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Jacob Twyman

IT P1

Unit 2

Definitions and meanings for Computer terms


Processors A processor is a microchip in the hard drive of the CPU that takes the instructions that are sent by the computer, and processes them. A dual processor means there are two working at the same time, as to increase productivity and increases performance. Motherboard A circuit board that has the ROM, RAM, CPU, PCI and USB ports attached to it. The motherboard is the key part of the computer like the brain of a PC/laptop. BIOS (Basic Output/Input System) A pre-installed firmware that includes the time and date (bottom right). The computer needs this to actually work properly, and without it the computer wont work. It is found on the ROM, but more specifically in an EPROM chip (erasable programmable read-only memory). The BIOS comes on as soon as you start the computer. PCB (Printed Circuit Board) A circuit board used to connect different electronic components using many conductive pathways. It would send signals to different parts of the circuit board telling them to do something. ROM (Read Only Memory) This is memory that cannot be re-written once it has been written once. It is also non-volatile which means it does not get removed from the CPU once it has been switched off. Peripheral A word for a hardware device i.e. outside the CPU itself. For example, a mouse and keyboard are Peripheral devices. Port The word for the socket or the place where a specific cable would go into e.g. USB port would be the place where you put a USB stick into your CPU. USB (Universal Serial Bus) This is a type of flash memory stored on a very small USB stick. It can hold anything from 500MB to 32GB and is portable, hence the small size and weight. GHz (Gigahertz) A unit of measurement meaning 1000 Megahertz or 1,000,000,000 Hertz. Giga A unit of Prefix in the Metric system meaning 1,000,000,000 (1 billion). RAM (Random Access Memory) Similar to ROM except this can be re-written, and an example of this would be a word document, because however many times you open it, you can still change things within it. Although this form of memory is volatile. PSU (Power Supply Unit) The part of a CPU that allows it to work and will also be allowed to charge up the battery cell on a laptop.

Jacob Twyman

IT P1

Unit 2

AC (Alternating Current) This is the power supply that alters the direction of the current. DC (Direct Current) This is the power supply that keeps the same direction of the current, hence direct. Heat Sink A component that not only cools down the CPU but will also gather all of the heat and dissipate it to cover all of the CPU instead of a specific part of it. Processor cooling fan The part of the CPU that cools it down and makes everything run much faster as the heat and dust will not be preventing optimum speed. IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) An interface for connecting additional multiple storage drives to a computer system. Some drives like CD-ROMs can attach to IDE connectors. SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) a cable for connecting host bus adapters to mass storage devices. It would connect things like Hard Drives and Optical Drives. Master drive The primary drive on an IDE chain. This is normally bootable and contains critical files from the Operating System. Slave drive The drive that does not have critical files but instead has file storage. It is controlled by the Master Drive, hence the name Slave.