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Motherboard parts and their functions

The motherboard is called a computer’s backbone in the technological world. It’s the central wheel to which all these parts attach, so that they work in consort. Computer without the motherboard, collection of parts will not function at all. Today we look at the different parts to a motherboard, and what roles they play.

1. CPU Socket:
The CPU socket is where the processor sits on the motherboard. It serves as a link between the CPU and motherboard, making communication smooth. Each socket is tailored to a different model of processor, so when upgrading or building your own system you have to make sure it’s compatible.

2. Expansion Slots:
A computer needs expansion slots for adding extra functionality. Among other things, these slots can accommodate graphics card, soundcards, network cards or storage controllers. There are different kinds of expansion slots, such as PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), PCI ( Peripheral Component Inter connect ), and AGP ( Accelerated Graphics Port).

3. RAM Slots:
RAM slots on the motherboard are where memory modules go. Besides providing a location to temporarily store and access data, RAM also has an impact on overall computer performance. Different models of motherboard are able to support varying quantities and types of RAM, so compatibility should be checked beforehand.

4. BIOS Chip:
The computer’s hardware is initialized at the time of boot-up by a very small chip, Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) which also acts as an intercession between operating systems and different pieces of hardware. Secondly, BIOS gives users the ability to access and manage system settings such as boot order or frequency of clocks.

5. Power Connectors:
The motherboard’s connectors provide power to the components. The main power connector, normally a 24-pin or 20+4- pin type is for feeding electricity to the motherboard itself. For example, the 4 or 8-pin CPU power connector powers up the CPU and PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) connectors juice up graphics cards.

6. SATA Connectors:
The connectors used for storage devices like hard drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA). These high-speed data connectors allow the motherboard to communicate with storage devices.

7. USB Headers:
USB headers connect the ports of a Universal Serial Bus (USB). These ports can support numerous peripherals, like keyboards, mice and printers as well as external storage drives. Whether or not USB headers are on the front and back of the motherboard is determined by a computer’s design.

8. Chipset:
A chipset is a collection of integrated circuits that controls data flow between the CPU, memory and other peripherals. It also controls various system resources, and offers such advanced functions as USB, PCIe and SATA. Basically the chipset determines a motherboard’s overall capabilities, whether it has two or five USB ports available, which graphics cards are supported.

9. CMOS Battery:
The CMOS battery is a small battery that powers the chip on the motherboard EPROM containing BIOS settings. Thus when a computer is turned off or unplugged from its power source, the settings for BIOS are maintained.

10. Heat Sinks and Cooling Fans:
Essentially, a heat sink and one or even two cooling fans are required to dissipate the excess heat generated by both the CPU chipset plus others. These parts prevent overheating that can lead to stability and performance problems. Power consumption for heating determines the size and design of heat sinks and fans.