Are The CPU And Motherboard The Same

by Perfect Tech Reviewers

One question that arose in my mind as a new gamer was whether the CPU and motherboard of a computer are the same. Do you have the same question? Well, the answer is No. Though they both are the primary components of a computer, they are not the same.

The primary function of both components is to help properly function a computer system. A motherboard is usually the system board and acts as a circuit board for the computer system. On the contrary, the CPU is vital in transferring the information or instructions around the system to operate it. Read the following article to learn more about the differences between both components.

What Is A CPU?

Since childhood, I have heard that a CPU is the brain of a computer. Well, this is true. A CPU is the processing unit of a system that carries basic instructions around the computer to operate it.

Over time, the manufacturers of these components have made various advancements to improve the component’s performance. Different types of processors are available in the market that help enhance your system’s overall performance.

A CPU consists of two parts, ALU and CU. ALU stands for arithmetic and logical operations, while CU is the control unit of a system that controls all the commands in a computer, helping it to function properly.

Besides these subsystems, a processor also contains fast memory locations known as registers that help to store and transfer data around the system according to the processor’s commands.

One of the most significant parts of a processor is its core. It is a small CPU built into the main processor. A core is also known as an execution unit of a processor.

Some basic processors have a single core, while many advanced systems have multi-core processors. Furthermore, processors with four and more cores are available in the market.

When purchasing a new processor for my gaming computer, I needed clarification about whether to buy a single-core or multi-core processor.

Upon my research on both types of processors, I found out that a multi-core processor can enhance the system’s overall performance to a great extent because of less power consumption, less heat, and various other factors.

Functions Of A CPU

The basic and key function of a CPU is to allow a system to function properly. In short, a CPU is part of a computer system that controls its operations. According to the computer language, a CPU’s primary function is to fetch, decode, execute, and store information.

What Is A Motherboard?

As I mentioned earlier, a motherboard is also known as the system board of a computer. A motherboard acts as a circuit board to which other system components are attached.

The attachment of these components to the motherboard creates a connection and helps in easy communication between the system’s components for proper functioning.

A typical motherboard consists of a memory controller, a chipset, sound cards, video cards, and graphic cards. Though all the parts of a motherboard play a significant role in proper functioning, a chipset is essential.

A motherboard chipset is a set of electronic components in integrated circuits called a Data Flow Management System. The primary function of a chipset is to control the communication between the system’s processor and external devices.

When looking for a new motherboard for my system, I always consider its chipset because it plays a crucial role in improving your system’s performance and making it more long-lasting.

Are The CPU And Motherboard The Same

Functions Of A Motherboard

In my opinion, a CPU acts as a computer’s brain, while a motherboard is a computer system’s backbone. The hardware connects to the system’s motherboard to proceed with its function. Hence, the operating system primarily depends on its motherboard and chipset.

Relationship Between The CPU And Motherboard

As clear from the above description, a processor attaches to the motherboard and communicates with the system’s other components to operate it properly.


Based On Functions

The most significant difference between both components is their function. A CPU sends commands to different system components to operate it, while a motherboard makes this communication between the processor and other components possible.

Based On Architecture

The motherboard is present in a CPU case. A typical motherboard has a square or rectangular shape based on its type and design. With various advancements, a motherboard occupies less space in a CPU case and hence is more reliable than older ones. Moreover, a motherboard is 305 x 244 mm in size.

In contrast to the motherboard, a processor is present on a system’s motherboard. Furthermore, a typical CPU is 37.5 x 37.5 mm in size. Besides its size, a CPU contains many transistors that perform millions of instructions per second.


As a child, I was always confused about a CPU and a motherboard. I thought they both were the same, but this isn’t true. A CPU is the central processing unit of a computer and acts as its brain because it controls the commands to operate a system.

On the other hand, a motherboard acts as a circuit board, and different components attach to it to communicate with the system’s processor. Both components work in great coordination but have different functions that make them differ.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the CPU called the motherboard?

No, a CPU is not called a motherboard. Both are the separate components of a computer and help in its proper functioning.

Does a CPU need a motherboard?

A typical CPU requires a motherboard to perform its function because a motherboard allows communication between the processor and other components.

Is the CPU separate from the motherboard?

Yes, a CPU is completely separate from a motherboard. Although both components work together to operate a computer, they have different functions.

Is the CPU a processor?

A typical CPU is also known as a processor because it is a computer’s central processing unit and controls various system commands.

Where is the CPU located?

A CPU is located on the system’s motherboard. Hence, both components are essential for proper functioning.

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