What Does the Motherboard of a Computer Do?

By Chandra Anderson

The name "motherboard" was coined as a descriptive term for the mainboard to describe how it serves as a sort of "mother" to the computer. All transactions and processes must pass through the motherboard. Motherboards are designed and manufactured by many different companies.

Communications

Through connections and pathways, the various components attached to the motherboard of a computer communicate with one another and work together to form one functioning machine. Incompatibility issues with parts that were not intended for use with the motherboard often cause instability and loss of functionality.

Slots and Ports

The motherboard has slots and ports on its surface. These are designed for various components such as the computer's video card, sound card, and CD-ROM and floppy drives to plug into. The circuits integrated into the motherboard allow these components to function together.

Expansion Capabilities

Most motherboards are equipped with extra ports and slots. These are intended for computer upgrades and expansion of things such as memory and graphics. Only components compatible with the motherboard will function properly after installation.