This detailed breakdown of a high-end motherboard is pretty awesome

YouTube via Actually Hardware Overclocking. Click for original. (Image credit: YouTube via Actualy Hardcore Overclocking)

The best gaming motherboards typically tout advanced overclocking capabilities and features like reinforced PCI Express slots, but have you ever wondered what all of those chips on the PCB actually do? If so, you're in luck.

Hardcore overclocker and YouTuber Buildzoid (Actually Hardcore Overclocking) often posts detailed breakdowns of motherboard PCBs, the latest of which is an evaluation of the Asus Maximus XI Apex based on Intel's Z390 chipset.

These videos are not the equivalent of "PCBs for Dummies," which does not exist (but should). However, if you have even a passing interest in what different chips and components on a motherboard actually do, they're worth checking out. He uses GIMP to great effect to highlight things like the VRM and other bits. For example, at the 13m36sec mark, he points to the PWM voltage controller chip, an ASP1405. Check it out:

He's also performed similar breakdowns on graphics cards using GIMP, such as MSI's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning model. Here it is:

He's posted quite a few videos, some more interesting than others. If you're looking to kill some time and/or want a low-level look at the guts of your PC, his channel is worth browsing.

Thanks, HardOCP.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).