Motherboard Definition and Terminology

What is a Motherboard?

This page contains motherboard definitions and terminology to help your understanding of what motherboards are and the role they play in your computer system.

A motherboard is the main printed circuit board in a computer that carries the system buses. It holds the sockets to which all other components are connected, such as the processor, memory modules, graphics card, sound card, and all other components and peripheral devices.

The motherboard's role in a computer system can easily be described by comparing it to the human body's nervous system. The wires (nerves) on the motherboard transfer data to all the other components.

Three well known motherboard manufacturers are Asus, Abit, Intel, and MSI. Buying your motherboard from one of these brand names is always a good idea, as you will know you're getting a quality product.

After reading this motherboard definition, you shouldn't need to ask the question "what is a motherboard" ever again! For information on how to choose the best motherboard for your computer, see the article How to Choose the Best Motherboard.

What is the Form Factor of a Motherboard?

The form factor is the shape and layout of a motherboard. This factor affects where all the components are located on the board, and the shape and size of the computer's case. There are a few commonly used form factors that most PC motherboards use.

Next: How to Choose the Best Motherboard