Motherboard: 3 Major Types of Motherboards Exists Today!

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more

Major Types of Motherboards

There are three main types of motherboards:

  • AT
  • ATX
  • ITX

The ATX and ITX motherboards have become more popular as technology has advanced. The AT motherboard is an older design initially used on the first personal computers in 1984.

It has subsequently been replaced by the new standard for desktop PCs (ATX) and the smaller form factor boards (ITX), which are commonly used for small home theater PCs.

The most common type of motherboard used today is the Advanced Technology eXtended (ATX) board. Most desktop PCs use this type of board, and you can purchase them online or at any computer retail outlet.

The IT eXtended (ITX) board is a newer form factor with a smaller footprint than other motherboard designs. They are commonly used in small systems such as home theater PCs.

Main Components of a Motherboard

Main Components of a Motherboard

If you are a seller of motherboards, you must understand how your customers will be using their products.

Most people use motherboards to add internal components to their computers. These components include the processor socket (CPU), memory slots (RAM), expansion slots, power connector, and chipset.

You must know what each component does so that when someone asks you a question about it, you can answer them in an informed way.

For example, If someone asks, “What are the three types of motherboard?” then they probably want some clarification on the differences between these three types before making a decision.

The first type is called a micro-ATX motherboard. It has one processor socket (CPU) with two memory slots and no expansion slot; this board is generally used for small computers since it doesn’t require much space inside your PC case or tower enclosure system when installed correctly.

Main Functions of a Motherboard

There are a few key functions of a motherboard.

The first and most obvious is that it acts as the base for all your other computer components, holding them in place and connecting them.

Though you might think of the motherboard as simply an anchor for other pieces, it also has more active functions to perform like:

  • Allowing power to flow from the power supply unit to each component. Without this function, your computer would be completely unplugged.
  • Allowing data to flow from one component to another. Without this function, your data would have no way of moving from point A to point B within your computer.
  • Allowing peripherals (like USB devices) to connect directly with your computer and through expansion slots (PCI). Without these connections, you wouldn’t be able to use any external devices (keyboard/mouse/printer) or additional memory (RAM).

What Are The Functions of Each Motherboard Component?

  • Chipset – The chipset is an integrated circuit (IC) that contains all the main components of the motherboard. This includes the northbridge and southbridge, connected to the CPU socket by a Front side bus (FSB).
  • Northbridge – The northbridge is the part of the chipset that connects to high-speed hardware such as RAM and graphics cards. It also determines system performance, including data transmission speed.
  • Southbridge – It connects to slower hardware, such as USB and audio ports, hard disk drives (HDDs), and solid-state drives (SSDs). It also controls power management, input/output (I/O) devices, network interface cards (NICs), clock generators, BIOS chips, etc.
  • CPU Socket – The CPU socket is often referred to as a “slot” or “slot 1”. It determines which type of processor you can use with your motherboard.
  • Memory Slots – Lines up with your RAM modules so that they can be placed into position on your motherboard. There are two types: Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) slots for desktop computers and Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (SO-DIMM) slots for laptops. These determine how much memory you can use on your device.
  • Expansion Slots – Expansion slots allow you to add more components after purchasing a new motherboard. There are several different types of expansion slots available, including Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe), Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP), Industry Standard Architecture (ISA), Conventional PCI, Mini PCIe, and Mini AGP.
  • CMOS Battery – A small battery that maintains time and date settings even when your computer is turned off. These settings are stored in its CMOS chip within the BIOS firmware.
  • Real-Time Clock (RTC) – An RTC circuit keeps track of time even when power is switched off through its power supply sourced from a coin cell battery


To recap, the three types of motherboards are ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX. The size of your motherboard determines what kind of case you should use for your computer.

An ATX motherboard requires a standard full-size tower case that can accommodate a larger graphics card and a more powerful CPU cooler. A micro ATX motherboard only takes up half the room as an ATX one and can easily fit inside a midsize tower case.

This setup is excellent for those who don’t need bleeding-edge hardware but still want their machine to be fast enough to handle things like gaming or photo editing.

Finally, mini ITX boards are extremely small and made to fit in even the smallest of cases—which makes them most suitable for people who don’t do much gaming or video editing but need a reliable machine that can get work done.

Related Content

Photo of author

Luqman Khan

Luqman is the founder of and an obsessed gamer! Overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He is also the founder of a Computer Gaming Lounge. He has been into gaming and PC Building since 2009. He is also obsessed with DOTA 2 and Rainbow Six Siege.