16 Motherboards

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Motherboards
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Introduction

•   Form factor refers to the physical dimensions and size of the
    board and dictates what type of case the board will fit into.
•   Some are true standards whereas others are not standardized
    enough to allow for true interchangeability.
•   More commonly known PC motherboard form factors include
    the following:




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Industry-Standard Motherboard Form Factors




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IBM PC Motherboard

•   Original IBM PC was released in 1981.




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Full-Size AT


•   Full-size AT
    motherboard
    debuted in 1984
    matches the
    original IBM AT
    motherboard
    design.




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LPX




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LPX (contd.)


•   LPX form factor boards are a semiproprietary design originally

    developed by Western Digital in 1987 for some of its

    motherboards wherein LP in LPX stands for Low Profile.

•   LPX boards are characterized by the expansion slots which are

    mounted on a bus riser card that plugs into the motherboard.




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ATX


•   ATX form factor is physically incompatible with either the

    previous Baby-AT or LPX design.


•   Official ATX specification was initially released by Intel in July

    1995 and was written as an open specification for the industry.




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ATX (contd.)

•   ATX improved on the Baby-AT and LPX motherboard designs
    in the following areas:
    – Built-in double high external I/O connector panel.

    – Single main keyed internal power supply connector.

    – Relocated CPU and memory.

    – Relocated internal I/O connectors.

    – Improved cooling.

    – Lower cost to manufacture.


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ATX (contd.)

•   Two basic sizes of standard ATX boards are present which
    are:
    – Full-size ATX layout
        A full-size ATX board is 12" wide × 9.6" deep (305mm×244mm).

    – Mini-ATX design
        Mini-ATX board is 11.2" × 16.2" (284mm×208mm).

•   Two smaller variations of ATX also exist, called
    – Micro-ATX and

    – Flex-ATX.

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Micro-ATX




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Micro-ATX (contd.)


•   Micro-ATX is a motherboard form factor originally introduced

    by Intel in December of 1997 as an evolution of the ATX form

    factor for smaller and lower-cost systems.

•   Micro-ATX form factor is backward compatible with the ATX

    form factor and can be used in full-size ATX cases.

•   A new, small form factor (called SFX) power supply has been

    defined for optional use with micro-ATX systems, although the

    standard ATX supply also works fine.
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Flex-ATX


•   In March of 1999, Intel released the flex-ATX form factor

    intended to allow a variety of new PC designs, especially

    extremely inexpensive, smaller, consumer-oriented, appliance-

    type systems.

•   Difference between the flex-ATX form factor and the micro-ATX

    is that flex-ATX supports only socketed processors.



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ATX Riser




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ATX Riser (contd.)


•   In December 1999, Intel introduced a riser card design

    modification for ATX motherboards which includes the

    addition of a 22-pin (2×11) connector to one of the PCI slots on

    the motherboard, along with a two- or three-slot riser card that

    plugs in.

•   Riser enables two or three PCI cards to be installed.

•   The riser card does not support AGP.

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NLX




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NLX (contd.)

•   First introduced in November of 1996 by Intel, NLX has
    become the form factor of choice for Slimline corporate
    desktop systems.
•   NLX is basically an improved version of the proprietary LPX
    design and is fully standardized.
•   Main characteristic of an NLX system is that the motherboard
    plugs into the riser.
•   All devices that normally plug into the motherboard-such as
    drive cables, the power supply, the front panel light, switch
    connectors, and so on-plug into the riser instead.

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WTX


•   WTX was a board and system form factor developed for the

    mid-range workstation market.

•   Very few WTX form factor systems that have been introduced

    were designed as servers.

•   WTX motherboards have a maximum width of 14 inches

    (356mm) and a maximum length of 16.75 inches (425mm).



