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December 19, 2012

When examining a motherboard, look for the following clues to properly identify the board:

  • Look for the CPU chip (i.e., 8088, 80286, 80386, etc.). This is the biggest single clue.
  • Look at the bus connectors:

            if there are only 8-bit connectors, it is an XT-class (8088 based) motherboard. If     there are 8-bit and 16-bit bus connectors, it is an AT-class motherboard (at least an 80286-based motherboard). If there are lightbrown bus connectors that look sort of like 16-bit connectors, it’s probably an EISA bus motherboard (with an 80386DX or higher CPU). If there is a small brown connector at the end of a 16-bit bus connector, that would be a VESA Local-bus (32-bit) connector. If there is a small white bus connector on the board, that would be a PCI (32/64-bit) local bus connector. These are found on 80486 and Pentium-class motherboards.

  • ‘386 computers use that provides room for more memory on the motherboard. Many manufacturers use proprietary devices on their motherboards that won’t work on motherboards built by other companies

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