The term bus has several different but related meanings in computer circles. Earlier in this chapter, I used the word in reference to the speed of the interface between the CPU and the motherboard. Another meaning relates to the physical and electrical interface between the motherboard and the various plug-in boards you can add to the motherboard. On most computers, you use such boards to provide a variety of both critical and less-critical functions, such as a video board, sound board, and so on.
There are half a dozen major bus types. Most motherboards implement two or three of them, but a few are restricted to just one bus type. A few motherboards, mostly those in specialized products and notebooks, contain no expansion bus slots at all. They usually implement the electronics involved internally in order to support features such as video and audio. Some busses are in common use today, but others are largely relics of the past. You might encounter these outmoded busses on 80486 and earlier motherboards, but seldom on Pentium-class models or above.
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