Basic Components of a Computer Motherboard

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The basic components of a computer motherboard include memory expansion slots, the fan, heat sink, processor and PCL expansion slots. Find out how to add expansive hardware to a computer, such as a video card, with help from a software developer in this free video on computer motherboards.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Help & Solutions
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to talk to you about the basic components of a motherboard. I'm going to use a diagram here to show you the basic components. So let's go to our computer. This is a picture actually of a motherboard that basically I'm going to point to these objects here and tell you what they are and what they do. Let's start at the very top, the motherboard is actually this green chip here that's kind of in the middle that's actually one very large silicon board that does all the thinking of the computer and ties all the hardware together. So let's start at the top of it. What I have here as you can see these four slots, they're kind of long, they have little clips at the ends of them. These are the memory expansion slots and this is where you would put RAM chips. Now RAM stands for Random Access Memory and that is the memory that the computer operates on while it's running. It's not permanent storage like a hard drive but it's rather just temporary memory for the process that it's working on. This one can hold four chips and that's what these little slots are. Now immediately below that we have here what is called a fan heat sink and processor. All you can see is the fan obviously but that fan is sticking up and is on top of a heat sink. Now a heat sink is basically a piece of metal that's designed to sit on top of a processor and keep it cool. This fan is on top of that heat sink and that fan is going to keep air going through the heat sink and that's going to in turn pull the heat off of the processor and dissipate it into the air. That is actually how your processor is kept cool. And the processor is the main part of the computer, it does all of the work so it runs the hottest and it's very important that you keep that part cool. Now immediately below that we're going to come to these white slots here. These are PCI expansion slots. Now what this allows you to do is to plug a card such as a video card or a sound card or some other type of card into the motherboard and that will allow you to add expansive hardware to your computer. Say you had a new video card that could process games faster for instance, you would pop that into here, plug your monitor into the back of that card and your motherboard will basically handle all of the connections to make that video card work. It's those items that are the basic components of a motherboard that you'll probably have the most interaction with. My name is Dave Andrews and I've just showed you the basic components of a motherboard.

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