There is an absolutely vast choice of motherboards available. Many
very cheap systems on sale at retail outlets use relatively old
motherboards that have the maximum speed processor already installed
which allows no scope for a future upgrade.
Again there is a huge difference in the quality of motherboards but on
the whole, for a general family PC, lower range and hence cheaper
motherboards are sufficient to form the base of a system.
Things to look for are bus speed, which dictates the data transfer
speed capabilities of the motherboard, maximum processor & memory that
can be fitted to the motherboard, number of USB 2.0 ports, number of Firewire ports (usually only found on the more expensive
motherboards), Serial ATA connections which allow faster type of hard
disks to be connected to the motherboard and also whether there are
onboard sound, graphics and network facilities available. Often there
are but if they are missing it means a separate component such as a
graphics card, sound card or network card will need to be paid for.
Each motherboard is built to take a particular type of chip, Pentium,
Athlon etc so if you are building your own system you must make sure
that you buy compatible processors and motherboards.
The processor is the brain of your computer, the central nervous
system with which every other component is linked.
There are two main manufacturers of processor chips today, Intel &
Probably the better known of the two. They manufacture 3 main
Celeron; Entry level processor for basic machines
Centrino; Mobile processor used in laptops, low power
Pentium; Probably the most famous processor in the
history of computers
There are many versions of the same chip type, each version an
improvement on the one that went before.
It is generally accepted that there is very little difference in the
speed of the latest releases from both AMD & Intel. For the average
user there really is no need to worry, a middle range chip from either
manufacturer will suffice for most family or office computers.
Marketing techniques try to convince the user that they always need
the most up to date processor but this simply is not the case for most
Athlon 64; This is AMD's latest processor and currently the
only 64bit processor available and at the time of writing is
considered the fastest chip available.
Athlon XP; The predecessor to the 64 bit Athlon this is still
the most economical chip available from AMD and is the chip of choice
in most systems built by the Cleddau Computer Clinic purely because it
offers great performance at a great price! A mobile version is often
found in laptop computers.
Duron; AMD's equivalent of the Intel Celeron, it's an entry
level processor and would still suffice for a lot of users who would
not demand too much of their machines. Capable of running XP Pro and
standard applications you would sacrifice some performance but save a
lot of money by choosing this chip.
< Click Here For Next Page >