The form factor of a motherboard determines the specifications for its
general shape and size.
It also specifies what type of case and power supply will be supported,
the placement of mounting holes, and the physical layout and
organization of the board.
Prior to 1997, IBM computers used large motherboards. After that,
however, the size of the motherboard was reduced and boards using
the AT (Advanced Technology) form factor was released. The AT form
factor is found in older computers (386 class or earlier).
With the need for a more integrated form factor which defined
standard locations for the keyboard, mouse, I/O, and video
connectors, in the mid 1990's the ATX form factor was introduced.
ATX defined to address four areas of improvement: enhanced ease of use,
better support for current and future I/O, better support for current and
future processor technology, and reduced total system cost
This form factor was developed as a natural evolution of the ATX form factor to
address new market trends and PC technologies. MicroATX supports:
• Reduction in the physical size of the motherboard
• Reducing the number of I/O slots supported on the board
• Current processor technologies
• The transition to newer processor technologies
• AGP high performance graphics solutions
• Smaller motherboard size
• Smaller power supply form factor
White ATX is the most well-known and used form factor, there is also a
non-standard proprietary form factor which falls under the name of
LPX, and Mini-LPX. The LPX form factor is found in low-profile cases
Boards based on the NLX form factor hit the market in the late 1990's.
This "updated LPX" form factor offered support for larger memory
modules, tower cases, AGP video support and reduced cable length.
The BTX, or Balanced Technology Extended form factor, was developed to take
advantage of technologies such as Serial ATA, USB 2.0, and PCI Express. The BTX form
factor provides the industry push to tower size systems with an increased number of
Supports current and future processor technologies
Supports new Accelerated Graphics Port (A.G.P.) high performance
Supports tall memory technology
Provides more system level design and integration flexibility
A System Configuration is defined as the computers, processes, and
devices that compose the system and its boundary.
The system configuration is the specific definition of the elements that
define and/or prescribe what a system is composed of.
System configuration is the process of setting up your hardware
devices and assigning resources to them so that they work together
Chipset : Combining a PC’s
sophisticated logic circuitry onto a few
chips shorten the signal path allows the
circuits to operate at higher speed is
known as chipset.
FSB : The pathway between CPU & RAM
is called Front Side Bus.
Northbridge Chip : This is the chip responsible for interfacing the
CPU, main memory, local bus and main system bus.
• Connects CPU via FSB (400/266/200/133/100/66MHz)
• Various types of processors are supported.
• Connects the slower AGP (533/266/133/66MHz)
• It supports the various memory types
(PC133 SDRAM or PC800 RDRAM)
• It supports the memory
technologies (64 128 Mbit SDRAM)
• Parity or ECC type of memory error
• Number of processors are
supported (for multiprocessing)
Southbridge Chip : Since ports and buses generally operate at
speeds that are far slower than the FSB, system support provided
through a second chip called Southbridge chip.
It handles the system’s peripheral and I/O bus operations.
It supports ISA bus bridged with PCI bus.
Supports one or more USB, serial
and a parallel port(s)
Supports an infrared (IrDA) port.
Supports two channel hard drive
controller. (Dual ATA)
Handles power management
Handles keyboard controller,
including support for a PS/2
Intel introduced its hub architecture starting with the 820
chipset, which divides control between a memory controller chip
(MCH) and an I/O controller chip (ICH).
North Bridge chip is called a Memory Controller Hub (MCH) and
South Bridge is called an I/O Controller Hub (ICH).
Now MCH is replaced with Graphics Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
& connects through dedicated hub interface that is twice as fast as
Advantages over North/South Bridge Architecture
•It’s faster –
The Accelerated Hub Architecture (AHA) interface used by
the 8xx series has twice the throughput of PCI. Also 9xx series use
DMI (Direct Media Interface), which is 7.5x to 15x faster than PCI
•Reduced PCI loading –
The hub interface is independent of PCI. This improves
performance of all PCI bus connected devices.
•Reduced board wiring –
The AHA interface is only 8 bits wide & requires only 15
signals to be routed on the motherboard, while MDI is only 4 bits
wide requiring only 8 pairs of signals.
800/533 MHz system
Front Side Bus (FSB) support for high-performance Intel®
processors and greater system performance.
Increased system responsiveness for multi-tasking.
LGA775 socket supports the highest performance Intel®
Intel® Graphics Media
Accelerator 900 (Intel®
GMA 900 graphics)
Stunning media, incredible visuals and new 3D capabilities.
For business users, Intel validates the chipset, processor,
graphics and software stack to provide a well-tested
platform with support for Microsoft* Windows 2000,
Windows* XP, Linux (top distributions) and OS/2
PCI Express* bus
PCI Express* x16 graphics delivers up to 4 GB/s per
direction, 3.5 times more bandwidth than AGP 8X. PCI
Express x1 I/O offers 500 MB/s concurrently, over 3.5
times more bandwidth than PCI at 133 MB/s.
