The Different Types Of Motherboards Computer Science Essay

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The motherboard is the primary circuit board or the main circuit board of a computer system. The motherboard helps to control the flow of data and electricity for all the components in a PC such as CPU, RAM, sound cards, graphic adaptor which are primary devices needed to run the computer are connected to the motherboard. Motherboard also contains slots and ports to attach other components such as storage devices, chipsets, graphics cards, CD's and other various supported system hardware.

I have discussed about few motherboard platforms below:


The type of motherboard depends on the dimension and size of it and the layout of the components in it. Also you need to know the CPU model it is designed for, because you cannot place every motherboard in any computer system. It should be specified with the brand name. such as ATX motherboards can be placed in an ATX case only.

ATX (Advanced Technology Extended motherboard)

ATX was introduced in 1995 and was the first motherboard to only include I/O supported ports, also it was the motherboard which outdated the Baby AT design modifying the layout by rotating the CPU and memory 90 degrees, which allowed full expansions to be plugged and allow proper cooling. It is 7.5 inches wide and 12 inches long. This motherboard supports most modern system ports and slots.

Numerous variations of the ATX were subsequently introduced with both smaller and larger form factors, including the microATX, Mini ATX, FlexATX

BTX Motherboards (Balanced Technology Extended)

Introduced in 2004 by intel, and is the latest PC form factor introduced to the market. It offers all the features of an ATX board but with a modified layout which is designed in a way to improve the cooling and airflow through the whole circuit.

However the intel couldn't reach the level of popularity they targeted because this layout is not compatible with all the computer designs. As a result, intel discontinued producing BTX boards.

Standard size of a BTX board is 12.7 inches by 10.4 inches compare to ATX it is a bit larger and more opening ways to cool out the system.

Motherboard manufacture brands


AMD athlon









The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component or the brain of the computer system. The CPU is a set of electronic circuitry that executes stored programs. It mainly controls the devices, conducting the calculations and logical operations, and contains an immediate memory space.

The CPU includes processor, microprocessor, central processor.

There are 4 units in a CPU

Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)

Control Unit (CU)


Cache memory

Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU):


Arithmetical operations ( +, - , /, *) , comparisons ( >, <, !=) and Logical operations ( Not, And, Or, Gates)

Control Unit (CU):

This component is in charge of controlling data flow in between other sub components. Also performs other functions like Fetching and Decoding.


It is in charge of holding the data and instructing before the execution of the process. It is a high speed memory inside the CPU.


Cache is a high speed memory buffer which is capable of storing frequently occurring data and instruction patterns.


Intel® Core™ i5 Processor

One of the latest, introduced in 2010.

32nm dual-core processing, which allows to run 2 processors in one physical package with same frequency.

Has Intel HD Graphics (an advanced video engine that gives high quality HD video playback and 3D capabilities)

features Intel Hyper- Threading Technology which enables each of the processors to work on two tasks simultaneously per physical core.

Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition

Introduced in 2008.

Faster, intelligent, multi-core technology processing power.

Include intel turbo booster technology.

Has intel-hyper technology which will maximize performance with your work load,

Intel® Core™ i5 Processor

Introduced in 2009

Designed to the demanding tasks like playing games and editing photos.

Multi-task easily without trouble and productive than ever.


RAM (Random Access Memory)

Ram is used for temporary storage of data and instructions. RAM is much faster compare to the storage devices though it is a short term memory device. It is Volatile memory; the data stored in the memory will be erased when the system power is turned off. The main use of the RAM is to hold the data, programs and applications which are being currently used the user in operating system. There are 2 types of RAM memory, DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) and SRAM (Static Random Access Memory). The difference between DRAM and SRAM is DRAM needs electrical current to be constantly refreshed, but in case of SRAM it does not need electrical current to be refreshed periodically and SRAM is more expensive but faster and more reliable than DRAM.

Different types of RAMs

DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Random Access Memory)

It has the same design as SDRAM makes faster transfer by more strict control of the timing of the electrical data and clock signal. SDRAM uses DataStrobe which contains more advanced synchronization electronics which locate data more accurate.

