CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

CompTIA A+ Motherboard Diagram 2024: What to Know

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram is considered a key area that all CompTIA A+ test-takers should know. Now, let’s discover this in the below article with us.

April 29, 2022

The main concept that test-takers need to fully comprehend in order to maximize their score is the CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram. For this reason, everything you ought to know about this subject will be covered in this post.

Check out our free CompTIA A+ practice test to pass the actual exam with a flying score.

General Information of CompTIA A+ Motherboard Diagram

Motherboard (Motherboard) is also known by other names such as MB, mainboard, backplane board, baseboard, main circuit board, planar board, system board, or on Apple computers it is Logic board. The motherboard is a circuit board that plays the role of the foundation of a computer set, located in the center of the case. It distributes power to the CPU, RAM, and all other hardware components of the computer. Most importantly, the motherboard creates the link between these components. 


The printed circuit board of the motherboard has a slightly different structure than the printed circuit board of other commonly found electronic devices. Most printed circuit boards in simple circuits have a double-sided structure (front and back) to accommodate the paths on them.

Because there are many paths operating with different frequencies, (as a general rule) the board must be designed with paths that do not interfere with each other, this is a difference that makes the board design of motherboards different from ordinary motherboards. The motherboard, because it contains many components with large paths, is designed with 3 to 5 layers (or even more): In addition to the front and back two layers, there are lines in the middle of the board. guide.

Functions of Motherboard

  • The process of booting the motherboard after power-on
  • Binding components on a computer system together
  • BUS speed change control to suit different components
  • Power management for components on the Main
  • Provide a master clock (Clock pulse) to synchronize the operation of the whole system

Main components

  • Chipset (including southbridge and northbridge): Playing a very important role, the chipset will bring data from the hard drive, through memory, then to the CPU and ensure peripherals and expansion cards are still available. can “communicate” with the CPU and other devices.
  • BIOS: This is the basic I/O device, playing an equally important role as the chipset in each main server. This device contains the working parameters of the system. BIOS will be soldered and glued directly to the main server or plugged into a socket for users to easily disassemble.
  • Socket: Is the number of CPU pins on the mainboard, the socket type of the CPU you want to buy must be compatible with the supported mainboard.
  • CPU: The standard slots for AMD and Intel processors are different, so you can’t plug this company’s processor into the mainboard that supports the store’s processor. Store processors will use different slots, so in many cases, you won’t be able to upgrade either.
  • Bu system: Indicates the maximum operating frequency of the data communication line of the CPU that the main supports. The high-speed bus will also support lower bus processors.
  • ISA slot: To plug in additional expansion boards such as video and audio boards, etc. Currently, the ISA slot is no longer integrated into the motherboard.
  • PCI slot: Used to install additional communication devices with the computer such as sound cards, internal modems, etc.
  • PCI Express slot: Supports 30 years more bandwidth than the PCI standard, capable of completely replacing both PCI and AGP slots.

Read more >> CompTIA A+ Cable Types & Connectors with Their Purposes

Motherboard Form Factors

The form calculated could be an equipment plan perspective that characterizes and endorses the estimate, shape, and other physical details of components, particularly in hardware. It may moreover characterize a whole framework, as in a computer shape figure. Computer chassis are outlined to oblige particular frame components, and knowing these common standard shape variables is basic for a CompTIA A+ technician:

ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended)

Advanced Scaling Technology, aka ATX, is the most common element for desktop cases and motherboards. It’s a standard introduced by Intel as a replacement for the old AT design. It’s an evolutionary design that builds on the previous Advanced Technology (AT) model by improving the outline of the case, power supply, and motherboard. With better use of space and resources, ATX is quickly becoming the default form factor for most new PC systems. Today, the industry accepts the ATX form factor as the standard. 

The ATX was a major alter from AT motherboard plans and got to be the default frame calculation for most modern frameworks because it progressed back for I/O gadgets and innovation. processor innovation, making it a part less demanding to include or remove components. ATX is additionally more prudent than past frame components.

The modules on ATX motherboards are outlined to work together more effectively due to the more ideal situation of each component. With the drive and control supply found in a more functional area, the motherboard will be less demanding to associate. By decreasing the motherboard’s cable length, the chance of information debasement and EMI (stands for electromagnetic interference) is diminished.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

An extra highlight of ATX motherboards is the situation of the control supply fan. Discuss is blown straightforwardly into the processor and development card for moved forward cooling and diminished clamor. An extra ATX property could be a delicate switch or delicate control included.

