Trying to find out what motherboard you have sounds like an intimidating process, but it’s really not. This is great news for anyone trying to upgrade their PC!
Motherboards often define what other components you’ll be able to add to your computer, even though the motherboard itself won’t impact computer performance.
The make and model of your computer’s motherboard will be a deciding factor in what other components you can add. Thankfully, there’s no need to actually open your computer and risk damaging the board.
With these simple motherboard identification steps, you’ll be well on your way to having the PC of your dreams.
What Does a Motherboard Do?
Motherboards are known by a couple of different names, including a printed circuit board (PCB) or main board.
No matter what you call them, though, motherboards are a constant feature in most laptops and desktops. A broken motherboard means a completely dead computer.
The actual function of a motherboard is pretty simple: it acts as a communications hub and skeleton for all the other parts and pieces in a computer. So, if you think about it, PCBs don’t do anything on their own despite being crucial to a functional PC.
Instead, they’re like a gateway that lets every computer component work together to form a coherent whole.
How Can You Tell Your Motherboard Will Be Compatible?
A quick way to find out if your motherboard is compatible with the pieces you want is to check the official websites. You can technically count pin layouts and measure CPU socket dimensions by hand, but it’s really not worth it.
Besides, checking the actual manufacturer’s website will be more reliable than anything you can do on your own. The only thing you’ll need to know to find compatibility is your motherboard’s make and model information.
After looking up the motherboard, start comparing information. The CPU, graphics card, or another component that you want to add will have its own specs listed on an official website or product page. Using these sources together is a fool-proof way to ensure compatibility.
4 Steps To Find Out What Motherboard You Have
Below, we’ve listed the main steps you need to take to identify your motherboard without tearing your computer apart.
1. Open the Run Window on Your Computer
The first thing you’ll need to do is open the Run window. This command window lets you find any program, folder, document, or resource on your Windows computer by typing in its name.
To open it, press the Windows + R key at the same time. It should open right away and will look like a small box (sometimes with a blue border, depending on your version of Windows) with a search bar in it.
For Windows 10 users, you will need to right-click on the START MENU in the bottom left and select the RUN option.
2. Type the Correct Command in the Run Window
There are a ton of different commands you can type in the Run window, and they aren’t all named intuitively. Only one command will bring up the information you want.
To look up the kind of motherboard in your PC, type msinfo32 into the window and press the arrow next to the search bar or press enter.
3. Examine Windows System Information Overview
The command should have opened the Windows System Information Overview. In the System Summary tab, you can find information on your PC’s motherboard.
Depending on your computer, the information might be labeled in different ways. OEM computers (original equipment manufacturers such as Dell, HP, or Lenovo) usually have motherboard information labeled under System Manufacturer and System Model.
Otherwise, you can find information on your PC’s motherboard under Baseboard Manufacturer, Baseboard Product, and Baseboard Version.
4. Interpret Motherboard Information
Now that you’ve technically gotten what you came for, the rest of the job is pretty easy.
Interpreting the information in the Windows System Summary is mostly a matter of googling and comparing until you’ve confirmed the type of board.
The name of the motherboard you have will be a combination of the manufacturer and model. Searching those up together should lead you right to the exact motherboard you have.
At this point, you can find out what motherboard you have on any desktop or laptop. We wish you the best of luck with your repairs or upgrades!