DDR2 SDRAM (Double Data Rate-2 Synchronous Random Access Memory)

It is alike DDR SDRAM, but DDR 2 allows higher bus speed and requires lower power. The data is transferred in 64bits at a time.

DDR3 SDRAM (Double Data Rate-3 Synchronous Random Access Memory)

This interface technology is used for higher bandwidth storage of the working data. The primary benefit of DDR3 is the ability to transfer at twice the data rate of DDR2.


Storage device is a hardware device designed to store data. There are two types of storage devices used in computers, primary and secondary storage device.

Primary Storage Device

Primary storage is also referred as main memory, or internal memory. It holds memory for a short period of time while the computer is on. For example RAM and Cache both are primary memory components. They are volatile memory type but faster in process than any other storage device.

Secondary Storage device

Secondary storage is also known as external memory. It is a storage device which stores information and hold till it is deleted. Example Hard Disk Drive, it is used to store data for long period.

Offline storage devices are also counted as secondary storage devices. As the data can be stored for a longer period.

Below are some examples of secondary Storage devices

Hard Disk Drive: Hard Disk Drives are secondary storage devices which are placed inside the computer system. It is a physical drive capable of holding and retrieving information. Data is encoded is encoded magnetically.

Portable Hard Disk Drive: It is a type of Hard Disk Drive which is connected externally to the computer. It is a portable drive which can be carried anywhere and can be connected to any PC. The drive will hold da data unless they are deleted. These cables are connected to the PC through USB cables. The power and data are transferred to the device through the cable. It is more easy and safe way of storing data, the data stored hard drive can be placed any where safe and can be carried with the user.

USB Flash Drives: It is a flash memory data storage device with a USB 1.1 or 2.0 interfaces. It is also known as a pen drive as it is portable and small in size. Though it is physically small in size they are faster, and can have a larger capacity. There are 256GB pen drives now in market, it has improved with the technology. Also the cost of it is lower compare to its usage level.

Compact Disc (CD): It is an optical device used to store digital data. They were introduced in 1982 to store sound recordings exclusively. But lately it also allowed storing other types of digital data. Also the technology expanded CD-R (write once audio and data storage) with CD-RW (rewritable CDs). Standard CD's had a diameter of 120mm and can hold up to 700 MB of data.

Digital Versatile Disc (DVD): Also known as Digital Vedio Disc. It was introduced in 1995. It is of the same dimension of a Compact Disk but are capable of storing more than six times as much data. These disks are readable only from a DVD-ROM (Read Only Memory) or a later version of a ROM. DVD-R / DVD+R (recordable) can only record the data once but the DVD-RW / DVD-RAM can rewrite data multiple times. The vedio data written on DVD are more quality compare to CD, as it contains a large capacity of space and can use the space to write quality data.

Blu-Ray Disc: Its main uses are storing high-definition video and plastation3 video games and other data. These discs consists a storing capacity of 25 GB per single layered and 50 GB for a double layered disc. These are the latest technological discs available in the market. These discs have the same dimension as of a standard DVD and CD. But these discs are readable only from a special ROM which contains Blue laser. It is one of the latest technologies introduced in this century.


A printer is a peripheral which is used to produce hard copy or permanent readable text and/or graphics stored in electric form.

Below are fewer types of printers in the market:

Color Ink Jet Printer

A color ink jet printer is a type of printer which is more used to print out documents with graphics or photographs. These printers use a spraying technique with ionized ink onto a sheet of paper, which gives high quality graphical printouts. A color inkjet printer can provide you with good quality at more reasonable prices

HP DeskJet D1660 Printer

It is a low cost printer with no much special features, but prints out excellent text and other color graphic small documents. It is suitable for low running cost small businesses and take home PC printouts. Also these printers are small in size and light in weight. But its worth for spending more for lower running costs.

Brother MFC-3360C Printer

Brother MFC-3360C Printers are loaded with features. It offers printing, copying, scanning, fax and PC fax, all-in-one machine. It is one of the fastest printer available in the market, with features like copy or scan 20 pages at a time, Send and receive faxes using the 33.6Kbps fax/modem, colour printout Speeds up to 25ppm black and 20ppm color, and built-in telephone handset for added convenience plus the 10 one-touch and 100 automatic dial locations made it faster than any other printers. the price is also affordable and much worthier for a printer with all-in-one features.

