To sign up for our daily email newsletter, CLICK HERE
Building your own computer from scratch is a rewarding and educational experience. A motherboard is the core of any personal computer, as it connects all of its critical components. Even if you plan to buy a pre-built PC, learning about how a motherboard functions will help you understand how to build a computer and troubleshoot potential problems. This article covers everything you need to know about motherboards and how to make one.
What is a Motherboard?
A motherboard is the core component of any computer, both laptop and desktop. It holds all of the other hardware in place, and connects it all to the computer’s CPU board, RAM, and power supply. The motherboard is essentially the foundation that holds everything together and enables it to function.
A motherboard is essentially a printed circuit board (PCB). It’s the base of all computer hardware and the main chip that is used to control the flow of data between other hardware components. A motherboard is usually a square or rectangular board with various slots and connectors along its surface, depending on the make and model.
How to Select a Motherboard
When you want to build a computer, you need a motherboard. There are a few things you should be looking for when selecting a motherboard, including the number of expansion slots, the amount of RAM slots, the type of CPU socket, and the amount of USB ports.
- The number of expansion slots on the motherboard determines what additional components you can install. For example, if you’re planning on adding a graphics card, you need a motherboard that has a PCIe x16 slot.
- The amount of RAM slots on the motherboard determines how much memory is supported by the motherboard. You usually want to get a motherboard with four or eight RAM slots.
- The type of CPU socket on the motherboard determines which type of CPU you can install. For example, an Intel motherboard uses an LGA 1151 socket and an AMD motherboard uses an AM4 socket.
- The amount of USB ports on the motherboard determines how many devices you can plug in.
How to Install a Motherboard
First, line up the motherboard with the case and slide it in, making sure the ports and slots face outwards. While you can mount the motherboard using the standoffs and screws that come with the case, you can also use a specialized motherboard mounting tool, which makes things a lot easier. Next, connect the cables to the motherboard. The power supply unit (PSU) connects to the motherboard using a 20-pin connector. The CPU fan connects to the motherboard using a 4-pin connector. The computer memory slots connect to the motherboard using a 3-line connector. Lastly, the motherboard connects to the computer case using the I/O ports. The case should have an I/O port that fits the motherboard’s port.
How to Build a Computer with a Motherboard
After you’ve assembled the pieces of your computer, such as the cooling fan, power supply unit, and motherboard, you’ll need to install an operating system. To do so, you’ll need to connect the computer to a power source and then plug in a USB storage device (such as a flash drive), an internet connection, and peripherals such as a mouse and keyboard. Follow the instructions on the motherboard’s manual on how to power it up. After the computer boots up, you can install a computer operating system.