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What Is a Motherboard Monitor?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A motherboard monitor is a software program or a physical device that can be used with a computer to monitor and report information about the board. This is typically information a computer user should be aware of, such as fan speeds, temperatures, and any ports or slots not working. While many computer users do not necessarily need to have this information displayed at every moment, those running especially powerful hardware or overclocking their systems often utilize such information. A motherboard monitor can be a program that is installed onto a computer and runs in the background of other programs, or a physical device used to monitor and display information about the motherboard.

The term “motherboard monitor” can refer to any program used to monitor the condition of a motherboard, whether or not that is its intended purpose or name. In general, however, this program or device is used to track the condition of a computer’s motherboard and report that information. The motherboard is essentially the central nervous system of a computer, and all other devices and hardware are directly or indirectly connected to it. This includes the processors, hard drives, video card, media players, and any other devices inside and outside of a computer.

A computer motherboard.
A computer motherboard.

Due to the importance of the motherboard, it is often valuable for a computer user to be aware of what is happening with it. A motherboard monitor can be used to more easily and quickly track the condition of a motherboard and display information that might otherwise only be found in the basic input/output system (BIOS) of a computer. This information can include the temperature of the motherboard or processors, fan speeds within the case of a computer and mounted onto the central processing unit (CPU), and any errors with memory or expansion slots.

A motherboard monitor is often used by those who overclock their computer systems, to ensure that the increased clock speeds do not cause the system to overheat. Software programs can be used as monitors, and once properly installed, they allow a user to see information about his or her motherboard and CPU while playing games or running other programs. Some hardware devices can also be used as a motherboard monitor. These are typically connected to a computer or installed onto the computer case and run with software that is installed, displaying information about the motherboard on a small screen.

Discussion Comments


@Melonlity -- That might do for most people, but people who use motherboard monitors have different needs than most people. The article points out overclockers and that is the perfect example of a group that needs some hardcore monitoring software. Those people need to know when problems start before they get out of control and damage equipment. They also need to know exactly what is causing trouble.

That kind of information is simply not available with the hardware system monitor that comes built into most computers. The built in stuff takes action when things get critical, but rarely lets you know what is going on the same way a good motherboard monitor will.


Keep in mind that you already have a motherboard monitor installed, sort of. You have a CPU monitor that will shut your system down if it gets too hot so that you won't burn out your processor and a self check that makes sure everything is functioning OK when you turn on your computer.

For most people, that is all that anyone will need in the way of a motherboard monitor or a system monitor at all, really. If anything is wrong hardware wise, that monitor will alert you or shut down the system entirely.

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    • A computer motherboard.
      By: VIA Gallery
      A computer motherboard.