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Motherboard Components

•   Most modern motherboards have at least the following major
    components on them:
    – Processor socket/slot
    – Chipset (North/South Bridge or memory and I/O controller hubs)
    – Super I/O chip
    – ROM BIOS (Flash ROM/firmware hub)
    – SIMM/DIMM/RIMM (RAM memory) sockets
    – ISA/PCI/AGP bus slots
    – CPU voltage regulator
    – Battery
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Processor Sockets/Slots

•   CPU is installed in either a socket or a slot, depending on the
    type of chip.




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Chipsets

•   Chipset is the main functional part of the motherboard and
    therefore, any two boards with the same chipsets are
    functionally identical.

•   Chipset contains the processor bus interface (called front-side
    bus, or FSB), memory controllers, bus controllers, I/O
    controllers etc.

•   Chipset controls the interface or connections between the
    processor and everything else


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Chipset Evolution

•   When IBM created the first PC motherboards, it used several
    discrete (separate) chips to complete the design.
•   All the motherboard chip components came from Intel or an
    Intel-licensed manufacturer, except the CMOS/Clock chip,
    which came from Motorola.
•   In 1986, a company called Chips and Technologies introduced
    a revolutionary component called the 82C206-a single chip that
    integrated into it all the functions of the main motherboard
    chips in an AT-compatible system.
•   Chipset idea was rapidly copied by other chip manufacturers
    such as Acer, Erso, Opti, Suntac, Symphony, UMC, and VLSI.
•   Later after 1994 Intel had a virtual lock on the chipset market.

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Intel Chipsets

•   Intel started a pattern of numbering its chipsets as follows and
    chipset numbers listed here are an abbreviation of the actual
    chipset numbers stamped on the individual chips.




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AMD Athlon/Duron Chipsets

•   AMD decided for the first time to create a chip that was Intel-
    compatible with the K6 series would plug into the same Socket
    7 that Intel designed for the Pentium processor line.
•   AMD bootstrapped the market by introducing its own chipset,
    referred to as the AMD-750 chipset.
•   AMD 750 chipset consists of the 751 System Controller (North
    Bridge) and the 756 Peripheral Bus Controller (South Bridge).
•   AMD introduced the AMD-760 chipset for the Athlon/Duron
    processors, which is the first major chipset on the market
    supporting DDR SDRAM for memory.
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North/South Bridge Architecture

•   Intel's earlier chipsets are broken into a multi-tiered
    architecture incorporating North and South Bridge
    components, as well as a Super I/O chip:
     – North Bridge
        It is the connection between the high-speed processor bus and
        the slower AGP and PCI buses.
     – South Bridge
        It is the bridge between the PCI bus and the even slower ISA bus.
     – Super I/O chip
        It's a separate chip attached to the ISA bus which containing
        commonly used peripheral items all combined into a single chip.
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Hub Architecture

•   Newer 8XX series chips use a hub architecture in which the
    former North Bridge chip is called a Memory Controller Hub
    (MCH), and the former South Bridge is called an I/O Controller
    Hub (ICH).
•   Hub design offers several advantages which are as follows:
    – It's faster
    – Reduced PCI loading.
    – Reduced board wiring.
•   MCH interfaces between the high-speed processor bus and the
    hub interface and AGP bus.
•   ICH interfaces between the hub interface and the ATA(IDE)
    ports and PCI bus.

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Intel 810 and 810E

•   Major features of the 810E chipset include
    – 66/100/133MHz system bus
    – Integrated AGP2x Intel 3D graphics
    – Efficient use of system memory for graphics performance
    – Optional 4MB of dedicated display cache video memory
    – Digital Video Out port compatible with DVI specification for flat
      panel
    – 266MB/sec hub interface
    – Support for ATA-66
    – Integrated Audio-Codec 97 (AC97) controller
    – Support for low-power sleep modes
    – Integrated USB controller
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Intel 815 and 815E

•   These chipsets support the following features:
    – 66/100/133MHz system bus
    – 266MB/sec hub interface
    – ATA-100 (815E/EP) or ATA-66 (815)
    – PC100 or PC133 CL-2 SDRAM
    – Up to 512MB RAM
    – Integrated Audio-Codec 97 (AC97) controller
    – Low-power sleep modes
    – Integrated Intel AGP2x 3D graphics
    – Efficient use of system memory for graphics performance
    – Optional 4MB of dedicated display cache video memory
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Intel 840

