The motherboard (or system board) is an integrated circuit board that’s essentially the central processing unit of your computer. This is essentially where all of the other major components get connected to, and it’s responsible for running the various core components of your computer, from the system RAM to the video card.
A hard drive, on the other hand, is a method of permanent data storage for a PC — not unlike how an external USB disk would work in your computer and allow you to transfer files between computers or take them with you elsewhere. In contrast, a motherboard is generally a permanent component of your computer, and it can’t be removed without opening the case and risk damaging something or voiding your warranty.
The motherboard is known as the “brain” of the computer while the hard drive has long been referred to as the computer’s “heart”. A motherboard connects all of your computer’s components together while a hard drive stores all the data for your computer. A motherboard reaches out to the user and community, and comes about as close to being a part of everyone’s lives as any piece of hardware can get. A hard drive is a cold metal object sitting underneath your desk… but it’s an essential part of your computer system – without it, you wouldn’t be able to store any data on your computer!
Hard Drive Is Replaceable
The hard drive (or ‘hard disk’), on the other hand, can be removed and placed in another computer, such as if you have more than one PC or want to take your data to a friend or family member’s computer.
Some hard drives also allow you (in some cases, for an additional fee) to simply take the drive and install it in another computer — this is useful if you want to share data with someone else who doesn’t have his/her own dedicated hard drive or if you want to use your own storage device to replace the one that your computer originally came with.
Motherboard and Hard drive Are Separate Things
In general, then, motherboard and hard drive are two separate things: it’s possible to have a ‘hard disk-less’ computer (wherein you use a USB external storage device), or even one where the hard drive has been replaced by another alternative method of data storage like a solid state drive.
However, in most cases you’re going to need at least one of these two components – it’s not possible for your computer to run without some form of permanent data storage area, though there are options besides motherboards and hard drives for this purpose. For example, some computers include flash memory cards which they can boot off in order to start up; while this is an older technology, it’s still used for super-portable computers that have no hard drives in them at all.
The upshot of this is that you should not compare motherboards and hard drives when assessing a computer: they are two separate things, just like the processors and RAM chips inside a computer. While they’re both ‘internal’ components, they serve totally different purposes — so don’t confuse the two when evaluating your next new machine!
Important Computer Parts
If you have an issue with the motherboard, then yes you can still live without it to some extent, but your life will be pretty miserable for a while until you get it fixed. So in my opinion, both the motherboard and hard drive are very important computer parts that should be looked after appropriately.