Chapter 3 – All About Motherboards

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When you build a computer from parts, you usually start by deciding on which processor and motherboard you will use.

True REF. PAGE: 82

A FlexATX motherboard is larger than an ATX motherboard.

False REF. PAGE: 83

Typically, PGA sockets give better contact than LGA sockets.

False REF. PAGE: 86

Sandy Bridge processors house the memory controller and graphics controller.

True REF. PAGE: 92

Motherboards contain only a single bus for I/O, video, and data.

False REF. PAGE: 96

Which of the following is the smallest motherboard form factor?

– MicroATX
– MicroBTX
– FlexATX

– MicroBTX REF. PAGE: 84

Which Intel CPU socket is discontinued?

– Socket 478
– LGA2011
– LGA1155
– Socket H

Socket 478 REF. PAGE: 85

Which socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU?



What type of socket ensures that even force is applied to the processor when it is being installed in the socket?

– FM2
– AM3


Which motherboard slot has direct access to the North Bridge?

– secondary PCIe slot
– Firewire
– ATA bus slot
– primary PCIe slot

– primary PCIe slot REF. PAGE: 90-91

What was the 64-bit Front Side Bus replaced with in the X58 (Nehalem) chipset?

– PCIe


Which of the following is a technology that allows for multiple video cards to work together in one system?

– Nehalem
– Firewire
– CrossFire

– CrossFire REF. PAGE: 91

Which of the following is NOT true about Ivy Bridge chipsets compared to earlier products?

– use more power
– better performance
– higher density transistors
– released in 2012

– use more power REF. PAGE: 93

What unit is used to measure the frequency of memory, FSB, and the processor?

– bps
– Hz
– mph

– Hz REF. PAGE: 96

What was the AGP bus designed specifically for?
– CPU sockets
– memory slots
– disk controllers
– video cards

– video cards REF. PAGE: 97

What type of bus does PCI Express use?

– serial
– parallel
– virtual
– logical

– serial REF. PAGE: 99

Where do today’s computers store almost all motherboard configuration data?

– Solid State Disk


If you need to reset the BIOS password on a motherboard and the instructions say to make sure jumper J1 is open, what should you do?

– start the computer and enter BIOS setup mode
– boot Windows and start the BIOS password reset utility; choose option J1
– open the case and remove the cover from a set of pins marked J1.
– unplug the computer and install the loopback connector from the port labeled J1

– open the case and remove the cover from a set of pins marked J1 REF. PAGE: 108

Which of the following represents a method for accessing the BIOS setup program?

– boot Windows and go to Control Panel
– press a key during the BIOS POST
– set a motherboard jumper and start the computer
– boot to the BIOS setup floppy disk

– press a key during the BIOS POST REF. PAGE: 111

Which of the following is a setting you can configure from the BIOS setup program?
disable a Windows driver
configure the screen saver timeout
set the desktop background
change the boot sequence

– change the boot sequence REF. PAGE: 112

What has occurred if you see the message "Chassis Intruded! System has halted." the next time you start your computer?

– the disk has failed
– the case has been opened
– Windows has not been activated
– the keyboard has been unplugged

– the case has been opened REF. PAGE: 116

What should you do if you want to be able locate your laptop in the event of loss or theft and give it a command through the Internet to lock it or delete data?

– set a BIOS No Access password
– enable the GPS module in the BIOS
– subscribe to LoJack for Laptops
– install a high-power WiFi card

– subscribe to LoJack for Laptops REF. PAGE: 117

What must your motherboard have to use BitLocker Encryption in Windows 7 which will ensure that your hard drive cannot be used in another computer?

– TPM chip
– BIOS password
– Encrypted USB port

– TPM chip REF. PAGE: 118

What is a possible remedy if your system hangs at odd time or during the boot?

– install new CMOS RAM
– flash the BIOS
– remove the TPM chip
– format the hard disk

flash the BIOS REF. PAGE: 124

At what point during the motherboard installation should you install the motherboard drivers?

– after Windows successfully boots
– after the POST successfully completes
– before applying power for the first time
– only if you get a blue screen of death when Windows boots

– after Windows successfully boots REF. PAGE: 130

The motherboard _______________________ determines the size of the board and its features.

form factor or form-factor REF. PAGE: 82

A __________________________________ socket has blunt protruding pins on the socket that connect with lands or pads on the bottom of the processor.

land grid array or LGA REF. PAGE: 86

In the Accelerated Hub Architecture, the fast end of the hub is called the _________________.

North Bridge REF. PAGE: 90

NVIDIA’s method of connecting multiple video cards in the same system is called __________.


All data and instructions inside a computer are represented in ______________, which means there are only two states.

binary REF. PAGE: 94

What issued by a slow device that is not ready?

wait state REF. PAGE: 96

What term describes the system of pathways used for communication which carry data?

data bus REF. PAGE: 94

What term describes a set of rules and standards used for communication?

protocol REF. PAGE: 94

What term describes when one physical machine hosts multiple activities that are normally done on multiple machines?

virtualization REF. PAGE: 120

What term describes a component that provides a small trickle of electricity that enables CMOS RAM to hold configuration data?

