When you begin with a process of building yourself a new personal computer, the first thing you should consider buying is a motherboard. It is the core of your new computer, a component that could make or break your new setup. A motherboard accepts only specific kinds of other PC components, such as CPU (central processing unit), GPU (graphics processing unit), amount of RAM, etc. Let’s check out how does one motherboard actually work and define some of its most important parts, like the Ivy Bridge Laptops platform.
Choosing the right motherboard
Today there exists lots of motherboard producing companies, such as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI. They all produce working products, but the pricing varies a lot. Some may be called gaming motherboards, those have higher capabilities for overclocking, some are professional, that kind can have more slots for your RAM, more PCI expansion slots and so on. A chipset is a very important part of a motherboard, as it is the unit which controls and tells every component when it’s time to work. It consists of two parts, northbridge and southbridge, these are, in most cases, passively cooled. It’s not a bad idea to base your motherboard choice on chipsets, as you can check pros and cons of each and decide what to buy to your liking. Together with Ivy Bridge Benchmark.
Main parts of a motherboard
So, what is Ivy Bridge? First thing we should mention is the power supply connector. These come in some variations, but mostly are 2×10 rectangular connectors, depending on the type of your motherboard, as it can be standard ATX or any other format. The CPU socket is a slot in which you can insert your new CPU unit. During the course of time, this socket has changed a lot. Today we can find few kinds of CPU sockets, e.g. Socket H2/R for Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs and Socket FM1/AM3+ for AMD CPUs. You must match your CPU with the socket found on your motherboard. RAM slots are the right place for your RAM modules. Mostly you can find three or four slots on your motherboard, so you can combine different values of RAM capacity. It is recommended to use RAM modules made by the same manufacturer and that work at the same speed. Your new graphics card should be inserted in the PCI-express slot of your motherboard, which is a relatively new standard, with fast data transfer speeds. Previously, AGP was used and still is in some manner, but PCI-express is far more superior. Finally, there is a slot for your HDD and optical drives, called the serial ATA port, which is also relatively new. Previously, PATA was used, it was bulky, cables were stiff, and data transfer speeds weren’t satisfactory.
Peripherals on your motherboard
For peripherals, the motherboard has you covered. Some already include a digital audio chipsets, which include audio input and output jacks, so you may not need an external audio card. All motherboards today have at least 4 USB inputs for all kinds of peripherals, there are PCI expansion slots as well, for all the extra cards you may want to use at some point, such as TV tuner cards, perhaps an ancient 56k modem etc.