Expansion Slot Identification

adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi Everyone. I am a CST major who has been studying for the A+ test for the past month or so. Despite my major and recent exposure to the test material, I will have to admit that I have limited exposure to actually opening up desktops and working on them. I took a class about building/upgrading PCs and we had to build one from scratch, but it didn't really help with the issue I'm having now...

I am under the impression that I will need to identify certain expansion slots and/or components on the 801 exam (I am currently only studying for this one, I will study for the 802 upon successful completion of the 801). I am understanding the differences in slots (for example, PCIe generally having a capacity of 1 GB/s and replacing AGP 8x which was 2.1 GB/s, and PCIe being full-duplex serial communication). However, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (some of them, like x8 and x16), CNRs, and AGP slots look very similar to me, especially if they are not next to each other.

Somewhat related, but I've taken practice tests that have asked me to identify a memory module. I've focused on learning the differences as far as speed/pins/etc go, but am unable to really see a big difference physically when looking at the different packages.

Does anyone have tips/advice for me? This, memory, and CPU sockets are really the only things I believe to be holding me up from going to take the exam, so I'm trying to address these areas specifically right now.

Comments

  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    PCI is white, and AGP is brown. How similar is that?
    CPU sockets on the other hand... When I took A+ a few years ago, I had to memorize a lot of stuff I never used. I still remember things like SOcket 370 and Socket A back from the days when I built computers as a kid, but newer stuff like LGA1155 and what have you... Who cares. Google is your friend.
  • adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I appreciate the response but your tone comes off in a way that leads me to infer I've asked a bad question. My study materials did not specifically state that these slots must be one color or another, and the pictures in my text are black/white, which doesn't help too much either. I can google all day long but I was wondering if there was a sheet available or just a general standard these things follow.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    I do not think sratakhin has any "tone", he/she provide a very basic answer. The PCI, AGP, ISA and other slots do not have a standard color. Many manufacturers have followed some basic color patterning, but not all. Several slots will be blue, yellow, red, green.

    Get a hold of some Vendor mobo books and review to see how they place their slots. AGP slots will usually be found near the top of all the other slots.

    If you use a good text like Meyers All-in-one you will be able to find good photos. It would be ideal to get your hands on old boards to see for yourself.

    ISA slots accept left-handed cards and PCI slots are for right-handed. Though that classification tended to confuse newer techs and I have rarely seen it in use in the past decade. It was a quick way to teach a new kid though...

    I would not recommend memorizing the colors though...it will fail you when you get to boards like ASUS.


    http://sonic840.deviantart.com/art/Computer-hardware-poster-1-7-111402099
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you very much for the informative reply.

    Next time I'm not going to cheap out on the book...I have a feeling my text is of lower quality than the Meyers/Exam Cram texts I see referenced very often on here.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Meyers' passport and the Exam Cram are designed to help those with experience and familiarity of A+ topics do a light review.

    Meyers' AIO and the Sybex text (both I highly recommend) are geared toward a candidate who is learning the material and/or simply has limited exposure to the technologies being tested. The Passport and exam cram series you may find more useful as you near the test date.

    Keep in mind, these exams are pretty straight forward. Know your definitions and be familiar with the topics covered in the objectives.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you.

    I am two classes from graduating with my AAS degree in Computer Systems Technology, so I'm familiar with hardware, networking, and Windows Desktop/Server. However, I have essentially no hands-on experience outside of the class room and prior to starting this program, hardly saw the inside of a computer or the workings of network infrastructure.

    So, I am aware of most of the stuff I've come across in the 801 material, but have forgotten some of it. I've learned a lot, but a lot of it is stuff I've never physically seen or touched (most every legacy connector/cable/etc and modern tools and laser printers) so I have found it difficult to relate to the material at times. I think I'm ready to take the test, as I passed both exams in my Sybex text and have reviewed them both several times to grasp 'why' for the questions asked. I've used an Android app and free exams on the web as well.

    The only reason I'm hesitant to schedule (I've purchased a voucher already) is because I'll come across a question like, what socket does an Intel Pentium II fit into? Or, identify the following interface: (picture of slot) and I'm not entirely sure I can identify the slots and my material doesn't really focus on the different CPUs, rather, they inform me about the differences and evolution of the Intel and AMD sockets (like AM2+ vs AM2, H2 vs H1, PGA/LGA/etc) so I don't know whether to expect a question about a particular CPU or details about the sockets

    I should add, I've never taken any sort of certification before, so that plays a role in things.
  • adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I passed with an 850 today. Thanks for the help everyone.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Congratulations
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • VIDEODROMEVIDEODROME Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I feel how you did about fitting components together or remembering numbers of Pins. Also, having many college classes with Power Points and very little hands-on work. I'm curious if any particular tool helped you a lot practicing and refreshing on the material.
  • adam220891adam220891 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well, here's what I did:

    -Watch PM's videos.
    -Read Sybex text and go over questions at the end of each chapter
    -Re-watch PM videos and take notes
    -Go through flashcards/quizzes provided with Sybex text. I also used a free Android app I saw in the Play Store. The app was not very good stability wise but content was it proved relevant.
    -I then made a separate document dedicated to just the stuff that was more tedious...i.e...CPU sockets, memory types and packages, etc.
    -I then skimmed the text again.

    I would say I went overboard studying, but then again, better safe than sorry. I can't really get into specifics for legal reasons, but absoloutley be able to identify motherboard components (including expansion slots) and be familiar with CPU socket types and their manufacturers.

    My studies so far (I'm currently on section 1.5 for the 802) have not revealed much content that is entirely foreign to me. Meaning, I vaguely remember the bulk of it from the Power Points in class, etc, but it's not stuff I really cemented into my brain or put an image to the name (when it comes to expansion slots). In this regard, despite not having hands on experience, I would still consider myself at an advantage because I am certain there are folks out there who are going through the material and have to actually develop an understanding (so to speak) of the material covered. That would be challenging, but more rewarding than just cramming to get a certification.

    I'm hoping to take the 802 within three weeks. I've found the content so far in that to be more hands-on and less 'memorization' but I feel it will be harder to study for. I wish I retained more from my classes (for example, I know we used mmc.exe, but I can't recall much) but not much I can do about that. If there's anything I can recommend to fellow students...don't wait until the last semester to start working on this stuff, I think if I had done it earlier it would've helped solidify the stuff being covered in class. As a result, I'm left hoping I can get the A+, N+, S+ by the end of the year (when I graduate).
  • PCSPrestonPCSPreston Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 127
    A+ is not as bad it looks. The material is basic when understanding it, the 801 is a bit more in depth ,but still basic on the questions and what is right and wrong. I would recommend Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training
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