In the world of consumer technology, the words “motherboard” or “motherboard” are used a lot, especially when talking about brands like Asus and Intel. But. which is a motherboard? And what is more important: what does it do?
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Always keep in mind that the main card is not the same as the processor, which is responsible for doing all the math. The motherboard is what organizes these calculations and their results.
The efficiency of a motherboard is not measured by a number of power in itself, and although all the components are necessary, its importance lies in the quality and speed of the buses or “paths” it has.
What is a motherboard and what is it for?
The main purpose of a motherboard is to move power and provide a central place where all of its components can communicate with each other. Your card’s performance is highly dependent on the chipset (more on that shortly), which can allow for higher performance when combined with other hardware.
Another important function of the motherboard is the loading of your operating system. A firmware chip on the main board stores the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). This application is very light and it is the first thing that loads your computer.
This allows it to read data from your hard drive and eventually load your operating system. It’s there in the name: the BIOS is “basic”. The goal is for all components to recognize each other before loading the operating system.
The functionality of a motherboard is largely determined by the chipset. The chipset on a main board is responsible for handling communication between its various components, and they come from processor manufacturers (AMD and Intel have a wide variety of chipset options.)
Typically, you’ll see processor manufacturers release new chipsets along with each new generation. That’s because the chipset is where most of the motherboard innovation happens, allowing users to use more RAM and access features like PCIe 4.0, among other things.
The motherboard is also responsible for solving the problem involved in putting together a computer. Its design is intentional, placing critical power and communication parts close to the components that need them.
Your processor, for example, receives power through the motherboard. However, the main board also has a voltage regulator module (VRM) placed between the power connection and the processor to maintain constant power.
There are various motherboard designs and form factors that have been updated over the years for different devices and evolving technology. However, the main cards have a few things in common.
They all have circuits used to coordinate computer processes and must add a heat sink that absorbs and redirects the heat generated by the processor, thus avoiding excessive heating during use.
The first thing you’ll notice when you look at any motherboard is that it has a lot of components and connections. Since everything is routed through it, it needs physical contact with almost every component in the computer.
If you use a wireless mouse or external keyboard, you’ll find their connections here along with any other essential accessories you want. This utility is the reason why a motherboard appears to be a ring of connectors, and that is precisely its main function.
Over time, the ports on a motherboard tend to change based on what current technology demands. This is why an old main board can have many idle ports from stale connections.
We will notice two essential elements, specifically the processor and the set of integrated circuits responsible for the control of information. Commonly considered the two most important connections on the motherboard, they form the backbone of the circuit. Together they are called chipset: which is responsible for the central management of power and processing for all tasks.
Power supplies have also undergone changes over time and have been adapted according to forms and requirements. This is easily identifiable by the connectors.
A power supply directly feeds the motherboard, SSD and HDD drives, and some video cards that require it for operation. In turn, the main card feeds the processor and the heatsink fan responsible for cooling it.
The modern motherboard was invented long after the first computers. The latter used to be simpler machines, without the same need to coordinate many processes simultaneously. Before the consumer market took off, there was not enough demand for main boards to be mass produced.
This changed when 1981 IBM released its personal computer, which is why desktop and laptop computers are called PCs (and refer to being “IBM compatible”).
These computers needed a way to regulate their activity for consumers. In response, IBM developed the first motherboard to make it possible: a chip that took care of all the details while users completed their digital tasks.
The term motherboard became the most popular as the circuit board essentially acted as the mother of all other computer components. This is why main board expansions are sometimes called daughter boards.
The motherboard is usually mounted at the rear, farthest from the cabinet cutout panel, in a specially designed area for its installation. However, main boards also play an important role in computer upgrades.
Anything you upgrade to a new model, must be able to connect to the motherboard properly. You need to make sure the motherboard has the correct connections for the upgrade you have in mind, and this can sometimes be a problem.
Many main card upgrades help enable other improvements, such as new video cards or processors that were previously unsupported because they were too new.
These considerations can increase the price of upgrading your computer, so you should consider whether it’s less expensive to buy a new motherboard and components or, perhaps better, to buy a new PC.