What is a Motherboard, and How Does It Work?

by osde8info is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The motherboard is your computer’s spine and acts as the link between all the various components within your PC, with its primary function being to act as a “hub” through which all other computer gadgets connect.

Therefore, it is a vital component in a computer system as it holds together several important computer components such as connectors, memory, central processing unit (CPU), and output gadgets.

Typically, motherboards are available in several formations t perfectly fit your speeds, budgets as well as speeds.

Furthermore, there is a huge variation in motherboards from cases, design, compatibility, power supply, and size.

At the base of all motherboards are very rigid sheets of non-conductive material; usually, some durable plastic and thin layers of either aluminum or copper foils are printed onto these sheets.

Likewise, motherboards feature several slots and sockets through which you can connect other components.

Primary Components of a Motherboard and Its Functions

Processor or Microprocessor

The CPU is the brain of the computer system with its main role being to fetch, execute, decode program instructions plus perform logical and mathematical calculations.

Usually, the identification of the processor chip is done by checking the manufacturer as well as the processor type, with this information engraved on the chip.

Random Access Memory

Random Access Memory or RAM is the computer chip which stores dynamic data within the computer system temporarily, thereby enhancing the performance of the device while it is running.

It is your computer’s working place and where all data and active programs are loaded; therefore, the processor does not have to retrieve them from the hard disk any time it necessitates them.

Moreover, the kind of motherboard affects the format and amount of RAM which you can install, mainly because they have physical caps on the total RAM amount, which can be supported.

However, it is always ideal to purchase a board which features more room than you require since updating the RAM can be done frequently plus upgrading it is reasonably affordable.

Expansion Bus

It is a circuit which connects parts of the motherboard. The expansion bus speed is measured in megahertz (MHz), and this refers to the speeds at which data moves across it simultaneously.

Typically, expansion buses of better quality at any one time can handle more data, subsequently making them carry out faster calculations.

Additionally, integrated on the expansion bus is a series of slots through which expansion boards or cards fit into it, with PCI being the frequently used bus in computers and other devices.

The role of the expansion bus is to carry signals like memory addresses, data, control signals, and power from one component to another.

Finally, buses improve the capabilities of your PC as it allows you to add missing features on your PC usually by fitting adapter cards into the expansion slots.

BIOS (Basic Input/output System)

Also known as a device driver, BIOS is a read-only memory which integrates low-level software which controls the hardware system as well as acting as an interface between the hardware and operating system.

Therefore, in a system, it fundamentally is a link between the computer software and hardware.

Present on every motherboard are small blocks of Read Only Memory (ROM) that is independent of the main system memory, which is used in loading as well as running software.

Thus, the BIOS has all the codes needed to display the screen, control the keyboard, serial communications, disk drives, and several diverse functions.

Likewise, found on the motherboard is a ROM chip which is a system BIOS that is used during the boot process to inspect the system as well as plan on how to run the hardware.

A ROM chip is preferred to store the BIOS as it still retains data even when your computer is not being supplied with power.

Cache Memory

It is a small block of high-speed memory, that is, RAM which improves the performance of your PC by pre-loading data from the main memory which is somewhat slow and then conveying it to the processor when needed.

Many CPUs incorporate an internal cache memory in-built into the processor that is known as the primary cache or Level 1 cache memory. You can order from Amazon or checkout our article on 6 different types of motherboards

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