Learn All The Important Things You Need To Know About Server Motherboards

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Server motherboards are like the heart of a powerful system for businesses and organizations. They basically connect all the important parts within a server, making sure everything runs smoothly. In this blog, we’ll cover different aspects of server motherboards, such as the types, sizes, processor support, memory options, cooling solutions, and compatibility factors. Knowing about these things will help you choose the right server motherboard for your specific needs.

Definition and Purpose

The primary function of a server motherboard is to provide a stable foundation for the operation of applications, databases, websites, virtual machines, and other services that require a high level of processing power and a high level of uptime. Error-correcting memory technology, multiple gigabit LAN ports, and IPMI management software are some of the advanced features that are typically included with these boards. These boards are designed to make critical situations easier to handle. 

Types of Server Motherboards

Motherboards for servers can be divided into a few distinct categories according to their specific design and capabilities. The single socket and dual socket motherboards are the most common types. The primary distinction between these two types of motherboards is the number of CPU sockets that are available. Dual socket motherboards enable users to install two central processing units (CPUs) simultaneously, which results in increased processing potential for workloads that are particularly demanding. 

Form Factors

When discussing a server motherboard, the term “form factor” refers to the physical dimensions and layout constraints of the module. A number of standards, such as ATX, Micro-ATX, E-ATX, and SSI CEB, are utilized frequently. Different formats provide varying degrees of scalability and flexibility with regard to the placement of components and the size restrictions that are imposed. As an illustration, larger formats such as E-ATX are able to accommodate a greater number of expansion card slots and RAM slots than smaller alternatives.

  • ATX

At 305 millimeters by 244 millimeters, the ATX standard is a versatile standard that is suitable for a wide variety of applications that are midrange or enterprise-level. 

  • Micro-ATX

An alternative to full-sized ATX boards that is both compact and packed with features, Micro-ATX boards have dimensions of 244 millimeters by 244 millimeters. 

  • E-ATX

In order to accommodate additional components and expansion slots, Extended ATX, which measures 305 millimeters by 330 millimeters, sacrifices space efficiency. 


A Compact Electronics Bay that measures 305 millimeters by 267 millimeters and boasts extensive input/output capability is a component of Server System Infrastructure that was developed specifically for high-performance computing. 

Processor Support

CPU sockets vary depending on the manufacturer and model; however, some prevalent socket types found on modern server motherboards include Intel’s LGA 2011, LGA 1151, AMD’s SP3r2, and TR4. When choosing a motherboard, it is crucial to ensure compatibility with desired processors by checking supported socket types.

Memory Support

Servers often require substantial amounts of memory due to their multitasking nature. Consequently, server motherboards usually feature numerous RAM slots capable of supporting large capacities and faster speeds. There are two main varieties of memory modules – Unregistered DIMMs (UDimm) and Registered DIMMs (RDIMM). While both share similar specifications, RDIMMs employ extra registers to buffer data transfers, reducing electrical loads and improving overall stability during heavy usage scenarios.


Some server motherboards enable multi-processing through the installation of multiple CPUs. This configuration allows for higher core counts and improved parallelization of tasks. However, keep in mind that multi-processor setups necessitate specialized operating systems and drivers compatible with NUMA architectures.

Memory Speeds and Timings

When configuring server memory, paying attention to speed ratings and timings is vital. Higher speeds translate into quicker data transfer rates, while tighter timings reduce latencies. Optimal configurations balance cost, performance, and energy consumption.

Expansion Slots

Server motherboards may incorporate different types of expansion slots, catering to diverse requirements concerning graphics acceleration, networking, storage controllers, and other functionalities. Popular slot designs encompass PCI Express (PCIe), Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), and Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP). Among these, PCIe stands out as the current industry standard owing to its superior bandwidth and low power consumption characteristics.

Onboard Features

Modern server motherboards come equipped with various integrated peripherals, minimizing reliance on add-on cards. Some notable examples comprise:

  • Integrated Graphics

Onboard GPUs alleviate the need for dedicated graphics cards, saving costs and simplifying cabling arrangements.

  • Network Interfaces (LAN)

Multiple GbE ports facilitate network redundancy and load balancing.

  • USB Ports

Ample provision of USB connectivity ensures easy integration of external devices like keyboards, mice, flash drives, and WiFi adapters.

Power Connectors

Server motherboards utilize distinct power connectors from desktop PCs, mandating appropriate PSU choices. Typically, they demand a 24-pin ATX connector for general power supply and either an 8-pin or 4+4-pin EPS12V cable for CPU voltage regulation. Always consult documentation before finalizing hardware combinations.

Cooling Solutions

Temperature control remains paramount in server environments, prompting manufacturers to develop sophisticated air and liquid cooling mechanisms. Air cooling employs fans and heat sinks to dissipate generated heat efficiently, whereas liquid cooling leverages circulating fluid to absorb thermal energy and expel it via radiators. Both approaches have merits and drawbacks; therefore, assess individual system requirements carefully prior to implementation.

BIOS and Management Software

Contemporary server motherboards leverage UEFI BIOS instead of traditional BIOS, offering advantages like mouse support, graphical interface, and secure boot functionality. Moreover, certain models integrate Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), enabling remote monitoring and administration irrespective of active OS sessions.

Compatibility Considerations

Evaluating case sizes and PSU wattage proves indispensable during server build planning. Ensure chosen chassis accommodates selected motherboard dimensions comfortably and select a sufficiently powerful PSU commensurate with total system power demands.

Popular Server Motherboard Manufacturers

Many reputable brands specialize in manufacturing reliable and performant server motherboards. Prominent names include Supermicro, ASUS, Dell, Intel, and HPE. Explore each brand’s product catalogues meticulously to pinpoint optimal matches aligning with project goals and budgetary limits.


Selecting the right server motherboard requires thorough research and careful consideration of the important criteria we’ve discussed. With a good understanding of definitions, purposes, types, and technical specifications, you can make well-informed decisions. Keep in mind that investing time upfront ensures smooth operations later on, which leads to peace of mind and increased productivity. If you want to learn more about server motherboards, visit Direct Macro for the best information.


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