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Processors The processor is a chip on the motherboard and is the heart of the computer as it controls everything.

The processor reads instructions from the computer programs by interpreting them into actual movements if bits of data. The control circuitry pulls and directs data along various ports and data buses and stores it within the memory, as well as performing calculations and displaying them on the screen (visual display unit) or saves the data for later processing. Processor manufactures are constantly seeking to improve the processor by making it faster at calculating instructions. The updated processors also require less energy to run therefore making them more reliable as they will not over heat, along with increased memory capacity. Motherboard The motherboard is a printed circuit board (PCB) houses many of the essential items within a computer and links all the connections throughout the computer system. BIOS The BIOS is a collection of software utilities working within a computer system and is usually on a ROM (Read Only Memory) chip that comes with the computer, called the ROM BIOS, and because of this it is not affected by power failure. The BIOS boots up the computer system as well as checking hardware configuration/set up against the data it has collected and has stored. It ensures integrity of the computer and is the most important diagnostic tool available. The BIOS handles the input and output of the computer (Basic input, output system), meaning that it handles features of hardware with in the configuration. Power Supply Within a computer, for example a PC, The PSU (Power Supply Unit) is a black or silver box with a fan inside and cables coming from it. This PSU supplies the system with power to run various components of the PC. This power can come in two types, internal and external. External power via a socket provides the PC with an AC of 110-220v (Alternating current). Internal power is needed by the various components within a PC, and are either 5v or 12v off of a DC (Direct current). The PSU has to convert the power to a DC current as that is what the components run off. So the PSU converts the in coming supply of AC to DC. Fan and Heat sink The Fan and Heat sink are components attached to the processor to stop it from overheating. The fan is a device attached to the top of the processor to cool it by supplying it with cold air or by removing the warm air around the chip. A heat sink is an attachment on the processor designed to remove heat by its increased surface area, in which it has many long, thin fins.

Hard drive configuration The computers hard drive, together with a drive for CDs and DVDs are usually found in the processor box. However external drives can be provided for secondary storage and can be used as a backup. Hard drives are IDE devices controlled by an IDE controller. 2 types of IDE controller primary and secondaey. Hard drive attached to IDE1 CD drive attached to IDE2 on the motherboard Each IDE ribbon attached to either controller can support 2 drives. Master Drive handles all the traffic on the IDE cable, retains own data and passes to slave drive Slave Drive sees only the data passed to it by the master drive. Ports Not all peripherals need cables to link them to ports, some use wireless technology. However a variety of ports are available that can attach to the processor. If cabling is used transfer of data will be 1 of 2 types Serial transmission circular cable 9 male pin port RS-232c Parallel transmission ribbon cable 25 pin male at one end, 36 pin male at the other Simple devices like mice only use Serial. Nowadays most are connected by USB as it is faster and more available as more can be supported by the motherboard. USB hub can be used to link more than 1 USB port into a computer. Internal Memory RAM Random Access Memory Volatile More RAM means more space in which less time spent finding data and quicker processing speed (Loses data when system shut down) ROM Read Only Memory Non-Volatile BIOS chip is stored on ROM

Cache Data buffer between CPU and RAM (fast memory) Internal is located inside the CPU chip and External is also on the motherboard but not within the CPU chip Level 1 cache is closest to CPU Level 2 cache is not close to CPU (external or behind L1 cache) RAM is very fast but still takes time to find data so the CPU interacts with the RAM and gives it wait states. Network Cards These cards can be added to expansion slots on the computer such to provide internet, such as a modem card.

Modem (modulator/demodulator) is a device that encodes digital information signals and analog carrier signals to send over a phone line. NIC Network Interface Card Graphics Cards A graphics card is a memory system that is integrated into the motherboard and provides video feed for the computer screen. There are a range of Graphics cards/Video cards no the market and some are suited to specific purposes, others can be general usage such as ones standard in a computer. Scenarios recommend graphics cards for; Gamer: AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition A gaming PC requires the best graphics card to get the best out of the game youre playing and to provide the ultimate experience in gaming quality. A high end graphics card such as this is quite expensive at 420 but in a custom built gaming PC this is vital in providing fast frames per second so gameplay is smoother, more accurate and better clockspeeds than the standard or lower price graphics cards. Business person who uses word processing: ATI Radeon HD 5770 review This is a low end graphics and comes standard in most high spec computers but can be bought separately. This card is ideal for the business person who word processes as it can deal with many documents at a time without lowering any of its FPS, however it could only be used for casual gaming as its clockspeed is low on the high graphics games, as it cannot deal with the level of pixels unlike other cards, generally the more expensive ones but for 111 it is ideal for this purpose.

Business person who video conferences: AMD FirePro W5000 This graphics card is excellent for video conferences and other requirements for a business person, as they would also require a graphics cards to show off renderings they have produced on a computer or 3d graphs. This card is a high end card which isnt as good as the top gaming PC cards but it is up there with the best, and with 3d rendering and presentations in mind, this can deal with the lot seeing as it can drive up to 6 monitors. Home user who watches films: Intel GMA X4500M DVMT

This card comes standard in most decently priced laptops (300-500) and therefore is sufficient for the needs of the user has in mind such as simple word processing and to regularly watch films with. Its not as good as other graphics cards as it has a lower memory and requires less internal memory to power but it does the job for a cheaper price, and seeing as watching movies only requires a simple graphics card, this is an ample device.