Motherboard A+ Test question

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by JAGJR, May 4, 2004.

  1. JAGJR

    JAGJR Guest

    I'm studying for the exam using Mike Meyer's All-In-One A+ Fifth edition.

    In regard to Motherboards, he notes that the A+ exam expects me to be able
    to identify the most popular types of mb's, their components and
    architecture.

    He includes a chart that lists the appropriate detail for a dozen or so
    chipsets. He also says (I'm paraphrasing) that it isn't possible to provide
    an inclusive chart with all chipsets that wouldn't be obsolete by the time
    you pick this book off the shelf.

    One of the review questions, at the end of the chapter, requires detailed
    knowledge of the chart in order to be answered.

    My questions is: How much time need I devote to memorizing chipset
    components and architecture ?

    Has anyone who has taken the test run across this type question?

    Thank you.
    JAGJR, May 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. JAGJR wrote:
    > I'm studying for the exam using Mike Meyer's All-In-One A+ Fifth edition.
    >
    > In regard to Motherboards, he notes that the A+ exam expects me to be able
    > to identify the most popular types of mb's, their components and
    > architecture.
    >
    > He includes a chart that lists the appropriate detail for a dozen or so
    > chipsets. He also says (I'm paraphrasing) that it isn't possible to provide
    > an inclusive chart with all chipsets that wouldn't be obsolete by the time
    > you pick this book off the shelf.
    >
    > One of the review questions, at the end of the chapter, requires detailed
    > knowledge of the chart in order to be answered.
    >
    > My questions is: How much time need I devote to memorizing chipset
    > components and architecture ?
    >
    > Has anyone who has taken the test run across this type question?
    >
    > Thank you.


    JAGJR,

    IMHO, I wouldn't go crazy memorizing chipset specs for the exams. Even
    with the 2003 Objectives, the exam still feels like it was mostly
    written during the slot-1/BX chipset traditional northbridge/southbridge
    days. The most you will be asked to do is identify it and it's
    general role and functions. (Which depends heavily on the platform (eg
    memory controller is no longer a function of the chipset on A64/Opteron
    systems) and chipset itself (eg where the PCI controller is (NB/SB)).)

    Don't get me wrong, this is excellent field knowledge. In the absence
    of other information, knowing the chipset can provide very useful
    information such as: memory types and limitations; troubleshooting (eg
    flawed USB/SDRAM implementations); as well as CPU and driver support.

    BTW, Chris Hare maintains an excellent and very comprehensive list of
    chipsets at http://users.rcn.com/chare/chipsets (New, old, flawed,
    braindead and stillborn, it's probably listed!)

    Best of luck!
    Michael J. Apollyon, May 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. "JAGJR" <> wrote in message
    news:_%Olc.33610$...
    >
    > My questions is: How much time need I devote to memorizing chipset
    > components and architecture ?
    >
    > Has anyone who has taken the test run across this type question?
    >


    Don't worry about memorizing them. I have no idea why Mike even included
    that question in there, because there is nothing specific about chipsets on
    the test. The most you'll need to know about chipsets for the tests are the
    basics of Northbrige, Soutbridge, and the busses that connect them.
    Patrick Michael, May 5, 2004
    #3
  4. JAGJR

    Tester Guest

    "Michael J. Apollyon" <> wrote in message news:<4F6mc.11233$>...
    > JAGJR wrote:
    > > I'm studying for the exam using Mike Meyer's All-In-One A+ Fifth edition.
    > >
    > > In regard to Motherboards, he notes that the A+ exam expects me to be able
    > > to identify the most popular types of mb's, their components and
    > > architecture.
    > >
    > > He includes a chart that lists the appropriate detail for a dozen or so
    > > chipsets. He also says (I'm paraphrasing) that it isn't possible to provide
    > > an inclusive chart with all chipsets that wouldn't be obsolete by the time
    > > you pick this book off the shelf.
    > >
    > > One of the review questions, at the end of the chapter, requires detailed
    > > knowledge of the chart in order to be answered.
    > >
    > > My questions is: How much time need I devote to memorizing chipset
    > > components and architecture ?
    > >
    > > Has anyone who has taken the test run across this type question?
    > >
    > > Thank you.

