Friday, April 23, 2010

Form Factor

microATX form factor motherboard

Motherboards are produced in a variety of sizes and shapes called computer form factor, some of which are specific to individual computer manufacturers. However, the motherboards used in IBM-compatible commodity computers have been standardized to fit various case sizes. As of 2007, most desktop computer motherboards use one of these standard form factors—even those found in Macintosh and Sun computers, which have not traditionally been built from commodity components. The current desktop PC form factor of choice is ATX. A case's, motherboard and PSU form factor must all match, though some smaller form factor motherboards of the same family will fit larger cases. For example, an ATX case will usually accommodate a microATX motherboard.

Laptop computers generally use highly integrated, miniaturized and customized motherboards. This is one of the reasons that laptop computers are difficult to upgrade and expensive to repair. Often the failure of one laptop component requires the replacement of the entire motherboard, which is usually more expensive than a desktop motherboard due to the large number of integrated components

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