: Also called the "System Board," it is the main printed circuit board in an electronic device, which contains sockets or slots that accept additional boards.

1.     Locate the stand outs where you will screw the motherboard
2.      Position the motherboard on the system case.
3.      Make sure the motherboard is position make a note of which holes on the case line up with those on the motherboard.
1.      Once each of the risers is fitted, place the motherboard into the case and line each hole up to the risers. Secure it using the 'fine threaded' screws.

Here are my sample activity worksheets for teachers.

This powerpoint tutorial demonstrate how to install motherboard on a system unit.

You may also read about the parts of the motherboard and challenge yourself by taking the online quiz by clicking the link below:
Parts of the Motherboard


Most of my students are afraid to configure the Front Panel because they do not know how they will connect all the Connectors on the motherboard they have. Well it is true that it is not easy and wrong connections might cause damage to your motherboard, so it's important to know exactly where you need to plug each pins before trying to connect them. Here are the things you should do first:

1. Read the motherboard Manual. All motherboard comes with motherboard service manual. On the manual, find the diagrams that will tell you exactly where each set of pins on the motherboard are.

An example of Motherboard manual diagram for Front Panel Header is shown below.

Picture taken from Asrock p4v88 Service Manual 
Note: Motherboard Front Panel header Vary so always refer to your motherboard manual.

2. Understand the Front Panel Header Pins. By looking at the pins below your motherboard, you could find the Front Panel Header Pins. So comparing the diagram above, we can say that the next steps will be easy.

3. Connect the all the connectors. 

Note that the picture above shows that the Front Panel Header comes with shorthand names. This is also printed in all connectors so you will not be confused. For example, in the above picture we can see that the Power Switch Connector should be connected to Pin 6-8 because we can see it on the diagram below

We should insert the Power Switch connector on this way

The front panel header also connect the Power LED the one that lights on the Power button when you boot up the computer. 

The Reset Switch,

the Hard Drive activity LED 

and the System Warning (beeping) Speaker from the case to the motherboard. Front Panel Header may vary from all motherboard so I listed below some possible shorthand names for these which will be written on the connectors themselves.


Power Switch - PWR-SW, PW SW, PW

Reset Switch - RES-SW, R-SW, RES

Hard Disk Drive LED - HDD-LED, HD

Speaker - SPK, SPKR, SPEAK


How to install memory (RAM)


The personal computer memory module is a piece of hardware that allows stored data to be accessed randomly. Its main function is to store the data temporarily.
This powerpoint tutorial demonstrate how to install memory.


Method 1: The motherboard manual will give you details about the compatible MEMORY for the motherboard.
 Method 2: Get the motherboard specification (Manufacturer and Model Name). 

Motherboard manufacturer and model name can be found at the motherboard box. 

You can also get the motherboard specification (Manufacturer and Model Name) using the motherboard manual.
 Most of the motherboard also have label or sticker attached to it containing about the Manufacturer Name and Model name.
Next is to search for the motherboard manufacturer and model name on its official website. then look for the correct specification or its compatible memory.  

How to Install Processor (CPU)

CPU OR CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT –often define as the brain of computer and the most critical component of a system unit. CPU is responsible for the speed of performance of your computer. A slow processor will always result in a slow computer.

A computer technician must have a wide experience and knowledge about processors. Knowledge about compatible processor for a specific motherboard is very helpful in a computer technician. Here is a simple steps on how to get compatible processor for a specific motherboard.

There are two major manufacturer of personal computer processor:
Knowledge about a PROCESSOR manufacturers and its model name will give a computer technician an information on what motherboard it should be installed.

Step 1: The motherboard manual will give you details about the compatible CPU for the motherboard.

Method 2: Get the motherboard specification (Manufacturer and Model Name). Motherboard manufacturer and model name can be found at the motherboard box.

You can also get the motherboard specification (Manufacturer and Model Name) using the motherboard manual. 

Most of the motherboard also have label or sticker attached to it containing about the Manufacturer Name and Model name. 

After getting the motherboard manufacturer and model name, access the official website of the motherboard and look for the correct specification of CPU  of the system board you have in hand. 

Installing PGA Processor
1.       Match the pins of the CPU to the holes of the CPU support.
2.       Match the shape formed by the holes from the CPU support to the CPU. This will be one of your guide in installing the CPU
3.       Position the CPU making sure that all pins will be inserted inside the holes.
4.       Do not push or force the CPU while inserting all pins on holes. Pins will be inserted smoothly if you position it correctly.
5.       Secure the CPU by clipping the CPU using the CPU lever lock.
6.       Install the Heatsink and plug the CPU power connector to the motherboard CPU power controller (Refer to your CPU motherboard manual for this.

