Computer Brain: Motherboard


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What is a motherboard?

The motherboard is the main component of the computer. It is often referred to as mainboard or mobile. It is a printed circuit board (PCB). It controls all the devices and components connected to it. It has some slots, connectors, bridges with heat sinks. It is the most important part of the computer, where all the components are connected, such as hard disk, RAM, CPU mouse, keyboard etc.

The first motherboard was invented by the IBM company. He sold his first personal computer (PC) in 1981. Prior to the invention of motherboards and microprocessors, wires were required to connect card connector pins. And the computer was built into a mainframe, where the components were connected by a backplane of the frame. The frame had countless slots for connecting wires. But with the invention of PCB, many connections of all these wires became a past.

Some components of the motherboard

  • Cpu socket – A CPU socket is where the CPU (Central Processing Unit) is placed. Different processors are placed inside this CPU socket. Some examples of processors are dual-core, i3, i5, i7.
  • Mouse port – This is the green port in the motherboard. It is used to connect the mouse to the CPU.
  • Keyboard port – This motherboard has a purple colored port. It is used to connect the keyboard to the motherboard.
  • serial port – It is the black port next to the keyboard port. This port is used to connect the motherboard to any VGA (Video Graphics Array) port. This means, this port can be used if you want to connect the motherboard to a larger screen or LCD screen, or if you want to connect the motherboard to a projector.
  • parallel port – It is a pink colored port on the mother board. This port is used to connect a printer or scanner to a motherboard.
  • USB port – This port is used to connect an external device such as a pen drive or any other external hard disk to the motherboard.
  • Lan cable port – This port is used to connect the Internet cable to the motherboard.
  • Audio port – This port can be used to connect computers to any type of audio source such as speakers, mic.
  • CMOS Battery – CMOS batteries help to keep the device running when no external power is provided. This powers the BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) firmware in the device. The CMOS battery helps in keeping the time and date updated in the computer.
  • Floppy Harbour – This port is used to read the overall status information, to check if the floppy port is ready to work. And this is done by software.
  • PCI slot – This slot is used to connect additional modems, networks, sound cards or video cards, or some other network hardware.
  • AGP slot – This port is used to add some additional graphics to the computer. If you play the game you may need some additional high definition graphics, which can be added via this port.
  • heat sink – It is one of the important components. Whenever some additional heat is generated on the board, the heat sink absorbs heat and keeps the device cool.
  • Ram slot – This slot is used to connect RAM storage to a computer.
  • Power connector – This port is connected to an external power source. And then the entire circuit is powered by this port.

Old and new motherboard

The newest motherboard features the latest feature, PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This hub is the latest chipset architecture by Intel that has replaced the old architecture. Whereas the old motherboard would have one or two chips, called chipsets. This included Northbridge and Southbridge Chip. The Northbridge chip acted as a connector between the CPU, PCI and memory slots. And the southern bridge added PCI slots and various ports. But in modern computers, the functions of the Northbridge chip are largely integrated into the CPU. And the works at Southbridge are now done entirely by PCH. Hence the northern and southern bridges have been completely eliminated in modern motherboards.

ATX motherboard

Motherboards come in various shapes and sizes. This is known as the form factor. And the most common motherboard form factor used in PCs today is ATX (Advanced Technology Extended). It was built in 1995 and today it is the de facto standard for PCs. A full-size ATX motherboard is 12 inches by 9.6 inches. AT (Advanced Technology) form factor was used before ATX. It was used in the 1980s and was developed by IBM. Motherboards ranged in size from 12 to 13.8 inches, but they are no longer used. Another version of the ATX motherboard is the Micro ATX board, which is smaller than the ATX boards. These boards are 9.6 inches by 9.6 inches. These boards are cheaper than ATX boards. They have fewer features and consume less power than standard ATX boards.

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