|Computer Parts - Mother Board|
A motherboard is also known as a main board, system board and logic board. A common abbreviation is ‘mobo'. They can be found in a variety of electrical devices, ranging from a TV to a computer.
Generally, they will be referred to as a motherboard or a main board when associated with a complex device such as a computer, which is what we shall look at. Put simply, it is the central circuit board of your computer.
All other components and peripherals plug into it, and the job of the motherboard is to relay information between them all. Despite the fact that a better motherboard will not add to the speed of your PC, it is none-the-less important to have one that is both stable and reliable, as its role is vital.
A motherboard houses the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), which is the simple software run by a computer when initially turned on. Other components attach directly to it, such as the memory, CPU (Central Processing Unit), graphics card, sound card, hard-drive, disk drives, along with various external ports and peripherals.
There are a lot of motherboards on the market to choose from. The big question is how do you go about choosing which one is right for you? Different motherboards support different components, and so it is vital you make a number of decisions concerning general system specifications before you can pick the right motherboard.
A motherboard can come in many configurations to fit different needs and budgets. At its most basic, it comes with several interfaces for necessary components and a BIOS chip set to control setup of the motherboard. Many computer enthusiasts favor one type of BIOS over another and will choose a motherboard partially based on the BIOS manufacturer.
An equally important feature of the motherboard is the type of CPU it will support. Some motherboards support AMD CPUs, while others support Intel processors. If you purchase your case before other components, the first factor to think about motherboard is the size, or form factor. A form factor is a standardized motherboard size.
If you think about fitting a motherboard in a case, there are numbers of mounting holes, slot locations and PSU connectors. The most popular motherboard form factor today is ATX, which evolved from it's predecessor, the Baby AT, a smaller version of the AT (Advanced Technology) form factor. Generally todays computers have ATX form factor motherboard.
Chipsets are a crucial part of a motherboard - they control the system and its’ capabilities. Furthermore, a chipset supports the facilities offered by the processor. A chipset is part of the motherboard, and cannot be upgraded without upgrading the whole board. It is therefore important to make sure you choose the right one for you in the first place.
There are a few main producers of chipsets, which are AMD, Intel, NVidia and Via: The latter two make chipsets for both AMD and Intel processors; AMD and Intel only make chipsets compatible with their own processors.
Another important consideration is the amount and type of RAM the motherboard will support. It is always best to buy a board that supports more RAM than currently needed. If new technology for RAM chips are available, getting a board that supports the newer chips will help future-proof the investment.
The number of PCI slots varies from motherboard to motherboard, as do other interfaces like the number of SATA ports, different RAID abilities, and USB and Firewire ports. As mentioned earlier, sound and video capability might be built-in, although enthusiasts generally prefer to disable internal video, sound and add superior third party cards.
Computer display is an important issue as there are many kinds of graphics cards available these days. Graphics cards vary from PCI or AGP. These days, PCI is ruling the market but one will find that AGP graphics cards are still in use.
One of the best things you can do when looking for a motherboard is to read lots of reviews. They will give you good information about how the board performs and what it is compatible with. Never make a judgement on one review alone and wherever possible ask for recommendations from other people.
Unless you have limitless resources, price is always a consideration when buying computer component. A motherboard usually takes up a fairly large part of any PC budget, so it requires careful consideration. It is worth bearing in mind that cheaper boards sometimes support only more expensive components. If this is the case, work out the total cost of buying the board and components as sometimes it may be worth spending a little more on a more expensive board. A cheap motherboard may be unreliable and more trouble than it is worth. A motherboard is one of those components where it pays to spend a little extra.
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