Difference between revisions of "Cards vs Memory"

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== Objective ==
== Objective ==

Latest revision as of 15:40, 5 July 2014


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To be able to recognize, at a glance, the memory slots and the card slots on the motherboard.

It is very important to know the difference between memory sticks and cards when looking at them. It is also important to know where in the motherboard each would plug in.


The Motherboard is the large printed circuit board that contains the processor and integrates all the peripheral input and output to and from the computer.


Cards, or "Expansion Cards", are used to add a function to the computer. For example, a video card allows the computer to be plugged into a monitor. A sound card allows a computer to be plugged into speakers. Sometimes these functions are built into the motherboard - sometimes a card needs to be added. There are many different types of cards with different functions.


Memory is used for temporary storage and workspace. It will "remember" what you are typing into the computer while the computer is on. This is different than permanent storage (like a hard drive) in that whatever is in memory will fade away quite quickly when you turn your computer off. Memory is often called "Random Access Memory" or "RAM" for short. Some common types of RAM are: RAMBUS, SDRAM, and DDR.



Cards plug into a motherboard in such a way that one end is visible from the back of the computer. This means that the card slots will be pointing towards the back of the motherboard, and nothing will be in their way to reach the back. (You can determine which edge of the motherboard is the back by looking for connectors for the keyboard and other devices that are built in.)

Memory is also plugged into the motherboard, but will be completely inside the computer when it is fully assembled, so the slot does not need to point toward the back of the computer, or any direction in particular.


  • Can you find where the memory would plug into the sample motherboards in the box?
  • Can you find where the cards would plug into the sample motherboards in the box?
  • Identify a stick of memory from among the things in the box.
  • Identify an expansion card from among the things in the box.

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