How to Build a Computer
AMD Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor
Part 10 - Install the Expansion Boards
Last updated: 6/3/2001
In this, the final part of this article, we describe how
to install the expansion boards and test the system. One thing you
don't want to do is plug in all of the boards at once. Do a little
homework before deciding which boards will go into which expansion board
slots and Install them one-at-a-time in a logical order.
Interrupts. A basic understanding of interrupts
can be obtained by reading our short IRQs
- Interrupt Requests FAQs. In
theory, up to four PCI Plug and Play expansion boards can share an interrupt. In
practice it is often Plug ‘n Prey and one should try to share as few interrupts
as possible. A visit to Abit's
KT7-RAID FAQs provides some information on how the interrupts are
organized by the motherboard:
The AGP slot and PCI-1 share an IRQ
PCI-2 and PCI-3 share an IRQ
PCI-4, PCI-6, and USB controllers share an IRQ
PCI-5 has its own IRQ
PCI Slot Assignments. PCI-1 is the PCI slot
next to the AGP slot. I do not advise sharing the interrupt used by
the display adapter. Also, my experience shows that sharing an interrupt
with a soundboard can often be problematic. Network adapters are a
little more forgiving, but I try to give them their own interrupt as well. Keeping
all of these factors in mind, I decided to install the expansion boards as
||Not used for a board.
||shared with the AGP graphics board. USB
||Shared with PCI-3.
||The CD-ROM audio cable length is a
||Can live with the USB controller.
||Has it's own IRQ.
||Shared with PCI-4 and the USB controller. Physically
shared with the ISA slot.
Other factors, such as expansion board lengths, IRQ priorities,
ISA boards, boards that do not require an interrupt, cooling, and cable lengths
may influence slot/board choices.
Also, to accommodate boards with specific physical requirements/limitations,
IRQs can be assigned manually in the CMOS Setup in the "PnP/PCI configuration" submenu. Many
motherboards, but not all, have this capability. It is sometimes useful
in solving difficult IRQ-related problems.
Board Installation Order. I installed the
network adapter first and temporarily configured it for my shop network so
I could get at software downloads, test software, etc. hosted on my Windows
NT file server. Also, it provided access to the Internet via my Barricade
router and Surfboard
cable MODEM. Next, if you access the Internet via dial-up,
you should consider installing the MODEM and configuring it for the Internet. Again,
you may need it to download software and your computer will be Internet-ready
if you want to register products online.
128. Power-down the computer and unplug the power
cord from the computer.
129. Lay the computer down on it's side with the
front facing towards you.
130. Remove the expansion board slot covers for PCI
slots l, 3, 4, and 5.
the pdf version of this article
< Previous | Contents | Top | Next
- Install the Network Adapter >