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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real)
 9  Chapter 8: Motherboards

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What is a Motherboard?

A motherboard is the main circuit board in a personal computer and contains the main connectors and pathways for the central processing unit (CPU), expansion slots, systems buses, memory modules (RAM), smaller circuit boards (daughter boards), and peripheral devices. A motherboard is also known as a system board, a mainboard, or a “mobo”.

What does a motherboard do? A motherboard provides the main “highway” for all electrical communication that occurs in a computer between any of its components. If a computer were a human body, the motherboard would be the central nervous system. While it is possible to remove at least some of a computer’s components and still have it function, without a motherboard, a personal computer is just a near empty box without life.

Historically, motherboards in modern personal computers were derived from the internal circuitry of mainframe computers and do owe their existence in more general terms to any electronic device that required some form of printed circuitry board. Numerous common household devices contain circuit boards including television sets and VCRs. They are the “unsung heroes” of electrical devices in that they do much of the work that occurs in the device but, unless you open up the box and look inside, they are never seen.


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