What Is the Major Difference Between Desktop and Laptop Motherboards?

Written by randy nicholas
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What Is the Major Difference Between Desktop and Laptop Motherboards?
Laptop and desktop motherboards differ in many ways. (meadow on laptops display image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

Personal computing began in the early 1970s and has since evolved to suit the needs and wishes of consumers of all types. The motherboard is the central nervous system of personal computers, and they differ greatly between desktops and laptops.


Modern desktop computers use a modular layout for the motherboard, which makes it easier to upgrade components such as video and sound cards and memory. Laptops, however, have precious little space to work with, so laptop motherboards are designed to fit each type of laptop specifically.


Computer technology evolves rapidly, and the motherboards in desktop computers provide more expansion slots than those in laptops, allowing for easier upgrading to increase the longevity and performance of the computer. Each laptop, with its unique motherboard layout, sacrifices expansion to allow for ever-thinner and lighter models.


Laptop and desktop motherboards also differ in the type of components they are compatible with. Some laptop manufacturers use proprietary memory modules, which means you can only expand the memory capacity of the computer if you buy the memory stick from your computer's manufacturer. Desktops, on the other hand, support an extensive choice of component manufacturers.

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