ADVICE ON BUYING A MOTHERBOARD
Last updated: 12/20/99
INTRODUCTION. The motherboard and its components
contain most of the heart, brains, and nerves of a computer hardware system.
It glues together and supports the processor, chipset, BIOS, memory, disk
drives, plug-in boards, keyboard, and serial and parallel ports. It is the
single most important consideration in building a reliable, high-performance
QUALITY. Altogether, a modern motherboard hosts
many millions of transistors or electronic switches and the circuitry necessary
for them to operate and send signals at nearly the speed of light around
an intricate tapestry of conductors, of which only a small part is visible
to the human eye. Its incredible complexity is almost beyond imagination.
The tolerances and speeds at which a motherboard and its components must
operate are so extreme and there are so many things that can fail or degenerate,
it is wonder that it works at all. Yet, a good one does and should give you
years of reliable service.
A bad motherboard is like the plague; your computer will
die frequently. Many apparent software problems (e.g., Windows protected
fault interrupts) may, in fact, be hardware problems at the motherboard level.
In choosing a motherboard, quality is paramount; price
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