A computer's motherboard is the main printed circuit board containing and connecting its central components.
Motherboards are characterized by

  • Form factor - this encompasses
    • Its physical dimensions .
    • Slots - The number and type of interface slots it provides.
    • External connectivity - The number and type of external peripheral connections.
    • Power requirements - The type and specification of the power supply required.
  • CPU Type - The type of CPU for which it is designed.
  • Chipset - The type and arrangement of its central electronic componentry.
  • Memory - The type and speed of system RAM.
  • Memory Capacity - The maximum amount for system RAM supported.
  • Manufacturer

Form factor

For a performance oriented or gaming desktop desktop system there is an advantage in buying a larger tower size form factor. Larger form-factors are easier to keep cool and dust free. In addition, large form factor motherboards offer more option in terms of slots and card placement. This is important since, high performance gaming graphics cards tend to be bulky and cover multiple slots.