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Last updated: 12/20/99

INTRODUCTION.  The motherboard and its components contain most of the heart, brains, and nerves of a computer hardware system. It glues together and supports the processor, chipset, BIOS, memory, disk drives, plug-in boards, keyboard, and serial and parallel ports. It is the single most important consideration in building a reliable, high-performance computer.

QUALITY. Altogether, a modern motherboard hosts many millions of transistors or electronic switches and the circuitry necessary for them to operate and send signals at nearly the speed of light around an intricate tapestry of conductors, of which only a small part is visible to the human eye. Its incredible complexity is almost beyond imagination. The tolerances and speeds at which a motherboard and its components must operate are so extreme and there are so many things that can fail or degenerate, it is wonder that it works at all. Yet, a good one does and should give you years of reliable service.

A bad motherboard is like the plague; your computer will die frequently. Many apparent software problems (e.g., Windows protected fault interrupts) may, in fact, be hardware problems at the motherboard level.

In choosing a motherboard, quality is paramount; price is secondary.

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.