Basic Computing Study Guide 7 major components of a computer
7 major components of a computer • Power Supply • Motherboard • CPU • Hard drive • RAM • CD/DVD Drive Optical Drive • Video Card
Power Supplies • The power supply converts electricity into a usable form for all components in the computer. • The CPU is made up of millions of on/off switches. Without electricity there can be no switches inside the computer.
Motherboard • The motherboards main job is to hold the main processor chip • The motherboard ties everything together. It allows every component of the computer to function together.
Items located on the motherboard • BIOS: Basic Input/Output System located on the motherboard • PCI: Peripheral Component Interconnect –typical slot where expansion cards are inserted • AGP: Accelerated Graphics Port –High End Monitor slot • IDE: Integrated Drive Electronics --Typical connection for hard drives and optical drives • USB: Universal Serial Port –Port where many different peripherial devices can be connected to the motherboard (computer) • IEEE 1394: Firewire –High speed connection. Used mainly for Video and Audio transferring • RAM: Random Access Memory –Where programs that are running on the computer are stored • Bonus…RAID: redundant array of independent disks
BIOS • The primary function of the BIOS is to identify and initialize system component hardware (such as the video display card, hard disk, and floppy disk) and some other hardware devices.
Hard drives • Hard disks give computers the ability to remember things when the power goes out. • A typical computer can have more than one hard drive. • On a hard disk you can move to any point on the surface of the disk almost instantly. • A hard disk spins at up to 3,000 inches per second.
Hard Drive Capacity • IDE hard drives (typical hard drive you might have in your home computer) have the ability to load 133MB/s • Newer Hard drives can transfer data over twice as fast • On a hard disk you can move to any point on the surface of the disk almost instantly. A hard disk spins at up to 3,000” per second.
CD/DVD Optical Drive • Data on CD/DVD’s are stable and are not easily erased. CD’s hold roughly 700MB of data DVD’s hold 4.3 GB
RAM • A data storage device that allows data to be accessed in any order. • The word random thus refers to the fact that any piece of data can be returned in a constant time regardless of its physical location and whether or not it is related to the previous piece of data
Video Card • PChardware component whose function is to generate and output images to a display. It operates on similar principles as a sound card or other peripheral devices. • Some video cards offer added functions, such as video capture, TV tuner adapter, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoding or even FireWire, mouse, light pen, joystick connectors, or even the ability to connect multiple monitors.
CPU • Central Processing Unit • The CPU executes a sequence of stored instructions called a program. The program is represented by a series of numbers that are kept in some kind of computer memory. There are four steps that nearly all CPUs use in their operation: fetch, decode, execute, and writeback.