ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware

in Action

Technology in Action
Chapter 6

Alan Evans  • Kendall Martin

Understanding and Assessing Hardware:
Evaluating Your System

Mary Anne Poatsy
Tenth Edition

Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall
Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall

Chapter Topics

Your Ideal Computer

• Your Ideal Computer
• Evaluating the Memory Subsystem

• New technologies emerge so quickly that it
is hard to decide if expensive extras are
tools you would use

• Evaluating the Storage Subsystem

• Should you upgrade your system?

• Evaluating the Video and Audio

• Should you buy a new computer?

• Evaluating the CPU Subsystem

• Evaluating System Reliability and Making
a Final Decision
Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall


Your Ideal Computer (cont.)


Your Ideal Computer (cont.)
• Huge number of choices

• Things to consider

– Tablets
– Ultrabooks
– Netbooks
– Tablet PCs
– Laptops
– Desktops

– CPUs are becoming
– Moore’s Law
– System components
continue to improve
– Hard drives growing in
storage capacity
Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall

Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall

• Mobility versus processing power

Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall



 Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 9 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem How the CPU Works (cont. and manages flow of information through a computer system – Intel Core processors • Dominant processors (i7.) Your Ideal Computer (cont. Inc. and i3) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 6 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 11 2 .ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Your Ideal Computer (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 8 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem How the CPU Works Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 7 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem • CPU – Located on motherboard – Processes instructions. i5.) • CPU is composed of two units • Machine cycle is series of steps performed to process a program instruction – Control unit coordinates activities of all other computer components – Fetch data or instruction from RAM – Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) performs arithmetic calculations – Decode instruction that computer understands – Execute instruction – Store result in RAM Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) • Computers usually last 2 years and maybe even 4 or 5 • Depends on how easy it is to upgrade • Laptops often have an ExpressCard slot • Desktop – Best value – 24-inch or larger monitor – More reliable – Solid-state drive – New kinds of ports – Other capabilities – Ultrabooks and tablets don’t have ExpressCard expansion options – Easier to expand and upgrade – More difficult to steal • ExpessCards can add a solid-state drive (SSD) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. performs calculations. Publishing as Prentice Hall 10 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.

keeping a steady beat or tick • Program or data is moved to RAM from hard drive • As instructions are needed. control unit moves each switch to correct on/off setting and performs work of that stage 12 How the CPU Works How the CPU Works The System Clock Stage 1: The Fetch Stage • Moves CPU from one stage of the machine cycle to the next • Acts as a metronome.) • Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 13 • Data and program instructions are stored in various areas of computer system – Ticks. Publishing as Prentice Hall 16 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. they are moved from RAM into registers • Today’s speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). Inc. known as the clock cycle.) Cache Memory . is measured in hertz (Hz) – Storage areas located on CPU 14 Stage 1: The Fetch Stage (cont. set the pace – Pace. Inc. 1 billion clock ticks per second Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall • With each beat of system clock. Publishing as Prentice Hall Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware How the CPU Works How the CPU Works The Control Unit • Manages switches inside the CPU • Machine cycle refers to a series of general steps a CPU performs • Remembers – Sequence of processing stages – How switches are set for each stage – Fetch – Decode – Execute – Store Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) •Level 1 – Searched if next instruction is not in CPU register – Built onto the CPU – Stores commands that have just been used Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 17 3 . known as clock speed.Small blocks of memory located directly on and next to CPU chip – Stores recent or frequently used instructions – Faster access than RAM Cache Memory (cont. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 15 Stage 1: The Fetch Stage (cont. Inc.

 Inc.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware How the CPU Works Stage 1: The Fetch Stage (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 21 Making CPUs Even Faster (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 19 • Results produced by the ALU are stored in the registers – Mathematical operations • • • • Copyright © 20143 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 22 – Specialized. =) – Logical OR. Publishing as Prentice Hall 23 4 . Publishing as Prentice Hall • Machine Language – long strings of binary code 18 How the CPU Works How the CPU Works Stage 3: The Execute Stage Stage 4: The Store Stage • Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) Addition Subtraction Multiplication Division • Instruction explains which register to use • When entire instruction is completed.) •Level 2 – Searched if instruction is not in Level 1 – The collection of commands a CPU can execute – Written in assembly language – Assembly language is translated into binary code – Located on CPU or chip next to CPU •Level 3 – Checks only if instruction is not in Level 1 or Level 2 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. AND. Publishing as Prentice Hall • The fetch-decode-execute-store cycle begins again 20 Making CPUs Even Faster Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. and NOT operations – Word size is number of bits worked with at a time Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. it must perform at least twice as fast as what is currently available Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. and test the processor – Pipelining • To create a CPU for release in 36 months. Inc. the next instruction will be fetched – Test comparisons of values (<. Inc. Inc. manufacture. >. faster instructions – Multiple independent processing paths inside the CPU Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) • Building a faster CPU is not easy • Manufacturers can increase CPU performance in several ways • Must consider time it will take to design. Inc.) Stage 2: The Decode Stage • CPU’s control unit decodes a program’s instructions into commands • Instruction set Cache Memory (cont. Inc.

