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Motherboard-Integrated Peripherals-Peripheral Card Slots-PCB

2017/03/01 00:00
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Motherboard-Integrated peripherals-Peripheral card slots-PCB

Integrated peripherals

Block diagram of a modern motherboard, which supports many on-board peripheral functions as well as several expansion slots

With the steadily declining costs and size of integrated circuits, it is now possible to include support for many peripherals on the 

motherboard. By combining many functions on one PCB, the physical size and total cost of the system may be reduced; highly integrated motherboards are thus especially popular in small form factor and budget computers.

  • Disk controllers for a floppy disk drive, up to 2 PATA drives, and up to 6 SATA drives (including RAID 0/1 support)

  • integrated graphics controller supporting 2D and 3D graphics, with VGA and TV output

  • integrated sound card supporting 8-channel (7.1) audio and S/PDIF output

  • Fast Ethernet network controller for 10/100 Mbit networking

  • USB 2.0 controller supporting up to 12 USB ports

  • IrDA controller for infrared data communication (e.g. with an IrDA-enabled cellular phone or printer)

  • Temperature, voltage, and fan-speed sensors that allow software to monitor the health of computer components.

Peripheral card slots

A typical motherboard will have a different number of connections depending on its standard and form factor.

A standard, modern ATX motherboard will typically have two or three PCI-Express 16x connection for a graphics card, one or two legacy PCI slots for various expansion cards, and one or two PCI-E 1x (which has superseded PCI). A standard EATX motherboard will have two to four PCI-E 16x connection for graphics cards, and a varying number of PCI and PCI-E 1x slots. It can sometimes also have a PCI-E 4x slot (will vary between brands and models).

Some motherboards have two or more PCI-E 16x slots, to allow more than 2 monitors without special hardware, or use a special graphics technology called SLI (for Nvidia) and Crossfire (for AMD). These allow 2 to 4 graphics cards to be linked together, to allow better performance in intensive graphical computing tasks, such as gaming, video editing, etc.


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