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Videos – Do you need to view them?. Since Chapter 4, System Unit, is a more technical chapter than the first three chapters. I recommend that you do watch the video clips. It is just another means of communicating the concepts within Chapter 4.

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videos do you need to view them
Videos – Do you need to view them?

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

Since Chapter 4, System Unit, is a more technical chapter than the first three chapters. I recommend that you do watch the video clips. It is just another means of communicating the concepts within Chapter 4.

If the video clips take too long to download, you will just have to move on to the next slide.

As before, view this presentation in the Slide Show View to preserve any hyperlinks and animation.

I hope you find that my presentations help prepare you for the exams. Besides, a multi-media presentation like this takes a long time to create.


Let’s take a look inside of the box, Arr!

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is the system unit
What is thesystem unit?
  • Case that contains electronic components of the computer used to process data
    • Sometimes called thechassis

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are common components inside the system unit
What are common components inside the system unit?
  • Processor
  • Memory
  • Adaptercards
    • Sound card
    • Modem card
    • Video card
    • Network card
  • Ports
  • Drive bays
  • Powersupply

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


Click to view the “How Stuff Works” Video



Expansion Cards

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


adapter cards

processor chip

memory chips

memory slots

Expansionslots for adapter cards


  • What is themotherboard?
  • Main circuit board in system unit
  • Contains adapter cards, processor chips, andmemory chips
  • Also calledsystem board

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

check out the following terms at webopedia
Check out the following terms at Webopedia.

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

Short CHIP video

Chip = A small piece of semiconducting material (usually silicon) on which an integrated circuit is embedded.

A typical chip is less than ¼-square inches and can contain millions of electronic components (transistors - switch).

Computers consist of many chips placed on electronic circuit boards. There are different types of chips. For example:

CPU chips (also called microprocessors) contain an entire processing unit

Memory (RAM) chips contain blank memory (ROM chips studied later).

What is a CPU chip?
  • Small piece of semi-conducting material on which integrated circuits are etched
    • Integrated circuits contain many microscopic pathways capable of carrying electrical current
  • Chips are packaged so they can be attached to a circuit board

pin grid array (PGA) package holds processor chips

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is the central processing unit cpu
What is the Central Processing Unit - CPU


Control Unit

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)



  • Also called theprocessor

Control Unit

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

  • Interprets and carries out basic instructions that operate a computer
  • Control unitdirects and coordinates operations in computer






  • Arithmetic logic unit (ALU)performs arithmetic, comparison, and logical operations


what is a machine cycle
What is amachine cycle?




Control Unit

  • Four operations of the CPU comprise a machine cycle

Step 1. FetchObtain program instruction or data item from memory

Step 2. DecodeTranslate instruction into commands

Step 4. StoreWrite result to memory

Step 3. ExecuteCarry out command

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is pipelining
What ispipelining?
  • CPU begins fetching second instruction before completing machine cycle for first instruction
  • Results in faster processing

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


Temporary high-speed storage area that holds data and instructions

  • All data must be represented in a register before it can be processed.
  • What is aregister?

Stores location from where instruction was fetched

Stores data while ALU computes it

Stores instruction while it is being decoded

Stores results of calculation

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

registers located on the cpu
Registers – Located on the CPU









Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


A chip with two or more separate processors

  • A dual-core processor is a single chip that contains twoseparate processors
  • A quad-core processor is a single chip that contains fourseparate processors
  • Each processor on a multi-core chip generally runs at a slower clock speed, but the combined overall performance is greatly increased
  • What are multi-core processors?

View a multi-core processor video.

I recommend watching at least the first & last segments:

Overview & How It Works

Intel Video is well done!

What is thesystem clock?
  • Controls timing of all computer operations
  • Generates regular electronic pulses, or ticks, that set operating pace of components of system unit

Each tick is a clock cycle

Pace of system clock is clock speed

Most clock speeds are in the gigahertz (GHz) range (1 GHz = one billion ticks of system clock per second)

Frequently missed test item!

The system clock is but one item related to computer performance

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


Moore\'s LawVideo

In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore saw the future. His prediction, now popularly known as Moore\'s Law, states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years.

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS



For most users


Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

check your processor
Check Your Processor
  • Select My Computer

System Tasks; View System Information

How are chips made?

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are heat sinks and heat pipes
What areheat sinksandheat pipes?
  • Heat sink—componentwith fins that cools theprocessor on desktop computers

heat sink fan

  • Heat pipes—smallerdevice for notebookcomputers

heat sink

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is parallel processing
What isparallel processing?

