Understanding Motherboard Anatomy For Beginners

Understanding Motherboard Anatomy For Beginners

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A motherboard can look complex, busy, and confusing, but today I break it down for beginner’s and explain each major part of the motherboard, how it works, and how to figure out other parts on your own to better know your motherboard.

The motherboard used in the video:
(I particularly really like this board)
ASRock Z370 Killer:

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if you're new to the PC community or trying to get into it and gather an information or perhaps you've already built your first computer but want to understand more about your motherboard this video could be very vital to you and I think it's very very important that everyone understands the motherboard where things go and how certain things work and how to shop for one so this can help in many different ways so we're going to take this from a very very introductory standpoint from a complete beginners perspective that has never looked at a motherboard perhaps and we're going to diagnose each part of the motherboard and explain what each part is doing so let's get into that what's up guys my name is JD from JD Tech here and welcome back to the channel discuss PC passion reviews guides mods more so if you're a tat sort of thing consider subscribing and checking out the rest of the channel and before we get into today's video I want to introduce a Productivity software that often deals 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understanding the anatomy of a motherboard so this is where your CPU goes all right we're gonna start at the very basic very beginning and we're gonna work our way up into some more complex terms and stuff like that but that's not without having a foundation of understanding before then this is where your processor goes this is where your memory goes or your RAM these are called the DIMM slots and DIMM slots pull open link with these little tabs sometimes they open on both sides sometimes only open on one and you install your memory over here the next thing is noticing that these are your PCIe slots so for your graphics card your sound card your network card maybe your SSD card any sort of those things can be plugged into the PCIe slots now we'll notice that there's a longer one and a shorter one typically let's say we have a graphics card so that's typically associated with the PCIe slots with your graphics card you're gonna use one of these larger ones and typically we want to install our graphics card on the topmost slot and not to lower slot there's a lot of nitty-gritty details that you can get into about why that is but think of this as closest to the processor so there's less of a travel time between the graphics card and your processor also to your memory and some of the other modules on the board another thing to notice is our MDOT two slots over here so this is for SSD storage but this is for MDOT tube-based SSD storage and if you have any questions about you know identifying what's on your motherboard it's usually labeled out on the PCB over here the PCB is just the board itself it stands for a printed circuit board but basically if you have any questions you can just always refer to that and find it in your manual and you'll know what it is but this is for MDOT tube-based SSD storage it's pretty simple and this over here are your SATA ports over here new SATA ports are usually identified by this l-shaped plug over here and that's pretty easy to know that's where your SATA base SSDs and hard drives that's pretty simple this board can support up to six drives in total either SSD or hard drives so that's where that goes other from that we have a whole bunch of stuff over here but usually not even half this stuff it's popular when building a computer so you really don't have to worry about all of it unless you want to read the little labels on the PCB itself and you can always do that that's fine but I'm only going to point out what we usually typically work with when building a computer so over here this is a USB three header this comes from the front IO on the PC case you can tell by USB 3 and you'll be able to match the plug and plug it in if it doesn't plug in it doesn't plug in so that's always another way of identifying what goes where over here is a USB 3 T C which means Type C that's also for your front I Oh from your PC case this is also for your front I Oh connections for your HDD led power and reset buttons and so on and so forth here are some other channel fans over here so this is channel fan one channel fan 2 and this is also channel fan 3 or W pump which means for your water pump so this is compatible with water pumps but you can use your channel fans for your water pumps as well over here so because they're all four pin connections any of these four pin headers yeah these are cold headers wherever we see pins coming out we're just gonna call them headers wherever you see a four pin header you can use for either a fan or for a pump on an all-in-one liquid cooler that's going you find if you wanted to plug in your CPU cooler fan on the channel header instead of your CPU fan that's fine as well some boards have CPU fan 1 and CPU fan opt which means CPU fan optional which gives you two separate plugs to plug in your CPU fan so if you have one fan here and another fan there obviously you would have separate control labelled in the BIOS that's what's gonna be labeled s so it does the same thing it's just labeled differently in the BIOS and that's all that really matters over here captain white we're gonna notice this is an RGB LED header over here and a lot of the modern boards have this now some of the older ones do not but it's also worth noting because now we have a lot of RGB LEDs coming to the market like RGB LED strips and fans so that's worth noting another important thing is that this is a 12 volt RGB header and not a 5 volt RGB header 5 volt RGB headers are the latest and greatest in RGB connection which means that you can individually address each RGB header but you cannot plug in a 5 volt header into a 12 volt header or vice versa also where you see the little 12v the 12 volt that means that's where you plug in the ground the