Canon Pixma MX330

The Canon Pixma MX330 is a printer excellent for creative homes on a budget. They are cheap in cost, but includes a auto-document feeder (30 pages at a time) which u wont be able to find out from any other printer of around the cost of this printer. But this printer doesn't produce the best quality printouts as it does not contain a media card reader.

Monochrome Laser Printer

Monochrome Laser Printer prints out clean and sharp printouts than inkjet printers. Also there are other features like laser scanner. You can print fonts as small as 2 to 3 points and still gets a sharp clear print. The quality of the laser printers varies according to the manufacturer.

Oki Printing Solutions B4350 Mono LED Printer

This is a type laser printer. This machine is easy to use as it has two lines LCD and prints out good quality text outputs.

Brother HL-2040

This laser printer is designed for home or home office use with an affordable price. It is designed to be fit in just in any work space. It is compatible with windows as well as Mac. It is a fast speed printer with a quality output and also offers a generous 250-sheet paper capacity. Besides HL-2040 offers USB and parallel interfaces which makes it easy to connect.

NICs and Wireless Network Devices

NIC (Network Interface Card)

IC is a hardware interface between a computer and a network cable that connects PC to the rest of the network. They translate the data sent by the computers to a network cable supportive way and controls the data while it is sent to other PCs in the network. These cards are connected through wires (Ethernet) or wireless (Wi-Fi) standards. In new computers mostly NICs are installed internally by manufacturers. These NICs features a speed of suck as 11 Mbps, 54 Mbps or 100 Mbps.

There are different types of NIC arrangements or configurations

Jumper configurable NICs - have physical jumpers (small devices that control computer hardware without the need for software). These NICs are suitable for older equipments.

Software Configurable NICs - These NICs are configured manually using a software program.

Plug-and-Play Configurable NICs - auto-configure upon installation during the system boot-up sequence, doesn't have to be manually configured. This technology is used in all the modern computers.

Wireless Network Device

Wireless network refers to any type of computer networking without using cables or wires (wireless). These networks are generally operated with some type of remote information transmission system that uses electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves,

There are different types of devices used for wireless networking. Some are discussed below:

Bluetooth - is an open wireless technology used to transfer or exchange data from a short distance. It was introduced by a telecoms vendor Ericson in 1994. It transfers data using short length radio waves networking the devices. Mainly it was fixed in mobile phones to overcome problems of synchronizing data, designed for low power consumption with a short range of distance. But now a days you can be able to see Bluetooth in almost everything as a mean of ease of transferring data.

WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) - It is the 4th generation of wireless technology designed to enable high-speed mobile Internet access to the widest selection of devices including notebook PCs, handsets, smart phones, and gaming devices, cameras, music players etc. It allows low cost open networks enabling efficient networks of data, video and audio.

Netgear WG302 Access Point - It is more secure to use as it has WEP and WPA security systems. But it is expensive in cost and also the auto cells won't work while using the device as a repeater or bridge.

Apple Airport Extreme Base Station - This device only works with the latest versions of window. It is easy to setup and use. It allows a good range and coverage and simultaneous dual-band ensures all devices get the fastest connection possible. It is mainly designed to Mac users and doesn't give web interface, or no remote access for windows. It supports only 50 clients at a time.

Applicability of Microsoft Windows version for the lab (Minimum Windows XP)

Windows XP

Windows XP is an operating system built and introduced to the market by Microsoft, and was designed to use on home PCs to business desktops, laptops and media centers. It was the successor to both Windows 2000 and Windows Me. The most common edition of Windows XP were Windows XP home edition which was targeted to the home users, and Windows CP professional which was targeted to business and enterprise clients with additional features such as Windows Server Domains, and Two Physical Processors. Windows XP media Center edition has additional multimedia features and the Windows CP Tablet PC edition was designed to use stylus applications built in Tablet PC platform.

