Computer and Software Support

Parts of a motherboard

Note: This picture doesn't show every option that can come on a motherboard. This is only an example.

  1. PCI slots. Peripheral Component Interconnect. Usually color coded as white. (the number of slots will vary depending on the model of motherboard)

  2. AGP slot. Advanced Graphics Port. As the name implies, this is used for graphic cards that run off the AGP bus. (you may not have this slot depending on the model of the motherboard)

  3. ATX motherboard power connector that the power supply connects to

  4. ZIF Socket. Zero Insertion Force. This is where the processor goes. There are many types of sockets. Some motherboards have two sockets, and they are called Dual Processor motherboards. Consult the manufacture on the procedure to remove or install. Processor CPU - Information on the processor CPU

  5. Memory banks. length and number of banks depends on the model of the motherboard.

  6. Chipset (VIA, Intel, Sis, etc..)

  7. Onboard controllers Blue usually indicates IDE1 connector (usually for hard drive), white usually indicates IDE2 (for CD-ROMs) and a black one usually for the floppy drive. (Some new boards may not have IDE ports due to the new standard of SATA)

  8. CMOS battery looks like a watch battery.

  9. SATA Ports - Newer motherboards use SATA for their hard drive and CD-ROM drives. (Some boards will still have IDE controllers also)

There is other items not listed above that may be found on your motherboard

  • ISA slots - These are obsolete on most systems but if you have a very old system, you may have one of these

The motherboard also has the BIOS but they are in different locations depending on the model.

Installing devices into the motherboard.

  1. PCI cards will only go into the slot in one direction. Click here for instructions

  2. AGP cards (video cards) will only go in one direction. Click here for instructions

  3. The ATX motherboard Power connector has curved on one side and cornered on the other so it will only plug in one direction. Click here for instructions

  4. ZIF sockets this will vary depending on the model. Consult the manufacturer for directions

  5. Memory will only go in the board in one direction. Click here for instructions

  6. Chipset is built into the board

  7. IDE cables will only plug in one direction. One side has a groove to prevent it being plugged in incorrectly. Sometimes the floppy drive is set that way and sometimes not. It is possible to connect the floppy cable backwards.  Click here for information on IDE cables

  8. Battery - How to change the CMOS battery

  9. 4 pin ATX power cable gives the CPU added power from the power supply

More information