Choosing a Motherboard for Your PC
The motherboard is a Printed Circuit Board which acts as the main platform for communication between all other components of a system. Not only does the motherboard provide a place for the CPU to sit, but it also handles every bit of data that passes in and out of the CPU. Choosing a right type of motherboard that is compatible with other parts of the computer is a vital step in determining the overall speed of your PC. IBM invented the core PC motherboard design.
What Are the Different Motherboard Components of an IBM PC?
The motherboard consists of various components which have their own role to play in the functioning of a computer.
- BIOS: BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. It is a motherboard component in the form of an Integrated chip. This chip contains all the information and settings of the motherboard which you can modify by entering the BIOS mode from your computer. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code necessary to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.
- Random Access Memory(RAM) Slots: This is the working place of your computer, where active programs and data are loaded so that any time the processor requires them, it doesn't have to fetch them from the hard disk. For installing RAM modules, a motherboard may have two or more slots, and they position near the CPU socket.
- Chipsets: This is a group of small circuits that coordinate the flow of data to and from a PC's key components. These key components include the CPU itself, the main memory, the secondary cache, and any devices situated on the buses.
- Expansion bus: It is an input/output pathway from the CPU to peripheral devices and it is typically made up of a series of slots on the motherboard. Expansion cards plug into the bus. PCI is the most common expansion bus in a PC and other hardware platforms.
What Are Some of the Factors to Consider?
- Form factor: Basically, this is a set of standards that include the size and shape of the board, the arrangement of the mounting holes, the power interface, and the type and placement of ports and connectors. As a rule of thumb, choose the case to fit the motherboard, not vice versa.
- Processor support: Ensures that you choose a motherboard that supports both the type and speed of processor you intend to use and has the correct type of socket for that processor.
- Chipset: This cannot be overlooked, as it is what runs the show on the motherboard. A chipset is the motherboard software and hardware that combines to allow all the various components to communicate. For instance, it controls data flow to and from hard disks and other devices connecting to the IDE channels.