Step By Step Guide to Building a New PC


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A Tour Around the Mother Board:

The first thing that will be apparent to the first-time Pentium II or Celeron builder is the lack of a CPU socket. The new Intel design utilizes a CPU slot, positioned horizontally just behind the edge mounted I/O ports. The adapter card bus slots, starting from the left, are (2) 16-bit ISA, (4) 32 bit PCI, and (1) AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port), right behind the round battery.

The ATX standard provides for all of the standard I/O ports to be mounted directly on the edge of the motherboard. There are five or six standard "cores" defined by Intel for arranging the port connectors. From left to right here, the stacked keyboard and mouse ports, stacked USB ports, printer and game along the top, two serial and sound along the bottom.

The 3 horizontal slots are for DIMMs, Dual Inline Memory Modules, that replaced the older 72pin and 20 pin SIMMs. The white latching mechanisms are automatically engaged when the DIMM is properly seated. The white 20 pin connector to the lower-right is the ATX power supply connector, the 2 horizontal black connectors to the left are the IDE ports, the floppy port is under the power connector.

The black framework rising up from the board is held in position around the CPU slot by four captured screws (it's really more visible in the color blowup). The bracket hold the P-II SEC, Single Edge Cartridge, without additonal parts, the Celeron board and heatsink require a top cover for the bracket.

The ATX motherboard is mounted to the pan using brass standoffs only! No more irratating plastic sliding mounts. The holes in the pan are labled for different motherboard forms, but the best approach is still to line up the holes by eye and add standoffs wherever possible. Always make sure you put in as many screws as standoffs. Otherwise, you probably misplaced a standoff which is waiting to short out your motherboard.

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