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motherboard

The main circuit board of a microcomputer. The motherboard contains the connectors for attaching additional boards. Typically, the motherboard contains the CPU, BIOS, memory, mass storage interfaces, serial and parallel ports, expansion slots, and all the controllers required to control standard peripheral devices, such as the display screen, keyboard, and disk drive. Collectively, all these chips that reside on the motherboard are known as the motherboard's chipset.

On most PCs, it is possible to add memory chips directly to the motherboard. You may also be able to upgrade to a faster PC by replacing the CPU chip. To add additional core features, you may need to replace the motherboard entirely.

Motherboard is sometimes abbreviated as mobo.

See "What You Need to Know About Motherboards" in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.

Also see From AT to BTX: Motherboard Form Factors  in Webopedia's "Did You Know...?" section.







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