The delicate switch is controlled by the OS, which gives a slight control when the framework is turned off by the control switch. When utilizing the control switch to close down more seasoned frameworks, the control is all of a sudden turned off, frequently causing mistakes amid reboots and putting an extra push on the motherboard.

ITX (Information Technology eXtended)

ITX – Information Technology eXtended, most commonly known as Mini-ITX version – is a small 170×170 mm mainboard, marketed in 2001 by VIA Technologies for use in computer systems to Compact size tables. Initially, the ITX mainboard standard was born with the aim of maximizing mobility and reducing the overall cost, but due to a combination of reasons, the latter cost increased.

Basically, the case system using Mini-ITX can be considered a desktop computer with mobile features thanks to its surprising compactness. In conditions that often have to be on the move and need the power of a desktop system that a laptop can hardly handle, the ITX case is a great solution. Playing live games (online) or 3D design, doing graphics tasks, etc. needing the highest stability of the system will need a compact case using an ITX mainboard.

In addition to that optimal purpose, the ITX mainboard rigs are also one of the “hardcore” hobbies of technology enthusiasts. Imagine a system as compact as possible (with the condition of being portable) that is “stuffed” with toys like a large case but still has to ensure heat dissipation, which requires a lot of knowledge. Investing and arranging components is not small.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Motherboard Connector Types

Motherboards utilize extension spaces to supply bolster for extra input/output (I/O) gadgets and high-speed video/graphics cards with the foremost common extension openings being PCI Express (also known as PCIe for short).

PCI Slots (Peripheral Component Interconnect)

PCI is an acronym for the phrase Peripheral Component Interconnect, which is a concept to refers to the communication standard between computer hardware components. They determine the compatibility between different parts of the computer system. Usually, we often write to the PCI standard for motherboards, RAM, graphics cards, sound cards, network cards, mice, keyboards, and computer speakers,… Different PCI standards give transfer speeds. Load different data. In which, PCIe is the communication standard with high data transmission speed.

PCI was introduced by Intel in 1992. The PCI bus comes in both 32-bit (133MBps) and 64-bit versions and is used to attach hardware to computers. Although commonly used in computers from the late 90s to the early 2000s. PCI has been replaced by PCI Express. Versions were released in 1993 to version 2.0. And 1995 with PCI 2.1, as an extension to the ISA bus. Unlike ISA and other previous expansion cards. PCI follows the PnP specification and therefore does not require any jumpers or embedded switches.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

PCIe (PCI Express) Slots

PCIe or PCI Express is a generation of PCI interface standards with higher data transfer rates than conventional PCI. They usually refer to the connections between the expansion card components, the computer RAM, and the computer motherboard. PCIe 4.0 is the latest communication standard, and the highest data transfer rate available today. PCIe 4.0 supports maximum speeds up to 16GT/s, a bandwidth of 64GB/s. And PCIe 3.0 is the most popular communication standard between computer components.

PCIe could be a high-speed serial computer development transport standard outlined to supplant the more seasoned PCI transport guidelines. It is the common motherboard interface for PC’s design cards, difficult drives, SSDs, WiFi, and Ethernet equipment associations. PCIe has advancements over the more seasoned, counting higher greatest throughput I/O stick tally and littler physical impression, better way execution scaling, more nitty mistake discovery and various components, and local hot-swap usefulness.

More later forms of the PCIe standard give the equipment back for I/O virtualization. PCIe openings are accessible in 4 specific sorts: x1, x4, x8, & x16. (Each x alludes to an I/O path.) 

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Riser Cards

A riser card may be a printed circuit board that picks up a large number of flag lines (regularly used) through a single connector (as a rule an edge connector) on a motherboard and conveys them through devoted connectors on the card. Riser cards are regularly utilized to permit extension cards or different ports accessible to a framework encased in a low-profile case where the stature of the case does not permit the opposite situation of the full-height extension card.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Socket Types

In computer equipment, a CPU attachment (CPU space) contains one or more mechanical components giving mechanical and electrical associations between a chip and a printed circuit board. This permits for putting and supplanting the CPU without patching. Common attachments have maintenance clips that apply a steady constraint, which must be overcome when a gadget is embedded. 

