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Other Computer Motherboard Components

The motherboard is the backbone of your computer. Like the human spine, it connects all the other components to the processor and each other. Every interaction and every bit or byte of data flows through the motherboard. It supplies power to most smaller components and control signals to all of them. Everything from your processor to your RAM and hard drives connect to the motherboard.

Accessory Components

While the motherboard itself contains all the connectors you absolutely need, many computer parts require motherboard components and accessories for mounting or to work properly. For example, most motherboards require an I/O shield that mounts in the case opening at the back. This protects your USB and network connectors from dust and damage. As the name suggests, it's a shield for your computer components.


Many systems also come with a number of small removable computer motherboard components that sometimes require replacement. These include such parts as socket protectors to shield the delicate pins inside an Intel LGA socket. It can easily be lost when you have a processor installed, but if you need to use the motherboard elsewhere, you may want a replacement protector to shield the socket until you have the next processor, especially in a dusty environment.

Motherboard Cables

When you build a new computer, it can be a real eye-opener to see just how many cables and connectors you need. Yes, some components such as RAM plug directly into slots on the motherboard, but others such as hard drives do not. Most hard drives rely on SATA connections, which means the drive needs two cables: one for power, which connects to the PSU, and the other for data, which connects to a port on the motherboard.

Expansion Headers

Many motherboards come with features such as additional USB connections that do not have any associated ports. USB expansions headers plug into these pins to provide extra USB ports. Other headers can do things like give you access to front headphone and microphone ports built into the case.

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