Recognizing mainboard components of Desktop – Part 1

This post is lesson 4 of 16 in the subject Computer Hardware Practice

1. Lesson objectives

  • Review disassembling and rebuilding Desktop
  • Recognizing and reading basic specifications of Desktop mainboard components

2. Preparation of instruments

Each student prepares the following tools:

Main tools:

  • 01 Desktop case
  • 01 screwdriver
  • 01 screw box

Support tools:

  • 01 computer cleaning brush
  • 01 cleaning cloth

3. Components of Desktop mainboard

3.1. Important components

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

– CPU is the electronic circuit that executes instructions comprising a computer program. CPU performs basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions in the program.

– Specifications:

  • Manufacturer (Intel, AMD,etc.)
  • CPU model (Intel Pentium IV, Intel Core I7-860, …)
  • Number of CPU pins
  • Types of sockets


– The socket is responsible for the contact point and also the CPU rack when attached to the mainboard. This allows for placing and replacing CPU without soldering. There are different types of sockets and will be compatible with different CPUs.

– Specifications:

  • Socket model
  • Socket color
Socket on mainboard

Northbridge Chipset

– Northbridge Chipset is also called Memory Controller Hub. It is responsible for communicating between CPU, RAM, AGP or PCI Express and the southbridge.

– Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
  • Northbridge chipset model
Northbridge chipset

Southbridge Chipset

– Southbridge Chipset is also called I/O Controller Hub. It is responsible for communicating with peripheral devices.

– Specifications:

  • Manufacturer
  • Southbridge chipset model
Southbridge chipset

RAM (Random Access Memory)

– RAM is temporary data storage area. Data will be lost when the power is turned off.

– Specifications:

  • Types of RAM (DDR1, DDR2,…)
  • RAM capacity (256 MB, 512 MB, …)
  • Number of RAM pins
  • Voltage of RAM
RAM sticks

IC (Integrated circuit)

– There are many different types of IC on Desktop mainboard such as super Input/Output Controller (SIO IC), oscillator of power IC, etc.

– Specifications:

  • Model IC
  • Number of IC pins
  • Position of pin 1st of IC
IC on mainboard

3.2. Some other components

Serial port

– Serial port is a common port in old computers used to connect peripheral devices such as keyboard, mouse, modem, scanner, etc. It has other names like COM port.

– Specifications:

  • Color
  • Number of port pins
Serial port

USB port

– USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a general-purpose serial connection standard in computers. It allows expansion of 127 devices connected to the same computer through a single USB port.

– Specifications:

  • Number of USB ports
  • Types of USB port
USB port

PS/2 port

– PS/2 is the port that connects the keyboard, mouse and some other devices with the Desktop mainboard.

– Specifications:

  • Number of pins
  • Color
PS/2 port

VGA (Video Graphics Array) port

– VGA  is a display standard used to support the connection from computers to presentation devices through cables.

– Specifications:

  • Number of pins
  • Color
VGA port

LAN port

– LAN port helps to transmit network signals for the machines, can use standard RJ45.

– Specifications:

  • Number of LAN ports
  • Number of pins
LAN port

Parallel port

– Parallel port is a port commonly used to connect printers to old computers.

– Specifications:

  • Color
  • Number of pins
Parallel port

4. Requirement of practice

  • Each student receives practical tools.
  • Disassemble and rebuild the Desktop step by step and follow the regulations.
  • Recognize components on the Desktop mainboard.
  • Observe and record the specifications of the components on the Desktop mainboard.
  • Complete the practice sheet for lesson 04.
  • Take pictures, record videos for documentation.

5. Practice sheet

Each student downloads the practice sheet here, photo it and bring it with you when you practice.

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Previous and next lesson in subject<< How to connect Front Panel cables and data cables in DesktopRecognizing mainboard components of Desktop – Part 2 >>
Posted by Vinh Le

Composer at ITLearningCorner.

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