The external bus is also referred to as the expansion bus. There are six major types of external bus’s found on the common motherboard. Only a few of these are actually found on the home PC such as ISA, PCI, AGP, USB and IDE. These slots are easily recognized on the board. They are usually covered with pins on the inside channel. Some of these pins are made of tin or gold. The pins themselves actually mount into the internal bus. Some pins provide power to you component or connect to the data, address bus’s. Here is a description of some common buses
ISA (Industry Standard Architecture), This bus is the low speed work horse of the system. You will commonly find a Sound Card hooked up this type BUS.
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect), Supports 32-64 bit bus and is the reigning standard of external buses. The PCI is fast and is slowly making the ISA fade away. Go with a PCI Bus Card when possible.
AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port), This Bus provides from 2 to 4 times the speed of the PCI and is used for video expansion only. If you have this slot on your motherboard make sure and use it for you video card. This is great way to go and takes a lot of stress off the CPU, thus gaining in performance all the way around.
USB (Universal Serial Bus), This is something that is fairly new and allows you to hook up to 127 devices. This is probably going to wipe out PS/2 ports and more. The USB is allows you to hot swap devices or plug and unplug devices while system is running. This is a great feature and is incorporated on most new motherboards.
IDE (Intelligent Drive Electronics), This bus is used mostly for disk drives and connects up to two devices on one connection. More than likely you’re hard drive and CD-ROM are connected through this type bus.
There are a few more bus types that are not very common and some are not even in uses in modern computers. The buses above are the most common and found in modern motherboards.
-So what are the slots mad up off? We already know that there are little pins made out of gold and tin, but what else? Check out the Slot's Makeup.
Back To Hardware Guides
How To Build A PC | Different Types of Keyboards | Help with Hard Drive Installation | Computer Networking Basics | Introduction of Motherboard Functions | Computer CPU Processor Speed | Upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows 98 | Computer Monitor Troubleshoot | Partition Hard Drive | Installing New CPU Processor | Types of Network Cables