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Inside your Computer - Your Hardware Explained

The Motherboard 


The Motherboard 

The aptly named motherboard is the backbone of your computer; this is where all the other components plug directly into.

Your motherboard will determine your processor support, memory type, peripheral connections, and quite often will have many integrated components. (Onboard video, sound, network, modem, etc.)

It is essential that your computer has a high quality, expandable & easily configurable board, without this you will find your computer wanting in the not so distant future. You will also find that integrated components are best avoided, especially video if you are an avid gamer. These devices tend to be of a lower quality than their plug in counterparts. 

 Click on image to enlarge

So if buying a computer or changing your motherboard then you will need to determine your needs.

An important question is what are you going to use the computer for? There is no point in buying an all singing and dancing system if all you want to do is surf the net, but do remember that 6 months after buying the system you may decide to use it for other things, and if it is not upgradeable, then you could be looking at an expensive change.

So to round up, make sure that when buying, even if all the components are onboard that you have free expansion slots so that the system is future proof. An AGP port or PCI-express port (allows for graphics card changes) and free PCI and PCI-E slots (used for adding expansion cards), support for Pentium 4 or Athlon 64 processors, and DDR or DDR2 memory are some of the important, and presently modern items that you would look for. 

Always research and read modern reviews and never buy 2nd hand as you will not know what you are getting.



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