HOW TO GRADE MOTHERBOARDS
Motherboards from personal computers are one of the most common forms of e-scrap that we see. They have been producing these boards by the millions for almost 4 decades now.
When we refer to a "motherboard" we are speaking of the large board inside of a PC computer that holds the CPU.
Before we cover the different motherboard grades, it is important to note that ALL batteries must be removed from all of the boards all of the time.
Motherboards are graded by the size of the CPU socket. There are two sizes, "large socket" and "small socket". To determine the size of the socket, we measure the pin area of the socket (not the socket enclosure itself). LARGE SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS:
A standard Large Socket Motherboard will have a measurement of 1 and 3/4
inches or more from pinhole to pinhole. Always measure from the pin holes and not the enclosure itself. It does not matter what color the board is or if it is made in China or not. We grade all Large Socket Motherboards the same.
Pentium II boards, otherwise known as Slot Processor Motherboards are considered Large Socket Motherboards. They have a slot size of 5 inches. Make sure the slot you are considering is in fact a Pentium 2 CPU slot.LAPTOP MOTHERBOARDS
Laptop Motherboards obviously are motherboards that are extracted from a laptop. As with any other motherboard, only the large internal board holding the CPU is considered the motherboard.
Laptop Motherboards are graded as Large Socket Motherboards regardless of socket size therefor the socket measurements do not apply to Laptop Motherboards.
Older PC Motherboards from the 1980's and 1990's are also considered Large Socket Motherboards therefor the socket measurements do not apply to Older PC Motherboards.SMALL SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS:
A standard Small Socket Motherboard will have a measurement of 1 and 1/2
inches or smaller from pinhole to pinhole. Always measure from the pin holes and not the enclosure itself.
If the board is a P4 or newer, it is going to be a Small Socket Motherboard. It does not matter what color the board is or if it is made in China or not. We grade all Small Socket Motherboards the same.METAL SOCKET MOTHERBOARDS:
If the socket has a hinged metal enclosure it will always be a Metal Socket Motherboard. These are referred to as "Socket 775". The CPU's that go into those metal sockets are pinless CPUs.SERVER MOTHERBOARDS:
A motherboard that has two or more CPU sockets is considered a Server Motherboard and are graded by their CPU socket sizes as well. You will find the same Large -vs- Small rules apply to multi-socket motherboards as they do to single socket motherboards.
Do not worry. You will not need to measure each and every motherboard that you sell. Almost immediately you will begin to recognize each grade of motherboard without ever needing to measure. Even though the socket size difference is as little as 1/4 inch, the boards themselves actually look remarkably different. Very soon you will be able to recognize those differences from across the room.In Review:
- Motherboards with a socket size of 1 3/4" or greater are considered a Large Socket Motherboard.
- Motherboards that host a Pentium II slot processor is considered a Large Socket Motherboard.
- Laptop Motherboards regardless of measurement are considered a Large Socket Motherboard.
- Old PC Motherboards from the 80's& 90's are considered Large Socket Motherboards.
- Motherboards with a socket size of 1 1/2" or smaller are considered a Small Socket Motherboard.
- Motherboards with hinged metal CPU enclosure are considered a Small Socket Motherboard.
- The color or the Country of origin of the motherboard does not effect the grade.
- Multi-CPU Server Boards are subject to the same CPU socket measurement considerations.