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Gaming hardware

A computer is made up off a group of inter connected components that work together to give the user the tools to play games and use other
processes. All the platforms for gaming are different styles of computers as they all use the fundamental components like a CPU, GPU and a
motherboard.

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The motherboard is the most essential component for a PC as it is used to connect all the other components and enable the components to
interact and share data. The motherboard is a large circuit board that has lots of chipsets on to receive and transmit data across the circuits.
The motherboard has a back IO which enables user interface items to interact with the computer. The motherboard can be in varying sizes and
configurations some of these are ITX, micro ATX and ATX these are known as form factors which are in different sizes and configurations to
cater for small cases and areas.

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The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is a processor or multiple processors that are used to take code information in the form of binary (1 & 0) and
execute the task from the codes this process can be known as the fetch decode execute cycle. The CPU can have multiple cores this is known as
a multi-core CPU the advantage of a multi-core CPU is that it can help when processing large data and can spread the load over the cores. The
CPU can often be called the brain of the PC as it processes all the information. The CPU has its own memory known Cache this is where the CPU
holds information before it is processed, this memory is extremely fast allowing the CPU to run at its fastest. A CPU's performance is shown by
its clock speed which referrers to the number of processes per second this measured is hertz and processors now have so high clock speed that
it is measured in GHZ (Gigahertz) this is [3] 1,000,000,000 hertz.

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The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) this is also known as a dedicated graphics, The GPU is essential for gaming as it [4] processes any of the
process heavy tasks like anti-aliasing and texturing so the CPU can keep running efficiently this because the GPU is much faster at processing
data but only small amounts. There are two main designers of GPU's on the market these are AMD which look for high performance on a
budget, NVidia focuses on breaking the limits of performance and high quality GPU's. The GPU can be used to run multiple screens at once
using such technologies from NVidia and AMD such as Eyefinity and Surround that stretches the view over multiple screens. GPU's can give the
user a lot of technologies that can improve visuals such as hardware exclusive anti-aliasing techniques and visual memory buffer management
systems. The GPU is similar to a separate PC as it has its own memory (VRAM), its own processor (GPU), motherboard (PCB), and cooling
system (heat sink).

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Memory is used to hold information for later use, there are many different types of memory components that have different functions. RAM
(Random Access Memory) is volatile memory that holds small amounts of data for fast access, RAM is used to hold program data so that
programs can access relevant data quickly allowing the user maximum work efficiency. RAM has its own specific slot on the motherboard that
are close to the CPU meaning that the data can be accessed quickly. RAM sticks must be grouped together so they can perform to their highest
capacity. RAM is volatile meaning that when the PC is powered down the data will be cleared meaning that on restart the RAM is fresh. Hard
Drives are used to store data for later use as they are non-volatile so the data will be kept on a PC restart. Hard-drives use disks to hold data,
this means that they are very heavy and can break if moved in use. Hard-drives are used to hold large amounts of data as they have a large
capacity. Hard-drives can be prone to slowing transfer rates as they age this is due to over used disks this can be reduced by de-fragmenting
hard-drives regularly. Hard-drives use cables to transfer data from the drive to the motherboard this technology is called SATA and can limit the
transfer rate of the hard-drive. SSD's (Solid State Drives) are high speed memory components that can be used alongside Hard-drives to store
data for fast access. SSD's are similar to USB sticks as they use flash memory but they have a much larger capacity and much higher transfer
speeds. SSDs are used in mobile devices as they can be moved around while in use without danger of breakages. ROM is used to holds the
system data, the ROM is hold in the BIOS chips found on the motherboard.

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Displays are output devices that take in information from the graphics card and output them onto a as pixel data on screens. There are many
different display technologies such as LCD (liquid crystal display) which was used on TV screens in the early 2000s, LCD was also used on
portable consoles such as the DS and later versions. [6] LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are used in new TVs and monitors as they are very precise
and allow for higher quality images. LED TV screens use small pixel lights, LED TVs are have a really high PPI (Pixels per Inch) meaning that they
can be very accurate to the real image. Monitor have to use a very high pixel ratio as the user sit so close to the monitor an If I the pixel ratio
was low the user would be able to see jagged edges and on shapes and text would be hard to read as it would be less defined, TVs have lower
pixel ratios than monitors as they are viewed from a distance making it harder to see jagged edges this is why PC monitors are much more
expensive than TV screens. Gaming monitors use very high refresh rates so that the games updates very fast that people dont miss things that
are fast these are used mostly for FPS games which are very fast paced, the higher the refresh rate of the monitor the more frames that can be
shown per second which is commonly 60hz but some gaming monitors go up 144hz.

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Sound devices are used to turn sound data into sound waves using speakers and drivers. Microphones take vibrations in sound waves and
reproduce them in a digital form, microphones allow users to talk to each other using voice and can also be used to control the computer using
voice controls. Sound cards can be used to connect multiple sound devices to one computer, sound cards have software that allows them to
add effects to the sound such as digital surround sound. Sound cards are needed for some devices as they can increase the [7] OHMs given to
the device this can help to run higher OHM rated sound devices such as professional grade headsets. Speakers are used to output audio to the
user either in the form of a speaker or headset, headsets are designed to keep sound personal so it doesnt spread. Speakers can be used to
output sounds to large groups this is great for parties and live shows. AMPs or amplifiers are used to increase the volume and OHMs of a
sound signal that is sent through the AMP.

