|The motherboard, like its name suggests, is the primary component in a computer. Just about every component in the computer will somehow connect to the motherboard. It is therefore important to make sure that your computer has a powerful and reliable
Our computers always use motherboards from leading brands, some of which include ASUS, Intel and Gigabyte.
Motherboards have several features built into them, which include controllers, chips, buses and so on. We have included a few definitions of individual parts of a motherboard to help you along your way:
Motherboards have a number of PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) ports. You connect items such as the modem, network card, USB card, TV card etc into these ports.
PCI EXPRESS PORTS
Motherboards have a number of PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Express ports. You connect PCI-E items such as the modem, network card, USB card, TV card into PCI Express ports.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports allow you to connect peripherals such as the printer, scanner, webcam, cable modem, mobile phone, portable hard disk and much more to your computer with ease. It is therefore recommended to have a large number of USB ports for future connectivity.
Now deprecated, an AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) port used to be the primary graphics card port, but PCI Express ports have superseded this port.
Now deprecated, ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) used to be the primary connection for hard drives. See SERIAL ATA (SATA).
Now deprecated, An IDE port used to be the primary connection for hard drives and optical drives. See SERIAL ATA (SATA).
SERIAL ATA (SATA)
SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is the interface used to connect hard drives and optical drives to the motherboard. Initially the speed started at 150 Mb/s, and has risen to 300 Mb/s and subsequently 600 Mb/s (ATA 600). SATA (which replaces the ATA interface) uses thin cables to improve airflow and eliminates the need for a master/slave configuration. SATA promises a higher speed interface for the future.
FSB stands for Front Side Bus:- The speed of the front-side bus is the basic clock speed of the motherboard. Many system components, for example the processor, the PCI and AGP buses, all run at speeds derived from the front-side bus speed. In general, a faster front-side bus means you will have higher processing speeds.
HYPER THREADING TECHNOLOGY
Hyper threading technology brings increased performance to computer users in two ways: using multithreaded software or using software in a multitasking environment. Software applications that have been written to use multiple pieces of code called "threads" view the processors with HT Technology as two processors. HT Technology allows the processor to work on two separate threads at the same time rather than one at a time. In addition, applications can benefit in a multitasking environment - operating two or more different software programs at the same time when run under operating systems such as Windows. Both ways add up to extra performance and less waiting for the user.
Click Here to download a Hyper Threading Demo. In order to view the demo you will need to have Flash Player installed.
Now deprecated, parallel ports used to be the primary connection for printers. USB ports have replaced parallel ports.
Now deprecated, PS/2 ports used to be the primary connection for your keyboard and mouse. Replaced by USB.
Shared Memory Architecture (SMA)
1. Integrated SMA
A Shared Memory Architecture (SMA) occurs when the graphics chip is integrated into the motherboard. Instead of the graphics having dedicated memory, for example 256mb or 512mb of memory, the graphics share the memory with the computer RAM, and the total memory available to applications is reduced. This is cost beneficial to general home or office users, who do not play high performance games or require a system for high end video editing.
2. SMA on a graphics card
When a graphics card uses a Shared Memory Architecture (SMA), this means that the graphics card only has a certain amount of memory onboard, for example 256mb. To make up the rest of the memory, it shares the RAM available. For example, a 512mb Geforce 7300GS (256MB SMA) has 256mb onboard and will make up the rest of the memory from the installed RAM. It will only work if you order 1GB or more RAM and if you order 1GB of RAM, will result in 768mb of RAM left for applications. This is called TurboCache on NVIDIA cards and HyperMemory on ATI cards, and can be disabled if you do not wish to use this facility.
How do I change my motherboard?
Our configurators are usually based around the motherboard as the motherboard often determines the majority of the specification inside the computer. Generally, our higher performance configurators are based around a more powerful motherboard.