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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Computer 101: What is a Computer Motherboard Really?

A lot of topic has been discussed about this one major component of the personal computer. Then why create one and add more to the confusion? There are so many articles out here that adding this one might only make things more complicated. We based on my fifteen years of experience building and repairing personal computer, the computer motherboard is more than just connection, and circuit. To me it is the central focal point of all things in a personal computer. In this article we will go in depth regarding how a motherboard works in real life environment and how it is affected by inside and outside forces not just parts and function or this works like this and it is connected to this and that. There are already a lot of those kind of stuff in the internet just some research and it will pop-up.

For anatomy that computer motherboard can be compared to the human skeletal system. But why, well for one the bones in our body is the one responsible for keeping up all that is you and me. Yup there is the muscle but without the bones we will all look like a big lump of a mass bulging on the ground. The motherboard is more that just connection it is a means of communication between devices and different system integrated or added in the motherboard. To generalize all electronic devices has a main board inside each and everyone of theme. From the newest smart phone, tablet, laptop, Television and more each and every one of these items has a main board inside them. Those lines that we saw in every motherboard are more than just line of connection there are the line of communication.

PCI Slot

Dual CPU Slot

Let’s take a closer look what are the different system that connect and communicate with each other and with the motherboard. On top of the list is the mighty brain of the computer, the central processing unit or CPU also known as processor or micro processor. These device is the one that process all the information being used by all the separate system inside the computer and is connected via the motherboard. The processor communicates via the motherboard to all the other system in the computer while it also processes all the information for all the different systems. Another such different systems in your computer are the hard disk drive unit. It is a complete system that is connected also to the motherboard via the cable like the older IDE cable and the newer SATA cable. Lets take a look at these two different system, while the processor is the brain the hard disk drive is the main permanent storage of all types of information used in the computer. The processor’s job is to process information but what happen after processing all those information. Where are all that process information goes too? Or what happen to information before and after being process by the processor?

IDE Cable

SATA and Power Cable

Well before being process all information stays in the hard disk drive and after being process it comes back to the hard disk drive. Yup that why the hard disk drives is the main permanent storage of all types of information being used by the computer. Ever notice I keep adding the word permanent to all storage word that because there are two types of data storage in computer, one is the permanent type while the other is the temporary type. But why do we need a temporary type of data storage since all our information and data is important? Well yup that is correct all the information and data that we put inside the computer is important that why we used computer to almost anything today. It’ likes this temporary information and data is what we call the ones being use at the moment. Let’s say the user is going to watch a movie stored in the computer, the file of that movie is stored permanently in the hard drive. In order for that movie to brought to the screen of the computer it needs to be process by the process and then sent via the motherboard to the memory or RAM to be stored temporarily and than sent via the graphics card to be process or converted to analog signal for displaying in CRT type screen or process then displayed to an LCD or LED type screen.


Ops we mentioned three things there, the Memory, graphics card and screen. If the hard disk drive is the permanent storage facility inside the computer then the memory or RAM is the temporary holding area for the information and data while that data is being use by the computer or while we watch the movie it is temporary stored in the memory. This is one reason why we need a larger amount of memory so that while playing a movie it would continue to play properly and we enjoy watching it. Compare to a movie which barely plays on because the computer does not have enough memory capacity to store and play it correctly. So why happen to the data stored in the memory? Well all the information and data store in the memory is erase or deleted after we turn-off the computer. Yup that what happen if we turn off the computer then the data stored in the memory is erase. But the data in the hard drive is not even if we turn the computer of that information or data is still stored there. That why there is permanent and temporary storage of data. To be continued………

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