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Thread: A simple guide to motherboards.

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    Default A simple guide to motherboards.

    Its a quick guide, intended for the newcomer to mobos, what to look for, what it all means, what you need.

    1/ The motherboard is definded by what chipset it uses.
    2/ the chipset is a silicon chip made by companies such as
    intel
    nvidia, soon not to be making, apparently
    via
    sis
    ati/amd
    and used to be, dunno if they are still going, uli, ali?

    3/ the chipset interfaces everything, controls the board, the whole darn shebang.

    4/ the boards facilities are defined by the chipset.

    5/ your cpu fits into a socket, its either made by intel or amd I would expect.

    6/ your cpu believe it or not, I have not studied the 'architecture' much is simply a number cruncher, a 'giant' calculator, an adder up.

    7/ when you think of it, all computers are simply adding/subtracting, multiplying, dividing machines, mathematical operations, governed by computer/math logic, we use base 10, decimal, they use 2 numbers, binary, zero and 1, digital, simply on and off, no inbetween.

    8/ think for now, of your mobo having 2 chips, as of the chipset, it helps to understand the 'functions' of them, some have them intergrated in one, but it helps divide the functions.

    9/ these could be called numerous things according to who names them, the north bridge and south bridge ( I wonder who coins these names, if they are from areas that employees see and talk about, somewhere with 2 bridges, or the places used to name cpu's are places that sound 'exotic' perhaps where they go on holiday, where they are born, or just picked at random? nehalem, obviously??? jewish...that sort of thing, bear lake, perhaps canada? is it random, do they put a finger on a map? I dunno???

    or they could be named after their function.

    10/ Traditinally, the north bridge chip interfaces with 3 parts, talks if you want, communicates, shares its bodily fluids, that sort of thing.

    your math processor, the cpu, the memory, ram, and the graphics card.

    that's the holy trinity of parts.

    fine.

    break em down, processors.....have a socket type, think of a diy tool, they only fit in a certain socket for them, that's all, simply match them up.

    they make heat, they need cooling, use a stock heatsink, passive, or a fan, active cooling.

    ram, memory, ddr, ddr2, ddr3, does it make a difference if its running at stock speed? I dunno?

    graphics, 2 sexes, 2 worlds, 2 religions, nvidia, and ati, intel also make integrated on board graphics chips, but enthusiasts want big discrete cards.

    these can be combined, ati is called crossfire, nvidia is called sli.

    they can be 2 way or 3 way, x8 speed or x16 speed, in the dig world, x16 isn't 8x faster, or even 2x faster than x8 I don't think, if you have a big card, I don't think you need sli or xfire. but that's personal.

    that's the holy triniry, that's what your north bridge chip controls, interfaces, communicates with.

    now, the south bridge, this is where it gets more confusing, this is where the terms confuse.

    this is the garbage, note I am english, british, and am using american words. we use rubbish, for garbage/trash, or even crap and shit to be blunt.

    to understand the key to a motherboard when dissecting the terms, and how they REALLY differ, this is how I do it.

    use the acronym FLOUR, this almost is the key to the separate functions of the south bridge chip of your mobo.

    it means.

    firewire
    lan
    overclocking
    usb
    and raid.

    what does that mean.

    firewire, is 1394, a type of IEE, institue of electrical engineers standard for something or other,I have a vague idea, its simply a communication channel I think.

    as it happens, its not usually on the SBridge, its a separate chip on a mobo.

    some dig chips have to have external clock synchonizers to trigger them, these use a crystal that vibrates perhaps 25 million times a second when elec is put throu them, this is a small silver sausage that is by the chip on the pcb/mobo. that's what that is. usually firewire and lan chips have them.

    firewire is not important.

    Lan is local area network, mobos have an external chip that runs down a channel into the southbridge, tyipcial chips used are realtek and marvell.
    'better' boards have 2 of these, they are for connecting computers together on a network, a subject which I know little about and is a big subject in itself.

    do you need to hook computers together, if you do, you don't need to read this beginners guide.
    1, 2 or 4 lan chips, they run into the SB via the pci 'bus' a digital 'road' into the sb chip.

    overclocking, nothing to do with the south bridge, just to help my acronym work!!

    USB...connectors to connect external things to your computer, usually mice, keyboards, and other things. Sit on the rear panel, your SB has perhaps 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 usb connectors, you NEED 6 on the back panel for convenience.
    You NEED 6 minimum back panel.