    >
    > JAGJR,
    >
    > IMHO, I wouldn't go crazy memorizing chipset specs for the exams. Even
    > with the 2003 Objectives, the exam still feels like it was mostly
    > written during the slot-1/BX chipset traditional northbridge/southbridge
    > days. The most you will be asked to do is identify it and it's
    > general role and functions. (Which depends heavily on the platform (eg
    > memory controller is no longer a function of the chipset on A64/Opteron
    > systems) and chipset itself (eg where the PCI controller is (NB/SB)).)
    >
    > Don't get me wrong, this is excellent field knowledge. In the absence
    > of other information, knowing the chipset can provide very useful
    > information such as: memory types and limitations; troubleshooting (eg
    > flawed USB/SDRAM implementations); as well as CPU and driver support.
    >
    > BTW, Chris Hare maintains an excellent and very comprehensive list of
    > chipsets at http://users.rcn.com/chare/chipsets (New, old, flawed,
    > braindead and stillborn, it's probably listed!)
    >
    > Best of luck!


    I took the Hardware test yesterday and didn't have a single question
    asking to identify parts on a mobo or ask about chipsets. I know that
    the questions were probably taken from a pool of questions but from my
    experience, there weren't any. In fact, about 50 of the questions had
    answers that came from experience and nothing I read in the All-In-One
    A+ Certification Exam Guide, Fifth Edition by Micheal Meyers or the
    Cram Exams 2 book from Que.
    Tester, May 6, 2004
    #4
  5. JAGJR

    JAGJR Guest

    Thank you all very much. I appreciate each of your responses.
    JAGJR, May 6, 2004
    #5
  6. JAGJR

    Eric Guest

    In my experience, Mike includes stuff in the "test specific" section that
    isn't actually on the test, because he wants us to be good techs, not just
    pass the A+. A good tech doesn't have to look stuff up...he/she already
    knows it (at least for most stuff).

    "Drew" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    >
    > The most you will be asked is something general like given a general
    > picture of a motherboard, pick out where the RAM goes. I too don't
    > know why Mike would say that you needed knowledge of individual
    > chipsets. Its definitely not on the A+ test and never will be. One
    > would think Mike would know this. On the other hand, more knowledge
    > is always good but you definitely don't need to memorize chipsets for
    > the test. To me, that's stuff you can look up online or in manuals if
    > you need it while working out in the field.
    >
    > Drew
    >
    >
    > On Thu, 06 May 2004 01:22:56 GMT, "JAGJR" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Thank you all very much. I appreciate each of your responses.
    > >

    >
    Eric, May 8, 2004
    #6
  7. LOL :p

    Good techs KNOW the chipset features / L1 cache / L2 cache / bus speeds /
    date of introduction / date of retirement / possible speeds and precise
    measurement in picometres!

    Of course, "good A+ certified techs" know all that and a bag of chips eh?

    I look forward to my greatly expanded forehead, cool long jacket (for
    walking in slow motion with my other long jacketed friends) and wrap around
    shades upon passing!
    "Eric" <> wrote in message
    news:Wm6nc.93018$...
    > In my experience, Mike includes stuff in the "test specific" section that
    > isn't actually on the test, because he wants us to be good techs, not just
    > pass the A+. A good tech doesn't have to look stuff up...he/she already
    > knows it (at least for most stuff).
    >
    > "Drew" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >
    > >
    > > The most you will be asked is something general like given a general
    > > picture of a motherboard, pick out where the RAM goes. I too don't
    > > know why Mike would say that you needed knowledge of individual
    > > chipsets. Its definitely not on the A+ test and never will be. One
    > > would think Mike would know this. On the other hand, more knowledge
    > > is always good but you definitely don't need to memorize chipsets for
    > > the test. To me, that's stuff you can look up online or in manuals if
    > > you need it while working out in the field.
    > >
    > > Drew
    > >
    > >
    > > On Thu, 06 May 2004 01:22:56 GMT, "JAGJR" <>
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > > >Thank you all very much. I appreciate each of your responses.
    > > >

