Speed and capacity of computers is increasing every day, as a matter of fact better processors are being made each day and there is no limit to the speed of a computer. Ideally, the speed of a computer depends on a number of things including Random Access Memory (RAM), Processor and also on Motherboard.

Motherboard

A motherboard is a very complicated circuit board with a number of components like BIOS already installed on it besides slots for memory, PCI hardware devices, AGP (graphic cards) and a slot for processor. Motherboard connects all the components to the CPU and provides power to them. It contains the bus systems in it which transport the data. A bus system can be of 32 or 64-bit.

How motherboard works

Motherboard provides the only path for components to connect to one another and to the CPU. It works like our nervous system and mainly has to transport data of every type. It connects a number of devices but its basic function is connecting the CPU with other parts of the computer. There are two main bridges on motherboard which connect the various components including the processor.

Chipsets

Area motherboard has two chipsets which connect the various components to the motherboard .They are called bridges and their names are North bridge and South bridge.

North Bridge

North bridge is connected to the memory bus, front side bus (FSB), and AGP bus. Memory bus is further connected to the memory, front side bus is connected to the CPU or processor and AGP bus is further connected to the graphic card.

South bridge

South bridge is connected to the ATA bus and the PCI bus. ATA bus is further connected to the disk drives providing a path between the motherboard and the disk drives including Compact disk drive (CD-drive) and Hard disk drive. PCI bus is connected to the PCI-based hardware devices and thus providing the only path between the PCI devices and the motherboard.

For example, when a person presses a key on keyboard, let’s say key “A”, then this information is sent to the motherboard which sends it to the CPU, which further processes the , information and then sends command to the various components. The graphic card gets the information of displaying it on the computer screen.

The speed of a computer mainly depends on its processor but motherboard also affects it as it contains the bus system and transports the data. If the bus system of motherboard is fast then it would be able to transfer information at a higher speed but if it is slow then the speed of computer would surely be affected irrespective of processor speed. This is because if a processor can work  at a higher speed but the information is not being transferred at the same rate, the computer would work at slow speed.

Earlier, everything except the processor came separately and they need to be connected to the motherboard one by one before using them. But now, a number of accessories like LAN, video and sound supports are preinstalled on the motherboard.

Future of Motherboards

Like other computer components, the size of motherboard is also decreasing, as smaller computer chips are being made. It is expected that in future a motherboard of smaller than  a SIM card would be created and the speed and mobility of computers would be greatly increased.