Motherboard – Concept, functions, types and parts

We explain what the motherboard is and its main functions. Also, the types that exist, their parts and how to identify it.

The motherboard is the main integrated circuit card of the computer system.

What is motherboard?

In computing, the motherboard, main board, motherboard or motherboard (from English: motherboard) It is the main integrated circuit card of the computer system, to which the other components that make up the computer are attached.

It is, therefore, a fundamental part of it and is found inside the CPU case, where it has outlets to the outside that allow the connection of different peripherals and accessories.

On the motherboard there are also essential elements of the system, such as the microprocessor, RAM, expansion slots or the auxiliary integrated circuit (chipset). Inside, likewise, the BIOS firmware is installed, system software that allows to regulate and test the elementary functions of the hardware and acts as a support for the load of the operating system.

Motherboards are manufactured based on standard dimensions, known as formats, to ensure that they fit inside the CPU shells. These formats have changed over time and with new technologies, and its latest version is known as DTX (2007). Even so, many companies prefer to ignore these formats and manufacture their motherboards as they please, in what are known as “proprietary formats”.

There are several types of motherboards, although the market seems to be grouped around all trends: the motherboards that use AMD microprocessors (Advanced Micro Devices Inc.), or those that use Intel microprocessors (Intel Corporation). There are also multiprocessor boards, which can host 2, 4 or more processors simultaneously, which translates into enormous data processing power.

Motherboard Features

It could be said that the motherboard is the central nervous system of the computer.

The motherboard is the place of integration and contact between the various components of the computer system.

It is the main and largest module, where the data coming from the microprocessor is distributed and the instructions are transmitted to memory, information storage systems, or peripherals.

It could be said that it is the central nervous system of the computer, the place where its minimum and indispensable operations are carried out.

Motherboard types

Monoprocessor boards house only one microprocessor installed at a time.

Motherboards are usually classified according to the number of microprocessors they can host at the same time. Thus, we will talk about:

  • Monoprocessor motherboards. Those that are arranged to house a single microprocessor installed at a time.
  • Multiprocessor motherboards. Those that, on the contrary, can have several microprocessors installed (2, 4 and even 8 at the same time), thus accumulating their joint power.

Motherboard parts

The chipset manages the transfer of information.

The components of a motherboard are as follows:

  • Power supply connectors. The different cables and devices that provide the board with the voltages necessary for its various parts to operate in a stable and continuous way.
  • CPU socket. Called socket, is the receptacle of the microprocessor (or several), which connects it with the rest of the system through the front bus of the motherboard.
  • RAM slot. The slots (slots) from RAM (Random Acess-Memory, or Random Access Memory) are used to house modules of this type of processing memory. They are usually arranged in pairs, and have certain specifications that define the type of RAM modules that can be used in the computer.
  • Chipset. It is a series of electronic circuits that manage the transfer of information between the various parts of the computer, such as the processor, memory, secondary storage units, etc. It is generally divided into two different sections:
    • Northbridge (northbridge). It interconnects the RAM, the microprocessor and the graphics processing unit.
    • South bridge (southbridge). Interconnects peripherals and secondary, local or external storage devices.
  • Other components. The motherboard also has other elements such as the system clock, the factory preprogrammed BIOS, the internal or front bus of the Chipset (deprecated) and the CMOS, a small form of memory to preserve the minimum data of the computer, such as its settings, time and date.

How do I know which is my motherboard?

The motherboard is the largest card into which the others are inserted.

The most traditional method of figuring out which is the motherboard of a computer is to open the CPU case and simply look at the largest card into which all the others are inserted.

But there are simpler and less invasive methods, especially if we are not experts in the field and we are afraid of putting the system at risk, or if our computer is a laptop or other small format that would not be easy to disassemble. There are two ways to do it without resorting to the screwdriver:

  • With Windows 10. A native operating system tool called msinfo32 is used. We must press Windows + R to open the execute command, type “msinfo32” and press accept. A window will open showing a “System Summary”. All you have to do is click on it to access the information we are looking for.
  • With other applications. There are third-party programs such as CPU-Z that can help us to investigate the contents of our computer and that often have free download versions. If you want more information about it, you can check the following link: -in-windows