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How To Understand Motherboard Form Factors

Its a great idea to fully understand all there is to your computer so when it comes to maintaining,upgrading or repair,you can save big on costs by simply performing these tasks yourself.

Your computer's motherboard is its largest component and understanding it is not hard at. All motherboards have form factors which relates to its physical dimensions and needs.This form factor must relate to the form factor of the System Unit Case.

The vast majority of computer use the...

computer repair,computer upgrades,computer training,software

Its a great idea to fully understand all there is to your computer so when it comes to maintaining,upgrading or repair,you can save big on costs by simply performing these tasks yourself.

Your computer's motherboard is its largest component and understanding it is not hard at. All motherboards have form factors which relates to its physical dimensions and needs.This form factor must relate to the form factor of the System Unit Case.

The vast majority of computer use the ATX Form Factor, or the Advanced Technology Extended Form Factor which was created in 1995 by Intel.And its available in three sizes,the ATX, its smaller version,the Mini ATX and the Micro ATX.

If your system is housed in a full or mid size tower case,you can use a motherboard built to any variation of ATX as these cases are all downward compatible.Desktop cases, however, are restricted to the Micro ATX board.

This is awesome should you decide to replace or upgrade your motherboard.Be certain you purchased the correct size motherboard for your case can be done by knowing the form factor of the system unit case.

The most recent form factor is the BTX standing for the Balanced
Technology Extended factor.This was introduced in 2004.One of
the primary functions of this form factor was to improve the cooling
system since newer CPU chips are running hotter.

The BTX form factor is a clear break from previous ATX form factor layouts and was developed with emerging technologies such as Serial ATA, USB 2.0, and PCI Express.The BTX Form Factor come with thermal improvements come primarily from taking advantage of in-line airflow.

BUYING OR REPLACING A MOTHERBOARD

There are three basic reasons for upgrading a motherboard. The first would simply be that the existing one has failed.Another reason is the modernize the computer but the most likely reason is because you want the most powerful rig possible.

Keep in mind that replacing your motherboard can be done but its not the easiest task to perform.You may have to strip the system down to gain access to the board,whether upgrading it or just replacing it with a more powerful board.

Since the motherboard is the central and largest component in your computer,you'll need to be certain you have the right board for your case.All of your present computer hardware needs to be compatible with the motherboard.

The first and most important consideration is the CPU or Central Processing Unit.The board must have the socket that the CPU was designed for.

Another consideration is the FSB which stands for the Front Side Bus.The FSB allows the CPU to communicate with the rest of the computer.Manufacturers of the motherboards made them to support several FSB speeds within a specified range.To find the FSB rating for your computer look in the owners manual.

One good thing in purchasing new motherboards is that most retailers will have supply kits.These kits will have a matched CPU and RAM for that motherboard.

Additionally, ask the retailer detailed questions about your new purchase and ask them to double check for compatiblity.This way should it not be right,you can return it for a replacement easily.

 

How To Understand Your Computer's Random Access Memory

Learn the most used types of RAM or Random Access Memory used in most computers.

computers, software,hardware,pc repair, computer training software, computer training, computer maintenance,pc tips,pc help,computers, pc training courses

Copyright 2006 Otis Cooper

The System Memory is more commonly called RAM or Random Access Memory. This is the memory used by the computer to hold programs and data.

This data is lost once the computer is turned off.Because demands by powerful software have skyrocketed, system memory requirements have been accelerating at an alarming pace.

Random Access Memory is mounted directly onto the motherboard and transfers data by use of address and data buses. Each data bus consist of a number of circuits.

In 1985, Intel had the 386 processor with its 32 bit bus and the Pentium processor came along in 1993 with a large 64 bit bus. RAM memory is made using DRAM Chips.

RAM chips are large rectangular shaped and made with memory cells with support logic that reads and writes data. These chips must be continously refreshed, that is, data is constantly sent to allow the cells to hold data.

Information being transferred between the CPU Chip and RAM memory is called a memory cycle. During the late 90s, the DIMM chip was the standard RAM Chip. So just what is this DIMM chip? Let's talk about the different Ram memory chips used in the computer.

Static RAM is a type of RAM that holds its data without being refreshed, for as long as power is supplied to the circuit. This is contrasted to dynamic RAM (DRAM), which must be refreshed many times per second in order to hold its data contents.

TYPES OF RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY CHIPS

SIMM or Single Inline Memory Modules came on the scene in the early 90s. The SIMM chips first came with 30 pins. And then the 72 pin SIMM which had 32 bit data paths or buses.

