Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The top 6 most important components of a computer and their purposes

Motherboard: The Motherboards purpose is to accommodate all of the main internal components such as: the CPU, RAM, ROM, Expansion slots, Heat sink/ fan assembly, BIOS chip, chipset and all the embedded wires that interconnect the motherboards components, internal and external connectors and various ports are also placed on the motherboard.

CPU (central Processing Unit): In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. CPU’s come in different form factors, each style requiring a particular slot or socket on the motherboard common CPU manufacturers include Intel and AMD. The CPU is a chip contained on a single integrated circuit called the microprocessor. The CPU contains two basic components, a control unit and an Arithmetic/logic Unit (ALU). The main purpose of the CPU is to carry out program instructions. Each Model of Processor has an instruction set, which it executes. The CPU executes the program by processing each piece of data as directing by the program and the instruction set. While the CPU is executing one step of the program, the remaining instructions and the data are stored nearby in a special memory called Cache. There are two major CPU architectures related to instruction sets: Related Instruction Set Computer (RISC) and Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC).

RAM (Random Access Memory): RAM is the temporary storage for data and program’s that are being accessed by the CPU. RAM is volatile memory, which means that the contents are erased when the computer is powered off. The more RAM in a computer, the more capacity the computer has to hold and process large programs and files. The main purpose of RAM is when programs and data are being used they are stored temporarily so that the processor can access them quickly. This is because the RAM access time is faster which is in nanoseconds compared to the hard disk access time which is in milliseconds.

ROM (Read Only Memory): ROM chips are located on the motherboard. ROM chips contain instructions for booting the computer and loading the operating system. ROM chips retain their contents even when the computer is powered down. The contents cannot be erased, changed or rewritten by normal means. The main purpose of the ROM is to store the basic input/output system (BIOS) that controls the start up, or boot process.

Fans (CPU, Case, and Graphic’s Card): Computer components generate heat. Heat is caused by the flow of current within the components. If the heat is not removed. The computer may run slower. If too much heat builds up, computer components can be damaged. The fan’s purpose is to keep the components cool by increasing the air flow in the computer case which allows more heat to be removed which keeps the component from being damaged from overheating.

Hard Drive: a hard drive is a magnetic storage device that is installed inside the computer. The Hard drive is used as permanent storage for data. The hard drive is often configured as the first drive in the boot sequence. The storage capacity of a hard drive is measured in billions of bytes, or gigabytes. The speed of a hard drive is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). A Hard disk is a non volatile storage device, which uses a magnetic disk to store a large amount data i.e. the operating system and applications. The main purpose of hard disk drive is to maintain all of the data, which is stored on it, even when this device is not powered.
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