The motherboard is the heart of a PC, determining how much performance and features you’ll get from the system. Almost everything in the PC plugs into or connects to something that plugs into the motherboard, so picking the right board is key. The motherboard’s form factor dictates the size of case you’ll need and how many expansion slots you can use. And the chipset determines what CPUs you can install in the socket on the board.

Intel’s latest motherboards support its 12th-generation desktop processors, known as “Alder Lake” chips. Choosing the right board is crucial for these systems, as each chip fits a different situation and has specific requirements for the mobo it needs to run at maximum speed.

Motherboards come with various expansion slots that allow users to add additional components like memory, video cards, storage drives, and network adapters. Some of these slots are connected using a common expansion bus called ISA, while others use a more modern bus standard called PCI Express. Depending on the type of expansion slot and its connection standards, you’ll also want to consider whether it supports legacy or newer technology.

The BIOS is the software that resides on the motherboard and interconnects the system components to launch the operating system. It has been a feature of the PC since its inception in 1981 and was first introduced with 16-bit processors. Its interface is text based and limited to a small color palette, though there are efforts to replace it with the more user friendly Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Most Intel motherboards have a BIOS. Intel motherboards

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