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Motherboard Parts and Functions

JOSEPH A. PATACSIL

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The Motherboard

The most important part of a PC is the


motherboard. It holds:
the processor chip
memory chips
chips that handle input/output (I/O)
the expansion slots for connecting peripherals

Some chips are soldered onto the


motherboard(permanent), and some are
removable (so they can be upgraded).

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Motherboard Picture
Read-only
Random Access
Memory
Memory (RAM)
(ROM)
chips.
chips

Expansion slots
Processor chip
(the CPU)

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Motherboard Picture

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6. The CPU

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the chip


on the motherboard that acts as the "computer's
brain"
it
does calculations, and coordinates the other
motherboard components
CPU examples: the Pentium, the PowerPC chip

The CPU is also known as the processor or


microprocessor.

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Some Processors (CPUs)

Pentium Chip

PowerPC Chip

Chip Fan
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Processor Socket

The processor socket (also called a CPU socket)


is the connector on the motherboard that houses a
CPU and forms the electrical interface and
contact with the CPU. Processor sockets use a
pin grid array (PGA) where pins on the underside
of the processor connect to holes in the
processor socket.

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Processor Socket

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Types of Processor Socket

1. PGA (Pin Grid Array) - places the pins on the


processor, which are then inserted in a socket with
appropriately placed holes.

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Types of Processor Socket

2. LGA (Land Grid Array) consists of a socket


with pins on which the processor is placed.

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Types of Processor Socket

3. BGA (Ball Grid Array) This technique is used


to permanently attach a processor to its
motherboard during production, making future
upgrades impossible.
E.g. Laptop boards, netbook, smartphones

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Expansion Slot

Alternatively referred to as a bus slot or expansion port,


an expansion slot is connection or port located inside a
computer on the motherboard or riser board that allows a
computer hardware expansion card to be connected.

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Types of Expansion Slot

1. ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) is a


standard bus (computer interconnection)
architecture that is associated with the IBM AT
motherboard. It allows 16 bits at a time to flow
between the motherboard circuitry and an
expansion slot card and its associated device(s).

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ISA Slot

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Types of Expansion Slot

2. Peripheral Component Interconnect, PCI was


introduced by Intel in 1992. The PCI bus came in
both 32-bit (133MBps) and 64-bit versions and was
used to attach hardware to a computer.

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PCI Slot

PCI Slot

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Types of Expansion Slot

3. Accelerated Graphics Port (often shortened to


AGP) is a high-speed point-to-point channel for
attaching a video card to a computer system,
primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D
computer graphics. It was originally designed as a
successor to PCI-type connections for video cards.

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AGP Slot

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Types of Expansion Slot

4. Audio/modem riser(AMR ), is a riser


expansion slot found on the motherboards of some
Pentium III, Pentium 4, Duron, and Athlon personal
computers. It was designed by Intel to interface
with chipsets and provide analog functionality, such
as sound cards and modems, on an expansion card

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AMR Slot

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Types of Expansion Slot

5. PCI Express slots on a motherboard. PCIe can


scale from one to 32 separate lanes; it is usually
deployed with 1, 4, 8, 12, 16 or 32 lanes. The lane
count of a PCIe card is a determining factor in its
performance and therefore in its price

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PCI Express Slots

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PCI Express Slots

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PCI Express Slots

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North Bridges

A northbridge or host bridge is one of the two


chips in the core logic chipset architecture on a
PC motherboard, the other being the southbridge.
Unlike the southbridge, northbridge is connected
directly to the CPU via the frontside bus (FSB)
and is thus responsible for tasks that require the
highest performance.

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South Bridge

The northbridge is usually paired with a


southbridge, also known as I/O controller hub. In
systems where they are included, these two chips
manage communications between the CPU and
other parts of the motherboard, and constitute the
core logic chipset of the PC motherboard.

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Location of N&S Bridges

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N & S Bridges Schematic

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IDE/PATA Connectors

An IDE interface is an interface for mass storage devices,


in which the controller is integrated into the disk
or CD-ROM drive.

continued
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IDE/PATA Connector

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IDE/PATA Cables

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IDE Devices

continued
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SATA

Serial ATA (Serial Advanced Technology


Attachment or SATA) is a standard for
connecting and transferring data from hard disk
drives (HDDs) to computer systems. As its name
implies, SATA is based on serial signaling
technology, unlike Integrated Drive Electronics
(IDE) hard drives that use parallel signaling.

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More on SATA

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More on SATA

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More on SATA

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Motherboard Power Connectors

Every PC power supply has connectors that


attach to the motherboard, providing power to the
motherboard, processor, memory, chipset,
integrated components (such as video, LAN,
universal serial bus [USB]), and any cards
plugged into bus slots.

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Motherboard Power Connectors

These connectors are important; not only are


these the main conduit through which power
flows to your system, but attaching these
connectors improperly can have a devastating
effect on your PC, including burning up both
your power supply and motherboard.

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Types of Power Connectors

12 pin AT/LPX
20 pin ATX
24 pin ATX

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12 pin Motherboard Power
Connector

Used in industry standard PC, XT, AT, Baby-AT,


and LPX motherboards.
These supplies feature two main power
connectors (P8 and P9), each with 6 pins that
attach the power supply to the motherboard.
All standard PC power supplies that use the P8
and P9 connectors have them installed end to end
so that the two black wires (ground connections)
on both power cables are next to each other.

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12 pin Motherboard Power
Connector

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20 pin Motherboard Power
Connector

In 1996 PC makers started switching to the ATX


standard which defined a new 20 pin
motherboard power connector.
It includes a 3.3 volt rail which is used
to power newer chips which require a lower
voltage than 5 volts.

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20 pin Motherboard Power
Connector

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24 pin ATX Motherboard Connector

The ATX 24 pin power supply connector is the


standard motherboard power connector in
computers today.
you can see that the pins take a unique shape, a
shape which the motherboard matches in only
one direction.

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24 pin ATX Motherboard Connector

The original ATX standard supported a 20 pin


connector with a very similar pinout as the 24 pin
connector but with pins 11, 12, 23, and 24
omitted.
This means that the newer 24 pin power supply is
useful for motherboards that require more power,
and therefore eliminates the need for ATX 12V
power supplies to provide an auxiliary power
cable (although some still may).

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24 pin ATX Motherboard Connector

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24 pin ATX Motherboard Connector

The ATX 4 pin power supply connector is a


standard motherboard power connector used to
provide +12 VDC to the processor voltage
regulator.

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24 pin ATX Motherboard Connector

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CMOS Battery

The CMOS battery powers the Complementary


metal-oxide-semiconductor.
CMOS is the small amount of memory on a
motherboard that ensures that the BIOS, or Basic
Input-Output System, does not lose all of its data
every time the computer turns off.

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CMOS Battery

The CMOS battery powers the


Complementary metal-oxide-
semiconductor.
CMOS is the small amount of
memory on a motherboard that ensures
that the BIOS, or Basic Input-Output
System, does not lose all of its data
every time the computer turns off.

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BIOS

The main function of the BIOS (Basic Input


Output System) is to boot up an operating
system on a PC.
It does this by first identifying and testing all
hardware components (including the hard disk
and floppy drives), and then by locating a valid
operating system to which it can transfer control.

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BIOS

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