    > >

    >
    >
    Bloke_in_a_box, May 10, 2004
    #7
  8. JAGJR

    Thumper Guest

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 14:40:23 -0400, "ImhoTech" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Eric" <> wrote in message
    >news:Wm6nc.93018$...
    >> In my experience, Mike includes stuff in the "test specific" section that
    >> isn't actually on the test, because he wants us to be good techs, not just
    >> pass the A+. A good tech doesn't have to look stuff up...he/she already
    >> knows it (at least for most stuff).
    >>

    >
    >Sorry but that's absolute BS. The BEST techs know what they know, but more
    >importantly know what they don't know, and the strongest skill they have is
    >the ability to recognize and research a problem.
    >

    You got it. I've been working in electronics and computers for over
    40 years. A tech's best asset is knowing where to go for the
    answer/info that they don't know. That includes knowing who to ask
    when you don't know the answer. Most people have their specialty such
    as W98. If you work in a shop or have a friend who works extensively
    on W98 don't be afraid to ask. He/she will undoubtedly have something
    to ask you some time. I know some here think that everyone should
    research it and look it up themselves but I don't agree. That's not
    to say that you shouldn't try to look things up or research them
    yourself first but you and your customer can't afford you to take
    forever. Call your buddy and see if he can steer you in the right
    direction.
    Thumper
    Thumper, May 10, 2004
    #8
  9. On Sat, 8 May 2004 09:50:42 -0500, "Eric" <> wrote:

    >In my experience, Mike includes stuff in the "test specific" section that
    >isn't actually on the test, because he wants us to be good techs, not just
    >pass the A+. A good tech doesn't have to look stuff up...he/she already
    >knows it (at least for most stuff).


    But of course a good tech must look up a lot of stuff. A good tech
    knows to not trust human memory. For example...

    In electronics repair, it is considered normal practice to maintain a
    repair log. Sure, you see something 20 times a month and it becomes
    second nature, but if it's something you see twice a year, have it
    logged to save time. Time is money.

    Tom

    >
    >"Drew" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>
    >>
    >> The most you will be asked is something general like given a general
    >> picture of a motherboard, pick out where the RAM goes. I too don't
    >> know why Mike would say that you needed knowledge of individual
    >> chipsets. Its definitely not on the A+ test and never will be. One
    >> would think Mike would know this. On the other hand, more knowledge
    >> is always good but you definitely don't need to memorize chipsets for
    >> the test. To me, that's stuff you can look up online or in manuals if
    >> you need it while working out in the field.
    >>
    >> Drew
    >>
    >>
    >> On Thu, 06 May 2004 01:22:56 GMT, "JAGJR" <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Thank you all very much. I appreciate each of your responses.
    >> >

    >>

    >
    Tom MacIntyre, May 11, 2004
    #9
  10. I have the same book, in the front part of it he mentions that its not
    necessary to know the difference between chipsets. Personally, I don't think
    you need to know to much about chipsets, stick to knowing the processors
    instead.

    "JAGJR" <> wrote in message
    news:_%Olc.33610$...
    > I'm studying for the exam using Mike Meyer's All-In-One A+ Fifth edition.
    >
    > In regard to Motherboards, he notes that the A+ exam expects me to be able
    > to identify the most popular types of mb's, their components and
    > architecture.
    >
    > He includes a chart that lists the appropriate detail for a dozen or so
    > chipsets. He also says (I'm paraphrasing) that it isn't possible to

    provide
    > an inclusive chart with all chipsets that wouldn't be obsolete by the time
    > you pick this book off the shelf.
    >
    > One of the review questions, at the end of the chapter, requires detailed
    > knowledge of the chart in order to be answered.
    >
    > My questions is: How much time need I devote to memorizing chipset
    > components and architecture ?
    >
    > Has anyone who has taken the test run across this type question?
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    >
    Fred Mathering, May 12, 2004
    #10
  11. "Eric" <> wrote in message
    news:Wm6nc.93018$...
    > In my experience, Mike includes stuff in the "test specific" section that
    > isn't actually on the test, because he wants us to be good techs, not just
    > pass the A+. A good tech doesn't have to look stuff up...he/she already
    > knows it (at least for most stuff).
    >


    Eh...that's great, except it's a waste of time to memorize chipset and
    motherboad specs because there are so many of them and they change so often.
    It's much more important to understand what those specs mean, how to
    interpret them, and where to look up that information.
    Patrick Michael, May 13, 2004
    #11
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