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Systemboards or Motherboards                        Back Next 

Motherboards are where all parts meet.  Everything inside the system unit connects to the motherboard.  Again, form counts!  The most common form factors for motherboards (same as cases) are Micro-ATX and ATX.  Baby AT is still around but becoming harder to find by the minute.

If you want to upgrade your motherboard or install a new one in the system you are building make sure all of your parts match the slots/sockets.  If your motherboard has a socket 370 processor slot you must use a socket 370 processor (There is a socket 370 adapter for slot 1 motherboards).  If the motherboard has only 3 PCI slots you can only mount 3 PCI devices.  If you have an ISA device, then the new motherboard must have an ISA slot.  Study the motherboard specifications carefully.  Make a note of any KNOWN incompatibilities.  For instance, some Socket 370 motherboard support "Coppermine" Celeron processors, but not "Tuelatin" Celeron processors. 


Typical ATX socket 370 motherboard


Motherboards commonly have some components built in, like the sound sub system.  You can add one of your own most of the time.  Just be sure to purchase a sound card if sound is not built in.  Use the PC hardware list to ensure that you have everything you need if you are scratch building a new system.

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