Features of Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows Vista is also an operating system introduced to the market by Microsoft. It was brought with introduction of many new features such as graphical user interface, visual style, and multimedia tools including windows DVD maker, and upgraded design of networking, audio, print ant a lot more.

Features of Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 7 is the latest version of Windows operating system till now built and introduced to the market by Microsoft. It is a series of operating system designed to be used in almost all type of computers. Windows 7 was introduced additional upgrade to the windows line. With the new upgraded features, some of the features of previous windows were excluded such as Windows Movie Maker, Windows Calendar, and Windows Photo Gallery. Most are instead offered saperately.

Features of Windows 7

Various types of application software required

MS Office Package - One of the important software required. This package includes MS word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Outlook and more which are essential for a computer user.

Anti Virus / Firewall - Antivirus is one of the important software required to keep the computer files safe and secured. It will prevent and fight against the viruses affecting the computer. Also it is one of the essential software to be installed for internet users, as it will protect the PC from viruses, as well as the firewall system will block the hackers who try to steal the files or data from the PC. The firewall it is required to block the unauthorized users who try to access the PC. Some antivirus software also acts as a firewall.

For example: Kaspersky.

Acrobat reader/ flash player - flash player allows viewing video files through internet and other sauces and Acrobat reader is used to read .pdf files.

Web Browsers - browsers like Internet explorer or Mozilla Firefox are required to access and view web pages via internet.


A monitor or visual display is an electronic visual display for computers. It plays a major role of a computer system as it is the output device which displays the income of a computer.

Numbers of good monitors are important in a laboratory. Monitors differ with size, quality, and other features.

Cathode Ray Tube Monitors (CRT)

A CRT monitor is the oldest or traditionally used monitors.

It works by moving an electron beam back and forth across the back of the screen.

Physically it's large in size more like a box (bulky) - takes space.

Consumes lot of electricity

Cost is cheaper as it is rarely used now

Liquid Crystal Monitors (LCD)

Flat display made up of any number of color or monochrome pixels arrayed in front of a light source or reflector.

Slim in size - light in weight and can be placed in just a small space of a table or can be hanged on wall (easy to use)

A very small amount of electricity is consumed.

Affordable cost with consumer friendly characteristics.

In my opinion LCD monitors will be suitable for the computer lab comparing the features pointed above. LCD monitor is all the way better than CRT monitors. And to a modern computer lab LCD is the best suitable monitors.


HP DeskJet D1660 Printer

Brother HL-2040

HP Office jet Pro 850

Printers are one of necessary peripheral to be installed in a computer lab. From the above mentioned few printers, I choose the last one I mentioned, HP Office jet Pro 8500 All-in-One Printer to be installed in the lab. As it is an all-in-one system which will save the cost as well as the space as one machine will act as a mean of different machine features.


D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router


Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router (Premium Edition)

ASUS RT-N16 Wireless-N Gigabit Router

From the above mentioned routers, I prefer Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router to be used in the lab. As it gives a good bandwidth of wireless network plus the features like guest zones, storage, network meter are important and useful in a lab. Also it is cheap in price.

Network Interface Cards (NIC)

TRENDnet® TEW-423PI 54Mbps 802.11g Wireless PCI Adapter

TRENDnet® TEW-623PI 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Adapter


Selecting a room with proper space for the implementation of the PCs :- First we need to find and select a room with proper space for the placement of computer tables and other equipments. We are hoping to find and select a room within few hours of a day. So the first day first few hours will be allocated to find and select a room.

Planning out the arrangement of the floor and making note on that :- After selecting the room we will plan out the arrangement of the floor, all placements of the machines and equipments so it would be easy to set up and with a good and clean to look arrangement. It will be carried on the same day of selecting room (on the first day).

Checking availability of the electrical equipments :- Testing the availability of the electrical supply for the machines and other equipments. This task will be carried after planning out the arrangements on the same day in order to make sure that electrical supplies are available for the places arranged to fix the computer systems, and to check there is enough circuits available to connect the PCs and equipments.

Making a list of equipments needed :- Making a list of equipments such as NICs, cables and other equipments for the process. This list will be made on the same first day after checking the electrical supply available.

