Tekkru Media Blog

First Nations Youth Perspective

Technology 101

DX58-SO Mobo

Motherboards

Over the next few weeks I will be profiling different computer components to give you a basic understating of what the component is, what it is used for and in the end what new technology is being used in newer models of each component.

This week I will be profiling Motherboards. Wikipedia describes the motherboard as the central printed circuit board in some complex electronic systems, such as personal computers. There are many different names for a motherboard, the most common being the main board, system board, logic board (on Apple computers) or in the case of geeks like myself the mobo. The function of a motherboard in a personal computer today is to house or connect to all the components that make up the computer (e.g. processor, storage devices, system memory, and peripheral devices such as the mouse and keyboard.) But it wasn’t until the late 80’s that this became popular, up until then it was common to see these components housed on individual circuit boards which in many cases didn’t make much economical sense, thus having a central circuit board for all components was necessary. This was done by creating a circuit board that provided the electrical connections which allowed components of the system to communicate with each other.

Now as far as the make up of a motherboard goes, it has a minimum number of components built in, but like everything else you can purchase one that has a few more features. But lets start with the basics first. The most important part of the motherboard is the chipset; this provides the supporting interfaces between the processor and the various components and buses, this varies by motherboard as to which processors it supports. This brings us to our next component which is the sockets in which the processor is installed; again this varies by motherboard, most commonly differentiated by the socket size required by the processor (e.g. socket 775, or 1366) There is also slots for the system memory on the mother board, also known as DIMMS, different motherboards support different type of memory (e.g. SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and many others.) Another thing found on all computer motherboards is the non-volatile memory, which contains system BIOS. There is also a clock generator on aboard as well which produces the system clock signal to synchronize different components. Expansion slots are also included on all mother boards, types of expansion slots vary between older boards and newer boards, the most common being the PCI and PCI express, and there are others available as well, these slots can be used to add expansion cards for audio, video and many other types of cards to enhance the computers performance. There are also many connectors on board to connect to peripheral devices such as storage devices, optical drives, and other I/O devices. Now as far as extra features go, most new motherboards come with headers for things like front panel connectors (e.g. USB ports, Firewire ports, audio ports.) You can also purchase motherboards with on board audio and/or video controllers as apposed to purchasing a card for an expansion slot, although aftermarket cards in some cases have higher quality performance. Other features you find on mother boards include things such as cooling hardware, and power control hardware, again this varies per board.

In the end the type of motherboard you decide to purchase depends on the system requirements of the user. I think that covers most if not all of the basics of a motherboard, check back next week as I will have another hardware profile for you.


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March 23, 2009 - Posted by | Earl Tatoosh - New Technology

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