Computer Systems and Platform Technologies

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COSC2473 Computer Systems and Platform Technologies: Semester 2, 2014 Assignment 2 Worth: 20% of course assessment Due Date: Sunday 1st June, 11.59pm Part A: System Architecture The pictures below are of a modern desktop PC motherboard: the Gigabyte “GA-Z77X-D3H”; both the main circuit board and rear panel. The questions in this part (beginning overleaf) refer to this board and the labelled components. Answer the following questions in your own words, and in the context of this specific motherboard make and model. Where explanations are required as part of an answer, they need not be longer than a paragraph (2-4 sentences), or summarised as dot points. 1. For each of the six internal expansion connectors, labelled A1, A2, B, C, D1 and D2: a) What is the name generally given to that internal connector? b) Give a typical example of what might connect to it. c) What standard(s) are supported by that connector? Provide details where relevant or appropriate, such as the version(s) of standards supported, and their maximum bandwidth. d) Consider how the connector is mated to the system. i. Which core component (i.e. CPU or chipset) does it connect to? ii. How does it connect to this core component – does it connect directly, or via a bus or other interface? Are there any components in between it and the core component? 2. The internal expansion connector labelled E, appears to be a mini-PCI Express socket. a) What is this connector designed for? What standard(s) and maximum bandwidth does it support? b) If a mini-PCI Express wireless network adapter (such as an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG) was connected here, would it work? Explain why (or why not). 3. Connector F is for the CPU heatsink/fan. a) Fans need only two wires (power and ground) to operate, so what are the other two pins for? b) Briefly explain the role of these two pins, as part of the computer system’s thermal solution. 4. A system builder would like to build a desktop computer system using, among other...

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