View PCI Express* Animation
PCI Express* x16 Graphics Interface
Dual-channel DDR2 or
Flexible memory support, for dual-channel DDR2
533/DDR2 400 or DDR400/DDR333 memory, in
configurations of up to 4 GB RAM.
Direct Media Interface
For I/O intensive applications, new serial point-to-point
bus delivers up to 2.0 GB/s concurrent bandwidth
between the memory and I/O controllers, compared to
266 MB/s with previous generation Intel® hub
Intel® High Definition
Support for new consumer entertainment formats such as
7.1 surround sound, Dolby* Digital, and DTS*. Audio codec
support for 192 kHz quality, multiple streams, and better
voice input for speech recognition and voice-over-IP.
Intel® Matrix Storage
Technology with ICH6R
or RW only
Boosts storage performance with RAID 0, while protecting
your digital memories with RAID 1, on the same disks.
Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) further boosts
performance with Native Command Queuing (NCQ), and
provides native hot plug for drive swaps.
Four Serial ATA ports
Integrated serial ATA controller facilitates high-speed data
transfers at up to 150 MB/s for each of four ports. Allows
easier hard drive upgrades and expansion for new SATA
Ultra ATA/100 Supports legacy hard drives and optical drives.
High-speed USB 2.0
Eight ports offer up to 40X greater bandwidth over USB 1.1,
for high-speed I/O peripherals such as digital video
Intel Serial Digital Video
Output (SDVO) ports
Dual SDVO ports offer maximum display (digital CRT or TV)
flexibility through the existing PCI Express* x16 connector.
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor supporting Hyper-Threading
Intel® 915GV Express, 910GL Express and 915P Express
Intel® Desktop Board D915GAG, D915GAV, D915GEV,
D915GUX and D915GVWB
Other Intel® Platform Memory (Validated DDR and DDR2)
Intel® Pentium® 4
775 Land Grid Array (LGA)
Intel® 82915G GMCH 1210 Flip Chip Ball Grid Array (FCBGA)
Supports Intel® Core™2 Processor with
Get ready for a new kind of consumer
entertainment PC that will change the way
you enjoy entertainment at home. With a
system based on the Intel® 945G Express
Chipset*, control the music, movies,
games, and photos you want to enjoy both
from your personal entertainment
collections and endless entertainment
options from a wide range of Intel®
Core™2 processor with Viiv™ technology
verified service providers delivered right to
your living room.
1066/800/533 MHz System Bus
Supports Intel® Core™2 Duo processor,
Intel® Pentium® D processor, Intel®
Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology
and all other Intel® Pentium® processors
and Intel® Celeron® processors in the
LGA775 socket, with scalability for future
PCI Express* x16 Interface
Delivers greater than 3.5 times the
bandwidth over the traditional AGP 8X
interface and supports the latest high-
performance graphics cards.
PCI Express* x1 Interface
Offers up to 3.5 times the bandwidth over
traditional PCI architecture, delivering
faster access to peripheral devices and
Features and benefits
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Boosts graphics performance to deliver
richer visual color and picture clarity
without the need for additional discrete
Intel® High Definition (Intel® HD Audio)
Integrated audio support enables premium
home theater sound and delivers advanced
features such as multiple audio streams
and jack re-tasking. The Dolby* PC
Entertainment Experience1 is available
exclusively on systems with Intel® High
Intel® Matrix Storage Technology
Provides protection against data loss from
a hard drive failure, and quicker access to
digital photo, video, and music files by
supporting NCQ as well as RAID 0, 1, 5, and
10. Matrix RAID enables two RAID levels to
be combined for data loss protection plus
Intel® Active Management Technology
Enables remote, down-the-wire
management of out-of-band networked
systems regardless of system state. Helps
to improve IT efficiency, asset management
and system security and availability.
Serial ATA* (SATA) 3 Gb/s
High-speed storage interface supports
faster transfer rate for improved data
Dual-channel DDR2 Memory
Up to 10.7 GB/s of bandwidth and 4GB memory
addressability for faster system responsiveness and
support for 64-bit computing.
Intel® Flex Memory
Gives users a more flexible memory upgrade option by
allowing different memory sizes to be installed while
maintaining dual-channel mode/performance.
Intel® Serial Digital Video
Output (SDVO) ports
Dual SDVO ports offer increased display flexibility
(digital CRT or TV) through the existing PCI Express*
x16 connector using integrated graphics and third party
manufactured add-in cards.
ADD2 cards increase system display output to a
television, digital display, or simultaneously to a monitor
and digital display.
Media Expansion Cards
This document details the Media Expansion card key
benefits and operation. It is intended for a technical
audience interested in learning about Media Expansion
File Type/Size: PDF 203KB
bring a multitude of video in/out features, including
single or dual channel Television.
Superscalar Execution : The Pentium processor can sometimes
execute two instructions simultaneously.
Pipeline Architecture : The Pentium processor executes
instructions in five stages.
Branch Target Buffer : The Pentium processor fetches the
branch target instruction before it executes the branch instruction.
