Motherboard Types and Components Explained
Since the time you were familiar with your PC components, you must have been curious about why the motherboard is called so?
Not only your PC and laptop but also your phones and tablets consist of a motherboard. But what is it exactly?
In simpler words, a circuit board which acts as the source of communication between all the other components of your PC is known as the motherboard. The motherboard enacts the job of a controller by regulating the functions of other components. The computer processor, built on the motherboard is the most essential component of the computer.
If you are planning to become a PC assembler, then this should be first and the foremost topic for you to know. There are specific types of computer processors which to be mounted on a particular motherboard. So before you initiate your job of assembling, let’s check out the various types of motherboards.
What are the Different Types of Motherboards?
Motherboards can be categorized based on various fields, for example, the technique of assembling.
1. Integrated processors
Your PC provides facilities like audio, video, graphics, to get the best of these they require components. Apart from these, peripheral slots, input-output ports, and serial-parallel ports are some of the components which engage vigorously in the execution of your computer programs. When the aforementioned components are equipped in the motherboard, then your motherboard is an integrated type motherboard.
Let’s take an example; in order to enable your system to be connected to nearby networks a network chip is required. In integrated motherboard, the network chip is mounted on the motherboard itself. The manufacturing cost of an integrated motherboard is the economical side. However, the only con is if any of the components flunks, the entire board needs to be replaced. Buying a new motherboard is a cheaper option than repairing the previous one.
2. Non- integrated processors
The components of this type of motherboard can be customized according to your will. Here electronic parts are built individually like RAM and input-output ports. These ports are mounted on the motherboard by utilizing various expansion slots. So, it provides the liberty to add one or more constituents according to your desire.
In this type of motherboards, each and every component needs to be bought and then fixed. Thus the associative costs become quite high. Apart from this, extra expansion slots need to be purchased, which intensifies the cost even more. This is the only hurdle of designing a pc with a non-integrated motherboard. The benefit is, even if a single component breaks, it can be repaired. Mending this motherboard is more convenient as well as cheaper.
Classification based on processors
This way of individualizing a motherboard is hinged upon the sockets of a motherboard. Do you know most of the CPUs available in the market are compatible only with particular motherboards?
Go through the detailed explanation to know more. These are the most popular socket types based upon which a motherboard is classified.
1. Socket A Motherboards
These motherboards are designed especially for the Durons and AMD processors. Also known as Socket 464 motherboard, the CPU socket of the motherboard consists of 462 pins. This particular motherboard materializes in a Pin Grid Array (PGA) packaging. The Socket A Motherboard can speed up to 100 to 200 MHz.
2. Socket 370 Motherboards
These types of motherboards are specially manufactured for Celeron and Pentium III Processors. As the name suggests, the CPU socket launched inside the motherboard consists of 370 pins. It is compatible with the VIA C3 and VIA Cyrix III Processors. Alike the former one, this one is also packaged in the form of Pin Grid Array. The range of the bus speed attained by this one is slightly lower than the Socket A type. The minimum and maximum speeds promised by it are 66 and 133 MHz respectively.
3. Socket 378 Motherboards
This one is built especially for the most famous, Pentium 4 processors. This motherboard is meant for CPUs with 478 pins. It not only supports Pentium 4 but also can be compatible with Intel Pentium M and Intel Pentium 4EE processors. This is also known as Socket N motherboard and can display a speed of 100 to 200 MHZ, like the Socket A type.
4. Socket T Motherboards
This motherboard is specially fabricated by keeping in mind the Intel Xeon, Intel Core 2 Duo, and Intel Core 2 Quad processors. These are not the only processors it can support. It can also enact its performance in other Intel processors like the Celeron D, Pentium D, Pentium 4 and Pentium XE to name a few. Sometimes termed as LGA 775, the CPU socket consists of 775 pins. The most astonishing factor about this motherboard is its high bus speed of 1600 MHZ. like the previous ones, there is also packaged in a PGA format.
