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Old 01-17-2006, 06:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to Understand Motherboard specs

Hi guys,

I was looking at the specs for a motherboard and I came upon a bunch of gibirish:

Expansion Slots
AGP Slots None
PCI Express x16 2
PCI Express x1 1
PCI Slots 3
Other Slots 1 x PCI Express X4
Storage Devices
P ATA 2 x ATA100 up to 4 Devices
P ATA RAID NV RAID 0/1/0+1 JBOD
SATA I 4
SATA II 4
S ATA RAID NV RAID 0/1/0+1/5 JBOD
Additional RAID Controller Sil 3114

Ok , first of all what do the x16 and x4 PCI Express lots mean? What do they do...as for the storage devices whats ATA...Im assuming it has something to do with Hard Drives cause i haev seen "ATA100" in thier products too...what else does it apply too?

Whats the difference between SATA 1 and STA II and what do they do?.


That is all..... o yeah...they said this motherboard was good for ATX...does that mean any atx..like Mid Tower, Full Tower...etc?

That is all and thanks for helping me in my time of dire needs.
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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PCI-Express (often called PCI-E) is a slot for graphics cards. Whenever you buy a motherboard, make sure your graphics card is compatible, and vice versa if you get a graphics card (AGP and PCI-E are the two graphics slots you need to worry about). AGP is a slower graphics slot. They're being outdated by PCI-E, since it is the more advanced graphics slot. I can't tell you what the smaller PCI-E slots are used for, as I have no idea. I can assume it's something you don't need to worry about.

PCI slots are your basic expansion slots. Cards such as your 10/100/1000 Ethernet card, 56k modem, sound card, and others go here. The standard and good PCI slot amount in a motherboard is 3.

SATA is the newer, more advanced serial bus used for hard drives (and some newer optical drives, I believe). PATA, also known as IDE, is the same thing but comparitive to the PCI-E vs. AGP, it's older technology, but works fine.

RAID is for linking multiple hard drives together.

ATX is a full-sized motherboard. Make sure your case is compatible. Most medium to large sized cases will fit ATX.

Edit: The smaller PCI-E's are also used for graphics cards, but I still think it's nothing you need to worry about.
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
AGP Slots None - Graphics card slot, older
PCI Express x16 2 - Graphics card slot, 2x is for SLI which you run two video cards together for "more" performance
PCI Express x1 1 - Another slot most likely used for the new Physx card or something along those lines, no need to worry
PCI Slots 3 - For your soundscards, what he said ^^
Other Slots 1 x PCI Express X4 - no need for this
Storage Devices
P ATA 2 x ATA100 up to 4 Devices - This is for your hdd or optical drives, using an IDE cable
P ATA RAID NV RAID 0/1/0+1 JBOD - Raid, putting multiple hdd's together acting as one hdd for faster loading times
SATA I 4 - Sata150 for your SATA150 hdd
SATA II 4 - SATA II for your SATA II hdd, sata II is backwarsd compatible with sata I also known as sata150
S ATA RAID NV RAID 0/1/0+1/5 JBOD - raid same thing
Additional RAID Controller Sil 3114
Any ATX case will fit an ATX mobo, mATX is smaller then the regular ATX, micro ATX lol, small form factor PC's
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks guys, so based on what you are saying,

is it reasonable to assume that one would purchase a Hard Drive that Said SATAII or SATA so it can be plugged into this motherboard?

And in the end I have room for 4 storage devices and not twelve (i know this sounds ludacrist but i was counting 4 from SATA II and 4 from SATA and then 4 from PATA).
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by DummyTron
thanks guys, so based on what you are saying,

is it reasonable to assume that one would purchase a Hard Drive that Said SATAII or SATA so it can be plugged into this motherboard?
Yes. Both IDE (PATA) and SATA hard drives will work with the motherboard, but preferrably, you should get a SATA because it's a faster transfer rate, and smaller cables .
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The difference between SATA and IDE is staggering. My load times increased immensely when i switched to my WD SATA HD
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally posted by dhw200
The difference between SATA and IDE is staggering. My load times increased immensely when i switched to my WD SATA HD
I'll be using my first SATA HD in my new PC I will be building soon. I hope it's nice .
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