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INTRODUCTION TO - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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INTRODUCTION TO. PC ARCHITECTURE. MAIN COMPONENTS OF A COMPUTER. 5 main components Motherboard The central processing unit ( CPU ) Memory I/O ports Hard Disc. MOTHERBOARDS. A big, flat circuit board that covers the entire floor of the PC casing.

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Introduction to



Introduction to


  • 5 main components

    • Motherboard

    • The central processing unit ( CPU )

    • Memory

    • I/O ports

    • Hard Disc

Introduction to


  • A big, flat circuit board that covers the entire floor of the PC casing.

  • The heart of the computer as all of its connections leading out from itself into every device in the machine

  • Everything has to be compatible to it. The motherboard design fixes the maximum speed of CPU that you can use.

Introduction to


  • Now CPU is the ‘brain’ of the computer

  • It processes data and coordinate tasks among different components

  • works in direct harmony

    • if the motherboard has a slow bus speed, it will reduce the performance of new processor that has better speed.


  • collection of wires through which data is transmitted from one part of a computer to another. You can think of a bus as a highway on which data travels within a computer

  • Every bus has a clock speed measured in MHz.

Introduction to

CPU performance

  • CPU speed is not a reliable indicator of CPU performance.

  • Many factors inside and outside of the CPU exert a significant impact on CPU performance, and on overall system performance.

  • CPU speed is measure in megahertz.

  • A 1MHz CPU = 1 million cycles per second.

Introduction to

CPU performance – c’tnd

  • Does this mean that a 2MHz CPU is twice as fast as a 1Mhz CPU?

    • Not necessarily. This depends on how much work each CPU accomplishes in each clock cycle.

  • The 1MHz CPU might very well be faster, in practice, than the 2Mhz CPU - if it is more efficient or can process more tasks in each CPU cycle.

Introduction to

CPU - The Cache

  • The purpose of a cache is to enable the CPU to access recently used information very quickly and will significantly affect CPU performance.

  • Some caches are bigger than others. A typical L1 cache is 256Kb and a typical L2 cache is 1MB.

  • Generally speaking, the larger the cache, the better the system performance boost. However, this is not always the case.

  • A cache operates at a certain speed, just like the core of the CPU. Some caches operate at the full speed of the CPU, while others operate at half that speed or less.

Introduction to

The Front Side Bus

  • The Front Side Bus (FSB) is the connection between the CPU and system memory.

  • The Front Side Bus operates at a speed which is a percentage of the CPU clock speed.

  • The faster the speed at which the Front Side Bus allows data transfer, the better the performance of the CPU.

Introduction to

CPU - System Memory

  • RAM has an access speed. Faster RAM will mean the CPU has to wait less often for data. This will, effectively, make the CPU faster.

Introduction to


  • Intel Pentium

  • Motorola/IBM PowerPC

  • AMD K7

  • ARM StrongArm

  • Compaq (DIGITAL) Alpha

  • ZilogZ80

  • Motorola 68000

  • 6502

Introduction to


  • Storage devices:

    • Floppy drive

    • Hard drive

    • CD-ROM drive

  • Usually, these devices connect to the computer through an Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface.

  • Essentially, an IDE interface is a standard way for a storage device to connect to a computer.

IDE cable

Introduction to

Are you idle?

Yes, go ahead and do your task

  • Most motherboards come with dual IDE interfaces (primary and secondary) for up to four IDE devices

  • To allow for two drives on the same cable, IDE uses a special configuration called master and slave.

  • This configuration allows one drive's controller to tell the other drive when it can transfer data to or from the computer.

  • If the master drive is communicating with the computer, it tells the slave drive to wait and then informs it when it can go ahead.

  • This is done using the signal at Pin 39. Pin 39 carries a special signal, called Drive Active/Slave Present (DASP), that checks to see if a slave drive is present.



Introduction to


  • SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is used nowadays compared to IDE as connectors

  • One of the main design advantages of SATA is that the thinner serial cables facilitate more efficient airflow and also allow for smaller chassis designs

  • However, motherboards may come with both IDE and SATA connectors

Introduction to


  • Two types of memory

    • Random Access Memory (RAM)

      • Temporary storage of the data takes place. The data in RAM will be lost when the PC is shut down

      • Dynamic RAM and Static RAM

      • Function: Read and Write

    • Read Only Memory (ROM)

      • Holds certain coding or information that controls certain things about the computer system. The content WILL NOT be cleared when the PC is shut down.

      • Function: Read

Introduction to

RAM installations

When installing the memory module you should apply even force on both ends of the module, so that both clips snap into place simultaneously.

One thing you should never do is try to force a memory module into place. If you can’t push the module into place there are two possible reasons – you forgot to retract the retainer clips or the module is facing the wrong way

Introduction to

Power supply

The power supply is visible from the back of many systems because it contains the power-cord receptacle and the cooling fan.

Connectors for power supply to the motherboard

Introduction to

ATX Power supply

  • ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) is a computer form factor designed by Intel in 1995.

  • So, ATX is mainly a form factor

Introduction to

I/O Ports

  • This covers all the socket especially at the back of the PC

  • The intention of these ports are to plug in external hardware such as a printer or a mouse into your PC

  • They work, for the most part, by being connected into the motherboard.

Introduction to


  • The main storage device, where it holds huge programs and file sizes. So, the bigger, the better.

  • It stores data by magnetizing each section of the disc.

Hard disc with IDE connectors

Introduction to


  • Inside the hard disc:

    • A read and write head and it performs the reading and writing from the disc.

    • The heads do the work of converting bits to magnetic pulses and storing them on the sectors, and then reversing the process when the data needs to be read back.

    • If a sector fills up then the head will move to another sector, no matter where.

    • It has a special area that is allocated for File Allocation Table (FAT)

    • It is a table that an operating system maintains on a hard disk that tells the read/write head where all the pieces of information it needs.

    • Some parts of files get put in random places which are called fragments.

      • So, a disc Defragmenter can be use to put them in an orderly fashion and therefore, improves access time.

Introduction to


  • Every hard disk must have a consistent "starting point" where key information is stored about the disk, such as the number of partitions and what type they are.

  • There also must be someplace where the BIOS can load the initial boot program that starts the process of loading the operating system.

  • The place where this information is stored is called the

  • The MBR is located on the first sector of a disk

Master Boot Record (MBR)

Introduction to

HARD DISC – Master Boot Record (MBR)

  • The master boot record contains the following structures:

    • Master Partition Table: This small bit of code that is referred to as a table contains a complete description of the partitions that are contained on the hard disk.

      • FAT is stored in MASTER PARTITION TABLE

    • Master Boot Code: The master boot code is the small bit of computer code that the BIOS loads and executes to start the boot process. This code, when fully executed, transfers control to the boot program stored on the boot (active) partition to load the operating system.

Introduction to

Solid State Disk/Drive (SSD)

  • Solid State Disk.

    • DRAM base.

    • No mechanical part thus no mechanical error.

    • Among the advantages, super faster boot time.

Introduction to


  • Expansion cards

    • Cards inside PC that gives it some features

    • Eg: internal modems and graphic cards

PCI = Peripheral Component Interconnect

Introduction to

Expansion card – PCI local bus

  • Peripheral Component Interconnect

    • an industry-standard bus for attaching peripherals to computers

    • has displaced ISA and VESA Local Bus

    • It is now replaced by PCIe (PCI Express)

      • PCIe employs serial links whereas PCI uses parallel links

      • Serial links: data can be sent over the bus in two directions at once.

      • Parallel links: data goes in one direction.

    • Hence, for example, PCIe will provide much faster video than the PCI.