Alternatively referred to as the mb, mainboard, mobo, mobd, backplane board, base board, main circuit board, planar board, system board, or a logic board on Apple computers. The motherboard is a printed circuit board that is the foundation of a computer, located at the bottom of the computer case. It allows the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components to function and communicate with each other.
Below is a graphic illustration of the ASUS P5AD2-E motherboard and some basic explanations of each of the major portions of the motherboard. Clicking on the image below gives you a larger more detailed version of the picture below.
Below is a listing of links that describe each of the above mentioned motherboard components in additional detail. Links are listed in clockwise order going from the top-left corner of the image. Components not listed above or found on other motherboards are listed in the next section.
- Expansion slots (PCI Express, PCI, and AGP)
- 3-pin case fan connectors
- Back pane connectors
- 4-Pin (P4) power connector
- CPU Socket
- Screw hole
- Memory slot
- Super I/O
- Floppy connection
- ATA (IDE) disk drive primary connection
- 24-pin ATX power Supply connector
- Serial ATA connections
- Coin cell battery (CMOS backup battery)
- System panel connectors
- Serial port connector
- USB headers
- Integrated circuit
- 1394 headers
Other motherboard components
Below is a listing of other motherboard components that are not shown in the above picture or have been part of older computer motherboards.
- Cache memory
- Dip switches
- Game port and MIDI header
- Internal speaker
- Keyboard controller
- Network header
- Obsolete expansion slots (AMR, CNR, EISA, ISA, VESA)
- Obsolete memory slots (SIMM)
- Onboard LED
- Parallel port header
- PS/2 header
- Serial port header
- Screw hole aka mounting hole
- Voltage regulator
- Voltage regulator module (VRM)
Motherboard form factors
As computers advanced, so have motherboards. Below is a listing of the various motherboard form factors and additional information about each of these form factors including ATX the most commonly used motherboard form factor today.
Since there is a motherboard, is there a fatherboard?
No, there is no such thing as a fatherboard when talking about a computer. However, there is such a thing as a daughterboard.
- Steps for installing a computer motherboard.
- Computer motherboard manufacturers and related links.
- Computer motherboard help and support.