Check on the quotations requested from various suppliers :- Checking and selecting of the items out of the quotations collected from different vendors by considering the price and quality of the items.

Placing order for the items selected :-Purchasing the items from the selected supplier for the agreed price and quality. It will be the last task to be done on the first day.

Assembling the machines :-Fixing and arranging the machines the way planned, with using the proper equipments (graphic cards, NICs, RAM and more). This task will be carried out on the second day after receiving the items ordered.

Installing Windows and necessary Drivers :-This task will be carried out after assembling the machines in order. The operating system selected will be installed to all the machines and necessary drivers will be installed.

Installation and the configuration of the Network Interface Cards for each compute :- Installation of the driver software for the NIC card and configuring it according to the needed specifications.

Connecting network cables to the main hub :-Networking the computers, connecting the cables taken out from each computers to the main hub or switch. This task will be carried out first on the 4th day,

Checking the network availability :-Testing the network availability between 2 or 3 computers to make sure they are networked or connected to each other.

Connecting the printer to a computer :-the printer should be connected to a single computer in the network with the proper install driver and should be set or allowed or configured to be use by all the computers in the network.

Checking the printer shared using other computers in the network :-Testing the printer using other computers in the network to make it sure its configured correctly. To check it we are going to take printouts from each computer.

Completing the documentation process :-After completing all the tasks above, the documentation will be done and completed as the last task.

Installation of the Operating System - Microsoft Windows XP

To run a computer there should be an Operating System installed so that it provides the user to manage the input output processes according to the users' desires.

Following are the steps of installing an operating system to a PC

First the computer was turned on and the Microsoft Windows XP disk was inserted into the CD ROM.

Then to enter the Setup have to press DEL (Delete button) as shown below in the screen shot.

To set the boot order -CD ROM was assigned as the first boot order and Save and Exit (F10) option was selected. (The boot order procedure can change according to various motherboard manufacturers)

Then the computer was left to be restarted to start the OS installation setup through the bootable CD.

When the boot disk disk loads the screen shot down will appear on screen. It shows the loading of setup files from the disk

After loading the setup files, pressed ENTER to continue as the options shown below in the screen shot.

After reading the License report F8 key was pressed to accept it and continue.

Created partition by pressing C.

Sizes for each partition were selected from the available space in the hard disk and the first drive was assigned for the OS installation process.

Raw partition was formatted using NTFS File System.

The partition was formatted. The screen below shows the formatting process.

Loading the installation process

Regional and Language Options were configured.

Name and the Organization names were assigned.

Product key was entered which I found in the back cover of the Windows XP disk.

Computer Name was assigned.

Date and Time were set.

Typical Settings option was selected for the network setting wizard.

Allocate the IP addresses for the machine to be shared in the network.

Workgroup machine option was selected.

During the installation process, files got copied to the machine from the bootable CD and the process may take about 40 minutes to complete.

Installing the Network Interface Card (NIC)

Go to the Control Panel and choose Add Hardware menu.

The computer will search for the connected hardware devices that are not yet been installed.

The computer will recognize the newly connected Network Adapter.

Then let the wizard to finalize the installation process.


After connecting all the computers using appropriate cables and connect the ends to the main switch, you must configure the network properties for each and every machine in the network.

Assign IP addresses

Go to the Local Area Network Connection's properties and move to the Networking tab. Then select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and select its Properties.

You can assign IP addresses either manually or automatically.




Installation of the printer to one computer

Connect the printer to the computer and go to the Add Printer Wizard from control panel Control Panel.

Select Local printer attached to this computer option.

The machine will auto search for the attached printers.

Select the printer port which you want to install the printer.

By default, the machine will assign the manufacture name as the printer name. You can change the printer name as you desire.

Print a test page to check the functionality of the newly installed printer

Finally the wizard will finalize the printer installation process.

Sharing a Folder

Create a folder named NCCSeptember10

Right click on the folder and select Sharing and Security Option

Then select the option Share this folder on the network and select apply and OK.

Then the machine will share the folder in order to make it accessed from other machines in the network.

User manual with usage instruction for :

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 (Complete PC protection)

Protect you from cybercrime and a wide range of IT threats:

Viruses, Trojans, worms, and other malware, spyware, and adware

Identify theft by key loggers, screen capture malwares or publishing scams.

