They are many types of computer circuit boards, of which their main function is simply the same. Which is housing different components. Functionality may differ from board to board. Depending on the purpose it’s designed for and what sort of computer chips or hardware it houses.
What is a Computer circuit board or motherboard
This is the board that houses the different components of a computer. And provides the bus system for the attached components. If you are confused or wondering what a “bus system is ?” Well it’s simply a set of on board wires that interconnect the different components of a computer. So it can function as one unit and are normally insulated on the circuit board to prevent short circuits.
Despite housing different component of a computer, like a central processing unit(CPU). The motherboard is sensitive to electrostatic discharge. That may require you to use a grounded anti static mat. And also wear an anti static wrist strap while working on a motherboard during repairs.
Keep in mind that the motherboard determines the type of power supply you might use. And the type of casing to be used. In cases where you need a more powerful computer. That might need more power for peripheral devices such as graphic cards and other components. Not forgetting high end performance. You might want to rethink on the type of motherboard to get. Based on the demands that you might have. Cause it also determines the type of CPU to use. Depending on the type of bus system either 32(x86) or 64 bits. It also comes with expansion slots for connecting wireless network interface cards and video adapter card. Bear in mind that the expansion slots for a desk-top motherboard differs from that of a laptop computer.
Cables are used to connect different components of a computer. Which may be divided Into power and data cables. Power cables from the term itself distribute electricity from the power supply to the motherboard and other parts too. While data cables transmit data to or from storage devices. Depending on the instruction issued by the CPU on the motherboard. Additional cables connect buttons and link lights on the front of the computer case or laptop to the main board. Never force a connection when attaching cables during assembling or repair of a computer.
Comparison between a Laptop and desktop motherboard
The two kinds of circuit boards are built differently and the parts are non-interchangeable. Despite the fact that the functions, that can be performed on a desktop computer can also be performed on a laptop. Laptop main boards are much more specialized than desktops which are standardized. This is due to the fact that manufactures of laptops focus more on efficiency and compactness. As a result, they tend to follow their own specific form factor. Hence, you maybe required to obtain a replacement component from the manufacturer. As laptop circuit boards vary by manufacturer and are proprietary. The design of the laptop processor that fits on the motherboard also greatly differs. Since it is designed to use less power and create less heat than the desktop processor. This results in laptops not to require cooling devices that are large as that of a desktop computer. Leading to the use of CPU throttling in laptops. That modify the clock speed, as needed to reduce heat and power consumption. This method slightly reduces performance. But also increases the life span of some components. The special design modification allows a laptop to operate for longer periods. When using a battery power source.
Parts and functions.
They are many components that are housed on the motherboard. That range from transducers, resistors to capacitor and so on. Only to mention a few parts that play the most important role. But that does not necessary apply that the other part aren’t important too, these include.
- Processor: mainly held in the socket on the motherboard. Is known as the brain of the computer. As its responsible for fetching, execution, decoding and performing mathematical and logical calculation for the computer.
- Chip Sets: they are mainly two types of chip sets found on the motherboard, the North and South bridges. The north bridge is mainly in charge of controlling transfers between the processor and RAM model. Due to this it is sometimes referred to as the “memory controller”. And that’s the reason why its located near the processor. While the south bridge is normally referred to as the “expansion controller”. As it handles connections between peripheral devices and the processor.
- Main Memory: usually refers to random access memory (RAM) and not the hard drive. Which is a secondary storage device. It temporarily stores data to enhance computer performance. By allowing the processor to fetch and execute data from a faster storage. Unlike hard drives that are slow and can hold information even when the computer is turned off. Random access memory tends to be volatile as it loses information when power is off.
- Expansion Slots/buses: these are the input/output pathways to peripheral devices and are mainly made of series of slots on the motherboard. The most common expansion slots in computers are peripheral component interconnect and peripheral component interconnect express. They mostly carry data, memory addresses, control signals and power.
- BIOS: The basic input/output system (BIOS) is a “read only memory”. That contains the low-level software for controlling hardware. And acts as an interface between the hardware and the operating system. It is mainly associated with the complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS). That stores and holds the BIOS configuration settings. That helps the computer not to reconfigure itself during startup. Unlike BIOS, its volatile and has a CMOS battery that helps in keeping date and time.
- CPU Clock: It is used for synchronizing the operations for all the parts on a computer. And provides a basic timing signal for the CPU. It uses a quartz crystal and feeds a constant flow of pulse for the operation of the CPU.
Despite the difference of architectural design of motherboards, between trade companies or manufacturers. They all fall under Von Neumann or Harvard architecture. And the components that implement the functions of fetching, executing and decoding are entirely the same on all main boards. The north and south bridge actually connect two buses. That’s the reason why they are called bridges. Information isn’t directly transmitted between the processor and RAM. But passes through the cache memory which is way faster than main memory. Hence, making it more expensive than RAM. Regular maintenance has to be conducted. So that your computer continues running smoothly. And to avoid down time due to accumulated dust or loose cables.