Motherboard

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 allocates power to the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components. Most importantly, the motherboard allows hardware components to communicate with one another.

The first motherboard is considered to be one used in the IBM Personal Computer, released in 1981. At the time, IBM referred to it as a "planar" instead of a motherboard. The IBM Personal Computer and the motherboard inside it would set the standard for IBM-compatible computer hardware going forward.

Below is a picture of the ASUS P5AD2-E motherboard with names of each major component of the motherboard. Clicking on the image below gives you a larger more detailed version of the picture below.

Computer motherboard

Motherboard components

Below are links to pages with more details for each of the above mentioned motherboard components. 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.

Other motherboard components

Below is a listing of other motherboard components that are not shown in the picture above or were part of older computer motherboards.

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.

Related pages

Also see: Backplane, Form factor, Motherboard terms, Northbridge, Southbridge, Standout