On board / off board: definition
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On board / off board: definition

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Have you ever heard someone talking in terms of onboard and offboard to refer to a motherboard and other components of your computer and did not understand what it is about? Find the explanation for this terminology in the short article below.

Difference between onboard and offboard

The concepts of onboard and offboard it is quite simple to understand. It is easier to understand what they mean when we know what those words mean in English. In literal translation, on and off mean, respectively, on and off. In the context of a motherboard, they mean connected (built-in, native) and disconnected (not built-in, non-native).

The term board refers to the motherboard, called the motherboard in English. Thus, we can already see that the words onboard and offboard refer to something that can be embedded or not on the motherboard.

And that is exactly what this is about. When a motherboard is produced, its manufacturer by default installs a number of features in the motherboard structure. An example is the so-called chipset, a set of chips (its translation from English) that allows the connection of peripherals such as mouse and keyboard to the components of the CPU. These native resources are also called onboard.

In addition, the manufacturer foresees the possibility for the user to add resources to the motherboard and thus produces the part with slots, sockets and other entry points for insertion of other elements, such as an expandable memory. This type of resource is called offboard, since it is not native to the motherboard, it does not come with the factory, but must be inserted by the user.

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