Monday, June 01, 2009


The motherboard is the most essential component of the system unit's computing abilities. Coming in several designs and shapes, the most flexible and popular design is the ATX which can happily slot into desktop, full tower and mini-tower cases with excellent design for cooling, and input/output connections. Two other major designs, NLX and WTX are worth briefly noting. The NLX design has integrated Ethernet and known as being the easiest to service, making it very popular among technicians! WTX is a fairly new design (first released 1998) and is orientated towards mid-range workstations.

The basic components of a motherboard are as follows: the ROM BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), the processor or CPU, Floppy Disk and IDE or SCSI connectors (Hard Disk Drivers/CD Drives), slots for memory chips, slots for extra cards (e.g., video cards, internal modems, adapter cards), input/Output connectors for keyboard, mouse, monitor, printers, scanners, speakers etc. IDE or SCSI Data cables connect the motherboard to the disk drives. The entire board is etched, in a manner that many find aesthetically quite beautiful, for the transfer of electricity and data.

From turning on the power the supply provides electricity to the motherboard. The BIOS is loaded into the CPU which then searches for a disk operating system. If that loads correctly, the user can issue instructions through input devices connected to the motherboard and with results sent via the motherboard to output devices.

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