Types of Motherboards : Complete Guide to Understand Motherboard

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The motherboard is one of the most important aspects of your PC. Not only do you need a good motherboard for proper system stability, but you also need to ensure that it has certain features if you are going to use your system for a specific task. For instance, if you are in the animation industry, you might need to opt for an NVMe SSD for faster rendering times. However, to use an NVMe SSD, you need to ensure that your motherboard has an NVMe M.2 slot. Likewise, many components are dependent on your motherboard for compatibility.

Choosing a motherboard is a daunting task. Not only because of the specifications but also because of the fact that there are so many options available in the market. There ar e a lot of metrics to keep in mind while choosing the right motherboard, and it doesn’t end at just choosing a specific brand. If you are looking to buy a new motherboard, here is all the information you will need to choose a good motherboard.

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Types of Motherboards: Complete Guide

Here we have with us the list of different types of Motherboards along with the looks and what features they have to offer.

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AT Motherboard:

Types of Motherboards : Complete Guide to Understand Motherboard
AT Motherboard

These Motherboards are the oldest of its kind. AT means  Advanced Technology (AT) power connectors, although they have it or not. The AT Motherboards were used in the mid-’80s with size ranging 13.8 x 12 inches. This Motherboard made it difficult for new drives to get installed. When they were used in early 286/236 and 436 Computers, that being said, above there is a reference image of the AT Motherboard.

ATX Motherboard:

ATX Motherboard of P2

The ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended as this Motherboard configuration developed in the mid-’90s and is still in use. The ATX Motherboard is an improvement over the previously working Motherboard, such as AT.

ATX is the most common Motherboard design which is used in smaller boards (including micro-ATX, FlexATX, nano-ITX, Mini-ITX). Dimensions of a full-size standard ATX board range in 12 x 9.6 inches. The ATX Motherboards seem to have gone through lots of upgrades in recent times. 

Types of Motherboards : Complete Guide to Understand Motherboard
Modern ATX Motherboard

The modern ATX Motherboard has many advantages over its predecessors. Some of the features and uses of modern ATX Motherboard are as follows

  • More power phases for cleaner and more stable power.
  • More clearance around the CPU socket to accommodate those huge after-market heatsinks.
  • Wider gaps between expansion slots for better graphics card cooling.

All the above factors add up to superior overclocking results. And let’s not forget the spacious ATX mid-tower and full-tower cases with enough room for half a dozen case fans, water cooling setups, tall (CPU and RAM) heat sinks, and all that other cool stuff.

Micro-ATX Motherboard

Types of Motherboards : Complete Guide to Understand Motherboard
Micro ATX Motherboard

It is smaller than the typical ATX Motherboards with a dimension of 9.6 x 9.6 inches. Some manufactures have a dimension reduced to 9.6 x 8.1 inches. Most modern ATX Motherboards have a maximum of seven PCI or PCI-Express expansion slots, while microATX boards only have a maximum of four.

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Micro-ATX Motherboard has many advantages over ATX Motherboard, and they are given below.

  • It is compact and smaller than ATX Motherboard, which sports more ports and slots than ATX.
  • Budget Motherboard compared to other ATX or ITX Motherboard.

Mini ITX Motherboard

Types of Motherboards : Complete Guide to Understand Motherboard
Mini ITX Motherboard

The Mini ITX ranges 6.7 x 6.7 inches in dimension, which is smaller than any other conventional Motherboard. Some features and advantages of the Mini ITX Motherboard are listed below.

  • The smaller size and fan-less cooling which enables it to low power consumption.
  • Mini ITX board can be used in any cases which are designed for ATX, Micro-ATX, and other ATX variants if desired.

E-ATX Motherboard

E-ATX Motherboard

The E-ATX is extended ATX Motherboard, and its size is enormous compared to ATX Motherboard, but it doesn’t matter with the size it has many features and uses, which any other typical Motherboards lack. The E-ATX is primarily used for gaming. This Motherboard can be expanded to have huge memory and can accommodate a powerful CPU with more cores.

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The features and advantages of the E-ATX Motherboard are given below.

  • It has a lot of PCI slots and DIMM slots.
  • These boards have inbuilt WiFi, sound cards, onboard troubleshooting features, and powerful VRM.
  • A maximum of 128 GB ram can be installed on this Motherboard.

These are the types of Motherboards which can be used conventionally. Moreover, there are several features like overclocking, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, thunderbolt, liquid-cooling expansion, and many more. Looking at this, we can conclude these ones to be the best Motherboards if you are thinking of building a high-end PC with mind-boggling components under the hood.

