A guide on the motherboard and its various components. After reading this article, you will get a fair idea about the motherboard and its various components.Before you buy a motherboard, you should decide which cpu you’re going to buy.
The socket on the motherboard supports the cpu. Intel and AMD use different types of sockets. Intel uses Land Grid Array (LGA) and AMD uses Pin Grid Array (PGA). Socket 775 and socket 1156 are the most common sockets for Intel processors (as of now). Socket 1156 is the latest one which offers support to the Core series (i3,i5,i7) processors. Socket AM2+ and AM3 are the common AMD sockets. AM3 is the latest model that offers support to CPUs like Phenom II innotechreviews.
The Front Side Bus (FSB) is a system that connects the cpu to the northbridge. The northbridge contacts the memory (RAM) and other components and passes the data to the cpu. The speed of the FSB plays a very important role in the overall performance of a computer. So choose a motherboard with a high speed FSB. This will enable you to install a faster cpu in the future, if needed. Overclocking is another advantage which I’m not going to cover here.
The north-bridge and the south-bridge together constitute the chipset. The
north-bridge is the more important component as it is more involved with the cpu. The chipset plays a major role in the graphics performance of machines without graphics cards, as it accommodates the IGP (integrated/onboard graphics processor). Other functions include memory controller (regulates communication between the CPU and RAM), graphics controller (handles communication between graphics card and CPU), onboard audio etc. So try to buy a motherboard that has a good chipset. Go to a manufacturer’s website and you will be able to find the chipset that suits your needs.
Most part of the above paragraph doesn’t hold true for the high end models of core series CPUs from Intel (i series). The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), memory controller and the graphics controller are integrated the to CPU’s die itself!
AMD had moved the memory controller to the cpu die a long time ago. But nothing much has happened since.
It is into the memory slot that you insert the RAM. DDR, DDR2 and DDR 3 are the three types of RAM that are in use today and DDR3 is the fastest of them all. The type of RAM which the motherboard uses will be specified in the manual itself. A slot can accept only one type of RAM. Always go for the motherboard that supports the latest RAM module. No. of slots and max. memory support are the two other factors. That is not very relevant for a desktop user as most of the boards these days have at least 4 slots and can support a minimum of 4 GB which is more than enough. If you’re a pro. gamer or somebody who frequently uses memory intensive programs, you may consider these 2 factors also.