A motherboard is the main circuit board of most computers and connects many core and peripheral components. The CPU, memory, graphics devices, sound devices, and hard drive all connect to the motherboard through cables, sockets, and slots. Some devices like graphics chips and sounds chips are embedded into the motherboard and cannot be removed or replaced.
Motherboards are also present in mobile phones, clocks, and other electronics devices. In every system, motherboards serve the purpose of holding together all integral and peripheral devices. Integral devices include the internal hardware that is necessary for the computer to operate. Peripheral devices connect to the computer externally.
How It Works
The motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer or electronic device. Each motherboard contains a combination of sockets, buses, ports, slots, and chips. The computer's central processing unit (CPU) is housed within a socket on the motherboard. Peripheral devices such as keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, and monitors connect to the motherboard through ports. Common ports include Universal Serial Bus (USB), Ethernet, parallel, Digital Visual Interface (DVI), and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) ports.
Extensive energy is necessary to provide power to the components that connect to the motherboard. As a result, computer hardware can reach high temperatures. Many motherboards come equipped with heat sinks and fans to prevent damage and keep temperatures cool.
To keep your computer functioning properly, you need to make sure that your motherboard's heat sinks and fans are functioning properly, especially if you use your computer for multiple hours per day. Some desktop computers require additional mountable fans, and some notebook computers require additional cooling pads.
Many motherboards fail for a variety of reasons including heat and hardware malfunctions. Software problems and crashing can occur as a result of motherboard problems.
If you plan to build your own computer, you should consider beginning with the motherboard. First, develop an understanding of how you plan to use your computer and for what purposes. Then, develop an understanding of what hardware is required to achieve those purposes. Once you are ready, conduct a search for the motherboard that will enable you to achieve the right hardware configuration.
A motherboard must be compatible with all of a computer's components and peripherals. You cannot easily upgrade or replace a motherboard since it is like a puzzle, where all the pieces must fit and work together. In some instances, motherboards determine how a computer is built. If you need to replace your motherboard, you may need to purchase the exact same motherboard that was already present in your computer. Otherwise, you may need to upgrade one or many hardware components.
If your motherboard fails, you should seriously consider whether you want to replace it or buy a new computer altogether. In some instances, it is more cost effective to purchase or build a new computer, especially if your peripherals and devices have become old or damaged.