Components of a motherboard and their functions

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Components of a motherboard and their functions
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Components of a motherboard and their functions

A computer motherboard is a panel or skeleton of a computer system. Being a panel of a system, motherboard contains or attached with different components which make the effective and proper operation of a computer system. Here, is the list and explanation of all components of a motherboard and their functions.

Motherboard is an essential part of a computer. In this article, we will discuss all component of a computer and their respective function. Computer itself contains five main parts including input units, output unit, storage unit, etc.

Motherboard, the panel, skeleton, house, etc. of a computer contains different components for specific operation. In this article, we shall discuss at least 20 most basic components of a motherboard.

Now, let’s start looking for the list and explanation of all components of a motherboard and their functions.

Components of motherboard and their functions

  1. RAM (Random Access Memory) slots
  2. BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)
  3. CPU (Central Processing Unit) chip
  4. Mouse and keyboard ports
  5. Power supply connector
  6. Southbridge/northbridge
  7. CPU slot
  8. CMOS battery
  9. I/O port
  10. Clock generator
  11. USB (Universal Serial Bus)
  12. PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slot
  13. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slot
  14. ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) slot
  15. Parallel port
  16. FDC (Floppy-Disk Controller)
  17. IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) controller
  18. DIP (Dual In-line Package) switch
  19. Jumper
  20. Heat sink (cooling system)
Components of a motherboard and their functions

1. RAM (Random Access Memory) slots

RAM is a kind of computer memory that can be read and written. It is mainly used to save data and machine code. A RAM device permits data to be read or written in nearly the same amount of time no matter where the data’s physical location is in the memory. Compared to the direct-access storage devices like hard drives, CD/DVD and magnetic tapes, RAM media is much faster for data reading and writing.

Slots of a RAM are used for attaching RAM on it in general desktop we can see two slot of RAM but in server motherboard we can see 4+ slot of RAM. It comes in different size (memory). RAM is one of the basic components of every computer found on computer’s motherboard having a functions of storing files, data, information, etc.

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2. BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)

BIOS is a firmware that is used to perform hardware initialization during the booting process; and to provide runtime services for operating system and programs. The BIOS firmware is the first software to run when powered on; it is re-installed on a PC’s system board.

3. CPU (Central Processing Unit) chip

CPU is the electronic circuitry in a computer that executes instructions that make up a program. It is also known as a central processor or the main processor. The CPU executes the basic logic, arithmetic, controlling as well as input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions in the desktop programs.

CPU refers to a processor, the central processing unit, also called the microprocessor performs all the task that take place inside a computer system. CPU is sometimes known as brain of computer.

4. Mouse and keyboard ports

Every computer has a keyboard port connected directly to the motherboard. There are two types of connectors; the oldest one is a special DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) connector while the newest one is the mini DIN PS/2-style connector.

Many computers use the PS/2-style connectors for both keyboard and mouse; and the connectors are marked clearly for different usage.  

5. Power supply connector

The Power supply provides the necessary electrical power to make the computer system operate. The power supply takes standard 110-V AC power and converts into  +/-12-Volt, +/-5-Volt, and 3.3-Volt DC power.

They provide the necessary electrical power to let the computer to work. It takes standard 110-Volt AC (Alternative Current) power to DC (Direct Current) power of 12 Volt, 5 Volt, 3.3 Volt, etc.

6. Southbridge/northbridge

The northbridge, also known as host bridge or Memory Controller Hub, is connected directly to the CPU via the front-side bus (FSB). It is responsible for tasks requiring the highest performance. Together with the southbridge, they manage communications between the CPU and other motherboard components.

7. CPU slot

The processor socket (CPU socket) is the connector on the motherboard that connects a CPU.

Computer motherboard contains a component called CPU slots or socket which houses one or more mechanical components providing mechanical and electrical connections between a microprocessor and a printed circuit board (PCB). This allows for placing and replacing the central processing unit (CPU) without soldering.

8. CMOS battery

CMOS (Complementary Metal-oxide-semiconductor) battery, also called memory battery, clock battery or real-time clock (RTC), is generally a CR2032 lithium coin cell. The lifespan of the CMOS battery is estimated to be three years when the power supply unit (PSU) is unplugged or switch off. CMOS Battery also store date and time.

9. I/O port

I/O (Input/output) ports are the connections between the CPU and peripheral devices on a motherboard. There are two complementary methods to perform input and output processes: memory-mapped I/O (MMIO) and port-mapped I/O (PMIO). Alternatively, you can use dedicated I/O processors, called channels on mainframe computers, which execute their own instructions. 

10. Clock generator

A clock generator is an electronic oscillator (circuit) that produces a clock signal for usage in synchronizing a circuit’s operation. The clock signal ranges between high and low frequencies, thus creating a metronome for the coordination of actions.

