the bus speed runs around 100 to 200 MHz.

Socket T Motherboard

It is also termed as LGA 775. This motherboard type is made for Intel Xeon, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad and many more similar processors. It is built in PGA with 775 pins. Its bus speed is high as well at 1600 MHz.

Socket 939 Motherboard

This type of motherboard is made for AMD processors. Made in PGA package as well with 939 pins, its bus speed is fast at 200 to 1000 MHz.

Socket AM3 Motherboard

This is made for AMD Athlon II and AMD Phenom II processors. It is also built in PGA with 941 pins and bus speed rate at 200 – 3200 MHz.

Socket H Motherboard

The other term for this is LGA 1156 and it comes in LGA format with 1156 pins. It is initially made to support IntelCore i3, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processors.

Since there are lots of motherboard classifications and types, it is important to consider these details when repairing computers, especially if one specific part should be replaced, or whenever a new one should be chosen. Pay attention to compatibilities and make sure to know your computer’s motherboard thoroughly upon buying a new unit.