•   840 chipset features include
    – 100/133MHz processor bus.
    – Dual RDRAM memory channels, operating simultaneously,
        providing up to 3.2GB/sec memory bandwidth.
    – 16-bit wide implementation of Intel Hub Architecture (HI16), which
        enables high-performance concurrent PCI I/O with the optional
        P64H component.
    – AGP 4x.
    – Prefetch cache, unique to the 840 chipset, enables highly efficient
        data flow and helps maximize system concurrency.
    – USB support.

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Intel 850

•   Intel 850 is the first chipset for the Intel Pentium 4 processor
    and thus is also the first chipset to support the NetBurst
    microarchitecture.
•   Chipset's features are as follows
     –     400MHz system bus
     –     Intel Hub Architecture
     –     Dual RDRAM capability
     –     AGP4X interface
     –     LAN connect interface
     –     Alert on LAN 2.0
     –     Dual USB controllers
     –     Ultra ATA/100
     –     AC'97 Controller
     –     Communications Network Riser Card
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Intel 860

•   Chipset's brief features are as follows
    – Supports two Intel Xeon processors with 512 KB L2 cache for
        dual-processing server platforms.
    – 400 MHz system bus capability
    – Intel Hub Architecture with optional P64H
    – AGP4X
    – MRH-R (RDRAM based repeater hub)
    – Dual RDRAM channels
    – Prefetch Cache
    – Dual USB controllers

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Intel 875

•   Features that the new Intel 875P board possesses are as
    follows:
    – Full 800Mhz System bus support
    – Dual Channel DDR400
    – Intel Performance Acceleration Technology
    – Serial ATA with RAID
    – Hyper Threading Technology
    – Intel Gigabit LAN
    – 8xUSB 2.0 ports
    – AGP 8x
    – 2xSATA 150 ports
    – 2xATA 100 channels

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System Bus Types, Functions, and Features

•   A bus is a common pathway across which data can travel
    within a computer.
•   PC has a hierarchy of different buses.
•   Main buses in a modern system are as follows:
    – Processor bus
    – AGP bus
    – PCI bus
    – ISA bus
    – Newer motherboards feature a special connector called an Audio
        Modem Riser (AMR) or a Communications and Networking Riser
        (CNR).
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Processor Bus (Front-Side Bus)

•   Processor bus (also called the Front-side bus or FSB) is the
    communication pathway between the CPU and motherboard
    chipset, more specifically the North Bridge or Memory
    Controller Hub.
•   It runs at the full motherboard speed-normally between 66MHz
    and 400MHz in modern systems, depending on the particular
    board and chipset design.
•   It transfers data between the CPU and an memory cache on
    Pentium class systems and also transfers data between the
    CPU and an external (L2) memory cache on Socket-7 (Pentium
    class) systems.
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Memory Bus

•   Memory bus is used to transfer information between the CPU
    and main memory-the RAM in your system.

•   Depending on the type of memory the chipset is designed to
    handle, the North Bridge runs the memory bus at various
    speeds.

•   Systems running a Pentium 4 with its 400MHz processor bus
    also use dual-channel RDRAM memory, which runs
    1,600MB/sec for each channel, or a combined bandwidth (both
    memory channels run simultaneously) of 3,200MB/sec.

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Types of I/O Buses

•   Faster I/O speeds are necessary for better system
    performance.
•   Main differences among buses consist primarily of the
    amounts of data they can transfer at one time and the speeds
    at which they can do it.
•   Various types of PC buses are as follows:
    –     PC Bus
    –     ISA Bus
    –     Micro Channel Bus
    –     EISA Bus
    –     VESA Bus
    –     PCI Bus
    –     AGP
    –     AMR
    –     CNR

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PC Bus




•   8 bit data transfer.

