2 The System Unit A case that contains the electronic components of the computer used to process data.
3 The System Unit The case of the system unit, or chassis, is made of metal or plastic and protects the electrical components inside. The trend is towards a smaller form factor, or size and shape, of desktop computers.
4 The System Unit Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
5 The System Unit It is important to know the electronic components of the system unit in the event it needs to be open.
6 The Motherboard Also called the system board, is the main circuit board of the system unit. Many electronic components attach to the motherboard and others are built into it.
7 The Motherboard Slots for adapter cards, the processor, and memory.
8 The Motherboard Computer chips are small pieces of semiconducting material, usually silicon, on which integrated circuits are etched. IC s contain may microscopic pathways capable of carrying an electric current. They contain components such as resistors, capacitors, and transistors. Manufacturers package chips to be attached to a circuit board, such at the motherboard or adapter cards.
9 Processor Also called the central processing unit (CPU), interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer. Impacts overall computing power and manages most of the computer s operations.
11 Processor Most processor chips manufacturers offer multi-core processors, single chips with two or more separate processor cores. Dual-core: 2 cores Quad-core: 4 cores Each core runs at a slower clock speed than a single core processor, but still increase the overall performance.
13 Processor Contain a control unit and an arithmetic logic unit (ALU) Control Unit: Component of the processor that directs and coordinates most of the operations in the computer. Arithmetic Logic Unit: Component of the processor that performs arithmetic, comparison, and other operations.
15 Machine Cycle For every instruction, a processor repeats a set of four basic operations, which comprise a machine cycle
16 Machine Cycle Fetching: Process of obtaining a program instruction or data item from memory. Decoding: Process of translating the instruction into signals the computer can execute. Executing: Process of carrying out the commands. Storing: Writing results to memory.
17 Machine Cycle
18 Machine Cycle With pipelining, the processor begins fetching a second instruction before it completes the machine cycle for the first.
19 Registers Small, high-speed storage locations that temporarily hold data and instructions. A part of the processor, itself.
20 The System Clock A small quartz crystal circuit used to control the timing of all computer operations. Each tick equates to a clock cycle. Today, processors are superscalar, which means they can execute more than one instruction per clock cycle.
21 The System Clock Clock speed is the pace of the system clock and is measured by the numbers of ticks per second. Current personal computers have clock speeds in the gigahertz range. One gigahertz (GHz) equals one billion ticks of the system clock per second.
22 Comparison of Personal Computer Processors Intel Core family for high-performance. Pentium or Celeron for basic computers. Xeon or Itanium for workstations and lowend servers. AMD Intel compatible processors, structured similar to Intel, perform same functions, can be as powerful, often are less expensive.
23 Comparison of Personal Computer Processors
24 Buying a Personal Computer
25 Processor Cooling Processors generate heat which could cause the chip to burn up. The computer fans generate airflow, but the processor requires additional cooling. Heat sinks/pipes and liquid cooling are often used to dissipate processor heat.
26 Processor Cooling A heat sink is a small ceramic or metal component with fins to absorb and disperse heat. Liquid Cooling Technology uses a flow of fluid to transfer heated fluid away from the processor, gets cooled, and returns to the processor, continuously.
27 Parallel Processing A method that uses multiple processors simultaneously to execute a single program or task. A single problem is divided into portions and multiple processors work on their assigned portion at the same time. Special software is needed to divide the problem and bring the results back together again. Super computers use massive parallel processing for applications such as artificial intelligence and weather forecasting.
28 Data Representation Most computers are digital, meaning they recognize two discrete states: on and off. This is due to the two states of electrical switches. Two digits, 0 and 1, represent off and on respectively, which is the basis for the binary system.
29 Data Representation The binary system is a number system that has just two unique digits, 0 and 1, called bits. A bit is the smallest unit of data the computer can process. A byte is 8 bits grouped together as a unit, totally 256 unique combinations.
30 Data Representation Binary that represents characters are defined by patterns called coding schemes. ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is the most widely used coding scheme.
31 Data Representation Unicode is a 16-bit coding scheme that has the capacity of representing more than 65,000 characters. It is large enough to fit almost all of the world s current written language as well as classic languages, even reserving 30,000 codes for future expansion.
32 Data Representation ASCII and Unicode standards make it possible for components in computers to communicate.
33 Memory Consists of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those instructions, and the results of processing the data. Memory usually consists of one or more chips on the motherboard or some other circuit board on the computer.
34 Bytes and Addressable Memory A byte is the basic storage unit in memory. The instructions and data exist in memory as bytes. An address is a location in memory where each byte resides temporarily.
35 Memory Sizes Manufacturers state the size of memory and storage devices in terms of the number of bytes of available storage.
