Monday, January 19, 2009

Types of Motherboard and RAM

Types of Motherboard

1) AT Motherboard
The first type of motherboard is AT motherboard. The AT motherboard is 12 inches wide and 11 inches long. The AT is having a problem with accessing some of the items on the motherboard because the drive bays hung over the motherboard. Due to this situation installation and troubleshooting of the components on the motherboard very difficult. Other problem with the layout of the AT board is the expansion cards, once inserted into the systems, it covers the processor. This situation led to cooling problems due to the fact that ventilation was insufficient to keep the chip from overheating.

2)ATX Motherboard
In 1995, Intel introduced a system board that would be used to support the Pentium II processor and new AGP slot, so the ATX form factor was built. The ATX board is 7.5 inches wide and 12 inches long and has all the IO ports integrated directly into the board, including USB ports. The ATX board introduced a 100 MHz system bus. The ATX board system could be shut down by the operating system. In ATX motherboard any cards inserted into the bus architectures would not cover the processor and prevent proper cooling.

Types of RAM
SDRAM(Synchronous DRAM)
All systems used to ship with 3.3 volt, 168-pin SDRAM DIMMs. SDRAM is a new type of DRAM altogether. SDRAM started out running at 66 MHz, while older fast page mode DRAM max out at 50 MHz. SDRAM is able to scale to 133 MHz (PC133) officially, and unofficially up to 180MHz or higher. As processors get faster, new generations of memory such as DDR and RDRAM are required to get proper performance.

DDR (Double Data Rate SDRAM)
DDR basically doubles the rate of data transfer of standard SDRAM by transferring data on the up and down tick of a clock cycle. DDR memory operating at 333MHz actually operates at 166MHz * 2 (PC333 / PC2700) or 133MHz*2 (PC266 / PC2100). DDR is a 2.5 volt technology that uses 184 pins in its DIMMs. It is incompatible with SDRAM physically, but uses a similar parallel bus, making it easier to implement than RDRAM, which is a different technology.

It is higher price, Intel has given RDRAM it's blessing for the consumer market, and it will be the sole choice of memory for Intel's Pentium 4. RDRAM is a serial memory technology that arrived in three flavors, PC600, PC700, and PC800. PC800 RDRAM has doubled the maximum throughput of old PC100 SDRAM, but a higher latency.

DRAM comes in two major form factors:
DIMMs are 64-bit components, but if used in a motherboard with a dual-channel configuration (like with an Nvidia nForce chipset) you must pair them to get maximum performance. So far there aren't many DDR chipset that use dual-channels. Typically, if you want to add 512 MB of DIMM memory to your machine, you just insert a 512 MB DIMM if you've got an available slot. DIMMs for SDRAM and DDR are different, and not physically compatible. SDRAM DIMMs have 168-pins and run at 3.3 volts, while DDR DIMMs have 184-pins and run at 2.5 volts.

RIMMs use only a 16-bit interface but run at higher speeds than DDR. To get maximum performance, Intel RDRAM chipsets require the use of RIMMs in pairs over a dual-channel 32-bit interface.


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