Computer Hardware:
     • Tools, Static & Cleaning
     • Form Factor
     • PC Case & Fans
     • Motherboard
     • Processor (CPU)
     • Power Supply Unit
     • RAM
     • Hard Drive
     • Solid State Drive
     • Optical Drive
     • Floppy Disk Drive
     • Graphics Card
     • Sound Card
     • Network Card
     • Computer Monitor
     • Keyboard & Mouse
     • Laptop / Netbook
     • Building a Computer
     • Overclocking

Operating System & Backup:
     • Operating System
     • Drivers
     • Windows Tools
     • User Accounts
     • Backup
     • Windows 10

Internet & Network:
     • Internet
     • Wi-fi or Cable
     • Improve Broadband Speed
     • Network Computers

Computer Peripherals:
     • Printer
     • Scanner
     • External Hard Drive
     • USB Flash Drive

Computer Security:
     • Anti-virus
     • Anti-Spyware
     • Phishing
     • Firewall

Common PC Problems:
     • Slow Computer
     • Hardware Failure
     • Software Failure
     • Printing Problems

Miscellaneous:
     • Windows Shortcuts
     • Glossary of Terms
     • HTML Colour Picker
     • Number Base Converter

Motherboard

The Motherboard is the large circuit board inside the computer which contains sockets for the CPU, RAM, Expansion cards, as well as connections to the Drives, and various ports which are accessed at the back of the computer.

When building a computer from scratch, the choice of Motherboard is very important as it contains the Chipset which determines the type of CPU and RAM that can be used. Form Factor is another consideration as an ATX Motherboard will have more expansion ports when compared to a micro-ATX motherboard which will make upgrading easier. Different motherboards also support different numbers of USB ports (USB 2.0 or USB 3.0), and may also have Firewire and/or eSATA ports. If you are into overclocking your computer to get the maximum performance then some motherboards are also easier to overclock than others.

The chipset may contain an in-built graphics capability although it is preferable to have a dedicated graphics card. Gamers may prefer a motherboard with two expansion ports suitable for using two graphics cards in tandem on a modern computer.

Modern ATX Motherboard (ASUS P8Z68-v LX)
Modern ATX Motherboard (ASUS P8Z68-v LX) components.


Above is a picture of a modern ATX motherboard which has an LGA1155 socket that supports the latest generation of Intel CPUs such as the i3, i5, and i7 processors. There are 4 DIMM slots that support up to 32GB of DDR3 SDRAM. Expansion ports include three PCI slots, two PCIe x1 slots, and two PCIe x16 slots which support up to two graphics cards (ATI CrossfireX). There are six SATA connectors (two are SATA III 6Gb/s) for connecting hard drives, and optical drives, and there are plenty of USB ports (two are USB 3.0). This motherboard also has built-in Graphics, Audio, Gigabit LAN controller, and overclocking features.


Modern ATX Motherboard Rear Panel Ports (ASUS P8Z68-v LX)
Modern ATX Motherboard Rear Panel Ports(ASUS P8Z68-v LX).


The rear panel ports of this motherboard include six USB ports, a PS/2 port for attaching a mouse or keyboard, a HDMI, DVI, and VGA port which connects to a monitor for the motherboard's in-built graphics capability, an RJ-45 port for connecting to a network (Broadband router or Hub/Switch), S/PDIF port for digital audio, and ports for Audio I/O for the motherboard's in-built audio capability.

This motherboard features all the latest technology, has plenty of room for expansion, and would be a good choice if you need a fast computer for the latest games or want your PC to be future proof.