The motherboard is the central part of the computer that keeps all the parts connected and allows them to receive power. The main job of the motherboard is to hold the microprocessor chip and let other parts connect to it. The motherboard by itself is useless but it is necessary for the computer to work. Everything behind the computer case is somehow connected to the motherboard. This includes the RAM, CPU, hard drives, optical drives, a power supply, ports, and other computer parts. These parts connect to the motherboard directly or by cables.The first motherboards only had a few parts. They had a processor and slots and users plugged in components like floppy drive controllers and memory into the slots. Now motherboards have more components.
The shape and layout of the motherboard is called the form factor. The form factor has to fit together and be compatible with the other parts, including the case and the power supply, in order for everything to work.
Now some motherboards are also doing the job of the sound and video cards. This decreases the size and helps keep computers small. The down side of this is it keeps those built in components from being upgraded. There are motherboards in small devices like smartphones and tablets but they are usually referred to as logic boards.
The motherboard is a printed circuit board. It is located on the backside or bottom of the computer, this makes the ports accessible from the outside of the computer. Some computers are being made with more ports, like HDMI, that allow compatible devices to connect to your computer, like cameras.
Some other names the motherboard has are mb, mainboard, mobo, back plane board, base board, main circuit board, and system board.