Dual 8-KB On-Chip Caches : The Pentium processor has two
separate 8-kilobyte (KB) caches on chip--one for instructions and
one for data--which allows the Pentium processor to fetch data
and instructions from the cache simultaneously.
Write-Back Cache : When data is modified; only the data in the
cache is changed
64-Bit Bus : It can handle up to twice the data of the Intel486
Floating-Point Optimization : The Pentium processor executes
individual instructions faster through execution pipelining
Available in speeds from 233 MHz up to 450 MHz.
Includes MMX media enhancement technology.
Dual Independent Bus (DIB) architecture increases
bandwidth and performance over single-bus processors.
32K (16K/16K) non-blocking, level-one cache provides
fast access to heavily used data.
512K unified, non-blocking, level-two cache.
450, 400, and 350 MHz versions support memory
cacheability for up to 4GB of addressable memory space.
Includes data integrity and reliability features such as
Error Correction Code (ECC), Fault Analysis, Recovery, and
Functional Redundancy Checking for both system and L2
1.26 GHz 370-pin FC-PGA2 package with 512 KB
Advanced Transfer Cache supports 133 MHz processor
side bus .
Greater performance with Hyper-Threading Technology.
Optimizes the use of data bandwidth from the memory
subsystem to accelerate out of order execution.
Supports highend communications, transaction terminal,
and industrial automation applications.
Scalability and performance with Intel® EM64.
Versatility and reliability to meet all computing needs.
Greater performance with Hyper-Threading Technology.
Improved power management with enhanced Intel speed
technology, increasing power efficiency
Scalability and performance with Intel® EM64, impoves
performance by allowing the system to address more
than 4 GB of both virtual and physical memory
With an Intel Pentium D processor-based PC featuring
two full processing cores, you get the flexibility and
performance to handle multimedia entertainment, digital
photo editing, even multiple users, simultaneously.
Built for advanced applications
Get the most out of your demanding, multi-threaded
applications. dual-core processing technology provides
the performance to take advantage of sophisticated
gaming software which can result in realistic game
environments and challenging game play.
800MHz front side bus delivers excellent system
bandwidth for efficient and improved system
Single-Core Processing - New micro architecture with 800
MHz FSB enhances your computing experience.
Wide Dynamic Execution - Improves execution speed and
efficiency, delivering more instructions per clock cycle.
Smart Memory Access - Optimizes the use of the data
bandwidth from the memory subsystem to accelerate
Advanced Digital Media Boost - Significantly improves
the media performance on a broad range of applications
including video, audio, image and photo processing,
multimedia, encryption, financial, engineering, and
Intel® 64² architecture - Allows the desktop processor
platform to access larger amounts of memory.
Large Level 1 Cache - The K6 uses a full 64 KB of level 1
Extra Decoders - The K6 has four x86 instructions
decoders, compared with only three for the Pentium Pro
and Pentium II
Large Branch Prediction Table - The K6's branch history
table contains 8,192 entries, while most other processors
top out at 1/8th this size.
Six Integer Execution Units - The K6 has more internal
execution units than any other x86 processor right now,
allowing for more parallelism and efficiency.
The XP is fully micro architecture.
The XP is able to perform more calculations per second.
It supports 64-bit bi-directional data.
512 K L2 cache increases the performance of
It prevents the processor from waiting when future data
Athlon 64 support the NX bit, a security feature named
“enhanced virus protection”.
It has an Integrated Heat Spreader (HIS) which prevents
the CPU core from accidently being damaged when
mounting and unmounting cooling solutions.
Hyper transport technology for high speed I/O
communication. One 16-bit link upto 2000MHz bi-
directional upto 8 GB/s hyper Transport I/O bandwidth.
The AMD 64b core provides leading edge performance
for both 32-bit and 64-bit application.
CPU speed throttling technology branded cool n quiet.
L2 Cache size
128 kb Supported Not Supported
at 1/2 CPU
256 KB on-die
512 kb -2048
Comparison between Pentium, Celeron and AMD
L2 Cache size
To 2 GHz
512 kb -2048
600 - 1400
256 kb Supported Supported
266 to 333
512 kb Supported Supported
It contains several important core components, including the chipset, which controls
many of the most essential functions of the PC. It directly interfaces with other key
components of the PC, and is responsible in large part for the stability, feature
support, expandability and upgradeability of any system.
Form Factor - The initial decision is the form factor of the motherboard, which must
be mated to that of the power supply and case.
CPU Support - The chipset must support the particular CPU you want to use
Chipset - The chipset is the core logic of the motherboard and is responsible for most
of its characteristics
Video Support - The video card either goes into a slot on the motherboard, or its
functionality is integrated onto it.
Memory Support - Motherboards vary in terms of the number of memory slots they
provide, and also what sizes and types of modules are supported.
I/O Interfaces - Almost all modern motherboards come with support for at least the
following: two serial ports, one parallel port, one keyboard port, and one PS/2
mouse port. Most also now come with two USB ports etc.
BIOS Upgrade Support - BIOS upgrades are key to future support for new
technologies, as well as correcting known problems with the board.