How to Determine Which Motherboard You Have

By Lacee Burton

If you plan to update your computer's BIOS or hardware, you will need to know the make and model of your motherboard. The easiest way to determine the make and model of your motherboard is to check your PC manufacturer's specifications; however, some PC manufacturers do not provide this information. Knowing the make and model of your motherboard is essential to checking hardware compatibility. There are three different methods that can be used to identify a motherboard.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

Step 1

Check your BIOS. Depending on your PC manufacturer, the BIOS and motherboard information may flash across your monitor while your computer is booting. Turn your computer on and watch the screen for any information about your BIOS. The motherboard information usually follows the BIOS manufacturer name and may be a string of numbers and letters. When this information appears on your monitor, hit your pause key so that you can write it down. (The pause key is generally located in the upper right section of your keyboard. Press the Fn key, located on the bottom left, while pressing the pause key.) Search the manufacturer's website with the information that you find or enter it into a search engine such as Google.

Step 2

Turn your computer off and remove all power cables. Follow your PC manufacturer's instructions to open your computer case. Typically, the motherboard is located opposite the side with the opening. A motherboard has several slots and may have peripheral cards inserted in some of them. Lay your computer on its side and inspect the entire surface of the motherboard. Look for a sticker with the make or model number. In some cases, the sticker will only show the model number. Enter this information in a search engine such as Google to identify the make of your motherboard.

Step 3

Use a software utility to identify your motherboard. Some BIOS manufacturers offer utilities designed to identify motherboards. For example, AMI, a popular BIOS manufacturer offers a utility that can be run from a DOS prompt to determine the model of your motherboard (see Resources). If you do not have an AMI BIOS, you can download a freeware utility, such as CT BIOS, to determine the make and model of your motherboard. CT BIOS will search your BIOS chip for information on your motherboard. It may return the model number and not its actual name. In this instance, enter the model number in a search engine. You can download CT BIOS from Bootdisk.com (see Resources).