Processor 1

Processor 2

Processor 3

Processor….100s -1,000s





  • Using multiple processors (could be hundreds or thousands of CPUs) simultaneously to execute a program faster
  • Requires special software to divide problem and bring results together

Control Processor

Results combined

A couple of examples of parallel processing in action.

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

how do computers represent data
How do computers represent data?
  • Most computers aredigital
  • Recognize only two discrete states: on or off
  • Use a binary systemto represent the two states
  • Use Number system with two unique digits: 0 and 1, called bits (short for binary digits)

Millions of Microscopic transistors on a chip

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

p. 4.13 Fig. 4-13

what is a byte
What is abyte?
  • Eight bits grouped together as a unit
  • Provides enough different combinations of 0s and 1s to represent 256 individual characters
    • Numbers
    • Uppercase and lowercase letters
    • Punctuation marks

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

popular coding schemes for data representation
Popular Coding Schemesfor Data Representation
  • Western European languages
    • AmericanStandardCodeforInformationInterchange
    • 7 bit code (128 characters)
    • PCs & Midrange servers
    • Most frequently used code in the world
    • ExtendedBinaryCoded DecimalInterchangeCode
    • 8 bit code (256 characters)
    • Mainframe & high-end servers
  • Asian languages (all languages)
    • 16 bit code (65,000 characters)
    • Operating systems
      • Windows
      • MAC OS
      • Linux

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


Chapter 4 - Part 2


Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

End Chapter 4: Part 1 - CPU

what is memory
What ismemory?

Seat #2B4

Seat #2B3

  • Electronic components that store instructions, data, and results (information)
  • Consists of one or more chips on motherboard orother circuit board
  • Each byte stored in unique location called anaddress, similar to seat numbers on a passenger train

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

how is memory measured
How is memory measured?
  • By number of bytes available for storage
  • Current computers typically have 2 – 8 gigabytes of memory

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is random access memory ram
What israndom access memory (RAM)?

Memory chips that can be read from and writtento by processor

Also called main memoryor primarystorage

Most RAM is volatile, it is lost when computer’s power is turned off

The more RAM a computer has, the faster it responds

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are three basic types of ram chips

Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM)

  • Uses magnetic charges to store data instead of electric charges, such as those used in SRAM and DRAM technologies. MRAM will retain data even when the power is turned off .
What are three basic types of RAM chips?

Most common type

Used for special applications such as cache

Faster and more reliable than DRAM chips

Faster variations of DRAM are SDRAM and RDRAM

Does not have to be re-energized as often; expensive

DynamicRAM (DRAM)

  • StaticRAM (SRAM)

Synchronized to the System Clock

Rambus – faster than SDRAM; use pipelining techniques

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

where does memory reside
Where does memory reside?

dual inline memory module

  • Resides on small circuit board calledmemory module
    • RIMMshold RDRAM chips
    • SIMM & DIMMs hold SDRAM chips
  • Memory slotson motherboard hold memory modules

memory chip

memory slot


Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

how much ram does an application require
How much RAM does an application require?

System Requirements

Windows® XP Home Edition/Professional

  • Intel Pentium processor at 233MHZ or higher
  • AMD K6 (Athlon Duron Family processor at 233MHZ or higher
  • 64 MB of RAM
  • Software package typically indicate the minimum RAM requirements
  • For optimal performance, you need more than minimum specifications

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is cache
What iscache?
  • A portion of memory made of high-speed static RAM (SRAM) instead of the slower and cheaper dynamic RAM (DRAM) used for main memory.
  • Memory caching is effective because most programs access the same data or instructions over and over. By keeping as much of this information as possible in SRAM, the computer avoids accessing the slower DRAM.
  • Also called memory cache

Cache memory video

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are the different kinds of cache memory
What are the different kinds of cache memory?
  • L1 cache built into processor
  • L2advanced transfer cacheis slower than L1 cache, but much larger capacity; built directly on processor chip; when discussing cache, most users are referring to L2 cache
    • Advanced transfer cache significantly increases the performance of a computer
  • L3 cache is separate from processor chip on motherboard (L3 is only on computers that use L2 advanced transfer cache)

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is read only memory
What is Read Only Memory?

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

Read-only memory (ROM) refers to memory chips storing permanent data and instructions

Unlike main memory (RAM), ROM retains its contents even when the computer is turned off. ROM is referred to as being nonvolatile, whereas RAM is volatile.

