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By R. P. Beales

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Extra info for PC Systems, Installation and Maintenance, Second Edition

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Instead of the usual pipelined fetch and execute system used on previous processors it uses an instruction pool in association with a fetch/decode unit, a dispatch/execute unit and a retire unit. This new architecture enables instructions to be started in any order but essentially completed in the original program order. The processor also has the ability to ‘look ahead’ at the instructions in the instruction pool and carry out those that can be executed immediately. Data is fetched for those instructions needing extra information, while the simpler instructions are executing.

As this is a book intended for the beginner as well as the more familiar computer user, we will start our investigation of the motherboard by taking a look at the basic CPU/RAM/I/O architecture. The chipset PC motherboard technology has come a long way since the launch of the AT machine. No longer are the CPU and RAM the only dominant items determining the system power. The motherboard chipset also plays a very important role. In terms of electronic complexity it could be argued that the chipset is the most important feature.

Earlier integrated circuits (ICs) used a standard ϩ5 V system but modern high-speed devices consume too much power at this voltage – lower-operating voltages mean lower-power consumption. 1 specification includes details of additional power feeds and connectors for systems that consume DC currents in excess of the maximum connector rating. The main motherboard power connector has a maximum current carrying capacity of 6 amp per pin. 3 and ϩ5 V on a six-pin in-line ‘auxiliary power connector’ and 0 and ϩ12 V on a separate four-pin ϩ12 V connector.

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