11. USB (Universal Serial Bus)

USB is an industry standard that creates specifications for connectors, cables and protocols for connection; power supply (interfacing) and communication among computers, computer peripherals as well as other desktops.

Another main basic component among the components of a motherboard is USB ports which their functions are to receive and send data or information to an fro in a system. There are a great many USB hardware including several different connectors, of which USB-C is the latest kind.

12. PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slot

PCI (Peripheral Component Interface) is a high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP bus standard. It is a general-use motherboard interface for the graphics card, SSDs, hard drives, Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet hardware connections.

Peripheral Component Interconnect is a local computer bus for connecting hardware to a computer. It supports all the functions of a processor bus. PCI is usually been called Conventional PCI to distinguish it from its successor PCI Express (PCIe, PCI-e or PCI-E).

13. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slot

AGP was designed as a high-speed point-to-point channel for connecting a video card (graphics card) to a computer system. Primarily, it was used to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. AGP is originally designed to be a descendant of the PCI series of connections for video cards. Yet, it was replaced by the PCIe slots.

14. ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) slot

ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) is the 16-bit internal bus of IMB PC/AT and similar computers that are based on Intel 80286 and its immediate successors during the 1980s. It was backward compatible with the 8-bit bus of the 8088-based IBM PC largely.

There once was an attempt to extend ISA into a 32-bit bus, called Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA). The attempt wasn’t very successful and the EISA was largely replaced by the later VESA Local Bus and the PCI bus.

15. Parallel port

A parallel port is a kind of interface for attaching peripherals on desktops. The name of this kind of port is derived from the way the data is sent. That is, the parallel ports send multiple bits of data at the same time. Serial interfaces, on the contrary, send bits one data at once.

To achieve parallel data transfer, there are multiple data lines in the parallel port cables. The parallel port cable is larger than the cable of a contemporary serial port, which only has one data line within.

Most of old  printers are used to connect by parallel port. Parallel port used more than one wire for sending or receiving multiple bits of data at once, while serial port uses only one wire. Parallel ports use a 25-pin female DB connector.

16. FDC (Floppy-Disk Controller)

FDC is a special-purpose chip and associated disk controller circuitry. It controls and directs reading from and writing to a computer’s floppy disk drive (FDD).

17. IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) controller

IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) is a device used for connecting IDE, Ethernet, FireWire, USB and other systems can be called host adapter. So, the IDE controller refers to the host adapter. A host adapter, also called a host controller or a host bus adapter (HBA), connects a computer (acting as the host system) to other network and storage devices.

18. DIP switch

A DIP (Dual In-line Package) switch is a manual electric switch packaged with others in a standard dual in-line package. The term may refer to an individual switch or the whole unit. The DIP switch is designed to be used on a printed circuit board (motherboard) together with other electronic motherboard components. It is usually used to customize the behavior of an electronic device for specific situations.

19. Jumper

A jumper is a short length of conductor that is used to close, open or bypass part of an electronic circuit. Typically, jumpers are used to set up or configure printed circuit boards like the motherboard.

20. Heat sink

A heat sink is a cooling system or passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by parts of motherboard into a fluid medium like liquid or air. The fluid medium will dissipate away from the device. Thus, the temperature of the device is kept within a tolerable range. On the motherboard, the heatsink is usually used to cool CPU, GPU (graphics processing unit), chipsets and RAM modules.

21. Floppy controller

In old motherboard the floppy drive connects to the computer via a 34-pin ribbon cable, one end of ribbon cable is connect to floppy drive and other is connected to the motherboard.

S/NComponentsFunctions
1Keyboard & MouseThis Port is used to connect keyboard and mouse , now a day we use USB connector for keyboard and mouse.
2 Serial or COMIt used to connect some types of modem, scanner, or digital camera.
3Parallel or PrinterYou plug your printer into the parallel, or printer, port. But now printers may use a USB port.
4USBDesigned to replace older Serial and Parallel ports, the USB (Universal Serial Bus) can connect computers with a number of devices, such as printers, keyboards, mice, scanners, digital cameras, PDAs, and more.
5Video or MonitorIt used to connect your monitor into the video port.
6Line Out  It used to connect speakers or headphone into the Line Out jack.
7Line InThe Line In jack allows you to listen to your computer using a stereo system.
8MicrophoneIt used to connect a microphone into this jack to record sounds on your computer.
9Joystick or GameIf you have a joystick, musical (MIDI) keyboard, or other gaming device, this is where you plug it in.
10Phone or ModemThe phone or modem jack is where you plug your computer into a phone line.
11Network or EthernetYou can connect your computer to a network by plugging in an Ethernet cable in this port.
12SCSI It used to connect a hard drive, CD-ROM drive, or other device to a computer.

Conclusion

Above are the list and explanation of top basic components of of a motherboard and their functions. If you have a suggestion to make about any part in this article, please contact us or drop a comment via the comment section.

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1 comment

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