Monday, 6 July 2015

Kinds Of Computer Motherboards

Computer motherboards act as the backbone for every computing solution. The computer's motherboard is a common area for devices to interface and interact through disparate connection technologies and communications protocols. There are many ways for devices to connect and many technologies for them to communicate, and as such there are many different types of motherboards, each designed with specific computing duties in mind.

Form Factor

Form factors are design specifications that set guidelines for motherboard sizes, mounting screw locations and recommendations for connection socket locations on the motherboard itself. There are two classes of form factors that are of major concern. There is the ATX specification, which has several subclasses such as mini-ATX, ATX and Extended ATX. The ATX specification is used mainly for home computing solutions such as desktops and laptops. The second form factor of concern is the SSI specification, which has subclasses such as SSI CEB and SSI EEB. These motherboard specifications are designed for high-end enterprise solutions such as data servers, workstations and rack mount servers.

CPU Socket

The next consideration in differentiating a motherboard once a form factor has been determined is the CPU socket type. Every CPU has its own connective socket that is designed to accept a particular type or family of processors. Thus a motherboard is defined secondly by the processor type it is compatible with. Socket types are designed by their respective CPU companies. Enterprise-level motherboards often support dual, quad or even octal processor sockets.

Chip Set

A motherboard's intended use often dictates the chip sets it will have. Chip sets are controllers built into a motherboard that control such things as PCIe, SATA, EIDE and RAM communications. There are traditionally two chip sets on a motherboard, the north bridge and the south bridge. Their respective functions are varied by design and can often be designed to do the same tasks. The features of a motherboard's chip sets determine if and how well a motherboard will perform in a specific application.


Motherboards can be designed to connect and communicate between a multitude of system devices. The current connective features on modern computer motherboards are designed to connect hard drives, add-on cards, CPU, system memory and peripheral device ports such as USB, Firewire and eSATA. Further, it is becoming more common for motherboard BIOS software to provide embedded tools for processor, RAM and chip set overclocking.


When choosing a motherboard for a specific purpose, it is key to begin the selection process in a specific order to ensure your motherboard is compatible with the various devices on your computing solution. Form factor, CPU type, chip sets and finally connective sockets are the order in which you should begin the motherboard selection process. Narrowing your choices by any other order can lead to selecting a motherboard that is not compatible with your computing solution.

Tags: chip sets, compatible with, computing solution, designed connect, form factor, motherboard that, selection process