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Chapter 1 Flash Cards

ATX System Boards

- Processor and Memory slots at right angles to power supply fans
- creates better air flow
- Install full length expansion cards

Micro ATX (UATX) System Boards

- Works in standard ATX cases, and with its own standard cases
- Same airflow with smaller hardware
- must give up quantity of hardware space
- designed with lower wattage power supplies

BTX System Boards

- lines up all the heat-producing hardware between air intake vents and the power supplies exhaust fan
- quieter


- perform interface and [peripheral functions for the processor
- provides interfaces for memory, expansion cards, and on-board peripherals

North-bridge Chipset

- Management of high-speed peripheral communications
- responsible primarily for integrated video using AGP and PCIe
- true performance of a PC relies of the north-bridge Chipset
- manages the communications between the southbridge Chipset
- If computer has on-board video circuitry it will be found within the north-bridge Chipset

South-Bridge Chipset

- provides support to myriad on-board peripherals
- PS/2, Parallel, IDE, LAN, Audio, Infrared, Serial, Firewire
- manages communications with other expansion buses such as PCI, USB, Legacy

Front Side Bus (FSB)

- set of communication pathways between the CPU and main memory

Backside Bus

- Communication pathways between the CPU and Level 2 cache memory (If present)

Expansion Slots

- Plastic slots from 3" to 11" and 1/2" wide
- Video, Network, Sound, Disk Interfaces cards

Types of Expansion Slots


ISA Expansion Slots

- computer made before 1997
- usually black and have two parts, one shorter and one longer

PCI Expansion Slots

- Short (Around 3") and usually white
- Can be found in any computer that has a Pentium-class processor or higher

AGP Expansion Slots

- Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) are popular for Video Card
- direct connection between the video circuitry and PC's memory
- usually brown, and located right next to the PCI slots, and are shorter than PCI slots

PCIe Expansion Slots

- designed to replace AGP and PCI
- Faster than AGP with maintaining flexibility of PCI
- also have regular PCI slots for backward compatibility

PCIe Speed Levels

- 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X, 12X, 16X, and 32X
- Correspond roughly to AGP speeds
- Slot corresponds to its speed
- Slots gets longer when speed is greater
- 1X (less than 1")
- Lanes - Multiplied units of communication between two PCIe components and are directly tied to the physical wiring on the bus
- Can use shorter card speed in a longer speed slot

AMR Expansion Slots

- known as Audio Modem Riser
- 46 Pin slots was common on Intel motherboard

CNR Expansion Slots

- Communications and Networking Riser (CNR)
- Replacement for AMR slots
- 60 Pin Slots implement a motherboard Chipset with a certain integrated features
- Added to enhance on-board capabilities

CNR advantages over AMR

- Networking support, Plug and Play, Support for hardware acceleration, no need to lose competing PCI slot unless the CNR slot is in use


- Contains the BIOS software that tells the processor how to interact with the hardware in the PC


- Keeps setting of the computer when its turned off and unplugged
- Has a CMOS battery to keep the settings even when unplugged with no power

Jumper/DIP Switches

- Changes voltage on motherboards for the processor
- Changes other hardware settings directly from the physical motherboard


- Software that is embedded into the read-only memory (ROM) chip and can be ran without extra instructions from the OS


- Controlling how much CPU is spend on an application


- Set of instructions that the processor execute while carrying out its duties


- Offers increased performance designed to work with over-clocked speed

Voltage Regulator Module (VRM)

- send a voltage level to the portion of the processor which sends back its voltage CPU needs
- Steadies and manages the CPU voltage

Types of RAM


Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM)

- Cheapest to produce and purchase
- Four Types of DRAM


- Ties SDRAM to the speed of the FSB and the processor

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