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A+ Core Hardware Service Technician Exam Objectives

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DOMAIN 4.0: Motherboard/Processors/Memory

This domain requires knowledge of specific terminology, facts, ways and means of dealing with classifications, categories and principles of motherboards, processors and memory in desktop computer systems.

4.1 Distinguish between the popular CPU chips in terms of their basic characteristics. Content may include the following:

  • Popular CPU chips (Intel, AMD, Cyrix)
  • Characteristics
  • Physical size
  • Voltage
  • Speeds
  • On board cache or not
  • Sockets
  • SEC (Single Edge Contact)

4.2 Identify the categories of RAM (Random Access Memory) terminology, their locations and physical characteristics. Content may include the following:

  • Terminology:
    • EDO RAM (Extended Data Output RAM)
    • DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
    • SRAM (Static RAM)
    • RIMM (Rambus Inline Memory Module 184 Pin)
    • VRAM (Video RAM)
    • SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM)
    • WRAM (Windows Accelerator Card RAM)
  • Locations and physical characteristics:
    • Memory bank
    • Memory chips (8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit)
    • SIMMS (Single In-line Memory Module)
    • DIMMS (Dual In-line Memory Module)
    • Parity chips versus non-parity chips

4.3 Identify the most popular type of motherboards, their components and architecture (bus structures and power supplies). Content may include the following:

  • Types of motherboards:
    • AT (Full and Baby)
    • ATX
  • Components:
    • Communication ports
    • SIMM and DIMM
    • Processor sockets
    • External cache memory (Level 2)
    • Bus Architecture
    • ISA
    • PCI
    • AGP
    • USB (Universal Serial Bus)
    • VESA local bus (VL-Bus)
    • Basic compatibility guidelines
    • SCSI (Wide, Fast, Ultra, LVD (Low Voltage Differential))

4.4 Identify the purpose of CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor), what it contains and how to change its basic parameters. Example basic CMOS settings:

  • Printer parallel port — Uni., bi-directional, disable/enable, ECP, EPP
  • COM/serial port — memory address, interrupt request, disable
  • Floppy drive—enable/disable drive or boot, speed, density
  • Hard drive — size and drive type
  • Memory — parity, non-parity
  • Boot sequence
  • Date/Time
  • Passwords
  • Plug & Play BIOS
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