Computer Motherboard | Types | Function | Components

Computer Motherboard | Types | Function | Components

What is Motherboard

Motherboard Definition – Here, We will define motherboard with simple term that is used in computer.  Motherboard is also known as different names (meaning) such as “Main Board” or “Logical Board” “MB”, “Mboard”,  “Mobo”,  “Mobd”, “Backplane board”,  “Base Board”,  “Main Circuit Board”,  “Planar Board”, “System Board”. On the computer motherboard, design very thin layers of may be copper or aluminum, and it also called the “traces”. Various electronic circuits are printed on the motherboard; with using those circuits can be done communication through buses in between all components of computers.

Motherboard is backbone of computer as well as also called the “HUB”.  My motherboard allows attaching all essential parts of computer such as CPU (central processing unit), memory (internal & external), sockets, ports and connectors for connecting the all input and output peripheral.

Types of Computer Motherboard

There are two different types of motherboard, and below explain each one.

  • Question – How many types of motherboard?
  • Answer – Two types of motherboard.

Non-integrated Motherboard:

Mostly, traditional motherboard were designed as non- integration. These types of motherboard were not support directly of various connectors such as I/O port connectors, hard drive connectors, CD drive connectors, and more. Use the expansion board for connecting those connectors on those types of motherboards, so its case has more space for using the external expansion cards. If any components gets defect then they can be repair and maintain with low cost.

Integrated Motherboard:

Today, all motherboards are designed as integration. These types of motherboard no need external expansion card because all ports and connectors such as Serial and parallel ports, IDE, CD drive , and more are embedded on the motherboard but its repair and maintenance  is costly to non integration motherboard. There are some features like as well accessibility, fast speed, and cost effective along with their rich features.

READ MORE – What is Computer Monitor | Types | Function

Motherboard Form Factors

In Motherboard form factor, measure various factors such as logical design, size, its components, and power supply connectors placement in the motherboard.

Types of Motherboard according to Motherboard form factors

  • AT Motherboard
  • Baby AT Motherboard
  • XT Motherboard
  • Fully ATX Motherboard
  • Micro-ATX Motherboard
  • Flex-ATX
  • LPX Motherboard
  • BTX Motherboard
  • Pico BTX Motherboard
  • Mini ITX Motherboard
  • E-ATX Motherboard

AT Motherboard:

AT stands for “Advance Technology”.  AT Motherboard was tradition motherboard that was introduced by IBM Company in 80s. Those types of motherboards were size (dimensions (13.8 x 12 inch)) and shape approximate double to other using motherboards. Due to their big size, they were not able to use in small size desktop computers because in which was used 386 processors, and had big challenging task if to be install, service and upgrade in the computer due to their complicated layout.

Examples are P-III Processors

Features are:

  • SD RAM slots
  • PGA sockets
  • 20 pin connectors
  • PCI and ISA expansion slots
  • Serial mouse connector
  • Keyboard connector

Baby AT Motherboard:

Baby AT Motherboards was developed by IBM in 1987 while decreasing the dimension to last AT motherboard

Baby AT motherboard has to combine both features of AT and XT motherboard. Baby AT motherboard required small space compare to AT motherboard. Due to small size, their installation and service were performed very easy.

Baby AT motherboard was getting more demands in growing computer hardware industry. Baby AT Motherboard had only one keyboard connector which was known as DIN, but if users want to connect more devices to motherboard then in which had expansion slot, and with using that could be connected more needed card while getting their extra benefits and functionalities.

Examples are Pentium-III and Pentium-IV

Features are:

  • SD and DDR RAM slots
  • PGA processor sockets
  • 12 and 20 pin connectors
  • PCI and ISA expansion slots
  • DIN port (big keyboard)
  • Serial mouse port

XT Motherboard:

XT full name is “Extended Technology“. XT motherboard was developed by IBM in 1983. In XT motherboard, use traditional Logic Board.

Features are:

  • 12 pins connectors
  • RAM expansion slots ISA (Industry Standard Architecture)
  • DIMM slots
  • Processor along with LIF(Low Insertion force)

Instead of them, if you want to use other port then you have to go market for buying Add-ON card, and insert it on the XT motherboard. Now you are able to avail extra functionalities of XT motherboard.

Fully ATX Motherboard:

ATX stands for “Advanced technology extended“. Due to some problems in AT motherboard, Intel Corporation was decided for developing the fully ATX motherboard along with extra functionalities to AT motherboard. Fully ATX motherboard occupies low space compares to AT motherboard as well as has options to interchange of their connected parts.