    Raid. Raid is to do with hooking hard drives together.

    this is my acronym for drives.
    drives are either
    floppy
    optical
    ide
    sata
    esata
    scsi
    sas

    or perhaps others.

    again, see a pattern, evertying that you plug in either plugs in to the SB direct via a bus, or an intermediate chip external to the SB.

    most SB's now have 6 connectors for sata drives, what you should buy for now, until solid state storage comes down a bit more, its getting better.

    finally an end, what are the key things mobos differ on.

    they all usually have firewire, some don't
    lans
    most will overclock
    all should have usb
    and hard drive facilities.

    the key is how many, and which chip.

    why are mobos dearer than others, the key of keys.

    they will have more expensive and more chips, so more 1394's, more lans, better overclocking, and more hard drive chips usually.

    what are key things for assesing mobos?

    read reviews, they are layout, ie how easy it is to build the thing.
    stability, will it keep crashing, they should all work at stock speed without trouble.
    overclocking, an irrelevant geeky art in itself, personal opinion
    features, ie your chipset
    your hardware and software bundle

    price is generally proportional to chipset.
    you pay for the latest and greatest and its really only in the 3 big areas in a certain socket type they really differ.

    these are...hard drive chips, pci slots, and graphics cards.

    you pay more, disproportionaly more, for multiple graphics card capability, after exhaustively analysing trends, a magazine concluded that, that sli, and 3 way sli, was really all you got when you paid a fortune, you didn't get any better stablity or design, or attention to detail.

    which you probably do, you get the whole package.

    I hope beginners are a little more enlightned now on how to differentiate between features on board a mobo and price and why they differ.

    very finally, you also pay for on board audio chips, for sound, or you can get a separate card.

    I wonder, as on board audio is now largely making cards redundant, you can get superb analog devices sound, even creative xfi types on board, not QUITE the ful xfi separate card, but does it matter?

    ...I wonder when all will be on board, ie graphics, sound, and there will be no need whatsover for separate add in cards?

    Very finally there are a couply of other chips....

    bios...and a jack of all trades chip, usually winbond, or ite, a super in out chip that controls everything else on your board, legacy, or dinosaur functions, as people have bits that are cutting edge and dinosaur, boards have to cater for all still. odd the mobo.

    cutting edge and dinosaur, makes the cpu work, the cpu is simply math, your computer all those amazing things you can do, play games, look up anything on the web, buy, go on holiday, talk nonsense, write documents, everything, is simply numbers, zeros and ones, being processed by your cpu, that is all this amazing world comes down to in the end.

    zeros and ones, a cpu.

    your bios is one of the most important chips on the mobo, in terms of my standard for computing.....

    ease of use, quietness, hassle free.

    there are many many other small parts to make things work...a mobo is an electronic circuit, its astohishing how fast they get a new one out if you look at the chipset data.

    its an amazing thing they have to take so many things into account.

    heat, power design, electrical safety, ac theory, advanced electronics, how to design chips, software programming to make it work.
    pcb layout, an art in itself.

    how does one 'make' a mobo, there are 100s of parts on it, resistors, capacitors, inductors(chokes, coils)

    opamps, chips, regulators, clocks, transistors, on it.

    look at it closely, it really is a work of art, and I am fascinated with them, as much as some here are with psu's.

    I could write more, but I hope you agree now, a mobo, really is an amazing thing, look closely at it, we look but we do not 'see'

    see it, look for 20 minutes, then wonder at them, like I do

    once upon a time, tech used to be rare, an art, now, with mass market manufacture

    in china

    things are churned out in millions.

    so these things of wonder, and if you wonder, you probably find there are lots more

    works of art

    computer parts.

    the sheer variety

    mice, heatsinks....

    there are 100s, all designs, and they are all unique works, some pieces of art.

    its a shame in one sense its so throwaway, we really have works of art in creation, and few realise the scope and variety.
    Last edited by ianm2; 08-11-2009 at 06:11 AM.

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    so if you think about it, probably after looking at the chipset from the same series

    the largest difference in mobo facilities is I would say now,

    the drive implementation.

    think about it

    it seems to define a computer.

    your computer case will differ most in what?

    it has a mobo

    a psu...

    the drives....

    and of course, beloved here

    the psu

    what does that differ in ....

    the drive connectors...

    given that the drive IS the pc

    as in wihtout it, without anything really

    as the pc is the sum of its parts

    but windows goes on your drive

    so the hd is windows, windows is your hd.

    is the heart of the pc.

    it all comes down to the drives in the end.

    and that's the end of something that took all of 20 mins to write, to come to that conclusion.

    and if you think this is meaningless, try reading a column in a magazine or newspaper of anykind.

    columns..the art of saying nothing to fill up a paper
    the end.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianm2 View Post
    try reading a column in a magazine or newspaper of anykind.
    You mean a coherent collection of sentences and paragraphs that has been researched, and checked for spelling and grammar?

