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chap8 - All-In-One CompTIA Network All-in-One Exam Guide...

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CHAPTER 8 289 Expansion Bus In this chapter, you will learn how to • Identify the structure and function of the expansion bus • Describe the modern expansion bus • Explain classic system resources • Install expansion cards properly • Troubleshoot expansion card problems Expansion slots have been part of the PC from the very beginning. Way back then, IBM created the PC with an eye to the future; the original IBM PC had slots built into the motherboard—called expansion slots —for adding expansion cards and thus new func- tions to the PC. The slots and accompanying wires and support chips on the first PC and on the latest and greatest PC are called the expansion bus . The expandability enabled by an expansion bus might seem obvious today, but think about the three big hurdles a would-be expansion card developer needed to cross to make a card that would work successfully in an expansion slot. First, any expansion card needed to be built specifically for the expansion slots that would require the cre- ation of industry standards. Second, the card needed some way to communicate with the CPU, both to receive instructions and to relay information. And third, the operating system would need some means of enabling the user to control the new device and thus take advantage of its functions. Here’s the short form of those three hurdles: Physical connection Communication Drivers This chapter covers the expansion bus in detail, starting almost at the very beginning of the PC—not because the history of the PC is inherently thrilling, but rather because the way the old PCs worked affects the latest systems. Installation today remains very similar to installation in 1987 in that you must have a physical connection, communi- cation, and drivers for the operating system. Taking the time to learn the old ways first most definitely helps you understand and implement current technology, terminology, and practices
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CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 290 Historical/Conceptual Structure and Function of the Expansion Bus As you’ve learned, every device in the computer—whether soldered to the motherboard or snapped into a socket—connects to the external data bus and the address bus. The expansion slots are no exception. They connect to the rest of the PC through the chip- set. Exactly where on the chipset varies depending on the system. On some systems, the expansion slots connect to the Southbridge (Figure 8-1). On other systems, the expan- sion slots connect to the Northbridge (Figure 8-2). Finally, many systems have more than one type of expansion bus, with slots of one type connecting to the Northbridge and slots of another type connecting to the Southbridge (Figure 8-3). Figure 8-1 Expansion slots connecting to Southbridge Figure 8-2 Expansion slots connecting to Northbridge The chipset provides an extension of the address bus and data bus to the expansion slots, and thus to any expansion cards in those slots. If you plug a hard drive controller
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