Selecting A Mother Board Or System Board

Information Technology Resources

by Jayaram V

The system board is also known as the mother board. It is the most crucial component of a computer. Its primary purpose is to house the central processing unit or the CPU and facilitate cross communication among all other the devices in the computer and also between them and itself.

There are basically two types of system boards each having two sub types: AT, Baby AT, ATX and Mini ATX. The AT system board is older than ATX and has limited power management features. ATX was developed by Intel for Pentium processors.

Every device in the computer interacts with the mother board in some way or the other to make the computer work properly. A mother board therefore usually comes with several other components already attached to it. So when you want to buy a mother board you have to consider what you will be getting along with the bare board and pay attention to the following.

1. What type and speed CPU

2. What type of chipset

3. Type and size of memory cache

4. Type of memory- ECC, EDO, SDRAM, SIMM etc.

5. Type and number of expansion slots

6. How much memory you can install and how much you can upgrade.

7. The type of computer case need to carry it.

8. What type of ports you can expect

9. How the input and output devices will connect to it.

10. What types of video and audio cards can be used with it.

Your decision to buy a computer or a system board should be based upon your current requirements and future needs and involves selecting one of the following three options.

1. Selecting a mother board that meets with your current requirements as well as future needs with scope for substantial expansion or upgrade

2. Selecting a mother board that is just enough for your current needs.

3. Selecting a mother board that meets with your current needs as well as some of your future needs with moderate scope for expansion or upgrade.

Once this is done, pay attention to the other aspects of a mother board configuration.

1. Type and speed of the Central Processor Unit, which is a kind of CPU pulse rate usually measured in megahertz. The higher the speed the lesser would be the processing time. Unless you are trying to assemble your mother board on your own by buying a CPU, you do not have to worry about the compatibility and performance issues arising out of processor speed and and mother board performance. The manufacturers of motherboard would usually take care of the synchronicity between the two.

2. How the expansion slots are located and whether they will interfere with future expansion.

3. What types of CPU's , memory and system BIOS can it the system board support.

4. Does it have any embedded devices such as video cards which may interfere with its performance and expansion in future.

5. Does the Board fit in properly in the computer case and easy to access once all the components are in place?

6. Other considerations are terms and conditions of manufacturer's warranty, documentation and what support you can expect from the supplier.

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