Difference Between Motherboard and Processor

Motherboard vs Processor

In electronic devices, especially in computer hardware, the motherboard is the main printed circuit board that carries the infrastructure of the whole system. On the other hand, the processor is a semiconductor chip that processes information in digital form.


Mother board provides the basic architecture to the whole system; therefore, the most important component in any of the electronic devices. It is also known as the mainboard, system board, planar board or logic board. In modern devices, this is a printed circuit board (PCB). Whether the system is a personal computer, a mobile phone, or a satellite a mother board is there.

All the components of the system needed to work are supported, interconnected through the motherboard. Somehow all the crucial components such as the CPU, memory, and input/ output devices are connected via different connecter and interfaces. Expansion slots connect the internal components and communication ports connect the external devices.

Computer motherboards are designed and manufactured nowadays in many varieties, to support different processors, memory, and also specialized software. However, based on the basic outlay they are divided into two categories. Those are AT and ATX system board categories. AT is further divide into full and baby categories. ATX is the later version introduced by the Intel and integrates the serial and parallel ports on the motherboard.

Main components of the system boards are as follows:

Communication ports: the external devices are connected through the communication ports. (USB, PS2, Serial and parallel ports)

SIMM AND DIMM: Single In-Line Memory Modules (SIMM) and Dual In-Line Memory Modules (DIMM) are the two types of memory used in the motherboards.

Processor Sockets: the microprocessor used as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is connected through this port.

ROM: ROM include the Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) chip, and Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS)

External Cache Memory (Level 2): Cache memory; many processors offer an integrated cache, though some motherboards have additional cache.

Bus Architecture: the network of connections that allows the component in the board to communicate with each other.


Microprocessor, commonly known as the Processor, is the Central Processing Unit of the system. It is a semiconductor chip that process information based on the inputs. It is able to manipulate, retrieve, store and/or display information. Every component in the system operates under the instructions directly or indirectly from the processor.

The first microprocessor was developed in 1960`s after the discovery of the semiconductor transistor. Analog processors/ computers large enough to fill a room completely could be miniaturized using this technology to the size of a thumbnail. Intel released the world`s first microprocessor Intel 4004 in 1971. Since then it has had a tremendous impact on the human civilization, by advancing the computer technology.

There are several classes of the Intel microprocessor designs for computers.

386: Intel Corporation released the 80386 chip in 1985. It had a 32-bit register size, a 32-bit data bus, and a 32-bit address bus and was able to handle 16MB memory; it had 275,000 transistors in it. Later i386 was developed into higher versions.

486, 586 (Pentium), 686 (Pentium II class) were advanced microprocessors designed based on the original i386 design.

What is the difference between Motherboard and Processor?

• Motherboard is the circuit that provides the basic infrastructure to the components of the system. Every device communicates through this main circuit. (It supports all the ports and extension slots to connect the internal and external components)

• Processor is a semiconductor chip that act as the operation/processing center for all the information in the system. It basically executes a set of instruction to get a desired outcome. It has the ability to manipulate, store and retrieve information in the system.