Sooner or later you will need to know the manufacturer and exact model of your motherboard, especially if you plan to upgrade your computer, since the upgrade capabilities of your computer are set by the motherboard model you have. You will require this information if you perform a BIOS upgrade or download your motherboard manual or drivers. A BIOS upgrade is needed to make your computer recognize a new CPU, and the manual is necessary if you want to check how much RAM your computer is able to recognize or which CPUs it supports, for example.
Finding out this information is not particularly easy, because many manufacturers don’t print their name or the model name on the motherboard. Also, you may want to check if the motherboard installed in your PC is really the model you ordered. Usually, the warranty is void if you open your computer, so you will need to discover how to learn this information without opening your PC.
How is it possible to know the motherboard manufacturer through software? Inside the computer BIOS there is a serial number, which includes a code for the manufacturer. So, a hardware identification utility reads the BIOS serial number and deciphers it for you. Read our tutorial “Deciphering the BIOS Serial Number” for a detailed explanation on this subject.
We will teach you how to use four very popular hardware identification programs to find out the manufacturer and model of your motherboard: CPU-Z, Sandra Lite, AIDA64, and HWiNFO.
After you find out your motherboard manufacturer and model, you may want to know what the manufacturer’s website is and where you can download the latest BIOS, drivers, and manual for your motherboard model. A quick Google search should be enough to find this out.
CPU-Z is a very popular CPU identification utility, which can also be used to identify your motherboard manufacturer and model.
After installing CPU-Z, run it, and click on its “Mainboard” tab. On the screen that will appear, CPU-Z will give you the manufacturer and model of your motherboard, as shown in Figure 1. As you can see, we had an ASUS P5K-E motherboard in our computer.
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Sandra is available in several versions; you should download and install the free version, called “Lite.”
After installing Sandra, run it, and click on the “Hardware” tab. On the screen that will appear, double click on the “Mainboard” icon.
Sandra will need one minute to collect all of the information about your computer. On the next screen it will show, you can easily find your motherboard manufacturer under “Manufacturer” and its model under “Model.” Take a look at Figure 2 in which we identified our motherboard model as an ASUS P5K-E motherboard.
While scrolling through these windows, you will find other useful information about your motherboard, such as how many memory sockets it has and which ones are used, as well as the chipset model on which your motherboard is based. You can also find the BIOS serial number we were talking about under “BIOS.”
There are two versions of AIDA64; you should download and install the Extreme Edition version.
After installing AIDA64, run it, click on the “Motherboard” available on the main screen, and then click on the “Motherboard” icon that will be shown. On the screen that will be shown, the manufacturer and model of your computer’s motherboard will be displayed on the second line, “Motherboard Name.” See Figure 3. As you can see, we had an ASUS P5K-E motherboard in our computer.
If you scroll down, you will find a link for the BIOS download page at the motherboard manufacturer’s website under “BIOS Download.” This is very handy if you are planning to do a BIOS upgrade.
HWiNFO is available in two versions, HWiNFO32, which should be downloaded if you are using a 32-bit operating system, and HWiNFO64, which should be downloaded if you are using a 64-bit operating system. In our case, we downloaded HWiNFO64.
After installing the appropriate version of HWiNFO, run it (it will take one minute to collect all of the hardware information from your computer). The program will automatically display a screen called “System Summary,” where the manufacturer and model of your motherboard will be displayed on the right-hand column, under “Motherboard.” See Figure 4.