Motherboard Headers – Functions and Components

A Motherboard header is a specific style of connector (rectangular), usually linked by users of PC motherboards with the schismatic design of male pins. A motherboard is a printed circuit board in computers, including laptops and desktops, and other expandable systems. It also includes a baseboard mainboard, system board, planar board, main circuit board, logic board, or mobo.

 On high-end models of the motherboard, if you don’t know about any guidelines to look at a motherboard, it can look like the Transformers’ homeworld of Cybertron despite something you plug your graphics cards, CPU, and drives into.

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Motherboard Headers Connectors, Ports with diagaram

And with tons of copies available for stages, except you’re up on all the latest techniques and lingo, it may be challenging to understand where to start. Motherboard header diagrams will make it easier for you to understand the system and parts of the header.

Some significant parts of the board are ports, slots, and titles standard on today’s motherboards, along with some helpful basics like RAM expansion slots and motherboard form factors and its contrasting color design, which makes it better to see smaller board components.

Function and Component of the Motherboard

If you open up your computer and remove the motherboard, you will surely get confused about all the different parts. Its knowledge depends on the model and makes of your computer. But if you want to know how computers work, you don’t need to know every single detail of the part of the motherboard.

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However, it is pretty good to understand some of the more important features and how the motherboard links the different domains of a computer system in one unit. Some of the typical motherboard fan headers explained components are following

  1. Central Processing Unit (CPU chip)

CPU is the electronic circuit in a computer that performs those instructions which build up a program. It is also called the main processor or central processor unit. The CPU carries out the simple controlling, arithmetic, logic, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the directions in the desktop programs.

  1. Random-access memory (RAM slots)

raw slots

RAM is a computer memory that is in the form of reading and writing. It is for saving machine code and data. A RAM device allows nearly the same amount of time to read or write data no matter where the data’s physical location is in the memory. RAM is the swifter way for data reading and writing if we compare it with the direct-access storage devices, for example, hard drives, magnetic tapes, and CD/DVD.

  1. Southbridge or Northbridge

They are the two types of chips in the core logic economic on the motherboard. Usually, the Southbridge equipment uses the slower abilities of the motherboard in Southbridge / Northbridge chipset computer architecture.

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The Northbridge called the Memory Controller Hub or host bridge is connected mainly to the CPU through the (FSB) front-side bus. It is essential for tasks demanding optimal performance. Along with the Southbridge, they allow connection between the CPU and other motherboard fan headers components.

  1. Basic Input and Output System (BIOS)

BIOS, also known as system BIOS or ROM BIOS, PC BIOS is an application used to manage hardware boot during the initialization process and give a run time service for operating programs and systems. The BIOS application is the first software to work when powered on; it resets on a PC’s system board.

  1. Input/output ports

I/O ports are the connections between the peripheral devices and the CPU on a motherboard header. There are two fundamental ways to perform input and output processes: port-mapped I/O (PMIO) and memory-mapped I/O (MMIO). Otherwise, you can use channels on mainframe computers called dedicated I/O processors, which carry out their instructions.

  1. Universal Serial Bus (USB)

USB is a manufacturing standard that sets a special designation for cables, protocols, and connectors for interfacing connection, power supply, and communication among computer peripherals and computers along with the other desktops. There are many motherboard headers and not enough USB headers, including multiple different connectors among all the USB-C is the modern model.

  1. A CPU socket or processor socket

A CPU socket, also known as a CPU slot/Processor socket, comprises one or more mechanical parts that give an electrical and automatic link between the microprocessor (CPU) and PCB. Thus you can install a CPU without bonding on a motherboard

  1. Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI slot)

Peripheral Component Interconnect is like a domestic computer bus for linking hardware to a computer. It props all the operation of a processor bus. PCI is typically called Conventional PCI to differentiate it from its successor PCI Express (PCIe, PCI-e, or PCI-E).

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PCI-E is a regular maximal-speed series computer expansion bus to replace the old AGP bus, PCI-X, and PCI standard. It is a regular-use  motherboard header not enough headers  for the SSDs, graphics card, Wi-Fi, and hard drives, along with Ethernet hardware bonds

  1. industry Standard Architecture (ISA slot)

ISA is the 16-bit bus of IBM PC/AT (internal) and matching computers built on Intel 80286 and its instant descendants during the 1980s. It was backward matching with the 8-bit internal bus of the 8088-based IBM PC fully.

There once was a try to broaden ISA into a 32-bit internal bus known as Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA). This try wasn’t very useful, and the EISA was entirely changed by the later VESA Local Bus and the other PCI bus.

  1. Parallel slot

A parallel port is a communicator or link for connecting peripheral ports on desktops. The name of this port is based on the way the data is sent. Therefore the parallel ports send various bits of data instantly. On the contrary Serial interfaces send bits only one data at a time. There are few data lines in the parallel port wires to achieve parallel data transfer. The similar port wire is more prominent as compared to the cables of a current serial port (has one only data line wit in)

  1. Motherboard headers with 2 USB 3.0 Headers

One more type of motherboard pin header is USB headers which come in different types nowadays. Include USB 3,0 USB 3.2 and USB 2. This connection connects wires in your PC’s chassis that will assist you to front panel USB connections placed on the case’s exterior.

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  1. Motherboards With Four Fan Headers 

USB 2.0 header will show two rows comprising five pins in which one pin is missing out of the 10. Used as a key for the exact functioning of the connector. The matching wires connector on your PC’s case has ten pinholes in which powering two ports include or five powering with one port.

Meanwhile, USB 3.0 headers are more direct: A 20 different-pin rectangular grid takes a wire powering one or 2 of USB 3.0 ports. Make sure any board you’re going to buy will have connectors that connect with what’s on your PC case—and vice versa.


The most important thing to note about chipset features of the motherboard header is: Just because the chipset assists something, but this doesn’t mean the motherboard maker has its application on a providing board

For example, Intel’s Z370 chipset matches 10 USB 3.0 ports and up and 14 in total, but most boards support 4 and 8 USB ports. Let me summarize it. In other words, before buying, be sure to check the box or specs page of a board in which you’re interested in making sure it has the features you’re looking for.

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