WWS Technology Wiki


Computer motherboard annotated 600.jpg

Jesse Zukerberg

The motherboard by itself is useless, but a computer cannot function without one. The motherboard

essentially connects all of the parts of a computer and allows them to communicate with one another. The

motherboard consists of many parts, but there are several big parts that are important to understand.

Everything that allows a computer to run and enhance its performance is on the motherboard or plugs into it

through a slot or port. Motherboards have evolved a lot over the last 25 years and many new components

have been added to a standard motherboard.


One big set of parts on the motherboard are the chipsets, which essentially connect the microprocessor to the motherboard. These chipsets are two parts, commonly known as Northbridge and Southbridge.

Another big part of the motherboard is the CPU(Central Processing Unit). The CPU handles all commands received from hardware and software running on the computer.

The Basic Input/Output System performs some of the most basic functions on the computer.

Slots and Ports of a MotherBoard:

Peripheral Component Interconnect- Connection for video, sound and video capture cards.

Video Cards connect to the Accelerated Graphics Port(AGP). The AGP enhances the speed and looks of the computer’s graphics.

The Integrated Drive Electronics connects storage devices to a computer. Storage is very important for computers and almost all computers have either a floppy drive, hard drive, cd-rom drive. These parts are responsible for things like remembering data when the power goes out.

Another important component to the motherboard is the Universal Serial Bus(USB).

USB connectors allow us to attach items such as mice, keyboards, printers and other accessories computer quickly and easily.

A bus is a circuit that connects different parts of the motherboard to each other.The more data a bus can hold, the faster it can transport information to the other parts of the computer.

Motherboard (Mainboard).jpg

The Peripheral Component Interconnect(PCI)

Most motherboards have a PCI slot that allows one to connect a PCI card to the computer. The PCI is a type of bus, so it’s job is to connect components of the computer processor. Some of the components include hard disks, memory, sound systems, video systems,etc.

A heat sink is an electronic device that incorporates a fan; there are active and passive heat sinks. Active heat sinks utilize power and are in the shape of a fan, while passive heat sinks is a radiator looking fan with aluminum fins that disperse the heat throughout the heat sink.

Probably the most straightforward part to a computer is the power connector, which connects the power supply to the motherboard, essentially producing electricity for the computer to function.

Floppy Connector- This piece of the computer connects the floppy disk drive ribbon that connects the floppy drive to the motherboard.

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