Botnets and various illegal method of taking control of your PC

Drive-by download infections, network attacks and intrusions

Unwanted, offensive web content and spam.

Automated Protection features:

Real-time scanning of files, web pages and e-messages

Advanced protection from cybercrime identity theft

Color-coding of links to unsafe websites

Disabling of links to malicious websites

Secure wireless connections in public areas

Anti-spam and anti-phishing in email programs

Access to private data restricted to trusted programs

Blocking of suspicious programs based on their behavior

Protection of hi-jacking your PC

Regular and emergency updates for always-on protection

During the license period you are entitled to the following free services:

Automatic antivirus database updates

Program updates and upgrades to newer versions

How to use kaspersky after installation

My Protection: shows the data protected.

You can check the status of the data protected as well as change the settings of the data to be protected.

My Security Zone : shows the application control and statuses and settings to digital identity protection.

You can check the status of the applications controlled.

Can edit the settings of digital identity protection

Can add or delete the safe run applications.

Scan My Computer: shows the available scan modes

You can select any options available and scan the data you want.

My Update Center: shows the data base status and manually update button and roll back to the previous database button.

You can check whether it is up to date or if not you can manually select the start update button. Also you can check the previous database from this screen,

Security: shows extra tools and services to customize the protection.

To increase your protection level, you can edit the security settings from the options available.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is a free, open-source web browser for windows, Lynux and Mac OS X (and many other platforms). Based on Mozilla code base it is small, fast and easy to use.

Why Firefox

Rich in features: offers a wide range of features in a relatively small package, this coupled with it's extensibility (it's nature as a platform from which many extensions can be added) makes it a strong competitor on the browser market.

Security: It is generally more secure than any other web browser on the market as it was built on a philosophy of security.

Open source: it is freely downloadable and can involve yourself in the Firefox community by editing the source code, fixing bugs, make themes or extension.


Toolbar customization

Pop up blocking

Ad blocking

Quick links - using certain keywords you can access some book marks. (like by typing "wp Mozilla" you can go straight to the Wikipedia article on Mozilla). You can make your own.

Live bookmarks - with the latest version of Firefox, when you visit a site it has an RSS feed

Single window mode - you can set to single window mode which will make all the sights or windows to b open inside one single window to a new tab.


Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Wide range of extensions available

Some of Extendable Features

Forecast Fox - gives you a weather forecast in your status bar

Gmail Notifier - Informs you when you receive an email to your Gmail inbox

Mouse Gestures - offers many different ways of mouse gesture extension. This extension allows the user to navigate the web without clicking buttons with mouse just by moving it.

And many more

screenshot of Firefox

MS PowerPoint

It is a powerful tool used to create professional looking presentations and slide shows. It has all the tools such as wizards, templates, and auto layouts which can help to create presentations effectively and efficiently.

PowerPoint Interface

Standard toolbar

The Standard toolbar, located beneath the menu bar, has buttons for commonly performed tasks like printing, saving, inserting clip art, and other operations. You can customize the toolbar or even display multiple toolbars at the same time

Formatting toolbar

The Formatting toolbar, located beneath the Standard toolbar bar, or possible to the side of it, has buttons for various formatting operations like changing text size or style, changing alignment, formatting bullets, and animation.

Drawing toolbar

The Drawing toolbar on the bottom of the PowerPoint window contains drawing and text tools for creating graphics.

PowerPoint Slide View Options

PowerPoint has three different views. Normal View provides a comprehensive view for each slide with notes and outline. Slide Sorter View displays multiple slides and lets you quickly change their order in the presentation. Finally, the Slide Show view is also called preview. It is used to run the whole presentation.

What you can do in PowerPoint:

the slides that you create can also be presented as overhead transparencies or 35mm slides

in addition to slides, you can create audience handouts, outlines, and speaker's notes.

You can format all the slides in a presentation using the powerful Slide Master

You can save your entire presentation in a single file, including speaker's notes and audience handouts

You can import other files created from Microsoft product, such as Word Excel into any of your slides.