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The motherboard, also called the system board, is the backbone of the computer and a crucial piece of computer hardware to which all other components such as the CPU, memory, hard drive and video card are connected and interact through. Determining the major characteristics of the system, there are motherboards made for every type of usage, including home, office and of course, hardcore gaming.
Choosing an Intel-Compatible Motherboard
A motherboard is composed of many components, and choosing one can therefore be a somewhat complicated process relative to almost any other single part or device in the computer system.
The chipset and its CPU socket are the two key considerations to make, because the chipset basically determines the functionality, compatibility and connectivity of a motherboard. Most users typically choose a motherboard in order to support their choice of CPU, rather than the other way round. LGA775 (Socket T) motherboards are the mainstream motherboard offerings for the Intel platform today, with some Socket 478/479 motherboards being offered as well.
There are many other functions/features to pay attention to on a motherboard, such as SATA, and IDE/PATA interfaces, USB ports, IEEE1394/FireWire ports, LAN and wireless network support, as well as audio ports (including optical/coaxial S/PDIF ports). Each of them can help to provide you with the functionality that you desire out of your computer. Please read our Intel-Compatible Motherboards Buying Guide for more information on motherboards.