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I'm trying to look for motherboards without any bells and whistles (audio and video) in order to build an Audio Production workstation.

Is there any special keyword I can use in my research that would be indicative that no onboard audio or video exists on the board? "Naked board" ? Well... hopefully a keyword that conforms more to what the industry standard uses.


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"plain" or "basic"? – ChrisF May 27 '11 at 14:00
@ChrisF hey that actually returned a few good results in my search. Thanks! – bigp May 27 '11 at 15:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Discrete is the keyword you are looking for. It means "removed". When a system has discrete graphics it requires a graphics adapter to display video.

That said, it is very hard to find a modern motherboard with discrete audio. The best advice I can give is to disable anything that you don't want in the bios.

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Thanks @bzsparks. It seems disabling the extras is the suggestion going around from all forums and research I did so far. – bigp May 27 '11 at 14:26

There is no such thing. I mean, there is no word for that. That "no onboard audio" will be a tough one...

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You don't specify what machine architecture, so I'm going to assume IBM PC/AT compatibles.

In the world of the PC/AT compatible, the on-board audio is (nowadays) physically incorporated into the silicon chips that comprise the so-called "chipset". An Intel ICH9, for example, has an Intel HD audio device as PCI device #27, function #0. It's not physically possible to have an ICH9 without on-board audio. The most that a motherboard manufacturer might do is not wire the signal pins from the chip to I/O codec circuitry. Similarly, "disabling" the device in the firmware setup utility means very little in most situations, as modern protected mode operating systems directly enumerate the PCI bus, will find the audio device, and will attempt to drive it.

On-board video is a different matter. Such functionality is not universally integrated onto motherboards, and is rather the function of a display adapter device, usually an expansion card that is plugged into an expansion slot on the motherboard. So there's nothing to ask here in terms of the motherboard itself. Simply buy a motherboard without buying a display adapter expansion card to go with it. ☺

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