Making the decision to replace your motherboard on your computer should be taken likely. Whether its because you have decided to upgrade your computer because you want to increase the speed and efficiency or because you have no choice because of damage or old age, replacing your motherboard is not as clear cut as replacing other components of your computer.
What is a motherboard?
A motherboard, also known as the mainboard, system board, planar board or logic board is the backbone of most computer systems. Like the spine in the human body the motherboard is the major components all the other components connect to, joining them together so they can communicate.
Motherboards come in all different sizes for different types of computers such as laptops or desktops and these different sizes are known as form factors.
Motherboards come in all different sizes and shapes, known as form factors. Each form factor is built to accommodate the different kinds of computers the will be placed in such as laptops or desktops, and the different types of components which will connect into them.
The most common components which connect into motherboards are:
- Hard drives
- CPU’s (Processors)
- CD-rom, DVD, Optical Drives
- Graphics Cards
- Keyboards, Mouse and Monitors
- RAM (Memory)
Not all the components available on the market will fit every motherboard and must be bought and installed to fit the strict specifications of each individual motherboard.
Why you would want to replace your motherboard
There are two main reasons most people replace their motherboard.
1. The existing motherboard has become faulty.
It is not common for motherboards to just stop working, but it does happen.
Whether it’s because your existing motherboard is old and warn out or because something else has happened like a power surge or overheating, sometimes you have no option but to replace it. Or, buy another computer.
2. You feel the need for speed.
Another popular reason people replace their motherboard is because their old computer isn’t fast enough to run the applications or games need in todays environment.
Replacing the motherboard wont make your existing computer any faster, you would have to replace other components for that such as the processor and hard drive. But when purchase faster components you will most likely need to buy another motherboard as well to accommodate those new and improved parts.
The pitfalls of replacing your motherboard.
Even though there are many advantages of replacing your motherboard such as increased speed, more USB ports and better graphics etc. There are also a couple of setbacks which should also be mentioned.
Usually replacing your motherboard involves replacing some of, if not all of the components which plug into it.
Some of your existing parts such as hard drive and graphics card will sometimes be able to fit into your new board, but parts like your memory and processor, depending on the age will most likely need to be replaced. Which can be costly.
Loss of operating system and setup time.
It would be great if you could just take your motherboard out, replace it with a new one and new components and it would just work like it use to, with all your programs and data just sitting there like the last time you used it.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. When you replace your motherboard and boot your computer back up, your existing hard drive is going to look for the old hard drive and lost the necessary drives and software associated with it. In some cases this wont be a problem but a lot of the time when the hard drive can’t find the old board, it wont be able to start up.
This will result is you/us having to reinstall your operating system on your hard drive, all the programs you use and put all your data back onto it such as music, video, photos, word documents, Microsoft Office, emails etc.
Things seldom run as planned with replacing the motherboard in your computer, so backing up before you do anything is the most important thing.
No matter what happens to your computer in its life span, the data which is on it is most likely the most important thing. Backing up your data before hand will ensure no matter what happens with your computer, you will always be able to access your sensitive information.
Don’t do anything to you computer without backing up first!