Before we get all technical, let’s get out of the way of what exactly the CPU, motherboard, and RAM are and what their function is.
What is a CPU and what does it do?
A CPU or central processing unit is the main electronic switching element in any PC. It is responsible for performing all calculations of the computer and running programs on its behalf. CPUs are also known as microprocessors because they process (execute) individual instructions at once – and each instruction can take many clock cycles.
The name “CPU” comes from: Central processing unit but it has been shortened over time due to common usage. Computer processors have two main characteristics that distinguish them: their operating voltage(s) and frequency which determine how fast they operate in megahertz (MHz). The speed of a processor is measured in gigahertz (GHz), or a thousand million hertz, or a billion clock ticks per second.
What is RAM and what does it do?
RAM stands for Random access memory and is the short-term store of data in a computer. The idea behind RAM is that it can be accessed randomly (in any order), rather than sequentially like hard drives, which require a read and write head to move on a spinning platter to find the correct location. This random access allows your CPU to quickly retrieve all information from memory as needed by an application or operating system without having to wait for each piece of data one by one – this makes programs run faster because they don’t have to wait for all their instructions or content before working on it.
What is the motherboard and what does it do?
The motherboard is one of the most important parts of a computer. It’s where all the components connect together and tells your CPU what to do, and also controls some things like power distribution and cooling. The word “motherboard” can also be used in place of “motherboard,” meaning you may come across this term when buying replacement parts or watching tutorials.
It does so much work that there are actually hundreds (possibly thousands) of different boards with similar functions depending on what it’s installed in – but they all have these three main functions: memory controller, input/output device controller, and bridge device connecting several buses together (such as the CPU, PCI-E).
What does POST mean and what does it do?
Post-boot, or POST for short, is the sequence of operations performed by a computer system after booting until it reaches an operating state. The most common operation performed during posting is memory and cache tests. These checks ensure that if something goes wrong with your hardware during boot (such as BIOS failure), you won’t lose any data before Windows loads on your desktop. This procedure actually stands for: Enable Self Test – which makes sense, since these procedures typically test the circuits that power the CPU itself.
Although these days this happens automatically without much user intervention, thanks to the UEFI firmware updates that come out every year.
With all this information dump out of the way, now that you know what each part does and what POST is, let’s answer the original question.
Will the motherboard POST without CPU and RAM?
It is possible, but it might not function. The CPU or Central Processing Unit controls all the other components on the motherboard and without it your computer wouldn’t be able to run properly.
Frankly, whether or not the motherboard will POST without them cannot be answered because there are too many variables that contribute to how it works, such as BIOS configuration and hardware compatibility.
On some motherboards it CAN POST and gives you access to the BIOS, but that’s all you can do because it throws an error when you try to go to your desktop. On other motherboards, you can’t even access the BIOS.