Motherboard Components

The Motherboard consists of various components that have their own role to play while functioning in a PC. The figure of a typical Motherboard is given below which notifies its components. We will also detail out each component below.

Components of a Motherboard

Expansion Slots

Expansion slots, as the name suggests, are used to expand of insert Sound Card, WiFi card or a network card, and VRAM. Below you will find different expansion slots described.

ISA Slots

These were the oldest expansion slots in the history of Motherboards. They were found in AT boards and are identified by black color. Conventional display cards or sound cards were installed in these slots. The full form of ISA is Industry Standard Architecture and is a 16- bit bus.

PCI Slots

The full form of PCI is Peripheral Component Interconnect. The PCI slot is one of the important Motherboard components today and is vastly used to install add-on cards on the Motherboard. The PCI supports 64-bit high-speed bus.

PCI Express

Also known as PCIe, these are the latest and the fastest component of the Motherboard to support add-on cards. It supports full-duplex serial bus.

AGP Slot

Accelerated Graphics Port(AGP) is specifically used to install the latest graphics card. AGP runs on a 32-bit bus, and both PCIe and AGP can be used to install high-end gaming display cards.

RAM(memory) Slots

SIMM Slots

The full form is a single inline memory module. These slots were found in older Motherboards, up to 486-boards. The SIMM supports a 32-bit bus.

DIMM Slots:

The full form of DIMM is a Double inline memory module. These are the latest RAM slots which run on a faster 64-bit bus. The DIMMs which are used on Laptop boards are called SO-DIMM. 

CPU Sockets

The Main Motherboard component is CPU socket, which is used to install the processor on the Motherboard. Some important sockets are explained below.

Socket 7: It is a 321 pin socket that supported older processors like Intel Pentium 1/2/MMX, AMD k5/K6, and Cyrix M2.

Socket 370:  It is a 370 pin socket that supports Celeron processors and Pentium-3 processors.

Socket  775: It is a 775-pin socket that supports Intel dual-core, C2D, P-4, and Xeon processors.

Socket 1156: Found on the latest types of Motherboards, it is an 1156-pin socket that supports the latest Intel i3, i5, and i7, processors.

Socket 1366: The socket is of 1366 pins and supports the latest i7 9900K processors.

BIOS

The full form of BIOS is the Basic Input Output System. It is a Motherboard component in the form of an integrated chip. This chip contains all the information and settings of the Motherboard, which you can modify by entering the BIOS mode from your computer.

CMOS Battery

The battery or cell is a 3.0 Volts lithium-ion button cell. The cell is responsible for storing the information in BIOS, and the full form is Complementary Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor. Usually, a CMOS battery is code-named CR-2032.

Power Connectors

In order to receive power from SMPS, there are connectors mounted on the Motherboards.

AT connector: It consists of 2 number of 6 male pin connectors and is found on old types of Motherboards.

ATX connector: The latest in the series of power connectors, they are either 20 or 24 pin female connectors. Found in all the latest types of Motherboards.

IDE connector

The Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) connectors are used to interface disk drives. The 40-pin male connector is used to connect IDE hard disk drive, and the 34-pin male connector connects to Floppy Disk Drive.

SATA connector

SATA is a computer bus interface that connects the host bus adapters to the mass storage device such as hard disk drives, optical drives, and solid-state drives. Serial Advanced Technology Attachment(SATA) are 7-pin connectors, and they are much faster than the IDE interface. The basic I/O interface of the Motherboard is given below

I/O Interface of Motherboard
I/O Interface of Motherboard

Choosing the right type of Motherboard that is compatible with other parts of your computer is essential to determine the overall speed of your PC. Once you know about various Motherboard components, you can easily assemble your own PC or solve the basic hardware issues in your Motherboard.

So from above, we can conclude that Motherboard is the main component in the computer architecture. Moreover, it holds a lot of importance in itself. We hope this guide helps you with a deep understanding of different kinds of Motherboards and its components. If you liked this, don’t forget to check out our other Wallpapers, Windows Guides, Gaming Guides, Social Media, iPhone Tricks, and Android Tricks for more guides. Subscribing to our YouTube Channel will help you win the $150 giveaway contest. If you have any doubts or feedback, comment down below with your name along with the e-mail ID, and we will reply shortly. Thank you.

Comments

  1. In just a short period of time i was able to learn the history of motherboard up until now and its parts purposes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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