•   Black in color with 62 pins.

•   Present only in XT and 286 Machines.

•   Permitted speed up to 8MHz.




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ISA Bus

•   Two versions of the ISA bus exist, based on the number of
    data bits that can be transferred on the bus at a time.
    – 8-Bit ISA Bus
        It is specifically called a card/edge connector with 62 contacts
        which ran at 4.77Mhz in PC and XT machines.

    – 16-Bit ISA Bus
        16-bit version used in the AT ran at 6MHz and then 8MHz and later
        16.33Mhz



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ISA bus




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Micro channel (MCA) bus

•   It is a proprietary IBM PS/2 bus which had a width of 32 bits.
•   It top speed was at 10MHZ.
•   It allowed self configuration of devices on the slot.
•   MCA devices has configuration disk which allows the
    automatic configuration of IRQ, I/O addresses and DMA
    channels.




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EISA bus

•   EISA stands for Extended Industry Standard Architecture
•   32 bit data transfer
•   Permitted speeds from 8.33 to 20 MHz.
•   On some motherboards this bus is brown in color.
•   It supports only those cards designed specifically to work with
    EISA slots.
•   It has 188 pins.
•   EISA cards in EISA slots could be configured only through
    jumper settings.




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Local Buses


•   As the speed of the processor bus increased, the I/O bus

    realized only nominal speed improvements, primarily from an

    increase in the bandwidth of the bus.

•   An obvious solution to this problem is to move some of the

    slotted I/O to an area where it could access the faster speeds

    of the processor bus-much the same way as the external

    cache.

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Local Buses (contd.)




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Local Buses (contd.)


•   The arrangement shown became known as local bus because

    external devices now could access the part of the bus that was

    local to the CPU-the processor bus.

•   Local bus solutions do not replace earlier standards, but are

    designed into the system as a bus that is closer to the

    processor in the system architecture.


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VESA Local Bus


•   It was basically designed for improving the performance of

    graphics adapter.

•   It Permitted speeds up to 33MHz.

•   It is Brown in color.

•   Present in AT 386, 486 Machines.

•   It consists of 112 pins


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VESA Local Bus (contd.)




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PCI Bus

•   PCI bus specification was released in June 1992 as version 1.0
•   It supports 32 bit as well as 64 bit data transfer.
•   It consists of 120 pins and is usually white in color.
•   There are now several variations on PCI as shown in Table.




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                                                   Top View of PCI Slot




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Plug and Play

•   Plug and Play (PnP) means that you can connect a device or
    insert a card into your computer and it is automatically
    recognized and configured to work in your system.
•   PnP requires three things:
    – PnPBIOS
        Core utility that enables PnP and detects PnP devices.
    – Extended System Configuration Data (ECSD)
        A file that contains information about installed PnP devices.
    – PnP operating system –
        Any operating system, such as Windows 95/98/ME, that supports
        PnP.

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Plug and Play (contd.)


•   PnP automates several key tasks that were typically done

    either manually or with an installation utility which include

    – Interrupt requests (IRQ)

    – Direct memory access (DMA)

    – Memory addresses

    – Input/Output (I/O) configuration




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PnP Working

•   Different steps in PnP while installing a new sound card are as

    follows

    – Plug a sound card into an empty PCI slot on the motherboard.

    – Power up the computer.

    – System BIOS initiates the PnP BIOS.

    – PnP BIOS scans the PCI bus for hardware.

    – Sound card responds by identifying itself.




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PnP Working (contd.)

   – PnP BIOS checks the ESCD to see if the configuration data for the
      sound card is already present.

   – PnP BIOS assigns IRQ, DMA, memory address and I/O settings to
      the sound card and saves the data in the ESCD.

   – Operating system detects that the sound card is a new device and
      displays a small window.

   – If it is able to determine what the device is, it displays the name of
      the device and attempts to install the driver.

   – Once the driver is installed, the device should be ready for use.

