What's in the motherboard

Motherboard / Mainboard / Mainboard

The motherboard is the basic building block of a computer. The motherboard is the circuit board on which all system components of a computer are physically and logically connected. The most important and some performance-influencing components are permanently connected to one another on this board.

The equipment of the motherboard essentially determines the system performance, expandability and future viability of a computer system. Most motherboards are tailored for a specific application with a specific processor. So you can't use just any processor on every motherboard. The use of a processor depends on the motherboard or the processor socket and the chipset.

Note: Several names have become established for the motherboard. In Germany the term "mainboard" is common. It can be translated into "motherboard". In the English-speaking world, on the other hand, the term "motherboard" is more used. The term "motherboard" is used in the following text.

Example of a motherboard

Overview of the system components on a motherboard

Different system components can be found on a motherboard depending on the design, equipment and integration density.

Chipset

The central element on the motherboard is the chipset, which has developed over time from many individual components to a few highly integrated circuits. The chipset is the link between the individual system components of a computer. No matter what happens in a computer, the chipset is always involved. It ensures that all components can communicate with one another via different interfaces. Different voltage levels, clock frequencies and protocols are taken into account and converted to one another.

Processor / main processor

The processor or microprocessor is a complex digital circuit that is housed in a single housing. The processor takes over calculation and control tasks in a computer. The processor, also known as the main processor, has its own slot or socket on the motherboard. Depending on the computer system, the processor is also firmly soldered to the motherboard.

RAM / main memory

The working memory or main memory is a semiconductor memory that is used to store data, statuses and programs for a limited period of time. The processor constantly accesses this main memory in order to process data and execute programs.
The main memory is usually plugged into the corresponding slots as a DIMM type memory module. This is usually SDRΑΜ semiconductor memory.

Interfaces and bus systems

Interfaces are required to connect external devices to a computer. There are interfaces that lead to the outside world. They are known as external interfaces. There are also interfaces that serve internal purposes. For example, to expand further external interfaces or to connect internal drives or data storage devices such as hard disks or removable storage drives.

Onboard

In the early days of computers, many interfaces could be found on additional expansion cards. It was only through the increasing integration density of the circuits that many interface controllers found their way onto the motherboard and then into the chipset. This leaves the expansion slots free and can be used for other purposes.
Typically, sound cards, network adapters and graphics cards are integrated "onboard". As a rule, onboard components can be switched off in the BIOS and more powerful interfaces can be retrofitted using expansion cards. This is typically done with graphics cards.

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Everything you need to know about computer technology.

Computer technology primer

The computer technology primer is a book about the basics of computer technology, processor technology, semiconductor memory, interfaces, data storage devices, drives and important hardware components.

I want that!

Everything you need to know about computer technology.

Computer technology primer

The computer technology primer is a book about the basics of computer technology, processor technology, semiconductor memory, interfaces, data storage devices, drives and important hardware components.

I want that!