Computer Motherboard And Their Different Types

A Computer Motherboard is designed on a piece of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) it holds all the major components such as RAM Slots, CPU slots, Expansion slots, BIOS, capacitors, Resistors, SATA, and IDE Slots.

They are also called MAIN BOARD, SYSTEM BOARD, MB, MOBO, etc Mainboard is the primary device in a computer system as every component used is connected to it using cables and wires and therefore it is considered as Backbone of personal computer system.

There are different types of Computer motherboard used which are differentiated by their Size, functionality, speed, and compatibility with CPU’s (Processors).

Different motherboards are designed and developed for specific tasks and for a special purpose. Some are developed for Home use,

Some are developed for commercial use, and some Which support high-speed CPUs are used for Research and Educational Purposes.

They are also called as “Heart of Computer” for better understanding, you should be familiar with the functionality and should also be aware of its basic structure & component Used in main board or logic board.

When you are familiar with the basic functionality and uses of Its component it will help you to build your own computer.

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Different Types of Motherboard

As the advancement in the technology computer motherboard has been dramatically changed they differ in shape, size, compatibility, and the capacity to hold the CPU.

There are many big companies that manufacture MB these days as there are many manufacturers that follow some common guidelines such as placement of CPU Socket, RAM slots, Expansion slots, USB, IDE, SATA Ports, connectors these guidelines are called FORM FACTOR.

But there are some manufacturers which produce their Motherboard such as they can be installed on their own computer cases. Where you have to contact their Authorized dealer for up-gradation or replacement of any damaged part.

Companies that manufacture MB keeping common FORM FACTOR in mind throw intense competition in the computer market.

ATX Form factor has dominated the PC world which posses some common guidelines and has made it position strong compared to another form factor which is described below.

Different Motherboard Types of Computer

Different Motherboard comes with different form factors but the common form factors are AT and ATX

As different form factors depending upon size, shape, compatibility, and capacity For Example:: AT Motherboard can be installed in a specific case that supports AT motherboard, You will not be able to install an ATX Motherboard in AT cabinet.

You must have some knowledge and awareness of MB’s component and its Form Factor before installing or upgrading any component or parts because as mainboard is an integral part of the Personal computer all Computer peripherals are attached to it directly or indirectly and any misconfiguration happen can stop your PC from responding.

The common types of Motherboards depending upon their Form Factors are

  • AT Family (Full AT and Baby AT)
  • ATX Family (Full ATX ,Micro ATX ,FlexATX)
  • XT , LPX , BTX ,Pico BTX and Mini ITX MB

AT Motherboards::

They are old-style LOGIC BOARDS which has an AT Form Factor. These logic boards were manufactured by IBM in 80’s they dominated the PC Hardware World for a long time.

Different Types of Motherboard
Different Types of Motherboard

They were huge in size and shape almost double size compared to other motherboards. At that time it was the newest technology and the size of the components was large to fit.

AT Stands for Advanced technology. They have PGA Socket (Pin Grid Array)socket for CPUs, SD Ram Slots,20 Pin power connectors,s and expansion slots(PCI and ISA ) with Keyboard and serial mouse connector.

Examples are P-III Processors

Baby AT Motherboards::

They possess both features of XT and AT Form Factors. These mainboards have PGA Processor Sockets, SD Ram And DDR Ram Slots, Expansion slots(PCI and ISA Slots) both 12 pin and 20 pins power connectors with Big Keyboard ports called DIN and Serial mouse port.

Baby ATX-Motherboard
Baby ATX-Motherboard

As the computer hardware industry has grown the demand for smaller computer grew drastically the manufacturer developed and built smaller LOGIC BOARDS which requires small space for installation.

The AT MB with AT Form Factor required huge size computer cases for installation Therefore small MB named ‘BABY AT ‘ were manufactured.

These BOARDS with AT form factor became popular and dominated the PC Industry for a while.

Before they had only keyboards connector which was called as DIN and monitor would be connected to it but if you needed to add more devices the expansion slots were available to install add-on cards for use of more features and for better functionality.