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Accelerated Graphics Port

•   Intel developed the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP).
•   Memory allowing the system Ram to be used as graphics Ram.
•   AGP slots interface operate at minimum speed of 66 MHz.
•   Usually brown in color
•    Table below shows the differences in clock rates and data
    transfer speeds (bandwidth) for the various AGP modes.




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Accelerated Graphics Port (contd.)




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Audio/Modem Riser


•   Audio/Modem Riser Slot, or AMR is basically just an interface


    between the motherboard and the phone line which is intended


    to plug into the AMR has no onboard processing power at all.


•   For all functions, it uses the CPU's processing power.




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Communications/Network Riser (CNR)


•   Its an feature supported by Intel ICH2 chip.


•   CNR slot can accommodate different kinds and combinations


    of LAN, Home PNA Modem, 6 channel Audio USB HUB


    adapters




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System Resources

•   System resources are the communications channels,

    addresses, and other signals used by hardware devices to

    communicate on the bus.

•   Resources typically include the following:

    – Memory addresses

    – IRQ (interrupt request) channels

    – DMA (direct memory access) channels

    – I/O port addresses

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BIOS Basics

•   BIOS is a term that stands for Basic Input/Output System.
•   BIOS describes all the drivers in a system working together to
    act as an interface between the hardware and the operating
    system software.
•   Portion of the BIOS contained in ROM chips both on the
    motherboard and in some adapter cards is sometimes called
    firmware.
•   BIOS in a PC comes from three possible sources:
    – Motherboard ROM
    – Adapter card ROM (such as that found on a video card)
    – Loaded into RAM from disk (device drivers)

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Motherboard BIOS


•   All motherboards must have a special chip (ROM) containing


    software called the ROM BIOS which contains the startup


    programs and drivers used to get the system running.


•   When you turn on a system, the power on self test (POST) in


    the BIOS also tests the major components in the system.

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CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide
Semiconductor) chip


•   One cannot change BIOS routines on the ROM for changeable

    hardware devices, so you need another type of storage chip

    that can be modified to reflect these changes and this

    changeable chip is called the CMOS chip.


•   CMOS chips usually store around 64K of data.



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CMOS Chip (contd.)


•   Almost every motherboard with a program built into the

    system ROM, called the CMOS setup program, which enables

    you to access and update the data on the CMOS chip.

•   Nowadays flash ROM's hold both the system BIOS and the

    CMOS settings and even though the data is stored on flash

    ROM.


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Tour Through a Typical CMOS Setup

•   Every maker of BIOS has a different CMOS setup program.




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Tour Through a Typical CMOS Setup (contd.)


•   When you boot a machine with Award BIOS one will see

    something as shown and at the bottom of the screen it shows

    the way to enter the CMOS Setup.

•   Once in in the Main menu of the Award CMOS setup there are

    many submenus as will be seen




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Tour Through a Typical CMOS Setup (contd.)




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                                                                                                                                                                      Revision no.: PPT/2K403/02




Intel Desktop Board D845GVSR




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                                                                                                                                                                       Revision no.: PPT/2K403/02




Intel Desktop Board D845GVSR (contd.)




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                                                                                                                                                                      Revision no.: PPT/2K403/02




Gigabyte's GA-8I865GVMK Motherboard




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Gigabyte's GA-8I865GVMK Motherboard (contd.)




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ASUS A7V8X-MX Motherboard




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ASUS A7V8X-MX Motherboard (contd.)

•   Features of A7V8X-MX are
    – 333MHz FSB Athlon XP CPU Support
    – AGP8X
    – Powerful Integrated Graphics
    – SoundMAX Digital Audio System
    – 6 USB 2.0 ports
    – ASUS C.O.P. (CPU Overheating Protection)
    – CrashFree BIOS
    – S/PDIF out interface (optional)
    – Integrated 10/100 LAN
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Exercise

•   Exercise 16.1 Motherboard Slot Identification and CMOS
    Settings




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                                                                                                                                                                   Revision no.: PPT/2K403/02




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