Terms 4 Definitions and Questions
Motherboard • The main board of a computer, usually containing the circuitry for the central processing unit, keyboard, and monitor and often having slots for accepting additional circuitry. • Motherboard: abrev. mobo aka "system board or main board" • The main circuit board in the computer. This is the big green circuit board that contains the CPU, memory, mass storage and all the controllers required to control standard peripheral devices. • The mother board consists of a flat board that fills one side of the case. It attaches through connections called ports located in the back of the computer. The processor chip and memory chip are also installed on the mother board. It allows the expanding the PC's capabilities through additional circuit boards such as; sound, video, and communications.
Jumpers • Jumpers allow the computer to close an electrical circuit allowing the electricity to flow throughout certain sections of the circuit board. Generally, the jumpers consist of a set small pins which can be covered with a small plastic box. This box connects the two pins together allowing the electricity to flow freely between the two pins. • Jumpers are used to configure computer peripherals such as Hard Drives, Modems, Sound Cards, and various other components. For example, when installing a new hard drive, you may need to change the jumper settings depending if the hard drive is a master drive or a slave drive.
Motherboard / Jumper Q/A • Q: Describe these two pictures. • A: In the first picture, we see a jumper. In the second picture, a shunt has been placed over the jumper, closing the circuit.
BIOS • BIOS – short for basic input/output system • The BIOS runs at the startup sequence where it configures devices and then boots the operating system. • The function of the BIOS is so vital that the information on the BIOS is stored on a ROM chip separate from the hard drive to protect it from potential crashes.
BIOS Flashing • BIOS software is in some regards like other software. There are newer versions available that contain updates, enhanced, features, new features, and bug fixes. It is possible to install newer BIOS versions and upgrade, but the process is different from upgrading regular software that's installed on your computer. • The BIOS software is not stored on the hard drive, but in a chip on the motherboard. To erase the software on the chip and program it with a newer software version you need to use a special program called a flash utility, and the process of performing the upgrade is called flashing the BIOS. • You should only flash your BIOS if you’re SURE you know what you’re doing.
BIOS / BIOS Flashing Q/A • Q: Name some of the things you can configure in your BIOS. • A: The order in which your computer boots (HDD, Floppy Drive, CD-ROM), basic hardware settings for expansion cards, memory, and your processor (bus speeds, multipliers), the date & time, automatic virus detection, which of your drives is primary on a given channel, etc.
Overclocking • Overclocking is a process that users sometimes perform on computer components to force upon the component an increased clock rate, or cycles per second (hertz) at which the component performs. • This is commonly done to processors, video cards, motherboard chips, and RAM. The process can be done to components that have lower capabilities to make them go at decent speeds or to components that have high capabilities to go at speeds that surpass the fastest speeds on the market. Excess power must be supplied to the component to ensure that the increased speed has enough power to operate, but not so much as to overpower it. • Overclocking requires a cooling process of some sort (heat sinks, powerful fans, water cooling, etc.) to remove excess heat produced by overclocked components.
Overclocking Q/A • Q: What is going on here? • A: System A is being air cooled, in order to overclock it. System B is being water cooled for the same reason. (NOT RECOMMENDED) System A System B
Dual-booting • A computer with two operating systems. At startup, a boot manager program lets the user choose which one to load. "Multiboot" may refer to a dual boot system or to one that hosts more than two operating systems. For example, V Communications' System Commander lets you install all the operating systems you wish on one PC and choose which one you want at startup. • Dual booting and multibooting are not the same as a "virtual machine," although sometimes the terms are used synonymously. Virtual machines host multiple operating systems, but can run them all at the same time.
Dual-booting Q/A • Q: Can you triple boot? Quadruple boot? What’s the limit? • A: Yes and yes. You are only limited by the size of your hard drive and the number of partitions (virtual drive separations that make the computer treat 1 physical hard drive as being composed of several parts).
Cache memory, L1 cache, L2 cache • Cache memory is random access memory (RAM) that a computer microprocessor can access more quickly than it can access regular RAM. As the microprocessor processes data, it looks first in the cache memory and if it finds the data there (from a previous reading of data), it does not have to do the more time-consuming reading of data from larger memory • L1 cache - Level 1 cache. A small cache integrated in a processor that provides quick access to the most recently used data. • L2 cache - Level 2 cache. L2 cache has the same purpose as L1 cache, but is usually not integrated into the processor. L2 cache is traditionally made of SRAM and in socket 7 and older motherboards was in some cases upgradeable
Cache memory, L1 cache, L2 cache Q/A • Why don’t you just add more cache? • http://www.firingsquad.com/guides/futurememory/page3.asp
Cache memory, L1 cache, L2 cache This is a Pentium from 1993! Now processor cores are even smaller.