Eamples are Pentium-III and Pentium-IV

Full ATX ::

ATX Stands for Advanced Technology extended these motherboards have the features of ATX Form factor.

They have an MPGA CPU socket, DIMM slots for RAM, Expansion slots (PCI, ISA, AGP), SATA, and IDE connector with ports and connectors 12 pins and 20 pin power connector are available in these types of motherboards.


ATX MB was small in size compared to AT Form Factor motherboards. At that time they were hugely popular and ruled the PC Hardware industry.

They were more powerful compared to others and required less space for installation. They were so popular that they made their own standards and ATX Form Factor was hugely used and was made popular because of its silent features.

This ATX MB had some extra features and components pre-installed into it. Examples are Pentium-IV, Dual-Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Quad-Core, i3, i5, and i7 Processors

Some of the latest ATX Motherboards for i7 8700k can be found here.

Micro ATX ::

As computer Technology developed the computer market changed and the demand for small and powerful MB was huge in numbers.

They were developed using the same ATX form Factor in mind as the price of this MB was low the demand increased rapidly.

They had 3 to 4 expansions slots but the features of this motherboard were similar to ATX form factor main boards. These types would fit in small computer cases with ATX form factor.

Flex-ATX ::

These types of motherboards are not as popular as other ATX Form Factor mainboards.They are considered to be the smallest in the ATX Family.

They were developed in small size and were low in cost. Flex ATX is a variant of micro ATX and was developed by Intel in the year 1999 -2000.


XT Stands for Extended Technology. They are a very old type of LOGIC BOARD which has 12 pins connectors, ram slots expansions slots (ISA) Used old model processor with LIF (Low Insertion Force).

For use of more features expansion slots are available for add-ons cards and some ports are available for additional features. They are typically slot-type processors.

Example:: Pentium-I, Pentium -II, and Pentium-II Processors.

BTX Motherboards::

BTX stands for Balanced Technology extended. The first company which used BTX was Gateway later followed by Dell and Apple.

Pico BTX Main Boards::

Pico BTX SYSTEM BOARDS are very smaller in shape and size and use BTX Form factor. They are very smaller in size and hence called Pico BTX.

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Classification on the Basis of Type of Processor

A Computer motherboard can be classified on the basis of the processor they use. Or the motherboards which are compatible with certain CPUs or processors.

They are categorized using their different types of sockets they use. For example, the processor which is compatible with socket A type is not compatible with socket T system boards.

Therefore you must be recognized or detect which type of processor socket your SYSTEM BOARD has it is a very important aspect as when you are going to upgrade your system configuration i.e upgrading your CPU or replacing your processor with an appropriate Processor which matches or which is compatible with your MB

Now in this tutorial, we are going to discuss some common types of sockets which are available on MOBO so if you find it necessary to upgrade your processor you will not find any difficulty in doing so.

Socket A::

The socket A motherboards are also called socket 464 motherboards. They are compatible with AMD processors. The CPU socket has 462 pins and it has a PGA (Pin Grid Array.)

They support or are compatible with Intel PIII, Celeron, and Cyrix processors.

Socket 378::

These types of motherboards are commonly called Socket N motherboards. They support Intel P4, Intel Pentium M, and Intel Pentium 4EE processor which has 478 pins are of PGA (Pin Grid Array) Type /p

Socket T ::

Socket T motherboards are also called LGA 775, this type of processor supports or are compatible with Intel core 2 duo, intel dual core, intel core 2 quad, Celeron, P4, Pentium D and Celeron D type of processor.

This processor has 775 pins using PGA (Pin Grid Array)

Socket 939::

This socket has 939 pins and is specially designed for AMD processors and their families.

This processor comes with a PGA (Pin Grid Array), and supports processors like AMD Athlon 64, Athlon 64, and various AMD processors.

Socket AM3::

These are the types of MB’s which are very famous nowadays which has 941 pins with PGA and supports AMD Phenom !! And AMD Athlon II processors.

Socket H or LGA 1156::

These are the advanced level of SYSTEM BOARDS that supports Cpu’s like Intel core i3, intel core i5, and intel core i7.

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