ground is labeled on the arrow for your RGB cable so that's where you would plug it in over here you ever HD audio this also comes your front I owe so that's also worth noting a lot of this other stuff is typically not usually used but over here we have USB 2.0 headers over here over here is where your audio is all handled right over here and usually we have a little shield in here I'm not talking about the plastic over here there's actually built-in shield into the motherboard you'll usually see like them line that goes down over here that usually is traced around in this region and all that does is protect the audio from any sort of static or crosstalk that is coming from all the different components in the motherboard because this is an open component it's not sealed off so that does have crosstalk going on so having that shield is also nice anytime you see a plastic over this part of the area that means that there's definitely a built-in shield for the audio will move onto audio in a second but also some of the plugs over here this is typically associated with your motherboard power connection that's a 24-pin connector and there's usually only one on most the board's so this one over here in the top left hand corner is usually associated with your CPU power connection and that's typically just an 8 pin connection over there sometimes it'll be 2 in case you have a really hefty processor with a lot of cores but most of them use only a single a pin connection over here we have the rear i/o and this changes sometimes it's typically associated with some USB ports some sort output like an HDMI or DVI and then Ethernet and then the audio jacks over here this is Wi-Fi this is a neat little feature but this is not available on every board so that is very important to know so this is usually the same some of the components on the back here like the Wi-Fi do change though now if your processor has integrated graphics some don't like some of the Rison ships don't have integrated graphics so if you plugged in something here you would not get anything out put it to the screen so if you had a graphics card installed you would plug a HDMI cord or whatever cord you want into there to get something out onto the screen this goes directly to your processor not your graphics card so that's important to notice and this is your V RM which pretty much means voltage regulator modules so voltage regular module controls the power going to your processor and also to the rest of your modules on the motherboard itself you have a V core portion that goes to the processor and you have an SOC portion which stands for a system on the chip that goes to everything else that your chipset and your PCIe slots and everything else so that's what you need to know if you have a high end processor and if you're trying to overclock you want a lot of phases or a lot of these squares over here if you're looking into a motherboard for overclocking you want to make sure it has a good view RM and look for reviews that talk about the BRM and not what's just on the board also we have heat sings on the vrm so that cools it and one of the last things is the chipset so the chipset you can think of as a different tier of motherboard so let's use intel for example the coffee like 8th gen processors so there's the 370 B 360 and H 360 I believe all that means is that there's different tiers is e 370 being the highest tier which allows you to overclock the different tiers just give you different abilities and features between the motherboards and what you can do with them so if you don't have a Z 370 board you won't be able to overclock with the Intel and for AMD boards for risin you'll be able to overclock on all their boards except for the a B 350 but for the B 315 the X 370 you'll be able to do that no problem so the chipset is what matters as well when you're looking into a board and you if you want overclocking or some of the features that's offered by the Z 370 chipsets that specific tier of board make sure you look into that before purchasing your boards so that's important but this is what the chipset is sometimes they'll be screws on here and you can put an M dot to drive under here but you wouldn't know about that and the spec sheet and it would probably also be advertised we can do that this board does not have that so that's everything on the motherboard as far as the anatomy goes pretty standard as far as what goes in where and how we identify different parts of the motherboard you should be pretty comfortable about what's going on and hopefully makes it look and feel a little bit more simpler so let me know if you have any other questions about motherboards and if you want future explainer videos on any other sort of components and perhaps more in-depth conversations about motherboards like the VR on the voltage regulator module and overclocking because that's important in case you're shopping around for that and knowing which board to buy is an important decision and it's not just aesthetics and certain features I mean share those things play a part in it depending on the consumer that's buying it but those things are not the only thing to make a motherboard a good motherboard there's a lot more to it so that's important to know and I want you guys to know that information and if you want to know that information from me let me know down in the comments below so if you guys like this type of video consider checking out the rest of the channel and subscribing if you're new here also if you want to grab yourself some PCR or some t-shirts over here a link will be in the description below to my store and also in the cart over here and if you want more explainer videos like this video like I said before just let me know down in the comments I'm usually pretty active in the most recent video so let me know guys and thank you so much for watching I'll catch you in the next one

39 Replies to “Understanding Motherboard Anatomy For Beginners”

  1. Robert Xavier

    Could you explain how to optimize a build?
    ie. Short PCIe vs Long PCIe vs M.2 PCIe & shared lane bottlenecks?
    Benefits / Consequences of using 1x 32GB vs 2x16GB vs 3x12GB vs 4x8GB RAM DIMMs?
    RAID 0 vs 1 vs 10?
    Sound Card vs On-Board Audio vs DAC?
    M.2 WiFi Bluetooth vs On-Board?

