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Difference between Integrated and Non-Integrated Motherboards

A motherboard has many names “system board”, “main circuit board” being two of the most commonly referred terms. The main component of a printed circuit board- integrated and non-integrated are both types of a motherboard. The backbone of a computer system; holding every component of a PC together. The integrated and the non-integrated variants of a motherboard are common in the computer system realm. If we wish to distinguish these variants; an integrated motherboard is a motherboard where all the parts of a computer system are held together and connected in close proximity. A non-integrated motherboard comes with scalability options- graphic and expansion cards, and lots of space for components. Thus, a non-integrated motherboard is bigger, in comparison to an integrated motherboard.

To further clarify the differences between types of motherboards: a non-integrated motherboard has mountable components whereas an integrated motherboard has fixed components. An integrated system board has numerous components incorporated into the board itself including the CPU, graphics, audio, and diverse regulator cards. The majority of laptops use completely assimilated system boards from the time when they provide a reduced form factor compared to non-integrated boards. Desktop computers frequently utilize non-integrated motherboards, though they may perhaps include several integrated components. For example, avant-garde motherboards used in PCs, or desktop computers, have integrated audio and controller cards. Some computer systems may have an integrated processor as well as graphics card depending on requirements.

There are differences between an integrated and non-integrated motherboard:

FeatureIntegratedNon-Integrated



Enhancements
Enhancements are not possible in this variant- excluding R.A.M as its upgrades or removal are possible. Since every component in it is firmly joint and compact, no other component is installable. Professionals are always in search of integrated graphic processor motherboards; this is the perfected motherboard for them.Upgrades and enhancements of this type are possible as all the components are installable. Another reason is the size of this motherboard allows placements as per the user’s demand.

Size
The integrated motherboard where the size, as well as the shape, are compact because all the components affixed to it are held closely together.Motherboards used in a PC, or a desktop, are big in size as well as shape as there is no restriction of space in them.
It is basically found in laptops as this was manufactured for them. Every laptop has a restricted size and motherboards are imperative to fit in the available space allotted for it within a laptop. The reason for this is the portability- a laptop serves this purpose. Therefore, the size and shape of the motherboard being utilized and integrated into the laptop or the integrated motherboard are small and compacted.They have ample space for expansion windows making them incrementally updatable.There is no curtailment or difficulty concerning the size, as well as, the shape of the non-integrated motherboard.
The reason is these are used in every desktop computer where size is not a problem.

Repair & Service
Servicing and repairing the integrated motherboard are quite challenging compared to a non-integrated motherboard. It is because of the fact that the integrated motherboard is considerably more sensitive and complex than the other motherboard. The integrated motherboard is compactly coupled or “integrated” with the other parts of the computer.Non-integrated motherboard repairing and servicing is simple and quite easy because of the fact that every component is changeable or upgradeable. If a component(s) malfunctions or indicates faulty functions after service, a user can change them easily. This motherboard size is not an issue since no one carries a desktop anywhere; thus, no portability issues. Therefore, maintaining the motherboard is not a problem.





Graphic Cards
In an integrated motherboard, the graphics processor card(s) is irremovable and is rigidly fixed in a particular location in the motherboard which is integrated.
As a result, it could not be upgradable or detached. If a user is demounting a graphics processor card or the GPU, the entire motherboard is to be dismounted or in the worst-case scenario change the entire integrated motherboard.
In a non-integrated motherboard, graphic card or the graphics processor are dismountable. A user can upgrade, remove or replace it for the enhanced version of the graphic card of the complex work or heavy gaming.Users, especially gamers, have a preference to install the components of the computer. The majority of the time, upgrades are done on the PCs where graphics cards are swapped with highly sophisticated cards for a better gaming experience and other highly rigorous computations.

The Form Factor of the Motherboard refers to the physical form, shape, attributes layout, and placement of components on it. Furthermore, it determines the system casing and what type it will be appropriate and will fit into. Several motherboards have similar functionalities and capabilities packaged into distinct form factors. The significant difference between these motherboards is form factors. The motherboard can be categorized into three form factors: -

  1. Proprietary- It is common knowledge that every Pentium version: Pentium Pro, or Pentium II systems, etc. all utilizes proprietary form factor. 
  2. Obsolete- Obsolete form factors are Advanced Technology (AT) and Low Profile Extended (LPX) form factors.
  3. Modern- Modern Form factor includes Mini ITS, ATX, Flex ATX, Micro ATX, and NLX form factors. 

With the advent and progress in technology as well as enhancements in computer hardware, non-integrated motherboards are said to be the former versions of motherboards. They are, in today’s digitized era, no more available. Non-integrated motherboards are obsolete technology in the computer hardware world. All the non-integrated motherboards were the type of system boards where every component is similar to an expansion slot, or card, that is connected to multiple channels and slots. 

For instance, the I/O card(input/output) where the diskette controller is attached- gaming-attachment ports, serial ports used for external modems, parallel ports for printers, keyboard and mouse interfaces, etc. Contrasting with today’s computer hardware, the majority of the components are already integrated on the motherboard. Although even today, video/graphic cards are bought and installed separately, before this, they were in a separate expansion slot/cad. To facilitate users, the majority of the integrated motherboards have a pre-existing built-in video card and the I/O card.

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