Thursday, December 9, 2021

What is a motherboard? Everything You Need to Know About Motherboards

A motherboard is an electronic circuit board which acts as a ‘backbone’ to the whole PC. It’s found inside every computer and its main job is to act as a central hub for almost everything that goes on inside your PC. Different components such as the CPU, RAM, graphics card and even storage drives such as SSDs and HDDs all plug into the via various ports. These devices then communicate with each other using data buses built onto the motherboard and allow information to be passed around the computer. Because of this complex (but vital) role it has, motherboards need to be able to keep up with high demands from modern technology and last year alone nearly 300 new models were released by major manufacturers like ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI. To help you understand how motherboards function, we’ll run through everything you need to know about the anatomy of a motherboard and explain what each component does.

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CPU (Central Processing Unit) – The brains of your computer By Motherboard

The CPU is often referred to as the brains of the PC which is understandable given its role in determining how quickly programs will open, play games or run applications. CPUs are responsible for managing all communication between devices on the motherboard via the ‘front side bus’ or FSB which acts as a data highway by sending information from RAM, USB controllers and other components around the system. More advanced processors have started having multiple cores allowing them to process several programs simultaneously making them more efficient than older models with fewer cores. The CPU is often referred to as the brains of the PC which is understandable given its role in determining how quickly programs will open, play games or run applications. CPUs are responsible for managing all communication between devices on the motherboard via the ‘front side bus’ or FSB which acts as a data highway by sending information from RAM, USB controllers and other components around the system. More advanced processors have started having multiple cores allowing them to process several programs simultaneously making them more efficient than older models with fewer cores.

CPU Cooler – Keeps your processor running cool For Motherboard

The CPU generates an enormous amount of heat when in use so it’s very important that it has an efficient cooling solution in place. Most modern motherboards come bundled with a heatsink and fan combination so the CPU doesn’t overheat which is crucial for PCs that are being used heavily on a daily basis.

Socket – Where you plug in your processor

The socket is an incredibly important part of the motherboard which dictates what type of processor you can install on it. A CPU needs to be compatible with its socket otherwise it will not fit which means if your motherboard requires, say, an LGA 1155 socket then any incompatible processors need to be returned. However, newer CPUs have started using less common sockets such as LGA 2011, 2066 or AM4 meaning they don’t always work with older motherboards (check out our LGA 1151 vs 1150 comparison to find out more). Motherboard manufacturers often release ‘compatible’ or ‘upgrade’ motherboards which are specifically made to work with the latest chipsets. The socket is an incredibly important part of the motherboard which dictates what type of processor you can install on it. A CPU needs to be compatible with its socket otherwise it will not fit which means if your motherboard requires, say, an LGA 1155 socket then any incompatible processors need to be returned. However, newer CPUs have started using less common sockets such as LGA 2011, 2066 or AM4 meaning they don’t always work with older motherboards (check out our LGA 1151 vs 1150 comparison to find out more). Motherboard manufacturers often release ‘compatible’ or ‘upgrade’ motherboards which are specifically made to work with the latest chipsets.

RAM (Random Access Memory) – Stores active data

The motherboard houses a number of different types of memory which all serve their own unique purpose in your computer. Typically, they’re used to store active data and programs that you may or may not be using at any given time and these usually come in the form of RAM sticks. However, it’s worth noting that some motherboards also have storage memory built into them for use when installing an operating system such as The motherboard houses a number of different types of memory which all serve their own unique purpose in your computer. Typically, they’re used to store active data and programs that you may or may not be using at any given time and these usually come in the form of RAM sticks. However, it’s worth noting that some motherboards also have storage memory built into them for use when installing an operating system such as ECC or XIP memory

Chipset – Connects all motherboard components

The chipset is essentially like a highway connecting all of your motherboard’s different components which ensures they’re able to communicate with one another properly. It works by passing information between devices including the CPU, RAM and graphics card so they can function together efficiently. The chipset also controls various ports on your computer including USB, FireWire and SATA connections allowing you to plug in external peripherals such as hard drives or printers. More advanced chipsets are capable of supporting multiple GPUs which can be used simultaneously to improve performance. The chipset is essentially like a highway connecting all of your motherboard’s different components which ensures they’re able to communicate with one another properly. It works by passing information between devices including the CPU, RAM and graphics card so they can function together efficiently. The chipset also controls various ports on your computer including USB, FireWire and SATA connections allowing you to plug in external peripherals such as hard drives or printers. More advanced chipsets are capable of supporting multiple GPUs which can be used simultaneously to improve performance.

Our Verdict:

The chipset is a critical part of the motherboard which allows all your components to communicate efficiently, however, it’s not something you really need to pay attention to when choosing a new board. In fact, most chipsets will be compatible with a huge range of CPUs and RAM sticks meaning there’s no need to worry about finding one which ‘matches’.

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