The motherboard is often thought of as the ‘backbone’ of your computer. This is because other components such as the CPU, hard drive and RAM connect to it. A motherboard allows all of these devices to communicate with each other to share information. In addition to providing support for hardware such as RAM, the motherboard also holds and controls I/O (input/output) ports such as USB 2.0/3.0 and Ethernet.
A motherboard is usually designed around particular components such as the CPU, which requires a specific physical socket design. For example, Intel Haswell processors require a socket 1150 motherboard and cannot be used in any other socket design such as 1155. If you are planning to upgrade your CPU or motherboard, it’s important to make sure they are both compatible with each other.
This component also includes a BIOs (Basic Input/Output System) chip which controls features on the motherboard. One example of a feature BIOs can control is fan speed. Your computer may increase your fans speed as the temperature increases. The BIOs can be used to configure many options for your hardware such as the default boot device. Overclockers also use the BIOs to alter the speed of the CPU to gain more performance from their computer.
If there was no motherboard present in a computer, components such as the RAM and CPU will not be able to communicate with each other and I/O ports would not be able to transfer data.