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PCs can connect to networks in the local area (LAN) or to a global network (WAN). WAN (wide area network) is also known as the internet as it
is a network that covers the world, the internet is similar to a LAN but the there are many clients and servers connect to this network. To
connect to the internet you need a broadband connection this is usually supplied by your phone connection supplier. This broadband needs to
be shared around your house using a router that sends the data to the specified users over the air this is known a WIFI. A router can be linked
to many computer this is an example of a LAN (local area network) as the network is specified to your house. For your PC to be able to receive
WIFI signals a wireless network controller is needed. Wireless internet can be slow over long distances and through walls this can cause slow
loading speeds on the internet, an Ethernet cable connection to the router can mean as strong constant signal at any distance but means that
the device is less portable. LANs are when multiple computers and devices are connected to a one network.

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Games can be stored in on many different storage devices. Most console games are stored on disk as they are mainly brought from retail shops
where a physical copy is needed to be displayed, disk based games are good as they can be played instantly but are limited with the loading
speed of the disk drive of the console. Some mobile game consoles use flash storage devices to hold the games, an example of this is the DS
which uses a proprietary flash storage device. Steam is an online marketplace ran by valve that has digital downloads only, your games brought
from the marketplace are stored on your secondary storage EG, Hard-drive, SSD. SSD and other flash storage devices are used in portable
console and mobiles as they able to be moved whilst in use un-like hard drive which cant be moved when in use as the disk will be broken,
SSDs are also very small and can fit inside small portable devices. Data servers and cloud storage data banks use many hard drives chained
together to create a large volume of data that can hold many users data, this application suits hard disk drives as they are cheap so many can
be brought compared to SSDs and they can store large amounts of data with a maximum of around 8 terabytes per drive at the current time.

[13]
The PSU (Power Supply Unit) is used to send power to the different components of the computer. The PSU has different voltage rails that can
be used to power specific items in the PC such as the GPU and CPU which can need separate voltage rails. A PSUs performance is shown by its
maximum wattage rating, the higher the wattage rating, the more components that can be run on the system. PSUs are like the heart of the PC
as they powers all the other components a PC needs a power supply otherwise the voltage taken from the wall plugs would be a too high
voltage for the components and would fry them so the power supply is needed to take the wall power and regulate it for the right voltage for
the different components and stops them being over-volted and breaking. Power supplies also act as a fuse for power surges and will save the
components of the pc holding the large surge of power this helps in places where there are many storms and power surges are common.

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User Interfaces or HIDs (Human Interface Device) are specified as inputs, outputs or tertiary devices. Input devices are used to take the users
inputs and turn them into digital data some examples of common input devices are: mouse, keyboard and microphone. Outputs are devices
that output data from the computer in a suitable format so the user can interpret the data. Some examples of output devices are: Monitors,
Printers and speakers. Tertiary devices are devices that dont fit it one category so they are inputs and outputs. Some examples of tertiary
devices are: touch screens and controllers. HCIs (Human Computer Interfaces) are used to help the user input information into the computer
and for the computer to output data to the user, HCIs use ergonomics to fit well with the user as they are they right shape and size for the
specific need this will help to make people efficient and to avoid injuries like RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) which can be contracted through bad
designed interfaces for example a keyboard without a wrist wrest is prone to make the user sustain RSI which can be stopped by adding a large
ergonomic wrist wrest to the bottom of the keyboard to help the user avoid RSI another example would be a mouse that is ergonomically
designed mouse that makes the user lift their wrist from the desk which forces them to use their arm the move the mouse which is much less
likely the cause RSI. Gaming mouse are adapted specifically to specific game genres such as RTS games or FPS games by having a shape and
feature set that suites the game style like macro keys for RTS games which allow the user to perform pre-recorded actions from the mouse so
they can be more efficient and faster whereas a FPS mouse will focus on strong shape for solid aim and weights to change the movements of
mouse.
Computers designers are always looking to improve the performance of computer components. The future of computing is smaller and smaller
die size for CPUs as Intel and AMD are looking to towards smaller and smaller die sizes, the improvement will increase the performance of
computers in the future.
Reference:
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[2] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Intel_CPU_Pentium_4_640_Prescott_bottom.jpg (Accessed 11/10/14)
[3] https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ghz+to+hz (Accessed 11/10/14)
[4] http://www.nvidia.com/object/what-is-gpu-computing.html (Accessed 11/10/14)
[5] http://readwritereviews.com/assets/photos/original/4a/52/e7/472-msi-geforce-gtx-780-gaming-graphics-card-32-1376328021.jpg (Accessed 14/1/15)
[6] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/led (Accessed 14/10/14)
[7] https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101217233819AA3UD4T (Accessed 14/10/14)
[8] http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/ict/images/ram.jpg (Accessed 14/10/14)
[9] http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2014/01/02.-pb287q_right-100222220-orig.png (Accessed 14/10/14)
[10] http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2012/07/speaker-ope-100000719-orig.jpg (Accessed 14/10/14)
[11] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Linksys-Wireless-G-Router.jpg (Accessed 14/10/14)
[12] http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/132/9/0/dice_re_brand_battlefield_3_xbox_360_game_disk_by_official_benjina-d4zhbj7.jpg (Accessed 14/10/14)
[13] http://www.dansdata.com/images/gtr450/psu_1280.jpg (Accessed 14/10/14)
[14] http://media02.hongkiat.com/cool-pc-keyboards/pc-keyboards-RazerTron.jpg (Accessed 14/10/14)