Examples are – Pentium-IV, Dual Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Quad Core, i3, i5 and i7 Processors

Feature included:

  • DIMM slots
  • MPGA CPU socket
  • 12 and 20 pin connectors
  • SATA and IDE connectors
  • PCI, ISA, and AGP expansion slots
  • Micro ATX Motherboards

Micro-ATX Motherboard:

Micro ATX motherboard is small size compare to ATX motherboard, and its dimension is 9.6 x 9.6 inch. Micro ATX motherboard contains only maximum of four Express expansion slots as well as these types of motherboard is cost effective to ATX motherboard.


Flex-ATX mother board is family member of Micro ATX motherboard and it was introduce by Intel in 2000. Flex-ATX was small size so it mostly used for personal computer, but in which use latest technology. This motherboard had low cost but no more famous in computer industry.

LPX Motherboard:

LPX stands for “Low Profile extension“, and LPX motherboard was invented by Western Digital in 1987. LPX motherboard use the riser card, and riser card contains various slots for video, parallel, serial, and PS/2 ports as well as LPX motherboard is made with 9″ wide and 13″ deep dimension. User can use more extra functionalities while connecting extension cards with parallel to motherboard, and LPX motherboard occupies very low space due to his slimmer size.

BTX Motherboard:

Balanced Technology extended” is full name of BTX.  BTX motherboard was developed by Intel in 2003 along with short out all problems over the ATX motherboard. BTX motherboard work as a low profile features, and supportable to various dimensional motherboards as well as more verities of motherboard components. But due to some problems, Intel was decided for stopping this BTX motherboard in 2006.  

Advantages are:           

  • Low power consumption
  • Produce very low heat
  • Support to well cooling capabilities
  • Reduce the latency between both Northbridge and Southbridge
  • Well logical design for rear side Input/output controller

Pico BTX Motherboard:

Pico BTX motherboard is smaller like as “micro” in size, so it is known as “Pico”. Pico BTX motherboard can support to one or two extension slots.

Mini ITX Motherboard:

Mini ITX motherboard was developed by VIA in 2001 with slimmer compare to other using traditional motherboard. Mini ITX motherboard is not getting more heat due to their less power consumption layout design. These motherboards have more beneficial for home theater because it reduces the fan noise, and enhance the picture quality. Mini ITX motherboard has only one expansion slot along with 33 MHz 5V 32-bit PCI slot.

E-ATX Motherboard:

E-ATX is also called with full name “extended ATX Motherboard“. E-ATX motherboard is large in size but its large sizes not its disadvantage because these types of motherboard use for mainly playing games.

Benefits are:

  • Contain more PCI and DIMM slots.
  • Some extra features such as Wi-Fi and sound cards are embedded in the motherboard.
  • Can be support maximum of 128 GB RAM.
  • Use various core CPU.
  • In built features are over clocking, USB 3.0, and USB 3.1.

Motherboard Components

Here, we will spread the light on various motherboards’ parts (ports) name along with block diagram as well as its functions.

Motherboard Architecture and its Layout


Parts of Motherboard and its Function:

PS/2 Connector:

Stands for “Personal System”, and it were designed by IBM in 1987. PS/2 connectors were used in traditional motherboard for various devices such as mouse and keyboard. It has 6-pin connector along with mini DIN plug.

USB Connector:

Stands for  “Universal serial bus”. USB is designed mostly for personal computer’s devices such as keyboards, scanners, cameras, and printers. It has various verities in market along with rectangular shape. In USB, no need to restart computer after connecting the computer peripherals.

Parallel Port:

In conventional printers were used to parallel port, and parallel port is also known as “Centronics Port”. Parallel port has to use 25-pin F/M DB connector as well as use dangle for direct support dangle.  In parallel port used couples of wire, and with the help of these parallel ports can be send and receive data simultaneously.

CPU Chip:

Stands for “Central Processing Unit”, and is also known as “Microprocessor”. CPU is able to perform all activates related to logically. CPU works as “Brain of Computer“. CPU is available in market various sizes as well as numerous shapes. Need a fan or heat sink for providing cooling to CPU because they arises huge heat.

CPU Socket:

CPU socket is very important part of motherboard because main goal of CPU socket is to install the various processors on the mother board. There are some sockets like as

  • Socket 7 – has 321 pins, and support to Intel Pentium 1/2/MMX, AMD k5/K6, and Cyrix M2.
  • Socket 370 – has 370 pins, and support to Celeron processors and Pentium-3 processors.
  • Socket 775 – has 775 pins, and support to dual core, C2D, P-4 and Xeon processors.
  • Socket 1156 – Modern motherboard, In which use 1156 pins, and supportable to latest Intel i-3, i-5 and i-7 processors.
  • Socket 1366 – has 1366 pins, and support to latest i-7 900 processors.

RAM Slot:

RAM slots are used for connecting RAM on the motherboard. RAM has various varieties in the nature of data capacities, and it measure in Bytes.