For chips with numerous pins, zero insertion force (also known as ZIF) attachments are favored. Common attachments incorporate PGA (stands for the Pin Grid Array) or LGA (stands for the Land Grid Array). These plans apply a compression constraint once either a handle (PGA sort) or a surface plate (LGA sort) is put into place. This gives predominant mechanical maintenance while maintaining a strategic distance from the chance of twisting pins when embedding the chip into the attachment.

ZIF (also known as the Zero insertion force) may be a sort of coordinated circuit (IC) or electrical connector that requires an exceptionally small drive for inclusion. With a ZIF attachment,  a lever or slider on the side of the attachment is moved, pushing all the sprung contacts separated so that the IC can be embedded with an exceptionally small drive, for the most part, the weight of the IC itself is adequate and no outside descending drive is required.

The lever is then moved back, permitting the contacts to shut and grasp the pins of the IC. ZIF attachments are much more costly than standard IC attachments which tend to require a larger board due to the space taken up by the lever instrument. Ordinarily, they are utilized when there’s a great reason to do so.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

The LGA could be a bundling innovation with a rectangular lattice of contacts on the underside of a package. The LGA plan employs spring-loaded lands within the processor attachment that interface to bumps on the posterior of the processor. The number of lands within the processor attachment is utilized for the numeric portion of the attachment title.

For illustration, LGA 775 has 775 lands within the processor attachment. Not all columns and columns of the framework got to be utilized. The contacts can either be made by utilizing an LGA attachment, or by utilizing patch glue.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram


Serial ATA could be a computer transport interface that interfaces transport connectors to mass capacity gadgets such as difficult disk drives, optical drives, and solid-state drives adjoining the CPU. SATA connectors supplanted IDE connectors, which were ribbon-like cables for CD-ROMs/DVDS or a difficult drive that was slower and more lumbering and required to be doled out. 

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

SATA moreover succeeded the prior PATA (also known as the Parallel ATA) standard to end up the overwhelming interface for capacity gadgets. The foremost vital advancement was speed, with first-generation SATA cables exchanging information up to 1.5Gbps. As SSDs came to advertise, SATA detail made strides to 3Gbps to coordinate the speedier information capabilities of the solid-state drives. The most recent SATA from exchanges information at 6Gbps.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Front & Top Panel Connectors

Ordinary motherboards highlight one or more sound connectors outlined for distinctive purposes: 

  • Front/top-panel sound: Mouthpiece and earphones; found on nearly all motherboards. 
  • Music CD playback from optical drives: Once in a while required highlight since media player programs can play music through the SATA interface. 
  • SPDIF header: Planned to bolster a discretionary SPDIF bracket for advanced sound playback.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Internal USB Connector

The USB connector on the exterior of the case or portable workstation has an interface to the motherboard so that outside gadgets can get to the motherboard.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

BIOS/UEFI Settings

BIOS (stands for the Basic Input/Output System) is popularly known as a ROM chip found on motherboards that permits you to get to and set up your computer framework at the foremost fundamental level. The UEFI (stands for the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is popularly known as a detailed interface between a working framework and a stage program.

UEFI is the primary code run by a computer when it is booted by planning the machine by testing it amid bootup and clears the way for the working framework to begin. It tests and initializes components such as the processor, optical drives, video cards, difficult drives, and USB drives.

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In the event that any blunders happen, the BIOS/UEFI reports them as the portion of the testing organization, also popularly known as the POST (stands for the power-on self-test). To get to the BIOS, press the key or key combination shown on the screen when the framework begins booting to get to the BIOS program menu.

UEFI, which may be a GUI or text-based menu, supplanted the bequest BIOS firmware interface in most PCs, with most UEFI firmware usage giving bolster for bequest BIOS administrations. UEFI can bolster further diagnostics and repair of computers, indeed with no working framework introduced. All Mac computers utilize UEFI firmware.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Pros of UEFI:

  • Bolster for difficult drives of 2TB and higher capacity. These drives require the utilization of the GPT (stands for the GUID Partition Table) to get to full capacity. 
  • Faster framework startup and other optimizations. 
  • Larger-size ROM chips utilized by UEFI make room for extra highlights, way better diagnostics, the capacity to open a shell environment for simple streak upgrades, and the capacity to spare numerous BIOS arrangements for reuse.

CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram

Firmware Updates

Common steps to find a streak BIOS overhaul and introduce it: Go to the vendor’s site and seek for “downloads” or “tech support” joins. The BIOS overhauls are recorded by framework show and by form; maintain a strategic distance from beta (prerelease) versions. 

Locate the right BIOS upgrade for your framework or motherboard. 

Determine the establishment media required to introduce the BIOS picture (Windows-based installer, bootable CD, or USB flash drive). 

Download all records required to introduce the BIOS image. 

Create bootable media and after that take after the vendor’s information to put the loader and BIOS picture records on the media.


  • Bootable media: Make beyond any doubt the drive the primary thing within the BIOS boot arrangement. Embed or interface your media and restart the framework. In case provoked, press a key to begin the updated handle. After the method begins, it takes roughly three minutes to rewire the substance of the BIOS chip with the upgraded information. 
  • Windows: Near all Windows programs before the process of beginning the upgraded handle. Explore the envelope containing the BIOS overhaul and double-click it to begin the upgraded handle. Take after the prompts onscreen to total the method (takes around 3 minutes).

Evacuate the media and restart the framework to utilize your modern BIOS highlights. Reconfigure the BIOS settings in the event necessary. 

Caution: Whereas performing a streak overhaul, make beyond any doubt you don’t turn off the control to your PC. Hold up for a message demonstrating that the BIOS overhaul has been completed before the process of touching the computer. In case the control goes out amid the streak upgrade, the BIOS chip may be rendered useless.

Security Features

Security highlights of different sorts are scattered around the normal framework BIOS/UEFI dialogs. Highlights and their areas change by the framework and might include: 

  • BIOS secret word: BIOS Settings Secret word or Security dialogs. 
  • Empower BIOS secret word to include allow get to BIOS setup dialogs. 
  • Power-on secret word: Designed through the Security discourse. Anticipates anybody without a secret word from the beginning of the system. 
  • Chassis interruption: Different locations Boot segment assurance: Progressed BIOS Highlights dialog 
  • Note: BIOS watchword & Power-on secret word can be overcome by opening the framework & clearing the CMOS memory.

These mentioned features are able to support drive encryption:

  • TPM (stands for the trusted stage module): Security discourse. Windows versions that bolster BitLocker FDE (full-disk encryption) highlight TPM to secure the substance of any indicated drive. 
  • LoJack for tablets: After-market item implanted in firmware or introduced by the end-user; not overseen with BIOS dialogs. Utilized for finding lost/stolen laptops. 
  • Secure Boot: Boot or other dialogs. Square’s establishment of other working frameworks & requires the client to get to UEFI setup by restarting the computer in an extraordinary investigating mode inside Windows 8 or afterward.

Interface Configurations

Interface arrangements comprise: 

  • SATA arrangements alternatives: To enable/disable SATA & eSATA ports & to arrange SATA have connectors to run incongruent, local, or Attack modes. 
  • USB has connectors & charging back: Utilized to empower USB 2.0 & 3.0 in your framework BIOS so that all your system’s USB ports will run at legitimate speeds. 
  • Audio & other types of Ethernet ports: Utilized for the purpose of designing sound and other coordinate ports.

CMOS Battery

The CMOS (which stands for the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) battery keeps up the time, date, difficult disk, and other setup settings within the CMOS memory. CMOS batteries are little and are joined specifically to the motherboard. The CMOS battery gives control to preserve the substance of the CMOS chip.

Battery life is a few years, but a moo CMOS battery can cause issues with drivers and now and then booting. Framework date & time mistakes can be a sign that it is time to check or alter the battery. To clear CMOS on most frameworks, put a jumper piece over two jumper pins. A few frameworks highlight a port-cluster-mounted thrust button to clear the CMOS.

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CPU Features

CPU Cores:  Single Core and Multicore

A single-center could be a chip with one CPU (handling unit) that gets information from the computer program to perform calculations for yield. Multicore processors are computer processors that coordinate circuits with 2 or more isolated handling units which study and execute program information as if the computer had a few processors. The good thing about a multicore processor versus having numerous physical processors may be a lessening in cost and they work with any working framework that bolsters conventional single-core processors.


