The motherboard or PCB (Primary Circuit Board) is responsible for connecting all computer devices to the microprocessor. It supplies devices with power and allows the computer to react with them, Devices that can be used by connecting to the motherboard are: Storage devices, sound cards, graphic cards and hard disks.
Devices or components that are needed to make the computer work as it should, are inbuilt within the motherboard or can be connected to it using a socket or port. Listed below are sockets and ports that are available on the motherboard for connecting devices and , what that they are capable of doing.
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Slot: Supports peripherals like sound cards, DVD decoders, and graphic accelerators with 32 bits at 33Mhz capabilities. There are usually anywhere from 1 to 6 PCI slots available on the motherboard.
AGP (Accelerated Graphic Port): This provides fast bus speed connectivity along with fast access to the main memory. It is designed for video cards that demand higher bandwidth.
Chipset-North Bridge: An integrated circuit that has special duties.
CPU (Central Processing Unit) Socket: A socket specifically for connecting your computer processor.
DIMM (Double Inline Memory Module) slots, SIMM (Single Inline Memory Module) and RIMM: Different types of memory (RAM) can be installed into these slots.
Motherboard Battery: A battery compartment, which stores the battery used for storing data such as system date and time, when you shut down your system.
IDE Connector: Responsible for connecting the IDE cord used for hard disks, CD drives, and DVD drives.
Firewire header (IEEE 1394): A serial bus used to exchange digital and audio data with high performance abilities.
The following listed items are parts that are built within the motherboard with specific connective uses such as keyboards, mouse, and printers.
PS/2 Connectors: Each motherboard usually has 2 PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and the mouse.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) Port: There are usually a couple of these ports located on each motherboard used for connecting pen drives and external hard drives, like Ipods or Mp3 players.
Parallel or (LPT) Port: The place used to connect scanners and printers.
Game Port: The port to connect all gaming devices for example, a joystick.
Sound Card Connectors: Plug in your microphone or speakers here.
Display Connector: Connecting your monitor to the motherboard.
COM (Communication) Port: The port designed to connect your mouse and modem.
Now that you know all the parts and pieces that make up your motherboard, hooking up that new computer system may not be so frustrating. Here are some companies that manufacturer motherboards: Tyan, ASUS, Super Micro, Intel, Iwill, Diamond, First International Computer, Elite Group Computer Systems, American Megatrends, and EFA.
For more information about motherboards and pricing for the most popular manufacturers, check out the following links: