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Front Back
FSB
Front Side Bus. AKA: system bus; host bus; memory bus; local bus; external bus.

Bus connecting the processor to the northbridge (or system memory and local video bus).
Bus
System of traces between motherboard components and the protocol used to transfer data over those traces.

There are four types of bus lanes:
1. Electrical bus lane;
2. control signal bus lane;
3. memory address lane;
4. Data bus lane;
DIP Switch
Dual Inline Package Switch.

Physical switch on older motherboards used to manually change settings in CMOS.
POST
Power-On Self Test.

A series of tests performed by the startup BIOS to verify that all attached devices are functioning correctly before booting.
POST Diagnostic Card
Expansion card used to report POST errors in a human-readable format.
Motherboard
AKA: main board; system board.

Most complex circuit board in a computer responsible for connecting components and devices to the processor and managing those connections.
Setup BIOS
AKA: CMOS BIOS.

BIOS used to modify CMOS RAM.
Front Panel Header
Header used to attach indicator lights and power/reset switches on the front of the case to the motherboard.
Jumper
Set of pins on the motherboard used to store BIOS settings. Pins shorted together are said to be \"closed\", while pins which are not shorted are said to be \"open\".
I/O Shield
Plate I used to protect on-board ports installed on the computer chassis.
CNR
Communication and Networking Riser.

Slot used by older, cheap motherboards to connect network riser cards.
AMR
Audio/Modem Riser.

Used by older, cheap motherboards to connect audio or modem riser cards.
AGP
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PCIe
PCI Express.

Bus Type: local video or local I/O.
Width: up to 16 lanes (up to 32 lanes in v2)
Successor to PCI which uses a bus with 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X or 16X serial lanes in parallel.

V1: up to 75W on slot and power connector, 150W total;
V1.1: added an additional 75W power connector, 225W total;
V2: doubled bus frequency, and up to 150W 8-pin and a 75W power connector for a total of 300W;
V3: doubled throughput;
PCI
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PCI-X
Local I/O bus.

Last evolution of PCI, up to PCI-X3.0, backwards compatible with PCI. Primarily used in servers.
North Bridge
Chipset component which houses the memory controller and primary PCIe bus, connecting directly to the processor via the FSB.
South Bridge
Chipset component which houses the I/O controller and connects all I/O devices and ports to the North Bridge.
SLI
Scalable Link Interface.

Method of connecting two or more NVIDIA graphics cards.
CrossFire
Method of connecting two or more ATI graphics cards.
Expansion Bus
Bus connecting asynchronous devices to the South Bridge.
Local Bus
Bus which runs in-sync with the system clock, connecting devices to either the South Bridge or the North Bridge.
Local I/O Bus
Local bus connecting I/O devices to the South Bridge.
Flash ROM
Programmable ROM.
CMOS
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor.

Technique used to build integrated circuits.
CMOS RAM
AKA: CMOS

Special RAM chip used to store motherboard settings. It uses a coin battery to hold onto the settings.
Startup BIOS
BIOS on the motherboard used to start the computer.
DIMM
Dual Inline Memory Module.

Memory module used in most PCs and servers.
System BIOS
BIOS on the motherboard used to manage simple I/O devices.
BIOS
Basic Input/Output System.

Special ROM chips that store information/instructions used for basic activities on the motherboard.
Video Card
AKA: Graphics Card

Expansion card that provides one or more video output ports.
System Clock
Component that generates a regular oscillations which are converted into voltages on the motherboard buses. These control signals are used to synchronize reads and writes to the bus.
Video Memory
RAM chips embedded on a video card.
Chipset
Set of microchips (usually two) embedded on the motherboard responsible for coordinating motherboard activities.
x of y cards