CPU virtualization emphasizes execution and runs straightforwardly on the processor at whatever point conceivable. The fundamental physical assets are utilized at whatever point conceivable and the virtualization layer runs enlightening as required to create virtual machines work as in the event that they were running specifically on a physical machine. Most current processors highlight virtualization back, moreover known as hardware-assisted virtualization. Hardware-assisted virtualization empowers virtualized working frameworks and applications to run quicker and utilize fewer framework assets.


Hyperthreading is Intel’s exclusive concurrent multithreading usage utilized to progress the parallelization of computations (doing different assignments at once) performed on an x86 chip. When hyperthreading is empowered within the framework BIOS and the processor is running a multithreaded application, the processor is imitating 2 physical processors.

CPU Speeds

A mode of transport may be a circuit that interfaces one portion of the motherboard to distinctive components such as the CPU, memory, chipsets, development spaces, capacity interfacing, and I/O ports. The more information a transport can handle at one time, the speedier it permits data to travel. The speed of the transport, measured in MHz, alludes to how much information can move over the transport simultaneously.


In computing, the reason for overclocking is to extend the working speed of a given component. In present-day frameworks, the target of overclocking is expanding the execution of a major chip or subsystem, such as the processor or design controller, but other components, such as framework memory (Smash) or framework buses are commonly included. The trade-offs are expanded control utilization (warm), fan commotion (cooling), and abbreviated life expectancy for the focused on components. 

Most components are outlined with an edge of security to bargain with working conditions outside of a manufacturer’s control. Overclocking methods in common point to exchange this security edge by setting the gadget to run at the higher conclusion of the edge, with the understanding that temperature and voltage must be more entirely observed and controlled by the client.

Integrated Graphics Processing Unit 

An IGP (stands for the integrated graphics processing) unit could be an illustration chip that coordinates into a computer’s motherboard. The IGP serves the same reason as a video card, which is to prepare the design shown on the computer. IGP takes the design parcel of the preparing stack off the most CPU.

Due to IGPs being fastened onto the motherboard, their measure is constrained and they cannot use a devoted fan to cool them as a few video cards do. Usually, the main reason why IGPs ordinarily don’t have the same execution as video cards is that they are joined to the computer’s PCI or AGP ports. IGPs due to their little estimate are great arrangements for tablet computers and entry-level desktop PCs.

Processor Compatibility

AMD & Intel are the 2 primary companies creating CPUs. AMD processors utilize the PGA shape figure where the contact pins that embed into the attachment are mounted to the CPU itself. Intel processors utilize the LGA shape figure where the pins that interface the CPU to the motherboard are mounted on the motherboard’s attachment. How the CPUs physically join and how they work inside imply that the two brands are not congruous with one another. Free producers of motherboards, such as ASUS and ASRock, make a few distinctive sheets that back CPUs from both companies.

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Cooling Mechanisms

Computer cooling is required to expel the squander warmth delivered by computer components and to keep components inside allowable working temperature limits. Components that are helpless to brief glitch or changeless disappointment in case overheated incorporate coordinated circuits such as CPUs, chipsets, design cards, and difficult disk drives.

The essential prerequisites for legitimate CPU cooling incorporate the utilization of a fitting warm sink (which incorporates a fan) and the application of a suitable warm fabric (oil, glue, or a pre-applied warm or phase-change compound). Progressed frameworks some of the time utilize fluid cooling instead.

Expansion Cards

An expansion card is often known as an electronic card that’s utilized to include additional usefulness to a computer. It is embedded into an extension space on the motherboard of a computer. Development cards contain edge connectors that are utilized to form an electronic connection between the motherboard and card, in this way empowering these 2 to communicate.

Video Cards

A video card is an extension card that produces nourishment of yield pictures to a show gadget (such as a computer screen). Most video cards are not restricted to basic show yield. Their coordinated design processor can perform extra preparation, evacuating this assignment from the central processor of the computer. Video cards can come as onboard or as add-on cards.

Sound Cards

A sound card is a card for a coordinate circuit for creating sound on a computer that can be listened to through speakers or earphones. In spite of the fact that the computer doesn’t require a sound card, it’s included on each machine either in an opening or the motherboard.

The information about the CompTIA A+ motherboard diagram that was just mentioned can help you pass the CompTIA A+ certification test and advance your career as an IT expert.