DIMM or Dual Inline Memory Module replace the Simm chips. These chips had 168 pins as compared to the 72 pin Simm variety. The data bus of the 30 pin chip was 8 bits while the 72 data bus can send data on the 32 bit data bus.

DIMMs also come in a smaller form factors suitable for use in notebook computers. These SO DIMMs or Small Outline DIMMs are available in both 32-bit wide/72-pin and 64-bit wide/144-pin form factors.

RIMM came in 1999 and the connectors for this new chip fits in the same sockets as the DIMM chips. They have 184 pins as compared to the Dimm which have 168 pins

The RIMM chip was to come along when DRDRAM OR Direct Rambus DRAM: a totally new RAM architecture, was introduced. A single Rambus Channel has the potential to reach 500 MBps in burst mode; a 20- fold increase over DRAM.

Computers will have DRAM for their main system memory, instead of SRAM, even though DRAMs are slower than SRAM. The reason that DRAMs are used is that they are cheaper and take up much less space. To build a 64 MB core memory from SRAMs would be very expensive

All computers will contain a Memory Controller which,as its name implies, control the memory.It generates signals to regulate the reading and writing of information to and from the memory. The system chipset is normally where the memory controller is integrated.

And just what are the chipsets? Well,they are like the traffic cops for all chips on the motherboard. They keep in check such data transfer from and to the CPU, data buses, printer, video card, and nearly all other devices.

Data flow is such a critical issue in the operation and performance of so many parts of the computer, the chipset is one of the few components that have a truly major impact on your PC's quality, feature set, and speed.

THE TYPE OF RAM MEMORY IN YOUR PC

How can you know what type of memory is right for your PC. Using a memory configurator is one quick way to solve is problem. Some memory makers will have a memory configurator on their site.

The best way to determine the type of memory you use in your computer is to read the owner's manual. No owner's manual,no problem. Visit your computers motherboard web site should you need assistance.

Another very important thing to considerwhen buying your memory is to be sure it is compatible with your system. And you'll need to decide how much memory you need and consider the price, quality, availability, service, and warranty.

 

Keyboard Layout Problems - How To Fix Them

Keyboard layout specifies what character the computer will display when you will press the certain key on your keyboard. There are various characters in different languages, but in Windows you can easily switch between languages with Control + Shift or Alt + Shift key stoke. That is great, because you don't need to use another PC or different keyboard.

But if you are using two or more layouts you will certainly face some difficulties. For instance, sometime you forget to s...

keyboard layout,computer keyboard layout,layout problems

Keyboard layout specifies what character the computer will display when you will press the certain key on your keyboard. There are various characters in different languages, but in Windows you can easily switch between languages with Control + Shift or Alt + Shift key stoke. That is great, because you don't need to use another PC or different keyboard.

But if you are using two or more layouts you will certainly face some difficulties. For instance, sometime you forget to switch to necessary layout and do blind typing, but when you see the result, which is in wrong layout, you have to retype.

It became a huge problem, especially, when layouts looks like the same and it is hard to determine from the first look that you are using the wrong layout.

Another problem is using more than two layouts. Now you will need to press Control + Shift twice to select the necessary layout. And this might be a great problem, because you will always need to check what layout you are using now and you will waste your work time to technical things.

There are some possible ways to make this problem solved. For sure, you can using Windows keyboard layout options to temporary disable some layouts, but it will take you much time to open settings dialog, change settings and then close dialog and do this every time you will need a layout again.

There also exists a number of program which address the problems of keyboard layouts, for instance, some software tools might automatically switch your layout if you are typing in a wrong language and convert the text that you have already typed into the right layout. But tools like this will not eliminate the problem of switching between three or more layouts, especially, if layouts look the same.

One of the possible solutions for this problem is specifying a special switch short key for switching between layouts. For instance, if you are using English, German and French you can specify one short key to switch between English and German and another short key to switch between German and French. In this way, you will always be sure that you have switched to the correct layout. But it will be much harder to switch between layouts. Anyway, Windows has this option and you should try to use it.

Another problem when you are learning a new keyboard layout is that you might not know what keys you should press to get necessary character. There is a good solution for this issue too. Run Windows screen keyboard and you will see all characters that are available on the current keyboard layout.

Using various keyboard layouts is a great way to save your time and type in a various languages, but don't waste your time typing the same twice or switching between layouts, learn this aspect carefully and use short keys suggested by Windows to be professional about keyboard layouts.

Finally, if you are system administrator and there are many users who don't feel good about changing layouts, train them and use freeware and commercial software tools that might help about layout problem.




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