The motherboard of a computer is typically located in the bottom of the computer housing. The motherboard is a piece of plastic or fiberglass that holds various circuits, switches and electronic components. Among other functions, the motherboard allocates memory and processor capacity to various functions of the computer. It also connects to various hardware, such as sound cards and network cards, to allow them to communicate.
Motherboards came into use in personal computers in the late 1980s and 1990s as the hardware improved and became more economical to use. By the late 1990s, motherboards supported many functions, including audio, video and storage, without the requirement of additional expansion cards in the computer. As of 2014, motherboards come in a range of sizes and shapes to fit various computers. Laptops typically use small, highly customized motherboards, which are expensive to repair or upgrade.
Motherboards are typically cooled by fans within the computer. Insufficient cooling can damage computer components and cause crashes. Some computers designed for quiet use do not incorporate fans and require a low-power processor and specific placement of components to avoid overheating. As of 2014, researchers for American computer processor maker Intel note that motherboards fail at a high rate in China and India. They attribute the failure to air pollution generated by burning coal causing corrosion to computer circuits.Learn More
As the name indicates, a motherboard is an essential part of computer equipment that allows different components of the computer, including the hard drive, memory cards and processors, to connect and communicate with each other. The motherboard also allows the different computer components that are plugged into the motherboard receive power and are typically made from printed circuit boards, or PCB, and have multiple slots for things like video and sound cards. In many cases, a computer's motherboard will have empty slots that allow the user to expand his or her computer's capabilities through adding new equipment to the motherboard.Full Answer >
A toolbar on a computer is typically located at the top of an application window. The toolbar is designed to allow users to easily control applications by sorting specific actions into menus, sometimes adding symbols for visual aid, such as a paint brush icon for a drawing application.Full Answer >
To find out whether a motherboard is bad, Computer Hope suggests using diagnostic tools, such as Hot CPU Tester, that check for failures within a system. If a computer does not start at all, listen for a series of beeps when the power is turned on. The motherboard's manual normally describes each beep pattern and the hardware it is diagnosing as failed.Full Answer >
A system unit is the metal case that houses and protects other computer components, such as the motherboard, hard drive, RAM, graphics card and central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer system.Full Answer >