Most personal computers contain a small amount of ROM that stores critical programs such as the program that boots the computer.

  • Firmware is software (programs or data) that has been written onto read-only memory (ROM).

A PROM (programmable read-only memory) chip is a blank ROM chip that can be written to permanently

EEPROMelectrically erasable programmable read-only memory that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge.

what is flash memory
What isflash memory?
  • A specific type of EEPROM that can be erased and updated/reprogrammed.
  • Used with many mobile devices:
    • The flash memory can be built into the device or on removable memory cards
    • PDAs, digital cameras, digital cellular phones, music players, digital voice recorders, pagers, and thumb drives

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is access time
What isaccess time?
  • Amount of time it takes to locate, read, and transfer data from memory making it available for processing.
  • Very fast, measured in nanoseconds (ns), one billionth of a second
  • 1 blink = 1/10 of a second = 10 million computer operations

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS


Chapter 4 – Part 3





Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

End Chapter 4: Part 2 - Memory

what is an adapter card
What is anadapter card?

Types of Adapter Cards

  • Also called anexpansion card
  • A circuit board that enhances the computer system or provides connections to external devices calledperipherals
  • Expansion cards fit into expansion slots

Removing expansion card

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is plug and play
What is Plug and Play?
  • Refers to the ability of a computer system to automatically self-configure expansion boards and other devices
  • The user does not need to worry about setting switches, jumpers, and other configuration elements.

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is removable flash memory
What is removable flash memory?
  • APC cardadds memory, sound, modem, and other capabilities to notebook computers
  • Aflash memory card allows users to transfer data from mobile devices to desktop computers
  • AUSB flash drive for storage plugs into a USB port
  • Hot plugging allows you to insert and remove cards while the computer is running

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are ports and connectors
What areportsandconnectors?
  • A portconnects external devices to the system unit
    • There are many different types of ports
  • Connectordevice physically joins cable to peripheral
    • Available in one of two genders: male and female

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are different types of ports and connectors on your computer
What are different types of ports and connectors on your computer?

Very popular!

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

USB & Firewire

what are usb ports
What areUSB ports?

A single USB port can be used to attach multiple peripherals in a daisy chain or

via ahub

Third USB device connects to second USB device, and so on

PCs typically have two , four or more USB ports on front or back of the system unit

Second USB device connects to first USB device

First USB device connects to USB port on computer

USB (universal serial bus) port can connect up to 127 different peripherals together with a single connector type

Daisy Chain

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what are special purpose ports
What arespecial-purpose ports?
  • Allow users to attach specialized peripherals (digital video cameras, color printers, scanners, disk drives, etc.) or transmit data to wireless devices

Digital cameras; USB & FireWire may replace all other ports! BIG trend!

  • FireWire high speed port
    • 40+ times faster than USB
  • MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) port
  • SCSI (small computer system interface) high speed port
  • IrDA(InfraredData Association) line-of-sight port
  • BluetoothTM (wireless - short range radio waves) port
  • Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that provides high-speed Internet and networks connections

In the office; keyboards, printers, etc.

Very popular

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is a bus
What is abus?
  • When referring to a PC, it is a data path or channel (wires or circuit) that allows devices inside the computer to communicate with each other
  • System bus connects processor and RAM
  • Bus width determines number of bits transmitted at one time
  • Word size is the number of bits processor can interpret and execute at a given time

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

types of expansion buses
Types of expansion buses?
  • Expansion slots connect to expansion buses
  • Common types of expansion buses include:
what is an expansion bus
What is anexpansion bus?
  • Allows the processor to communicate with peripherals

AGP = 3-D graphics

System Bus = high-speed; connects RAM to processor (not an expansion bus)

PCI (local bus) = connects high-speed devices (SCSI cards, hard drives, sound cards, network cards; 4X faster than ISA)

ISA = older bus technology,

rapidly becoming obsolete

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

what is a bay
What is abay?
  • Open area inside system unit, the space is used to install additional equipment
  • Drive bays typically hold:
    • Disk drives
    • DVD/CD drives

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS

putting it all together
Putting It All Together

Buy one of these!

I prefer the

Core 2 Quad

Minimum: Core 2 Duo

What are suggested processor, clock speed, and RAM requirements based on the needs of various types of users?


Chapter 4 Complete

Video - The Apple Macintosh now uses an Intel processor!

Levi KreinAssociate Professor, CIS