Computers have become an essential part of everybody’s life today. It is safe to say that we cannot function effectively without their help. This is something that a great majority can agree on because computers make life easier for human beings.
We often don’t quite seem to understand the make-up of these digital devices that are made to help us. Many times, we end up either under using them (based on their potential) or even abusing them. It is important to understand how it functions and what it is composed of.
This article will give you an understanding of the motherboard and the number of hard drives it can support. Well, this can sound like a complex subject to have you read about, but it will be worth your time. Before we jump into the motherboard, how about we recap our basic understanding of what a computer is composed of. The computer consists of a CPU which is the Central Processing Unit, the monitor, keyboard, mouse and of course some electrical input to make it work. That’s all what’s needed to make the magic happen.
Our main focus will be on the motherboard – which is found in the main computer. The motherboard, also called the main-board, is the main Printed Circuit Board (PCB) connects various electrical and electronic components attached to it and allows for communication between these components in the system.
To give you a somewhat basic understanding of what this is, I would say that the motherboard is a board that has several ports which are soldered on to it – each with its critical function or purpose. These ports contain or can be connected to chips and circuits that communicate with each other to perform various tasks. As the name suggests, the motherboard is the “mother” of all attachments found on it. The motherboard connects various components of a computer system such as the memory, the central processing unit, hard-drives among many others. Having understood what the motherboard is and what it does, we will now look into storage; which will eventually answer our question; “how many hard-drives can a motherboard support?”
To begin with, let us understand what a hard-disk is and then get to know the maximum number of hard-disk-drives that a motherboard can support. A hard drive can also be referred to as a hard drive disk. It is a device installed in a computer primarily for data storage and is connected to the motherboard. It contains platters where data is written on using magnetic heads. In simple terms it is used to store data using a magnetic storage through platters.
A hard-drive is key to the computer system as it helps store the operating system by which users can interact with the software through the computer hardware. This is key as it helps the user accomplish his/her tasks effortlessly. It is also important as it stores other programs or files that users may want to store in their computers for example Microsoft Office, user’s pictures, music among others.
Hard-disks vary in capacity and their storage capacities are always measured in Gigabytes (GB). Modern hard-disks have larger capacities that store data to Terabytes (which is 1000 gigabytes and above). The fact that it can help store large sets of data makes it all the more effective. Lately, modern computers come fitted with SSD (Solid State Drive) which are more robust and faster when it comes to reading and writing data.
One important thing to note is that there are two types of hard-disks that can be used in a computer. One is an internal hard-disk and the second an external hard disk. External hard-disks are usually portable disks and can be plugged into the computer port using a cable popularly known as a USB cable. Internal hard-disks like the name suggests are internally placed and are connected to the motherboard using a data cable through integrated drives and advanced technology in the computer system interface.
For us to understand how many hard-disks a motherboard can support, we will have to understand the different ways that hard-disks can be connected to the motherboard. We will highlight three ways these connections can happen. First, a hard-disk can be connected to the motherboard is through the IDE. Most of the newer computers have only one IDE – Integrated Drive Electronics. A single IDE can connect two drives. It has an IDE ribbon cable which can make three connections. One connection is made by attaching it to the motherboard and the other two are made by connecting it to two hard-disks.
The second way is that some computers connect the hard-disk to the motherboard through SATA – (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment). This is made possible by the use of blue rectangular slots which are called SATA slots. A hard-disk can connect to only a single SATA interface using a SATA cable to a single SATA motherboard slot, Newer or more recent motherboards can support as many as eight of such slots which allows for eight individual connections.
The third way of connection would be through SCSI (Small Computer System Interface). SCSI can support eight devices or sixteen devices through the use of a wide SCSI. Advanced motherboards have SCSI ports on them. This is an ideal storage platform. If your main aim is to have as much storage as possible. Then this is the best interface for you.
From our previous understanding, the motherboard is the primary or base connector of all. In layman’s language, it is the “heart” that connects the computer system in place. Hard-disks get connected to the motherboard through the various ports and cables mentioned above. This allows for seamless communication within the system and ensures effective storage of data by the entire computer system.
In addition to this, we can easily say that a motherboard has and supports different connection capacities depending on the user’s requirements and the version of the motherboard in use. If a user prefers a lot of storage, they should opt for a motherboard that has an SCSI interface. This interface supports up to 16 slots and can help support as many hard-disks as one needs.
The second option would be the motherboard that has a SATA interface which can support up to 8 hard-disk connections for new motherboards, this will also be effective depending on the user’s requirements.
IDE can support two hard-disk connections. This can be found on motherboards with IDE interfaces. Therefore, we can easily appreciate that different motherboards support different number of hard-disks depending on the version of the motherboard and the type of interface found on the motherboard.
In conclusion, it is important to realize the potential of the devices at our disposal that way we can utilize them to the best of their capacity and in so doing enjoy the great benefits that come with them.