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Computer Motherboard Types

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    A computer motherboard is the soul of your computer. This is where the most important entity, your computer processor, is embedded and the connection to all computer peripherals goes. Here in this article I will try to present to you the different computer motherboard types.
    Why is it important to know the different computer motherboard types? This question must be intriguing your minds. If you are planning of assembling a desktop computer, then this is the most important question that needs to be answered. Computer processors are motherboard specific and so are the computer cabinets. So it is very important that you know the different computer motherboard types before you start off with the assembly process. For those, who are not exactly aware of what a computer motherboard actually is, let us start off by explaining about it.

    What is a Computer Motherboard?
    A computer motherboard is nothing but the circuit board or the circuit which controls the entire functioning of the computer. Let us try to understand it this way. All the components that form your computer are connected to the computer motherboard. The computer processor, which is the most important component of your computer, is mounted on the computer motherboard. All other components like the computer keyboard, computer monitor, computer mouse, hard drives, etc., are all connected to the computer motherboard through cables. Read more on what is a motherboard.

    Types of Computer Motherboards
    Well, of course, after the discussion that we had above, you must be wondering how to determine a motherboard type. But before starting off with this process of describing the computer motherboard type, we need to understand, what are the different ways of classifying or rather differentiating computer motherboards.

    Classification on the Basis of Type of Processor
    This way of differentiating computer motherboards is based on motherboard socket types. In short, the CPUs that are available in the current market are compatible to specific motherboards. Let us try to understand the different CPU specific computer motherboards in a little more detail.

    Socket A Motherboards
    These motherboards are meant for the AMD and Durons processors. The Socket A motherboard is also known as Socket 464 motherboard. The CPU socket in the motherboard has 462 pins and it comes in a PGA (Pin Grid Array) packaging. The bus speed of this type of motherboard is 100 to 200 MHz.

    Socket 370 Motherboards
    Meant for Intel Pentium III and Celeron processor, this motherboard comes for CPUs with 370 pins. It can also support VIA Cyrix III and VIA C3 processors. The bus speed for this type of motherboard is 66 to 133 MHz and it also comes in a PGA package.

    Socket 378 Motherboards
    This type of motherboard is meant for the Pentium 4 processors. It also comes in a PGA package and has 478 pins. The bus speed is 100 to 200 MHz. This motherboard can also support Intel Pentium 4EE and Intel Pentium M processor. This type of motherboard is also known as Socket N motherboard.

    Socket T Motherboards
    Also known as LGA 775, this type of motherboard is meant for Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad and Inel Xeon processor. Of course, this motherboard can also support other Intel processors such as the Celeron, Pentium 4, Pentium D, Celeron D and Pentium XE processor. Its specifications include 775 pins and a very high bus speed of 1600 MHz. It also comes in a PGA package.

    Socket 939 Motherboards
    The Socket 939 is meant mainly for the AMD family. It can support AMD processors like the Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 and Opetron. It has 939 pins and can have a bus speed from 200 to 1000 MHz. Just like the other computer motherboard types described above, it also comes in a PGA package.

    Socket AM3 Motherboards
    Socket AM3 is among the most recently developed motherboards. Introduced in 2009, this motherboard is meant for the AMD Phenom II and AMD Athlon II processors. It has 941 pins and a bus speed range of 200 to 3200 MHz. The packaging for Socket AM3 motherboard is PGA.

    Socket H Motherboards
    The Socket H or LGA 1156 is another recent motherboard that has been introduced in the year 2009 and is meant for the Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7processors. It has 1156 pins and comes in LGA (Large Grid Array) packaging.

    What I have mentioned above are the most common motherboard types. Besides the different types of computer motherboard types given above, there are other computer motherboards too. For example, the Socket F motherboard meant for the AMD Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 FX and the Socket M motherboard meant for the Intel Core Solo, Intel Dual Core and Intel Core Duo processors.

    Motherboard Type Based on Dimensions
    The dimensions of a motherboard, also known as the form factor, is another way of distinguishing between the different motherboard types. The different types of motherboards based on this form factor can be listed as under.

    ATX Motherboards
    The ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) motherboard has a length of 12 inches and a width of 7.5 inches. The I/O ports and USB ports meant for the motherboard are integrated directly into it. The bus speed in ATX motherboard is 100 MHz. This board is mainly meant for the Intel processors.

    Full AT Motherboards
    This was the first type of motherboard, which was 12 inches wide and 11 inches long. This motherboard suffered from a lot of problems like access to components was cumbersome and most importantly, the heating problem.

    Baby AT Motherboards
    With a dimension of 10 by 8.5 inches, this motherboard is meant for the classic Pentium processors. The DIN keyboard connector at the top right corner of this motherboard makes recognizing this motherboard a relatively simple task.

    How to Determine a Motherboard Type?
    Normally, the documentation that contains the information of the motherboard type of your computer is the best way for determining your computer motherboard type. If in case you do not have access to those documents, you can go to the system devices tab located in the device manager and try to find out your motherboard type. You can also run msinfo32 to find out the information about the installed hardware. There are various other third party programs too, which you can use for determining the motherboard type. If in case you are not working on the computer, you can simply open the cabinet of your CPU and check out for a label on the computer's motherboard. It is usually present in the upper left or right corner of the motherboard. If at any other position, you may have to disconnect certain components to view the same. Another way of finding out the motherboard type is if you can locate the FCC (Federal Communications Commissions) identification number of the motherboard and perform a search on the type of motherboard using the same. Read more on tips for choosing a computer motherboard.

    The type of motherboard used for your computer is also used for determining various other factors. For example, DDR SDRAM is the fastest of all the different types of RAM and only Socket A motherboards can be used for the same. Similarly, SDRAM is compatible with Socket 370 and RD RAM with socket 478. Similarly, the type of motherboard determines various other factors too. With this, I end my article. Hope this article on computer motherboard types proves to be of help to you.