Motherboards: what are they and how to choose one

One of the most basic requirements of any home computer system is the motherboard, and while you may have heard of this part of the computer, you may not be sure what exactly it is. If you are thinking of building your own computer or upgrading your existing computer, you may be considering which motherboard to buy. But what decisions will you have to make, and how will your choice of motherboard affect the other components you choose?

If you look inside a computer, you will notice that there is a main circuit board that covers most of one side of the computer. You will probably notice a number of other small circuits and components that are also connected to this main circuit board. The main circuit board inside a computer is the motherboard, and it is this circuit board through which most of the other components communicate with each other.

The motherboard is where the computer’s processor connects, and this can make a big difference when it comes to selecting a processor or motherboard for a new computer or an upgrade. Not all motherboards and processors will work together. There are a number of different accessories attached to each one, and just like puzzle pieces, only some processors will fit certain motherboards.

Typically, you will choose your processor first, and then once you’ve made this choice, you will identify a motherboard that will be able to accommodate the type of processor you have. There are other motherboard characteristics that you will need to consider as well, such as the number of slots available and the size.

Because all other circuit boards, such as memory, graphics cards, sound cards, modems, and ports, connect to the motherboard, it is essential that you think carefully about which components and how many components you are likely to need. . It’s always best to overestimate, as often after a few months or a year or two you’ll want to upgrade again as technology continues to improve and prices continue to drop.

Some of the cheaper motherboards have integrated sound and some even have integrated graphics. This means that the motherboard will include sound and graphics cards. This can help with the cost, but it can also mean that there is no room to add a separate sound card or graphics card, and the quality of the video and audio generated by a motherboard will almost certainly be considerably lower than having one. dedicated card. card.

The other aspect to consider is size, as motherboards come in a number of different sizes, although there are generally two popular ones. These include the largest size, which allows you to add a lot of additional cards and memory, or the smallest size, which has less room to add additional components, but will mean that the final size of your computer is not too large and will fit even under conditions overcrowding.

So while motherboards are the essential foundation for the rest of your computer, they are often among the last things to be decided, as there are many other things that need to be considered first and then assembled once you’ve made your decisions for separated.