5. Socket 939 Motherboards
Mainly manufactured for the AMD family, it can sustain AMD processors like the Opteron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX. The CPU socket consists of a total 939 pins. Also comes in a PGA packaging, the bus speed ranges from 200 to 1000 MHZ.
6. Socket AM3 Motherboards
Launched in the year 2009, this motherboard is one of the most utilized Motherboards in today’s technological era. This one is also built keeping in mind the AMD family, especially the AMD Athlon II and AMD Phenom II processors. The bus speed varies between 200 to 3200 MHZ, and it consists of 941 pins. This also comes in a usual PGA packaging.
7. Socket H Motherboards
This motherboard is specially weaved for the Intel family. Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, and Intel Core i5 are some of the processors this motherboard is compatible with. Also known as LGA 1156, this motherboard comes in large Grid array (LGA) packaging format. It consists of a total of 1162 pins and is ensured to operate at a high speed.
Classification Based on Dimension
We differentiate everything based on their dimension. So why leave out the most essential motherboard right?
1. ATX Motherboards
ATX abbreviated as Advanced Technology Extended possess a width of 7.5 inches and a length of 12 inches. The bus speed of this type of motherboard is generally around 100 MHZ. in this type of motherboard, the USB ports and the I/O ports utilized for the motherboard are mounted directly in it. It is made to support the Intel processors.
2. Full AT Motherboards
This is was one of the first motherboards designed in the history of motherboard designing. The manufacturing of this motherboard was stalled, due to arising of overheating problems as well as complex mechanism. It was 11 inches in length and 12 inches in width, it was one of the backdated processors which are not used today.
3. Baby AT Motherboards
Designed especially for classic Pentium processors, it has a length of 10 inches and a width of 8.5 inches. You can easily recognize this motherboard by spotting the DIN keyboard connector at the right top corner of the motherboard.
What are the various components of a motherboard?
The motherboard consists of several components. Each component is assigned a specific task to maintain the overall functioning of the computer. Let us check out their name and the task they play.
ISA slots- found in the AT boards they are the oldest known expansion slots to be used in the motherboards. Abbreviated as Industry Standard Architecture it is a 16-bit bus.
PCI Slots- one of the most vital components of the motherboard, it is utilized for the installation of add-on cards.
AGP slot- abbreviated as Accelerated graphics port(AGP), it is required to install the latest graphics card.
- RAM memory slots
SIMM slots – found in older version of motherboards, the full form is the single in-line memory module.
DIMM slots- known as the double inline memory module, these are the latest slots of 64-bits which are comparatively faster.
- CPU Sockets
Some vital CPU slots are explained below
Socket 7- a 321 pin socket used to support backdated processors.
Socket 370- supports mainly Celeron and Pentium 3 processors.
Socket 775- a 775-pin socket which is compatible with Xeon and Intel processors.
Socket 1366- it is compatible with the latest i-7 900 processors.
Known as Basic Input Output System, this is an integrated chip which consists of all the settings and data of the motherboard.
The task of the battery or a 3.0 volts lithium cell is to stock the information in BIOS.
- Power Connectors – Mainly, there are 2 types of power connectors- the ATX and the AT connectors. These are required to receive power from the SMPS.
- IDE connector – Abbreviated as Integrated Drive Electronics connectors these used to connect disk drives. The 34-pin connector is meant for floppy drives whereas the 40-pin is for the hard disk drives.
- SATA connector – These 7-pin connectors are the latest connectors used to interface latest optical drive.
- Co-processor – One of the essential components, it helps in computer graphics and calculations.
- Cabinet Connections – The motherboard is installed in a cabinet which consists of various buttons that connect to the motherboard.
So now this whole mystery of motherboards is all clear in front of your eyes. And once you are acquainted with the various components of the motherboard and their functions, you will be all set to bag that assembling job.