    For a while there I almost thought that I was...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianm2 View Post
    2/ the chipset is a silicon chip made by companies such as
    intel
    nvidia, soon not to be making, apparently
    via
    sis
    ati/amd
    and used to be, dunno if they are still going, uli, ali?
    ULI is owned by nVidia, and neither VIA nor SIS make current-gen chipsets.

    And no offense, but this is a very poorly-written guide. It's very disjointed and pretty basic as well. If you want to write a real guide, use proper spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, and organize it in a more logical way.
    Main: i5 2500K@4.6GHz w/Zalman CNPS10X Performa, Intel DZ68BC, 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1600, PNY GTX 470 + EVGA GTX 470, ASUS Xonar DX, ADATA S510 120GB, Samsung 1TB F3+1TB F1+2TB F4, Kingwin LZG 1kW, Lian-Li PC-9F, Dell U2212HM+S2209W, Win7 Professional.
    Laptop: Dell Vostro 3450, i5 2410M, 8GB DDR3-1333, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 1GB, Intel X25-M 80GB, Seagate Momentus 750GB, Win7 Home Premium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theAnimal View Post
    You mean a coherent collection of sentences and paragraphs that has been researched, and checked for spelling and grammar?

    For a while there I almost thought that I was...
    they have suceeded in manipulating you into believing that

    how little you know about the media

    last reply's point is taken, however

    1/ if you REALLY read it the very first sentance said it was BASIC.

    its written as an englishman using american english for the benefit of american readers. people buying now, will either buy intel, ati, or nvidia.

    it was an holistic guide intended to cut through confusion which is the essence of the world, which makers, marketeers promulgate, propagate, in order to make people who don't know pay them profit beyond their wildest dreams.

    its got so complex few people really know what things are about anymore.

    and its was my intention to debunk that.

    many of the 'errors' were typos from me typing so fast.

    if it helped anyone it did its job.

    alas, too short and its not enough, too long and people turn off, print it out, understand it, really understand what its saying, and then think, apply it, and it will debunk so much.

    the more I look at magazine reviews, the more irrelevant to many people I feel they become.

    I like most people started out influenced and belived that the best motherboard was the one they said.

    I found out eventually, like car magazines here, the best car is that which is fastest, and goes around corners the best.

    and equally, mags say invariably, the best mobo is the one that overclocks best, is fastest.

    well that's not true.

    the best mobo is the best one for you and your needs.

    its as simple as that.

    they all work to spec.

    as long as it does what you want it to do, that is fine.

    ocing started out as a way to get a faster chip/calculations.

    now its a whole industry that will cost you a disproportionate amount to get a faster computer to do the same things anyway.

    take a big step back, read some philosophy, and bertrand russell, get perspective and the whole world comes into sharper focus.

    and its running around like a headless chicken.
    Last edited by ianm2; 08-16-2009 at 09:13 AM.

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    Your guide certainly didn't cut through any confusion. It confused me, and I know quite a bit about motherboards. So again, without a coherent structure and logical organization, it's basically useless. Not to mention all the incorrect information and silly analogies it contains.
    Main: i5 2500K@4.6GHz w/Zalman CNPS10X Performa, Intel DZ68BC, 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1600, PNY GTX 470 + EVGA GTX 470, ASUS Xonar DX, ADATA S510 120GB, Samsung 1TB F3+1TB F1+2TB F4, Kingwin LZG 1kW, Lian-Li PC-9F, Dell U2212HM+S2209W, Win7 Professional.
    Laptop: Dell Vostro 3450, i5 2410M, 8GB DDR3-1333, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 1GB, Intel X25-M 80GB, Seagate Momentus 750GB, Win7 Home Premium.

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    It works if you imagine Gordon Ramsey reading it out loud

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianm2 View Post
    they have suceeded in manipulating you into believing that

    how little you know about the media
    Since your reading skills seem to rival your writing skills, I'll break it down into simple points:

    Use the SHIFT key at the beginning of sentences.

    Don't use the Enter key after every sentence. Or sentence fragment. Organize your thoughts into paragraphs.

    Use a spellchecker (Firefox has one built-in).

    Most importantly, write about something of which you have knowledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf View Post
    It works if you imagine Gordon Ramsey reading it out loud
    Or Gary Busey
    Main: i5 2500K@4.6GHz w/Zalman CNPS10X Performa, Intel DZ68BC, 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1600, PNY GTX 470 + EVGA GTX 470, ASUS Xonar DX, ADATA S510 120GB, Samsung 1TB F3+1TB F1+2TB F4, Kingwin LZG 1kW, Lian-Li PC-9F, Dell U2212HM+S2209W, Win7 Professional.
    Laptop: Dell Vostro 3450, i5 2410M, 8GB DDR3-1333, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 1GB, Intel X25-M 80GB, Seagate Momentus 750GB, Win7 Home Premium.

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