Build own PC -Checking Your Work

The term “jumper” gets tossed around a lot when it comes to upgrading computers.  A jumper refers to both a small piece of plastic called a “shunt” that is used to connect two pins together and the pins themselves.  Jumpers can be found everywhere including your motherboard, hard drive, CD/DVD drive, sound, video, network and modem cards.  The purpose of the jumpers is to configure or setup your component to work in a specific way.  

For example, an AGP video card that is capable of running at two different speeds might have one jumper that tells it which speed you want to run it at.  This jumper would consist of two tiny pins, standing side-by-side, somewhere on the video card.  This jumper has two distinct states: open and closed.   When open, the pins are exposed and physically not connected.   When closed, the shunt is covering both pins, connecting them together.  The video card itself is programmed to run at one speed when it is closed and at the other speed when it is open - this is the simplest form of a jumper.  Hard drives take it up a notch by grouping 2 or 3 jumpers together.  Most hard drives have 3 jumpers in a row, to make up a “block” of 6 pins.  By shunting (also called “jumpering”) these pins in a variety of combinations, you can program the drive to act differently. 

Jumpers are very straightforward and easy to understand; once you set your first jumper, you’ll know what we mean!

An important word about Jumper Settings
As we have mentioned in the video, our Abit motherboard is jumper-less.  That means it is configured using software called "Soft Menu II" instead of by selecting jumpers.  If you are not using a jumper-less board it is extremely important you configure your jumper settings at this time.  Doing this is relatively easy - simply consult your motherboard’s instruction manual.  Inside you should find a table, which lists the exact jumper settings for your particular CPU.  Sometimes there may be 3 or 4 jumpers you have to change.  Double-check your work and make sure you have your board configured properly before you continue. Most all newer motherboards are jumper-less.

A DIP-switch is a tiny switch that, like a light switch, can be either on or off.  Usually, DIP-switches aren't found alone, but rather in block grouped together with other DIP-switches.  Like jumpers, the purpose of a DIP-switch is to configure or setup your component to work in a specific way.

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