By Ian Sinclair
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Additional resources for Build And Upgrade Your Own Pc, Fourth Edition
It is a multi-layer board, and you must never drill it or cut it because the tracks that you see on it are only the surface tracks, with others hidden between layers. The motherboard contains the main microprocessor chip (the CPU), and the type of CPU that is used determines to a considerable extent the performance of the computer. Always handle the motherboard by the edges because a fingerprint on the working surface can affect the working of the board. At the time of writing, low-cost motherboards use the Intel Celeron or the AMD Duron type of chip, and the faster motherboards can use the Pentium-4 or Athlon chips as well as the slower types from the same manufacturer.
All modern motherboards will also provide at least one AGP slot for a fast graphics board, even if a graphics interface is already provided on the motherboard. All motherboards now include ports, usually two serial ports and one parallel, as part of the board, with short cables to connectors mounted on the rear of the casing. The parallel port is used to connect the printer, but the old types of serial port are seldom used nowadays. 5 43 Sketch of a typical motherboard with important parts labelled Modern motherboards feature also the USB ports, usually two or four, and these are now the faster USB-2 type.
These microfilters are not costly (typically £3 to £7) and the higher priced ones allow you to plug-in your broadband connection to any of your telephone points. Many low-priced dial-up modems use software to carry out actions that are performed by hardware in more costly units, and this intensive use of software demands a fast processor and can cause memory conflicts. The modem is the device that triggers the majority of problems when the most recent versions of Windows (such as Windows 2000 and Windows XP) are being installed.