Computer Basics

Link to Processing 4 - Processing: Motherboard  

Link to Home - Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101


Here we see a diagram and a photo of a motherboard (or main circuit board).
This one is suitable for a Pentium CPU. Nothing has been plugged in or attached yet.

Keyboard plug Power connectors Dimm and Simm slots Connectors PCI slots ISA slots Processor socket Processor socket Dimm and Simm slots Keyboard plug Power connectors ISA slots PCI slots Connectors Processor socket ISA slots PCI slots Connectors Power connectors Dimm and Simm slots Keyboard plug motherboard and diagram gif

mouse iconClick on a part of the diagram or on the photo and you'll be moved to the description of that part. Use the Return arrow to return to the diagram to check another part.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Computer Basics

  1. Computer TypesArrow: Subtopics
  2. ApplicationsArrow: Subtopics   
  3. InputArrow: Subtopics
Link to Processing 4. Processing Arrow: Subtopics list open 
    Digital Data
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    Machine Cycle
    Memory Addresses
    Processor Speed
    Physical Components
          no frames
  5. OutputArrow: Subtopics
  6. StorageArrow: Subtopics
  7. Computer to ComputerArrow: Subtopics
  8. System SoftwareArrow: Subtopics
  9. ProgrammingArrow: Subtopics

  10. What You SeeArrow: Subtopics
  11. Hands On!Arrow: Subtopics
  12. On Your OwnArrow: Subtopics





Here is where cables connect to the motherboard for things like hard drives, floppy drives, and CD-ROM drives.
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ISA slots

This board has 3 slots for the older ISA/VESA boards for things like video cards, sound cards, internal modems, etc.
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Keyboard plug

This is where the keyboard attaches, thru the back of the computer.
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Memory slots

There are 4 short slots for SIMM memory.
This board has two long slots for a new kind of memory called DIMM DRAM.
This board can handle a maximum of 256 MB of memory.

From the manufacturer's description:

Two 168 pin DIMM DRAM slots (8/16/32/64 MB module)
Four 72 pin SIMM memory slots (4/8/16/32/64 MB module)
Supports maximum 256 MB with Fast Page/EDO/SDRAM DRAM

That's pretty scary stuff. Just keep such information handy for when someone who understands these things asks you about them.
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PCI slots

This board has 4 slots for the newer PCI boards for peripherals like video cards, sound cards, internal modems, etc.
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Power Connections

This is where the power supply connects to the motherboard.
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Processor socket

What is visible here is the place where the processor plugs into the motherboard. When the processor is installed, you still can't see it because on top of it is a heat sink and fan to keep the processor cool. Hot processors make mistakes or even melt important parts on the chip.

Different processors are different sizes. So the socket on the motherboard has to match the processor. Also, the circuits in the motherboard itself must be different for different processors.
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Last updated: 30 Apr 2012