Motherboard Parts: An In Depth Look

By SimoneJohansen on January 20, 2011 In Computers

The motherboard is truly the heart of each and every computer. Without them, a fully functional computer is impossible. All the other necessary parts of the computer connect to it to make every component functional. To understanding the components of a motherboard, it’s important to understand first the key pieces built into it. Be guided with the following most important motherboard parts which can be found in an average computer nowadays.

The CPU Socket

The CPU socket is where one or more microprocessors may be installed. There are various types of sockets around, but in general only 2 are really utilized. These two sockets are used by Intel and AMD for PGA and LGA. In cases where PGA is used the Cpu will have to have pins that go into the socket’s holes, but when LGA is used then pins will not be required because it will rest on the socket. Since the processor socket is attached to a PCB, it’s mainly designed to house the Cpu from other components of the motherboard. Along with its main function, the Cpu socket also serves additional important functions such as providing a structure for the processor’s support, aiding replacement, supporting the heatsink along with forming an electrical connection for the PCB and the CPU.

The Memory Slots

Another term for memory slot is memory bank. It is designed for RAM modules and every RAM must be compatible with the motherboard used. On average, there are 2 to 4 memory slots and the most common ones include single and dual-channel technology. The single channel technology uses one to three RAM modules so as to operate flawlessly. Alternatively, the dual-channel technology needs to use more than one slot otherwise the module will lose its strength. Because of this, no less than two slots with the same kind of module, with the exact same memory capacity and also the same manufacturer should be used. For example, if 1 GB memory capacity is wanted, two 512 MB modules from the same technology type and manufacturer are important for fully functional module strength.

The SATA and ATA Interface Connectors

There have been a lot of interface standards made in the past few years though the most essential two are the SATA and ATA interfaces. The ATA interface is the same as IDE. It generally attaches hard and optical drives where 2 drives may be placed on one ribbon so as to support the majority of modern hard drive storage capabilities. However, SATA is a new interface frequently used in many computers nowadays. It’s definitely faster than ATA and it only needs one device attachment. Its wires are also thin which helps in a faster cooling process inside the computer.

Main Power Connector

The main power connector is extremely important because it is the passageway of the power supply required for efficient motherboard performance. There are 2 kinds 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, therefore it needs to be significantly considered.

The Peripherals

The peripherals in the computer are incorporated all together. It often consists of 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 newer motherboards, additional peripherals are provided given that integrated circuits have cheap costs and sizes that can make efficient and cost-effective computers.

More specific motherboard parts can be learned from detailed books on understanding motherboards. Just be sure to pay full attention to each part so that you can learn everything correctly.

Now that you’ve got a better knowledge of the various motherboard parts, discover ways to select the best motherboard for your application at