What is a server motherboard?

A server motherboard, also known as a motherboard, multiprocessor board, or system board, hosts the vital features of a computing system. These characteristics include memory capacity, processor speed, and expandability. It differs from a regular desktop or home computer motherboard in that it has features that can coordinate a computer network. The server’s motherboard connects to other computers on a network and allows them to interact. It requires greater processing and labor power and has many enhanced options to accommodate these needs.

A dual core CPU mounted on a motherboard.

It is closely connected to the type of computer it supports, so a server motherboard cannot be considered a standalone element within the system, primarily because of compatibility issues. For example, one of the main elements of a server motherboard is called a chipset, which is a pair of primary chips that perform the most important functions of the server motherboard. As an example, some brands of computers may only be supported by chipsets made by the same company. Chipsets can determine things like memory type, memory channels, memory speed, and memory capacity. Some processors have these same memory functions controlled within the computer’s processor itself rather than the server’s motherboard, so some brands will have a different configuration than other brands.

Another important factor is the type of work the motherboard will support, in terms of power and speed required for memory capacity. Servers often require a lot of processing power to handle running multiple computers. Server motherboards have a variety of memory slots available to meet high performance demands as needed. There are dual central processing unit (CPU) socket motherboards and quad CPU socket motherboards to accommodate ever-increasing memory and processing power needs. Advanced users of high-end systems often include high-volume analysts such as astronomers, physicists, mathematicians, and large financial institutions.

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As computing power and memory requirements increase, a server’s motherboard must have a corresponding number of slots for expansion and stabilization of the system as a whole. Server motherboards have many choices and options to achieve this goal. It can be difficult to choose between the various server motherboard options, but it is possible to determine the relative power and speed required for the system, and the wide range of options can be negotiated accordingly.

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