CMOS battery REF. PAGE: 125

What device dedicated to timing the activities on the motherboard?

system clock REF. PAGE: 96

What connects to the North Bridge?

Front Side Bus REF. PAGE: 90

What term defines, a set of components on the motherboard that work closely with the processor to control the memory, buses, and peripherals?

chipset REF. PAGE: 89

What term defines, two small posts or metal pins on the motherboard that are either open or closed?

jumper REF. PAGE: 108

What installs in a PCI slot and provides another slot at a right angle?

riser card REF. PAGE: 101

Describe the LGA2011 processor socket, the CPUs it supports, targeted applications, and any special considerations for its implementation.

Second Generation (SandyBridge) Core i7 Extreme,Core i7, Core i5, Core i3,Pentium, and Celeron. 2011 pins in the socket touch 2011 lands on the processor, which uses a flip-chip land grid array (FCLGA). REF. PAGE: 85

What is a ZIF socket and what is its purpose?

A ZIF socket is a zero insertion force socket. When a processor is installed in a socket, extreme care must be taken to protect the socket and the processor against ESD and from damage caused by bending the pins or scratching the socket holes during the installation. So that even force is applied when inserting the processor in the socket, all current processor sockets have one or two levers on the sides of the socket. These sockets are called zero insertion force (ZIF) sockets REF. PAGE: 88

What is the purpose of the chipset on a motherboard?

A chipset is a set of chips on the motherboard that works closely with the processor to collectively control the memory, buses on the motherboard, and some peripherals. The chipset must be compatible with the processor it serves. REF. PAGE: 89

What is the design of the Accelerated Hub Architecture?

This hub has a fast and slow end, and each end is a separate chip on the motherboard. The fast end of the hub, called the North Bridge, contains the graphics and memory controller, and connects directly to the processor by way of a 64-bit bus, called the Front Side Bus (FSB), system bus, or host bus. The slower end of the hub, called the South Bridge, contains the I/O controller hub (ICH). All I/O (input/output) devices, except video, connect to the hub by using the slower South Bridge. REF. PAGE: 90

What are the many fine lines on the top and bottom of a motherboard’s surface? What is the purpose of these lines?

These lines, sometimes called traces, are circuits or paths that enable data, instructions, and power to move from component to component on the board. This system of pathways used for communication and the protocol and methods used for transmission are collectively called the bus. The parts of the bus that we are most familiar with are the lines of the bus that are used for data; these lines are called the data bus. A bus can also carry electrical power (to power components on the motherboard), control signals (to coordinate activity), and memory addresses (for one program to tell another program where to find data or instructions). REF. PAGE: 94

Describe the function of the system clock.

The system clock or system timer,is dedicated to timing the activities on the motherboard much like a metronome helps a musician with timing. The chipset sends out a continuous pulsating electrical signal on one line of the system bus. This one system clock line, dedicated to carrying the pulse, is read by other components on the motherboard (including the processor, bus slots, memory slots, and so forth) and ensures that all activities are synchronized. REF. PAGE: 96

Describe the PCI Express bus and contrast it with previous versions of the PCI bus.

PCI Express (PCIe) uses an altogether different architectural design than conventional PCI and PCI-X; PCIe is not backward compatible with either. PCI Express will ultimately replace both these buses as well as the AGP bus, although it is expected PCI Express will coexist with conventional PCI for some time to come. Whereas PCI uses a 32-bit or 64-bit parallel bus, PCI Express uses a serial bus, which is faster than a parallel bus because it transmits data in packets similar to how an Ethernet network, USB, and FireWire transmit data. A PCIe expansion slot can provide one or more of these serial lanes. Another difference in PCI Express is how it connects to the processor. One or more PCI Express slots used for video cards have a direct link to the North Bridge or to the processor (using Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge architecture). PCI Express currently comes in four different slot sizes called PCI Express ×1, ×4, ×8, and ×16. REF. PAGE: 99-100

What is the purpose of the CMOS RAM on a motherboard?

CMOS RAM is a convenient method to store configuration data. CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) is a method of manufacturing microchips, and CMOS RAM is a small amount of memory stored on the motherboard used to hold motherboard settings. This CMOS RAM retains the data even when the computer is turned off because it is charged by a nearby battery. A program in BIOS, called BIOS setup or CMOS setup, can easily make changes to the settings stored in CMOS RAM. REF. PAGE: 106

What is the purpose of the motherboard supervisor password and how can it be cleared if it is forgotten?

Most motherboards today allow you to set a supervisor password (to make changes in setup BIOS) or a power-on password (to get access to the system). Know that these passwords are not the same password that can be required by a Windows OS at startup. If both passwords are forgotten, you cannot use the computer. However, jumpers can be set to clear both passwords. REF. PAGE: 108

What is a device driver and what is the role of motherboard drivers when you update a motherboard or install a new motherboard?

Device drivers are small programs stored on the hard drive and installed in Windows that tell Windows how to communicate with a specific hardware device such as a printer, network port on the motherboard, or scanner. The CD that comes bundled with the motherboard contains a user guide and drivers for its onboard components, and these drivers need to be installed in Windows. You can initially install the drivers from CD, and you can also update the drivers by downloading them from the motherboard manufacturer’s web site. REF. PAGE: 122

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