RAM has to use two slots are:

  • SIMM stands for “single in-line memory module”, and supportable to 32-bit bus.
  • DIMM stands for “Double inline memory module”, and it is able to support 64-bit bus.

Floppy Controller:

Floppy controller helps to entire control over the floppy drive. In which use the 34-pin ribbon cable that provide connection with motherboard.

IDE Controller:

Stands for “Integrated Drive Electronics”, and is also known as ATA or parallel ATA (PATA). Main objective of IDE is have to control all activities of hard drives along with 40-pin ribbon cable. There are two types like as EIDE and SCSI drives. Both controller have own different functionalities because EIDE uses for mostly personal computer, and other uses for high volume network servers.

Cabinet Front Buttons:

 At the front of cabinet, various buttons are embedded such as Power button, Reset button, Front USB, Front Audio, Power indicator (LED) and HDD LED.

PCI Slot:

Stands for “Peripheral component interconnect”, and it was developed by Intel. With the help of PCI, can be connected expansion board in your PC, and allows connecting extra devices such as network cards, sound cards, modems, video cards. Today, mostly use the ISA bus instead to PCI bus.

ISA Slot:

Stands for  “Industry Standard Architecture”.  Motherboard allows accepting various ISA compatible cards such as MODEM.

CMOS Battery:

Stands for  “Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor”. CMOS contains all credential information which is stored in BIOS (Basic Input Output System) such as saved date and time. CMOS is placed on the motherboard in three different modes like as external battery, common onboard battery, and built-in battery.

AGP Slot:

Stands for  “Accelerated Graphics Port”. AGP slot mostly have to use for connecting video cards with PC. It has more accessing power to operate the graphic card.

CPU Slot:

CPU slot is used for attaching the CPU on the motherboard, and on the CPU slot to be used notches that help to insert CPU with correct manner if you try to place CPU on the motherboard then that notches deny to insert CPU because may be your inserting method is wrong.

Power Supply Plug in:

This power supply helps to circulate the electrical power to all components of computer system, and its power has standard 110-V AC. The power supply connector uses 20 pins model. Finally, power has to change into various form like as +/-12-Volt, +/-5-Volt, and 3.3-Volt DC power.

Two types of power connectors are:

  • AT connector – 6 pin male connectors
  • ATX connector – 20 or 24 pin female connectors

Switches and Jumpers:

There are three types such as DIP (Dual In-Line Package), Jumper pins, and Jumper caps. DIP switch is placed on the circuit board, and it has flexibilities for turn on or off. Jumper pins uses for making the bridge to complete the circuit. Jumper caps to be used to configure the all types of expansion cards.

Other Components Are:

Heat Sink – Heat sink device uses for cooling down to hot component such as “Processor”.

Coil – The main goal of coil is to use for eliminates to power spikes and power dips.

Capacitor – Capacitors help to save the electrical energy into electric field.

RAID – Stands for “Redundant Array of Independent Disks”,  and use for enhancing the performance of storage area that use in computer disk.

Functions of Motherboard

Here, we will discuss about various uses of motherboard, and motherboard’s working.

  • The first function of motherboard has to provide the best logical layout because all important processing components of computer (Central Processing Unit (CPU), system memory (RAM) and graphics card) are embedded on motherboard, and motherboard create interface between in all components. It is known as Components’ Hub.
  • The motherboard has circuit board, and on the circuit board is designed different pathways are known as buses. Those pathways help to be transfer data to all computer components.
  • The motherboard manages to circulate power for parts of computer as per their requirement.
  • The motherboard works as a communication center to entire computer’ components that are connected with it direct or indirect. Motherboard helps to send all data traffic for all computer’ part as per their need.
  • ROM (Read Only Memory) is attached on the motherboard. ROM has to save preprogram is known as BIOS (Basic Input / Output System), and BIOS provides the assistance for booting process while turning on power of your computer.
  • Motherboard allows connecting various computer components direct or indirect. There are some peripherals such as printers, keyboard, audio jacks, hard drives and mouse. Those are connecting directly to motherboard via various ports, sockets, and connectors.

Features of Motherboard

There are numerous importances of motherboard as well as their advantages.

  • Motherboard has various varieties then users can select as per need.
  • Motherboard is supportable to single CPU along with some kinds of components.
  • Motherboard allows to expansion cards, and with using those cards users can use extra functionalities of motherboard.
  • In latest Motherboard, Video cards, graphic cards, sound cards are built-in.
  • Some motherboards are supportable to multiple hard drives.
  • Up gradation – Today, All modern motherboard upgrade itself. If user wants to use video game software so need to increase the capacity of motherboard. Then no need to new motherboard.
  • Motherboard’ layout is designed very simple because user can change any components of motherboard without hiring any expert.

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