The modern motherboard performs many functions and connects to a wide variety of devices, but the hardware's most basic role is to connect the system's microprocessor to the rest of the computer. The central processing unit, otherwise known as the CPU, is typically housed in a socket on the motherboard. From there, the motherboard receives electrical power from the system's power supply and distributes it to the CPU.
Once the motherboard and CPU have a supply of power, the motherboard can connect the rest of the hardware components. Most motherboards have two main memory slots, where different sized RAM (random access memory) modules can be inserted. The memory slots on the motherboard usually have release points, so that users can remove RAM modules when necessary and upgrade the system's memory limit.
In addition to memory slots, a computer's motherboard also provides connections for basic hardware components. The motherboard usually contains sockets for input devices like mice and keyboards. Graphic and sound cards are also installed directly on to the system's motherboard. The motherboard contains a series of electrical flickers that distribute power to all of the other pieces of hardware. Since computer systems can heat up very rapidly, most motherboards also contain heat sinks and fans to regulate temperature levels.