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Computer mainboard configuration

Computer main board configuration


If you are putting your own computer together which board you ultimately choose makes a difference. Talk to your store about what you want your computer to do and they will give advice on which is the best.

Be critical and don't get sold something you don't know or don't feel right about. And especially, don't overbuy! If you're a regular user, meaning someone that needs a computer for word processing, photo albums, e-mail, playing of music, games and such, a standard system will do all of this for you. There will be no need to get an expensive sound card, super graphics card, 21-inch monitor, et cetera if you are not assembling a specialised system.



You should also get a set of cables for connecting hard and floppy drives and a package of assorted screws with the main board as well as a detailed manual.

The ASUS SK8V main board for 64-bit processors.
The ASUS SK8V main board for 64-bit processors. (See graphic below for layout.)

Basic main board layout

We have taken the above Asus SK8V main board as an example, but the basic main board layout for most main boards will contain a similar set of components.

Main board configuration comes in many varieties and sizes. Many of the newer smaller footprint pc's do not have some of the older components like ISA or serial communication connectors any more. But there are common elements which are an essential part of every computer main board.

Your basic modern computer main board will have all of the following component slots or sockets:

  • Power socket

  • Processor slot or socket

  • Advanced Graphics Port or Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) slot

  • Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) slots

  • Memory chip sockets

  • Cache memory slot

On board Integrated Circuits (IC) chips are usually:

  • The BIOS chip

  • The AGP controller chip

  • The PCI bus controller chip

Pin sets for the following connectors are also standard:

  • Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) connectors

  • Floppy drive connectors

  • Pin connector sets for the Universal Serial Bus (USB)

  • Pin connector sets for serial communications

  • Pin connectors for PS2 connections

Common optional on board built in components are:

  • An Audio chip and the connector set

  • Network capability

  • Pin sets for processor and main board cooling fans

  • Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) slots for legacy connections (rare)

Other standard components are:

  • A (removable) battery

  • Pins for connecting the IDE activity and Power On lights at the front of the cabinet and the Power and Reset Switches.

  • A socket for the keyboard and one for the mouse (PS2)


Basic main board layout

Basic main board layout -

Jumper settings

Still struggling with jumpers? More and more mainboards are jumperless, allowing the BIOS and other software to automatically detect and set the right options. However, many main boards still need manual jumper settings.

Often you still need to set the clock speed jumper, the processor voltage jumper, the memory speed jumper, the AT or ATX jumpers.

Jumper settings

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