*created from lecture videos and is used to help you learn what are the major hardware components of a computer.
Form Factor- Standardized shapes and forms for the motherboard
IBM 5170/IBM AT- successor to XT, designed with standardization in mind, fell short in low profile computing
Riser card- card that goes into particular slot and allows for cards to be placed into
In 1990’s Intel came up with ATX and that is what we have used ever since.
ATX was free and everyone got into it, everybody liked the standard. Learn more about the Intel ATX
I/O area- fits ATX case
Different ATX types- standard ATX, mini ATX, microATX, flex ATX (smallest and brought out new systems known as small form factors, could be used as POS or home theater system)
ITX- no standard ITX motherboards, similar I//O areas, designed for really low power.
mini ITX is 170 x 170, nano ITX, pico ITX
Instead of having a single chip for every discrete function
Intel 440BX chipset, integrated functions assigned to discrete, into a two chip group. It defined the word, chipset.
Memory controller- talking to RAM to and from CPU
Northbridge- whoever is handling the memory controlling
Southbridge- handles the slower stuff
You need to stay up to date on chipsets. Most of today’s modern CPU, memory controller functions are on the CPU itself. Because of this we are not seeing two chipsets anymore, rather single chip scenario with a support chip(s).
PCI- peripheral component interconnect, 1990, Intel and adopted by entire industry. 32 bits running at 33mhz or 66mhz
PCIX- PCI on steroids, 64 bit wide bus, 133 mhz, designed for desktops
Mini-pci- 32 bits, 32 mhz, 100 pin connector that made it uniquely mini pci.
PCIe / PCI Express- use serial communication, based on concept of lanes. X1 or by1, each PCIe lane runs at 2 Gbps or 4 gbps. To calculate the speed of a pcie slot, use formula- speed = lane speed X number of lanes
Mini-pci express- 52 pin connector supporting up to two lanes. Seen in lots of laptops.
MAIN: CPU, RAM, Chipset, Voltage regulator modules- vrm provide different voltages for computer, expansion slot, 16 lane PCIe,
SMALL: Super I/O and built in audio/networking- support different types of IO on the system, battery- maintain the clock and settings, System BIOS, Front panel connections- on off switch, reset buttons, CMOS clear- when you want to clear your CMOS
MISC: Internal USB Connections, Internal Serial Connector, power for case fans, 8 pin 12V power for the cpu, power for the cpu fan, main 24 pin power connector, sata connectors for mass storage
Put I/O face plate in first -> put motherboard plate in -> install front panel switches to motherboard -> video card, keyboard, monitor, ensure everything is connected, use washers to safely and secure the motherboard installation
Electricity power is voltage
Volumetric flow- how much water is flowing, when it takes place it is Amps, the size of the pipe itself
You need volts and amps to make power or Watts.
AC Power- runs long distances really well
DC Power- more efficient, easier to make things work
Soft Power- jumper set on motherboard itself that is the power switch
P1 connector- 20 pin or 24 pin
Supplementary power connector- 4 or 8 pin
PCIe power connectors- used for PCI video cards
SATA power connectors- used for sata hard drives or optical media
Mini power connector- not used much
*Anytime you see yellow its 12, and a red cable is 5.
Molex power connector- used for fans, secondary equipment, SATA is used more these days
1200 Watts is as big as you can get for ATX power supplies
Modular power supply- you can pick and choose which power connectors to use inside your case
Small form factor power supply- mini atx, flex atx,
Efficiency- measured as a percentage, a good supply will be north of 90%. A low efficiency is under 50%. Dont settle for less than 82% efficiency
Rails- electric circuitry that isolate different type of power outputs, so one doesn’t get scarified to the other,12, 5, 3.3 volts.
Most important voltage you can have on a system is your positive 12 volts. Really good systems will have 2 or 3 rails.
How to choose good power supply- Good connections, good efficiency need to be quoted at wattage, rails
Can either have slow death or immediate catastrophic. Always unplug your computer when smoking. 9/10 the motherboard is already destroyed from immediate catastrophe.
Slow death- use voltmeter to test the system. 12 volts will be highest. Use a connector with black and yellow cable. Use paper clip trick- place a paperclip into power good wire which is green and the black cable. To do it right, use a voltage tester.
Number 1 problem with power supplies is people forget to supply power, if it is plugged in. This is crucial to remember when learning what are the major hardware components of a computer.
Hard drive/magnetic drive/spindle drive- some form of rotational media, voice coil reads and writes data on the fly.