Parts of the Computer

A computer is an electronic device that has the capability to manipulate information or data, store, retrieve, and process it for more useful information. It is programmable so it can responds to specific instructions or commands. There are many types of computers but the Personal Computer is the most popular because of its general usage.
Personal Computer popularly known as “PC” may vary from a desktop computer or Laptopcomputer known as Notebook .Computer can help you type documents, handle spreadsheets, accounting, database management, presentations, games, send email, surf the internet and more. you can also use it to handle spreadsheets, accounting, database management, presentations, games, and more.
Major Components:
  1. System Unit is the main body of a desktop computer which is typically consisting of a metal or plastic enclosure containing all the essential parts of the personal computer.
  2. Monitor is a visual display unit, which shows images generated from the video output a computer.Computer monitor nowadays have two types. The CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitor which is a big, like a tube television, and consume a lot of space in a table; however, it is the least expensive monitor option. The LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitor is thin and saves energy, but costs more.
When Choosing a monitor, most people, wants a larger monitors because it will usually have higher resolutions giving you more room to work and a larger area to immerse yourself. However larger screens will not necessarily produce a better picture, so it's worth finding a balance between these two factors that suits the budget of the user. The following factors will help you decide which monitor is a good one.
A. Resolution (e.g. 1280x800)The resolution of a screen is the number of 'pixels'(px) that make up its image. Pixels are small coloured dots that together create a full colour picture. Resolution will be written as the number of pixels in the horizontal direction by those in the vertical direction, e.g. 1280x800 would mean 1280 pixels wide by 800 pixels high.
B. Size(inches).Just like television, the size of a computer monitor is measured in inches and denotes the diagonal size of the screen. Most monitors these days are 'widescreen' which means they have a wider screen size, commonly in a 16:10 ratio (16 units wide and 10 units high).
C. Response Time (ms).A monitor with slow response time can result in a blurry image when something on the screen moves very fast.
D. Contrast Ratio (e.g. 1000:1). Contrast ratio in a monitor means the amount of contrast that can be achieved on the screen, which is measured by comparing the darkest image the screen can achieve with its lightest. So a contrast ratio of 1000:1 means that the white is 1000 times brighter than the darkest image. Low contrast ratios (<>
E. Brightness (cd/m2)The brighter the screen the more you will be able to see in a bright room, for example if the sun is shining. A value of between 300 and 500cd/m2 is a good starting point for most users.
F. Colour depth (bits)is the amount of colours a monitor can display. This could be measured in the amount of information per red green and blue channel the monitor can display.
  1. Mouse: also known as pointing device whose function is to detect two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface.
Computer Mouse has different types nowadays.
A. Mechanical Mouse-uses a rolling ball to detect movement; however, it is less expensive, but difficult to clean. It usually uses PS/2 connector.
B. Optical Mouse- This type of mouse usually uses USB connector, but there are few which use PS/2 connector. It uses an electronic eye to detect movement and is easier to clean but cost more than mechanical mouse.

An Optical PS2 Mouse (By III-1)
C. Wireless Mouse-This is the most expensive mouse. Just like Optical mouse, It uses an electronic eye but it uses signal to connect to the computer.
  1. Keyboard is an input device, designed just like a typewriter keyboard. It is one of the primary ways we communicate with the computer and enter data. Just like mouse, there are many different types of keyboard such as wired, wireless, ergonomic, multimedia, and more.
  2. Speakers are external speakers which is commonly equipped with a low-power internal amplifier. The standard audio connectorof a computer speaker is a 3.5mm (1/8 inch) stereo jack plug often color-coded lime green (following the PC 99 standard) for computer sound cards.
  3. AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator)The role of automatic voltage regulator's is to reduce the 5 volt signal to the lower voltage required by the microprocessor. Other prefers to have UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)which cost much than AVR but good enough because it has its own chargeable battery, enabling your computer not to shut down in case of power failure.
Other peripheral devices are the following:
1. Printer is a device which produces a hard copy. Hard copy is a permanent human-readable text or picture of documents stored in the computer. Most printers are primarily used as local peripherals, and are attached by a printer cable. New printers like Ink-jet printer and Laser printer uses a USB cable connector, while the old model, Dot-Matrix printer usually uses a serial connector.
2. Webcam: A digital camera capable of downloading images to a computer for transmission over the Internet or other network.
3. Scanner: is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image.
4. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Modem is a device used to connect a single computer or router to a DSL phone line, in order to use an ADSL service. Like other modems it is a type of transceiver.


 Here is the demonstration on how to connect important peripherals to the system unit

On Video: Mark Lester - Assistant, Joseph Densing - Demonstrator, Euclid Teplonuevo - On Voice over and Jomarie Cruz on Camera (All Third Year Students of Balara High School S.Y. 2009-2010)



1. CPU HOLDER is a portion in the motherboard which holds the CPU (Central Processing Unit) or simply as processor.

2. MEMORY (RAM) HOLDER or MEMORY SLOT. This is the slot where you will insert the memory module or memory card. Some motherboard comes with two to four slots. Aside from the motherboard specification, looking at the memory slots would help you to know which type of memory card is compatible.

