Hardware for beginners (II): what is it and how the motherboard or motherboard work?

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  • He was born in laboratories as a key IBM PC.
  • If the CPU is the brain of a computer, the motherboard is your spinal cord.
  • They are usually classified according to the type of processor that can host.

mother board

Continuing our review by what they are and how they work different components that give life to modern computers, remember that just over a week ago we talked about the central processing unit , well known to be the brain of a computer system.

Now it do the same with the motherboard or motherboard (called both ways depending on whether you are in Spain or Latin America), in biological terms would come to represent the peripheral nervous system and spinal cord of a PC , since it responsible for connecting all components, regulate its operation, and make it all work as a unit.

What is the motherboard or motherboard

As we have already said, the motherboard is the component responsible for integrating all the other parts that make up the computer. Although commonly usually find components that work similarly in non-PC devices, and give them to describe the same name, such as motherboards are usually usually only in the more traditional desktop computers . A component to control allIn itself, this is a plate having a printed circuit board, and a number of ports that must be installed the other components that give life to your computer, whether plants as CPU, RAM and GPU , or peripherals such as mouse and keyboard.

The motherboard is also where the main computer software, commonly known as comes installed BIOS , responsible for recognizing the integrated parts and peripherals to the motherboard, as well as loading operating systems and other software from storage units.

A little history

A most likely be surprised to know that the motherboard came as such to appear after the microprocessor . The first computers were much simpler architecture, which were not many necessary components and peripherals, so the most basic functions now performed motherboards, such as Firmware, used to be charged directly to the CPU .


Until the creation of the motherboard, the integration of the components used to be given or a plate with multiple bays which connect (without any additional function), or directly by cables that served as a bridge between the different units responsible for specific functions . This complicated matters greatly to the user as if they wanted to change one piece in particular, had to write the firmware to the instructions for the new component to communicate with the rest of the Hardware.The key part of the mass of the cloned computers IBM PCwould be the late 80s an IBM engineer, Patty McHugh , would devise a method which would facilitate the extremely modular operation of computers, and it would be such a critical factor as for Windows PC overcrowding .

The motherboard extremely simplified how hardware components interact, making it were necessary only load the correct drivers after installing a new piece to make everything work perfectly. This meant a unique opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to be delivered to the assembly, manufacture and marketing of IBM PC clone computers .

The invention of the motherboard meant that no longer needed a large group of engineers in Hardware and Software for a computer. Since then anyone with basic skills can assemble your own computer, provided you have the necessary parts and software.

How the motherboard works

As the piece it all together responsible for the operation of the motherboard is the most complex in modern computers process. To understand the simplest way possible, it is best to study the different pieces that make up the board.


You will not need to repeat that the fundamental objective of the motherboard is to integrate the operation of all components. This process is divided into two groups known as bridge name derived from the communication function they perform. The northbridge is responsible for making the CPU, GPU and RAM unit. At the other extreme is the south bridge , responsible for integrating peripherals (including video output), as well as storage units .

Besides this, we have some other components that are responsible for different aspects.

  • The clock , in charge of regulating the speed at which tasks are met, and to coordinate and schedule performance.
  • The CMOS , a form of memory responsible for storing certain types of data that must remain constant over time even when the computer is not connected to electricity. To fulfill this function has a CMOS battery or battery itself.
  • The BIOS , or firmware, which we explained what it is.
  • Different forms of Bus , which are space for the exchange of information or energy.
  • Ports and connectors for peripherals.
  • Expansion slots , where other boards are connected. Previously used cards with integrated ports, and more recently often used graphic and sound cards.
  • RAM slots .


Finally, you should know that motherboards currently marketed detail are classified according to the socket of the processor for which they are intended. Thus, there are two large groups according to the manufacturers: Intel and AMD . 

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