36 Types of Memory Two types of memory: Volatile memory: Memory that loses its contents when the power is turned off. RAM Nonvolatile memory: Memory that does not lose its contents when the power is turned off. ROM, flash memory, and CMOS
37 RAM Users typically are referring to RAM when discussing computer memory. RAM (random access memory), or main memory, consists of memory chips that can be read from and written to by the processor and other devices. When the computer is powered up, the RAM is initially populated with operating system files from a storage devices, such as a hard disk.
38 RAM The processor interprets and executes instructions while the program is in RAM. Most RAM is volatile, so it will lose its contents when the power is removed. RAM chips usually reside on a memory module, which is a small circuit board. Memory slots on the motherboard hold the memory modules.
40 RAM Configurations The amount of RAM necessary in a computer often depends on the types of software you plan to use. Retail software typically indicates the minimum amount of RAM it requires.
41 Cache Pronounced cash, helps improve processing times. Memory cache stores frequently used instructions and data. L1 cache: built directly into processor chip, usually small (8-128 KB) L2 cache: slightly slower than L1 with larger capacity (64KB-16MB) L3 cache: on the motherboard, often up to 8MB
42 Cache When the processor needs an instruction or data, it searches memory in this order: L1, L2, L3, then RAM, with a greater delay in processing for each level of memory it must search.
43 ROM ROM (Read-only memory) refers to memory chips storing permanent data and instructions. The data cannot be modified on most ROM chips and is nonvolatile. ROM chips called firmware contain permanently written data, instructions, or information. PROM is a programmable ROM on which a programmer can write permanently. EEPROM is an electrically erasable PROM.
44 Flash Memory A type of nonvolatile memory that can be erased electronically and rewritten, similar to EEPROM. It allows computers to store startup instructions and is easy to update contents. They store data and programs for many mobile computers and devices such as smart phones, portable media players, and digital cameras.
45 CMOS Some RAM chips. Flash memory chips, and other memory chips use complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) technology because it provides high speeds and consumes little power. Battery backed CMOS chips keep the date and time even when the computer is turned off.
46 Memory Access Time Access time is the amount of time it takes the processor to read data, instructions, and information from memory. Directly affects how fast the computer processes data. Accessing data in memory can be more than 200,000 times faster than accessing data on a hard disk because of the mechanical motion of the hard disk.
47 Memory Access Time Access times can be given in terms of fractional seconds, such as nanoseconds (one billionth of a second) or in terms of Hz. The higher the hertz (MHz, GHz) the faster the access time; conversely, the lower the nanoseconds, the faster the access time.
48 Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards An expansion slot is a socket on the motherboard that can hold an adapter card. An adapter card, or expansion card, is a circuit board that enhances functions of a component of the system unit and/or provides connections to peripherals. Peripherals are devices that connect to the system unit and is controlled by the processor in the computer. Modems, disk drives, printers, scanners, keyboards.
49 Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards Sound cards enhance the soundgenerating capabilities of a personal computer. Video cards, or graphics cards, convert computer output into a video signal that is sent to the monitor to be displayed.
50 Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards Plug and Ply (PnP) support allows the computer to automatically configure adapter cards and other peripherals as you install them.
51 Removable Flash Memory With hot plugging, flash memory devices can be changed without shutting down or restarting the computer. A memory card is a removable flash memory device that you can insert and remove from a slot in a personal computer, game console, mobile device, or card reader/writer. A USB flash drive is a flash memory storage device that plugs in a USB port.
52 Ports and Connectors A port is the point at which a peripheral attaches to or communicates with a system unit so that the peripheral can send data to or receive information from the computer. A connector joins a cable to a port.
53 Ports and Connectors
54 Ports and Connectors USB port, or universal serial bus port, can connect up to 127 different peripherals with a single connector. FireWire port, similar to USB, used for connecting devices that require faster data transmission, such as video cameras.
55 Other Ports Bluetooth uses radio waves to transmit data between two devices. SCSI port is a special high-speed parallel port for peripherals. esata port, IrDA Port, Serial Ports, MIDI Port.
56 Buses Bits transfer internally within the circuitry of a computer along electrical channels, called buses, which allow for various devices, both inside and attached to the system unit, to communicate with each other. The size of the bus, called bus width, determines the number of bits that the computer can transmit at one time. In conjunction with the bus width, many computer professionals refer to a computer s word size, which is the number of bits the processor can interpret and execute at a given time.
57 Expansion Bus Some peripherals outside the system unit connect to a port on an adapter card inserted in an expansion slot which connects to the expansion bus. The most common types are: PCI bus, PCI Express bus, AGP bus, USB, FireWire bus, and PC Card bus.
58 Bays A bay is an opening inside the system unit in which you can install additional equipment. A drive bay is a rectangular opening that typically holds disk drives. An external bay allows a user to access openings in the bay from outside the system unit, like optical disc drives.
59 Power Supply The component of the system unit that converts the wall outlet AC power into DC power, which the computer can use. Different motherboards and computers require different wattages.
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