  2. Cheeze

    The reason that you should use the topmost slot for your graphics card is not because it is less travel time between the CPU, it is because usually the topmost slot is pci x16 slot, where as other slots might be x8 or x4, mean that the other slots have less pins on them

  3. Xcell

    hey idk if you are going to respond since this video is older but when I built my pc I accidentally knocked off the heat sink on one of the vrms and just kinda put it back on. idk if i broke something or not lol

  4. Bryan

    Just discovered your channel after looking up motherboards explained. Much appreciated. Great overview.

    This comes quite a while after you originally posted this video, but I would love if you did a deeper dive into motherboards. Specifically regarding VRM's, PCIe slots and what x16,x8,or means as well and how the number of lanes directly correlates to your CPU. Also how overpopulating PCIe slots will inhibit performance. Thanks a bunch.

  5. Hornet

    overall a great video, i came here to learn more about chipsets as i sorta did? but i was also pleased to leave this video learning more about vrms aswell as other info of the mother board i didnt know about. thank you!

  6. Michael Geller

    Just found your channel. Great vids w plenty of Info! Would love to see a more in-depth look into the VRM components & capabilities.

  7. Vell Jackson

    Can we get more videos explaining the Motherboard Anatomy? I want to upgrade my motherboard, but I dont know what to search for. I am not sure how I know if I'm getting a newer and greater version of the current motherboard I have now. What should I be looking for when trying to find a new motherboard? I would really appreciate it, and think someone other than myself has ran along this question.

  8. DoubleU159

    I was never sure if it was alright to plug case fans into the aio pump header and the opt cpu fan header. I could never find a solid answer online either. Wish I’d seen this video before buying fan splitters.

  9. Mr Clyburn

    This was a GREAT video, I have to watch this a couple more times. I needed this video to know things so detailed, because, when you're meaning say me I wouldn't know detailed things like you just explained THANK YOU JD. I have 1 question on a INTEL MOBO, why did it say AMD by the M.2 heat sink? top right on the board, well depending how you look at the board. But from the video it was top right.

  10. Ghavio Rizky

    Vrm design pls xD

    Btw can you explain this?

    My mobo (asrock p55 pro) has 8 pin cpu power,meanwhile gigabyte h55 board has 4 pin cpu power.my cpu maxed out @ 4GHz,but i see a few people reach more than 4GHz on the gigabyte board

    (Sorry bad English)

  11. Sam Smith

    What a great video. Not too technical and boring or too subtle and useless. Overall, this is the best motherboard overview video on youtube right now.

  12. riteu

    What I always loved about your channel (and got me to subscribe) is how clearly you explain things.
    Love leaving a video feeling educated!

  13. Geo Sam

    Hey JD, thanks for the video.
    Me being someone who knows how to build a PC, I had no issue understand this video.
    With that said…
    I linked the video to a friend, who knows nothing about building a computer and very little about motherboards as a whole.
    They told me that they could not understand the acronyms being used.
    Also, they said that the video was much to fast for them to follow along with.
    This left them confused, which made it difficult for them to grasp what you were explaining.
    This is not to say that this video isn't useful, because it is.
    Thanks again JD. 👍

  14. chilledout

    Great video man I hope you get discovered by more people soon. Good channels like this always get the jump in subs pretty quick lol. One question, I saw you said I can use my water pump header as a chassis fan, can that also be said for my m.2 fan header? Using a Asus Z370-E.

  15. Michael Livote

    Nicely done JD. Lot's of folks have no clue at all as to what all the parts of their motherboards are and do, it's always nice to see a simple tutorial to explain it. I will be using this one as a teaching tool for my students, it covers all the bases well, thanks!

  16. kelly mclean

    You upload often! Keep it up and this was really informative! I just bought a b350f motherboard for my ryzen build, so this was helpful. Thanks!

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