Alternatively referred to as the mbmainboardmobomobdbackplane boardbase boardplanar board,system board, or logic board on Apple computers. The motherboard is a printed circuit that is the foundation of a computer and allows the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components to function with each other. Below is a graphic illustration of the ASUS P5AD2-E motherboard and some basic explanations of each of the major portions of the motherboard. Clicking on the below image will give you a larger more detailed version of the below picture.
Computer motherboard

Motherboard components

Below is a listing of links that describe each of the above mentioned motherboard components in additional detail. Links are listed in clockwise order going from the top-left corner of the image. Components not listed above or found on other motherboards are listed in the next section.

  1. Expansion slots
  2.  (PCI Express, PCI, and AGP)
  3. 3-pin case fan connectors
  4. Back pane connectors
  5. Heatsink
  6. 4-Pin (P4) power connector
  7. Inductor
  8. Capacitor
  9. CPU Socket
  10. Northbridge
  11. Screw hole
  12. Memory slot
  13. Super I/O
  14. Floppy connection
  15. ATA (IDE) disk drive primary connection
  16. 24-pin ATX power Supply connector
  17. Serial ATA connections
  18. Coin cell battery (CMOS backup battery)
  19. RAID
  20. System panel connectors
  21. FWH
  22. Southbridge
  23. Serial port connector
  24. USB headers
  25. Jumpers
  26. Integrated circuit
  27. 1394 headers
  28. SPDIF
  29. CD-IN
Other motherboard components

Below is a listing of other motherboard components that are not shown in the above small picture or have been part of older computer motherboards.

  1. BIOS
  2. Cache memory
  3. Chipset
  4. Diode
  5. Dip switches
  6. Electrolytic
  7. Fuse
  8. Game port and MIDI header
  9. Internal speaker
  10. LCC
  11. Network header
  12. Obsolete expansion slots (AMR, CNR, EISA, ISA, VESA)
  13. Obsolete memory slots (SIMM)
  14. Onboard LED
  15. Parallel port header
  16. PS/2 header
  17. Resistor
  18. Serial port header
  19. Screw hole aka mounting hole
  20. SCSI
  21. Voltage regulator
  22. Voltage regulator module (VRM)
Motherboard form factors
As computers advanced, so have motherboards. Below is a listing of the various motherboard form factors and additional information about each of these form factors including ATX the most commonly used motherboard form factor today.
  1. AT
  2. ATX
  3. Baby AT
  4. BTX
  5. LPX
  6. Full AT
  7. Full ATX
  8. microATX
  9. NLX

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