Mainboards are the core of the computer's structure. When you build a computer, you plug everything into the main system board, thus the name "mainboard" or even "motherboard" as expansion cards were sometimes called "daughter cards". The mainboard contains a clock oscillator, many chips, capacitors, resisters and and a multitude of slots to insert components. Mainboards support all the other components in the computer including the processor, memory, peripheral cards (EISA, ISA, PCI), video cards (AGP), and I/O ports.

Form Factors

  • AT
  • Baby AT
  • LPX
  • ATX
    • Mini ATX
    • Micro ATX (μATX)
    • FlexATX
    • NLX
  • Proprietary

Mainboard Components

Nearly all mainboards will have the following:

  • Mainboard Chipset
  • BIOS
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU) slot/socket
  • System bus (or main bus)
  • Memory slots (SIMM, DIMM etc.)
  • System Slots
    • EIDE Hard Drive controller, bus, connector slots
    • Floppy Drive controller, bus, connector slot
    • Serial I/O controller, bus, connectors (Serial, Parallel)
  • ISA controller, bus, connector slots
  • PCI controller, bus, connector slots
  • Controller Chipsets

Some systems will have the following additional slots:

  • Advanced Graphics Port (AGP)
  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) controller & connector slot
  • Front Panel Audio, USB



Visual Examples



Please donate to support the construction of this, and other tutorials throughout this site.

Bookmark this page and SHARE:  


Support InetDaemon.Com

Get Tutorials in your INBOX!

Free Training

Free Training