3. POWER SUPPLY CONTROLER is the portion where you can connect the power supply unit (PSU) cable connector. Motherboards come with different power supply controller. Old motherboard needs AT power supply unit while new motherboard needs ATX power supply

4. CHIPSET is the base or platform that supports and provides data-transfer connections between the processor, memory, AGP, PCI-E, and PCI expansion cards, disk drives, and other peripheral devices.
A. North Bridge Chipset- this chipset handles the data-transfer duties of memory, CPU, and AGP and to make the most efficient use of available resources.

B. South Bridge Chipset- this chipset component provides support for a wide variety of devices with many differing bus speeds and designs. Control over secondary buses such as USB, IDE, PS/2, Ethernet is the Southbridge's main role.

5. CMOS:(Complementary Metal Oxide Semi-conductor) is also a chipset which contains the BIOS (Basic Input Output System). The BIOSis the built-in software that tells what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk.

6. CMOS BATTERYis a battery that maintains the time, date, hard disk and other configuration settings in the CMOS memory. CMOS batteries are small and are attached directly to the motherboard.

7. IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) CONTROLLER FOR HARD DISK DRIVE AND OPTICAL DRIVE are the connectors to which you will insert an IDE cable (supplied with motherboard). IDE cables connect devices such as hard drive, CD Drives and DVD Drives.

8. IDE CONTROLLER FOR FLOPPY DRIVE is smaller than the IDE controller of hard drive and optical drive. This is where you connect the floppy drive thru IDE cable.

9. SATA -Newest computer mother boards have the new interface called Serial Advance Technology Attachment (S-ATA). SATA has a faster transfer rate than ATA and only 1 device can be attached to it.

10. AGP(Accelerated Graphic Port)was designed specifically for AGP video cards. AGP provided a faster bus speed (66 MHz 1x - 133Mhz 2x - 266Mhz 4x effectively). AGP is a port not a bus unlike the ISA and PCI local buses because it is not expandable, it only involves the two devices the graphics card and the CPU.

11. PCI-EXPRESS:(Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)officially abbreviated as PCI-E or PCIe, is a computer expansion card standard introduced by Intel in 2004, and currently is the most recent and high-performance standard for expansion cards that is generally available on modern personal computers. PCIe was designed to replace PCI, PCI-X, and AGP. Unlike previous PC expansion standards, rather than being a shared parallel bus, it is structured around point-to-point serial links called lanes.

12. PCI:(Peripheral Component Interconnect)some pc’s have a number of PCI slots from 1 up to about 6. These PCI bus runs at 33Mhz and normally 32bits. The PCI bus was the first one to fully support plug and play, where IRQ's and other resources are set up by the OS and there are no need to alter jumpers etc on the hardware. You may insert different peripherals on PCI bus, from sound cards to DVD decoders and graphics accelerators.

14. Ports: These are plug-ins seen at the back of your system unit when the motherboard is placed inside it. The following are the common ports usually seen on a motherboard:
  • PS2 Ports

  • USB Ports

  • Serial Ports

  • Parallel Ports (Printer Port, VGA Port, Game Port )

  • Audio Ports

  • Ethernet port

  • Firewire port

Determine what CPU is compatible with your motherboard

Knowing the compatible processor for a motherboard is important for a technician because this information will help in case of upgrading or replacing the CPU. 

Upgrading means replacing the processor with another compatible processor but with higher capacity or speed.

Let us test your skills in identifying the parts of the motherboard! Answer the quiz below. Dont forget to type your full name. Goodluck!

Suggested Activities for students: 

  • Screwdriver
  • Thermal Grease
  • Brush 
  • Anti-Static wrist strap

1. Power off the system unit and unplug it from the outlet

2. Use the anti-static wrist strap in dis-assembly, assembly.

3. This system unit really needs to be clean, you could see the dust forming inside the CPU fan and heatsink

4. Remove the CPU fan and heatsink.

5. Clean the Dust using brush.

6. The dust in this heat sink will cause your system unit to over heat.

7. Clean the heatsink using brush. 

8. You might also need to clean the Power Supply Unit inside and outside using brush because too much dust might cause overheating too on electronic components.

9. Apply a thermal grease on the CPU.  

10. Remove all the parts and clean it using brush and lint free cloth.

11. Assemble the parts and test the system unit.

Motherboard Manufacturer refers to the name of a company that is producing and marketing a system board for computers.
Motherboard Model Name  may include series and model number of a motherboard.

Knowledge about a motherboard manufacturer and its model name will give a computer technician an information on the following:
1.Motherboard Manufacturer Website- It is important for a computer technician to know where to download a specific motherboard manual, drivers (device software) for motherboard devices, update for BIOS and other applications.
2.Compatible devices – The technician will easily identify compatible CPU, RAM, Video Card, HDD and other peripheral devices for a motherboard in case of upgrading or replacing parts.
3.Compatible Operating System – The computer technician could easily identify the compatible System Software and other application software for the motherboard.

Next will give you idea and procedure on “how to get the motherboard Manufacturer and Model name on a desktop system board".