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Understanding Your Motherboard

Internal Connecters and Ports

Understanding your motherboard is about pointing out what the bits of your motherboard actually do, if you are not used to building or upgrading your own machine you will want to know the ins and outs of the motherboard. The motherboard is a very important piece of equipment in your PC as it is connected to everything.

Anything of major importance is plugged straight into the motherboard. Some things on a motherboard are meant to be changed and altered to suit your own specifications, other things are strictly to be left alone unless fully qualified. We will try to give you a brief bit of history if there is any on each of these parts and some specifications.

We will start with the internal connecters and ports and then move on to the External ones. You can use the numbers on the image to jump straight to that section.

1.PCI Slot7.Molex Power connector
2.AGP slot8.IDE Ports
3.North Bridge  9.S-ATA Ports
4.CPU Socket10.South Bridge
5.DIMM Slot10.USB 2.0 Header
6.Battery12.Firewire Header

1 - PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slot

The PCI bus was developed by Intel, however This local bus is not only for Intel produced micro processors, you will find it very difficult to find a motherboard without a PCI slot on it. You will find that you will get a number of PCI slots from 1 up to about 6.

The PCI bus runs at 33Mhz and normally 32bits. The PCI bus was the first one to fully support plug and play, where IRQ's and other resources are set up by the OS and there are no need to alter jumpers etc on the hardware. The PCI bus supports a wide range of peripherals from sound cards to DVD decoders and graphics accelerators. PCI is now the standard for internal peripherals except for graphics cards which have now moved over to the faster AGP port.

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