Computer systems
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Computer Systems. Nat 4/5 Computing Science Types of Computer and Performance. Lesson Aims. By the end of this lesson: Pupils at Nat 4 level will be able to: Describe and use clock speed as an indicator of performance Pupils aiming for Nat 5 will be able to

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Computer Systems

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Computer systems

Computer Systems

Nat 4/5 Computing Science

Types of Computer and Performance


Lesson aims

Lesson Aims

By the end of this lesson:

  • Pupils at Nat 4 level will be able to:

    • Describe and use clock speed as an indicator of performance

  • Pupils aiming for Nat 5 will be able to

    • Describe the uses of embedded, smartphone, laptop, desktop and supercomputers.

    • Compare features of embedded, smartphone, laptop, desktop and mainframe computers:

    • Discuss the type and speed of processors


Clock speed

Nat 4/5

Clock Speed

  • Clock speed is the simplest measure of performance

  • This is the amount of operations that the computer can perform in one second

    • Modern home CPU’s operate in the 2.4-3.2 GHz range

    • This means at least 2,400,000,000 instructions per second


Speed isn t everything

Nat 4/5

Speed isn't everything

  • Some processors have 2, four or six cores

    • 2,3,4,6, 8 or 16 cores are the usual options

  • This means that there are 2, 4 or 6 smaller processors built into a single processor.

    • Each core can work on a single instruction

      • The faster the processor the more heat they generate.

So which is better?

Dual core at 3.5Ghz or Quad core at 2.4Ghz?


Sometimes power is key

Nat 4/5

Sometimes power is key

  • Other processors might need a very low power usage

    • For example using in netbooks, mobile phones or other portable devices.


Apples and oranges

Nat 4/5

Apples and Oranges

  • When comparing performance it helps if the processors are of similar type etc.

    • For example you cannot compare the clock speed of a Dual Core processor to that of a Quad core processor.

    • The fastest supercomputer only has a clock speed of 1.6 Ghz (but it does have1,572,864 of them!)

      • 1.6 Pb of RAM might help too!


Types of computer

Nat 4/5

Types of Computer

  • As technology improves the types of computer produced change.

  • Social factors also change types of popular computers

    • For example laptop sales in the last few years have surpassed desktops.

    • There are an increase in smart phones

  • And almost every piece of equipment will have a computer ‘embedded’ inside it


Different types of computer

Nat 4/5

Different Types of Computer

  • For each type of system you need to identify:

    • The features of the computer system, a purpose for each system, advantages and disadvantages for each system.

Laptop

Desktop

Smartphone

Embedded

Tablet

Mainframe


Moore s law

Nat 4/5

Moore's Law

  • In 1965 the co-founder of Intel(Gordon Moore) made a prediction that:

    • “The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months.”

  • So far this ‘law’ has held true but there are physical limits that will be reached.

    • Current processors are manufactured using 32 nanometre transistors (switches)

    • Intel has developed transistors so small that about 200 million of them could fit on the head of a pin


Summary

Summary

You need to be familiar with the following types of computers

  • Embedded, laptop, desktop, supercomputer and smartphone

    And compare them in terms of:

  • Type and speed of processor

  • Size of main memory

  • Backing storage

  • Input and output devices

Nat 4/5


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