Motherboard Types: Motherboard is the main component of any computer system. It is also known as “Mainboard”. It is a printed circuit board that lays the base of a computer. The main function of motherboard is to connect and make communication between different components of computer system.
It holds electronic computer parts like CPU and memory. Connectors of other input & output devices like mouse, speakers etc. are also fitted in it.
If you want to build your own computer system then it is vital to get understanding about Motherboard. You should know about the types and components of motherboard.
Lets go further and know about the different types of motherboard.
Types Of Motherboard
Below are the details of different types of motherboard.
- AT Motherboard
AT is oldest and biggest of motherboards. This form factor of mainboard was in great trend back in 1980s. Its dimensions does not allows it to fit in mini desktop. It is of 12 inch size. These motherboard consists of two identical 6-pin plugs and sockets.
Its size makes the installation of new drives more difficult.This mainboard was used in 286 processors, Pentium P5 and some Pentium II processors.
- ATX Motherboard (Advanced Technology Extended)
ATX motherboard is developed by Intel in 1995. It was a great improvement over AT motherboards. The size of ATX mainboard is smaller than AT. Its small size allows the easy installation of drives. Current and Future I/O devices are supported by it.
It comes with a new power management mode called “Sleep Mode”. This mode saves battery life when computer is not in use. In this mode, some of the components of the computer system gets power down to reduce power consumption.
Some of its notable features includes air-flow across processor, support for newer technology, small size and more. ATX Motherboard also helped in reducing the overall system cost. Some of the major benefits of ATX mainboard are improved reliability, shorter assembly time of computer system, easy to upgrading CPU/RAM, requires fewer cables and more.
For a beginner, Motherboard seems to be a complicated part of computer system. There are so many connectors, slots and wires on the mainboard. Understanding a motherboard is not that difficult. You just need to identify different parts of the mainboard and their functions.
- CPU Socket
CPU Socket also called CPU Slot is used to install CPU. Central Processing Unit (CPU) which is the brain of the any computer system. CPU is installed in the CPU Slot. To install a processor in a given socket, the CPU Socket should be compatible with the CPU.
To make sure that CPU is compatible with the motherboard socket, you have to identify the socket name. There are the different type of socket based processor AMD and Intel. Intel has sockets like Socket 7, Socket 423, Socket 775, LGA 771, Socket B, LGA 1150, LGA 2066 and more.
AMD has socket named AM1, FM2+, AM3+, FM1, AM4 and more.
- RAM Slots
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is a memory module that stores dynamic data temporarily for CPU. The RAM Slot or Memory Slot is used to insert computer memory. There are two type of memory slots.
-SIMM: This memory slot is for SIMM RAM. SIMM stands for single in-line memory module. This type of memory slots were in use older motherboards in early 1980s. These are 32 pin and 72 pin SIMMs. It have 32-bit data path.
-DIMM: DIMM is dual in-line memory module. These memory slots are used in modern computers. The installation of memory in these slots is simple and easy. Different DIMM slots supports different types of memory like DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 RAM. DIMMs uses a 64-bit data path.
BIOS is the Basic Input/Output System. It is a read only memory. It is a hardware chip that assist the computer in booting process. Infact, it stores the settings of the motherboard. The program in this BIOS chip is executed first after power-on.
It also test the hardware components before loading the bootloader.
- CMOS Battery
CMOS means complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor. It is a small memory used to store BIOS settings. This setting includes system date & time and hardware settings. It is also called CMOS RAM and Non-Volatile RAM.
CMOS Battery CR2032 lithium cell battery. This battery powers the CMOS when power gets off.
- Expansion Slots
Expansion Slots are used to improve the functionality of a PC by connecting a required hardware component. Like you can install a new video card in its required expansion slot. Below are the types of expansion slots.
-PCI Express: PCI Express or PCe is the modern and fastest standard of expansion cards. Newer mainboards come with more PCIe slots. This standard provides more bandwidth.
-PCI: PCI stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect. It is an older standard. This slot is commonly used for expansion. Motherboards still comes with PCI slots. Hardware components like modems, network cards, sound card and video card are installed on this slot.
-AGP: AGP is the Accelerated Graphics Port. This slot is used to install high performance graphics cards.
-ISA: Industry Standard Architecture is oldest expansion slots. AT Motherboards used this type of slots.
- IDE Connectors
IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics. It is an older standard to connect the IDE compatible hard drive disks and optical drives.
- SATA Connectors
Serial Advance Technology Attachment connectors are used to connect to the modern hard disk drives, solid state drives and optical disk drives. It is significantly faster than IDE connectors.
You can easily speed up your old PC by connecting a compatible hard disk drive with SATA Connectors.
- Power Connectors
Power Connectors are most important type of connectors on the motherboard. Below are the types of power connectors.
–AT Connector: This types of power connectors was found in older motherboards. It features two main power connectors each with 6 pins.
–ATX Connectors: These are modern and industry standard of power connectors in modern PC. It comes with 20 or 24 pin connectors. 4-pin or 8-pin connector can also be found in new mainboards. It is located near the processor.
- Input/Output Ports
On a motherboard there are some ports of input and output devices. It includes ports for monitor, mouse, microphone, speaker, LAN port, USB ports and more.
- Northbridge And Southbridge
Northbridge controls the data flow between processor, memory and video card. Southbridge is responsible for connecting & coordinating the data flow Input-output devices. Northbridge is much faster than Southbridge.
So there the types and components of motherboard is explained. If you are looking to build your personal computer then having an understanding about the parts of motherboard will help you to build the best PC.