Chapter 28. Principles: Hardware
Open your computer and you'll see the motherboard inside. It usually lines the bottom of a desktop system, covers one side of a tower or mini-tower system, or fills the center of a notebook machine like the meat of a sandwich or ham of a burger. It's the biggest circuit board inside the computer, likely the biggest circuit board in any electronic device you have around your home or office. Typically, the motherboard takes the form of a thick green sheet about the size of a piece of notebook paper and is decorated with an array of electronic components.
Although all motherboards look much the same, that similarity belies many differences in technologies and approaches to computer design. Some computer-makers strive to cram as much circuitry as possible on the motherboard. Others put as little as possible there. The difference affects both the initial cost of your computer and its future use and expansion.