capacitors

Why do motherboards die?

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

In this, the third article in the ‘why do components die?’ series (Why has my power supply died? and Why do hard drives die? are the other ones), I’ll look at the most important (and usually most expensive) computer part in any system – the ‘brawn & brains’ of a PC if you like.

The motherboard is visible from the back of any modern computer – all the sockets where you plug the keyboard, mouse, monitor and speakers into are mounted on one edge of this large printed circuit board. It is where all the I/O (input/output) devices connect to which also includes the hard drive, DVD writer as well as the previously mentioned peripherals. It also has the socket for the brains – the processor – and the memory store – the RAM modules. Motherboards are incredibly complex pieces of kit and are – or should be – one of the most reliable components. After all, there are no moving parts (unless you count the cooling fan on the processor) and if it is well designed with quality components that don’t get too hot, expected lifespan should be well over 10 years – well, unless it becomes obsolete before then anyway! Continue reading

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