In science fiction and to some extent the military a mother ship is the main hub for all action. The mother ship holds smaller ships or aircraft, sending each on its independent way. A computer’s motherboard is similar. The motherboard is the single most important component on a computer. Without a circuit board, which is what the motherboard is, the elements that run the computer would have nowhere to rest. The microprocessor has to connect to something in order for it to function, as do the other components.
If you open your computer, finding the motherboard is the easiest task; it’s the board with everything connected to it. But what exactly is affixed to the motherboard? While it has places for attachments of all kinds, the motherboard contains at least five vital parts:
1. A clock that controls the time in the computer.
2. A BIOS chip that controls how the computer is set up.
3. A socket for the microprocessor, which is the computer’s brain.
4. A chip set that connects the CPU to other elements.
5. A number of slots for different amount of memory to be installed.
In addition to these main components, there are also expansion slots and various power connections that keep the elements working. It’s important to realize that motherboards are not unchangeable. In fact, the motherboard is the most unique part of a computer; it’s what determines whether the computer is high tech or basic; whether it’s used for heavy gaming or basic computing. The type of motherboard that comes with the computer will vary, but users who wish for more speed or power in their PC will often build their own motherboards.
Ultimately, the motherboard is important only because it houses the truly important components that run the computer. But without a place to stay, those components would have no way to operate.