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Computer motherboards are printed circuit boards (PCBs) that house basic computer circuitry and vital components. They are devices into which other computer boards or cards are plugged. Computer motherboards manage all of the data transactions between the central processing unit (CPU) and the peripherals. Therefore, the processor or CPU type is an important specification to consider when selecting computer motherboards. Choices include processors from Intel and AMD.
Computer Motherboard Specifications
In addition to CPU type, computer motherboards carry product specifications for processor socket, chipset type, maximum speed, and memory capacity.
Types of processor sockets include Socket 1, Socket 7, Socket 370, and Socket A. Computer motherboards with Slot 1, Socket 478, and land grid array (LGA) processor sockets are also available.
Chipset types are listed by their manufacturer. Choices include computer motherboard chipsets from companies such as Intel, VIA Technology, Silicon Integrated System Corp. (SiS), Ali, and nVidia.
Maximum speed is the maximum transfer rate supported by the processor.
Memory capacity is the maximum memory supported.
Product specifications for computer motherboards include expansion slots or ports.
Choices include CPU slots for active backplanes and ISA slots for ISA cards.
Computer motherboards may also be equipped with PCI slots for PCI cards, or slots for Mini PCI or PCI Express cards.
Some suppliers of computer motherboards offer products with slots for Compact PCI (cPCI), PXI, VME, VXI, or MXI.
Support for serial ATA ports (SATA) and USB may also be available.
The maximum number of USB ports is specified for computer motherboards with USB slots.
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Features of Computer Motherboards
Computer motherboards differ in terms of on-board features. These include a parallel interface, a serial interface, and floppy drive support.
Parallel ports such provide a channel that can transfer more than one bit simultaneously.
Serial ports or interfaces such as RS232 are designed to transmit one bit at a time.
Some computer motherboards provide an on-board SCSI interface. Others have on-board IDE channels. Computer motherboards with features such on-board video controllers and on-board Ethernet controllers are also available.
There are several major certifications for computer motherboards. Products that are sold in Europe should comply with the RoHS requirements. In the United States, the FCC establishes and maintains regulatory requirements for devices such as computer motherboards. Non-governmental certifications and approvals are available from Underwriters Laboratories (UL).Read user Insights about Computer Motherboards
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Backplanes are circuit boards that contain sockets or expansion slots for connections to other circuit boards. There two types of backplanes: active and passive.