IDE- old fashion term that describes a hard drive with a controller, which most hard drives do, old terminology.
Advanced technology attachment/ATA- standard covers all kind of things, including how we talk to drives
Parallel ATA- old technology, obsolete
Serial ATA/SATA- small connector is for data, power is larger connector
SATA cables- up to 1 meter long, most likely 18 inches though.
eSATA- customized for external hard drives, has hot plug support
mSATA- tiny connector
SATA 1 – 2003, 1.5 gbit
SATA- 2004, 3.0 gbit, native command queuing allows hard drive to rearrange the order so hard drive can minimize rotations to get the data
eSATA- now power connector, same speeds as SATA, max cable length is 2 meters
SATA 3- 2009, 6.0 gbit, common and popular version of SATA
Advanced host controller interface (ahci)- built in feature to utilize new sata functions, found in system setup, ensure it is turned on in BIOS.
Use disk management to see new hard drive installed. Ensure you partition and format it though! If you want to learn more about hard drive visit tech terms.
Same as installing a normal SATA drive, problem is SSD is more like RAM. It uses flash memory like your phone and camera. When answering what are the major hardware components of a computer, you will find that Solid State Drives are becoming increasingly popular.
New tech called NVMe is a standard designed from ground up to talk to SSD. It is designed to run on PCIe bus itself, it also takes advantage of RAM aspect to make your SSD to run faster.
Windows 8.1 and up support NVME natively, and windows 7 with updates. Older SSD’s run off SATA instead of NVMe.
SATA express connector- not super popular
M.2- hard drive, more popular
Ensure you pick the right SSD and if it is SATA or NVME compatible.
After installation, ensure you see it in system setup, then disk management..
Hard drive- data stored in discrete chunks called sectors, 4096 bytes.
SSD- flash memory storage, data stored in discrete chunks called pages, 4096 bytes
Logical block addressing- takes whatever mass storage devices do and simply presents data in discrete containers called blocks, acts like a cleaners. Problem is LBA thinks of data in terms of blocks while OS think of data in files and folders, file system sits between mass storage and OS acting as a translator. If you want more information on SSD’s then visit tech target.
Better to have a lot of little drives that act like a big drive, benefits include speed and data safety. RAID is an important when it comes to the major hardware components of a computer.
Raid 0- striping, at least 2 hard drives, speeds thing up but it is dangerous if you lose either drive
Raid 1- mirroring, each cluster is saved it also makes 2 copies and writes them to each drive automatically, raid 1 can slow things down, although it makes a complete backup. Rive duplexing has 2 separate controllers instead of normal raid 1 with 1 controller
Raid 5- take 2 clusters and then 3rd piece or parity is created. You can lose 1 drive and everything will still be good.
Raid 10- stripe of mirrors, need at least 4 drives. You can lose a drive on each mirror and all your data will still be working, downside is it takes a lot of drives.
Software raid- telling OS that you have a lot of drives that need RAID setup
Hardware raid- controller that sets up raid arrays and presents one big volume to the OS itself
Go through motherboard documentation, take your time, don’t be afraid to try new RAID arrays, experiment until all drives appear.
In system setup, switch from AHCI to RAID -> Create Raid Volume -> bootup OS into disk management, it will show as 1 drive.
System setup -> Boot
Most modern systems have a pop up boot order, so it doesn’t matter what is in your system setup.
Implementing hard drives
Decimal prefixes- kilo 1000, mega, 1000 k/ million, giga 1000m/ billion, tera 1000 g/ trillion, peta 1000 t quadrillion, exa 1000 p/ quintillion
Kibi = 2 to the tenth power = 1024
mebi= 2 to the twentieth, 1024 ki
gibi= 2 to the thirtieth = 1024 mi
Tebi = 2 to the fortieth power = 1024 gi
Pebi = 2 to the fiftieth power = 1024 ti
Exbi = 2 to the sixtieth power = 1024 pi
Hardware raid- downside is motherboards are either all raid or just a bunch of disks (JBOD)
Hot swappable- extra system that can be pulled out and put back in
Hot spare- extra hard drive can be automatically rebuilt if one of your current drives goes down
Software raid- striped or mirrored, done through disk management on Windows
STRIPED: disk management -> make your disk dynamic -> need blank drives, select striped volume -> add disk -> do not assign or format
MIRRORED: disk management -> new mirrored volume -> add drive -> no format or letter
Spanned volumes- used when lazy and hard drive is full and want to plug another hard drive in and keep going