and eight-core processors are available – Cores – contains the parts of the CPU required for processing • Parallel processing uses multiple computers to work on portion of same problem simultaneously Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 24 25 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem CPU Factors Making CPUs Even Faster Multiple Processing Efforts • Many high-end server systems use a large number of processors • Multicore processing • CPU’s processing power – Clock speed – dictates how many instructions the CPU can process each second • Overclocking – run the CPU at a faster speed than the manufacturer recommends – Quad-core processors have four separate parallel processing paths – Six.) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 29 5 . Publishing as Prentice Hall 27 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem CPU Factors (cont. Inc.) • Hyperthreading allows a new set of instructions to start before the previous set has finished • Multiple cores used on one CPU chip enable execution of two sets of instructions at the same time • Possible to design CPU to have multiple cores and hyperthreading Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Making CPUs Even Faster Making CPUs Even Faster Pipelining Specialized Multimedia Instructions • CPU works on more than one stage or instruction at a time • New processors incorporate multimedia instructions into the basic instruction set • Boosts CPU performance • Multimedia-specific instructions work to accelerate video and audio processing • New instructions work to allow the CPU to deliver faster data protection Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall – Cache memory 26 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem CPU Factors (cont. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 28 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.

take longer to access. Publishing as Prentice Hall 33 Evaluating the Memory Subsystem Evaluating the Memory Subsystem • Random access memory (RAM) is a computer’s temporary storage space • Faster for CPU to retrieve data from RAM • Fastest memory is more expensive – Short-term memory – Available only when computer is on – Volatile storage • ROM memory – Holds critical startup instructions – Nonvolatile storage Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 35 6 . Publishing as Prentice Hall 31 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem Measuring the CPU (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 32 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating the CPU Subsystem CPU Factors (cont.) Evaluating the CPU Subsystem CPU Factors (cont. including RAM and hard drive speed – Task Manager – CPU usage graph – Depends on number of programs running at one time Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) • Computer’s OS has utilities to measure CPU usage • Overall performance depends on many factors.) • Cache memory allows immediate access to data and instructions without having to go to RAM • Cache memory levels • CPU Benchmarks are measurements used to compare processor performance – Level 1 cache is memory built onto CPU chip for storage of data or commands just used – Level 2 and Level 3 cache are slightly farther away. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 30 Evaluating the CPU Subsystem Measuring the CPU Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. and contain more storage space Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 34 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.

) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 37 Evaluating the Memory Subsystem The RAM in Your System (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 40 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc.) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 36 Evaluating the Memory Subsystem The RAM in Your System (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 38 Evaluating the Memory Subsystem Adding RAM Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 41 7 . Inc. Inc.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating the Memory Subsystem The RAM in Your System Evaluating the Memory Subsystem The RAM in Your System (cont.) • Types • Amount of RAM is computer’s physical memory – Double data rate 3 (DDR3) – System Properties window – Double data rate 5 (DDR5) – Measured in gigabytes • SuperFetch: Monitors which applications are used the most and preloads them • Memory modules are small circuit boards that hold a series of RAM chips • Dual inline memory modules (DIMMs) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 39 Evaluating the Memory Subsystem Adding RAM • Motherboard has specific number of slots for memory cards • Each slot has limit on amount of RAM it can hold • Operating system imposes own RAM limit – Windows 8 (32 bit) maximum is 4 GB – Windows 8 (64 bit) maximum is 192 GB Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.

 Publishing as Prentice Hall 46 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) • Access time – the time it takes the hard drive to locate stored data and make it available for processing – Measured in milliseconds (ms) • Optical drives have faster access time • Large-capacity drives access time is 12 to 13 ms • DVD drive can take over 150 ms Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating the Storage Subsystem • Temporary storage Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Mechanical Hard Drives • Largest capacity of any storage devices – RAM – Some exceed 4 TB • Permanent storage • More economical than other storage – Hard drives • Most systems can support more than one internal hard drive – Solid state drives (SSDs) – Optical drives – External hard drives Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 45 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Mechanical Hard Drives (cont. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 42 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Mechanical Hard Drives (cont. patterns of spots are translated into data Access arms Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 47 8 .) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Access arms 44 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Mechanical Hard Drives (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall 43 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Mechanical Hard Drives (cont.) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) • Composed of coated platters stacked on a spindle Read/write head – Platter – each plate that composes a hard drive • Data saved as pattern of magnetized spots of 1s and 0s • When retrieved. Inc.

 Publishing as Prentice Hall Dig Deeper – Compact disc (CD) – Digital video disc (DVD) – Blu-ray disc (BD) 50 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Optical Drives (cont. generate little heat. Inc. require little power Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 52 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 49 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Optical Drives Dig Deeper How a Mechanical Hard Drive Works • Store data as tiny pits burned into the disc by high-speed laser • Optical media • Read/write heads retrieve and record magnetic data to and from the hard drive platter • Access time has two factors: seek time and latency Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 53 9 .ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Solid State Drives • SSDs: Use electronic memory and have no mechanical motors or moving parts – Fast access times – Run with no noise. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 48 How a Mechanical Hard Drive Works • Track (concentric circles) and sector (pieshaped wedges) created in the magnetized surface of each platter during low-level formatting to prepare disks to hold data Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 51 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Your Storage Capacity and Needs • Hard drive capacity • Optical media formats – Measured in gigabytes or terabytes – Prerecorded • Need enough to store – Recordable – The OS – Software applications – Data files – Digital libraries – Rewriteable • Many lightweight systems don’t include optical drives • External optical drives • Other options – External hard drive Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.

) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc.) Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 54 Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Your Storage Capacity and Needs (cont. Publishing as Prentice Hall Evaluating the Video Subsystem Video Cards (cont.) • Redundant array of independent disks (RAID): Set of strategies for using more than one drive – RAID 0 • Cuts files in half between two drives • Faster – RAID 1 • Mirrored drives Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 55 Evaluating the Video Subsystem Video Cards • Video display depends on two components – Video card • Expansion card that translates binary data into images – Monitor • Ports – DVI – HDMI – DisplayPort Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 57 – 3D graphics – Image and video processing 58 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 59 10 .ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Your Storage Capacity and Needs Evaluating the Storage Subsystem Your Storage Capacity and Needs (cont. Inc.) • Video memory – Graphics double data rate 3 (GDDR3) • GPU performs computational work like CPU – Graphics double data rate 5 (GDDR5) • Specialized to handle • Evaluate system video card information using Advanced Settings of the Screen Resolution dialog box Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 56 Evaluating the Video Subsystem Video Cards (cont.

 Inc. high-quality microphones. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall – Slow performance – Freezes – Crashes • Try to fix problem before buying a new machine • Proper upkeep and maintenance could postpone upgrade or replacement 64 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 65 11 . Publishing as Prentice Hall 61 Evaluating the Audio Subsystem Evaluating the Audio Subsystem • Computers output sound with speakers and a sound card • 3-D sound technology is better at convincing the human ear that sound is omnidirectional • Surround sound is a type of audio processing that makes the listener experience sounds as if it were coming from all directions • Dolby Digital 7.1 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.) • CPU runs more efficiently when a GPU does all graphics computation • Two or even three video cards can be used • Video chip set manufacturers – Nvidia: SLI – ATI: Crossfire • 3-D panels Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 62 Evaluating the Audio Subsystem 63 Evaluating System Reliability • Performance problems • Audio MIDI Interface box – used to connect MIDI instruments. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating the Video Subsystem Video Cards (cont. and recording equipment to your computer Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 60 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc.) Evaluating the Video Subsystem Video Cards (cont.

 Publishing as Prentice Hall 70 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall 66 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Publishing as Prentice Hall Making a Final Decision 69 Chapter 6 Summary Questions • How closely does your system meet your needs? 1. • Evaluate your computer system so you have clear data on what you currently have. Inc. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall 67 Evaluating System Reliability (cont. What kind of computer is best for me? • How much would it cost to upgrade your system? • How much would it cost to purchase a new system? • Review the types of computer devices available and consider what your needs are for weight. Publishing as Prentice Hall – Windows 8 upgrade automatically checks system compatibility 68 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. browser software. Then you can compare it with what is on the market and make a decision to upgrade or purchase a new device.) Evaluating System Reliability (cont. and application software • Additional RAM • Updated graphics processor • Problem Steps Recorder • Larger hard drive • Automatic Updates Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. • Price both scenarios to determine better value Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. screen size. and processing power. Publishing as Prentice Hall 71 12 .) Evaluating System Reliability (cont.) • Clear out unnecessary files • System problems • Install a reliable antivirus package – Troubleshooting • Run spyware and adware removal programs • Check RAM • Run the Disk Defragmenter utility • Refresh • These utilities can be configured to run automatically at any time interval • System restore • Microsoft Knowledge Base • Search Google Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Evaluating System Reliability (cont.) • Latest version of software increases reliability • Upgrade the OS to the latest version – Substantial increases in reliability – Might require hardware upgrades • Upgrade or update OS. Inc. Inc.

ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Chapter 6 Summary Questions 2. Inc. and optical drives. Publishing as Prentice Hall 77 13 . what type each should be. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • The Resource Monitor shows how the installed RAM is being used by your system. What does the CPU do. What components affect the quality of video on my computer? • The video card is key to video quality. Inc. There is a wide range of difference in access times and cost between different storage solutions. RAID 1 is an option for combining drives for immediate backup. you can run multiple monitors. • The CPU works by running a series of four steps: fetch. Publishing as Prentice Hall 76 75 Chapter 6 Summary Questions 7. so most systems have a combination of types. RAID 0 is an option for combining drives for optimal performance. Compute the amount of storage you need for the software and data files you want to keep locally. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • CPUs are compared based on their clock speed. Decide how many drives you want. solid state drives. Publishing as Prentice Hall Chapter 6 Summary Questions 73 Chapter 6 Summary Questions 4. • Data is stored on mechanical hard drives. execute. and store. • 72 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • • You can easily install RAM in your system. and their amount of cache memory. How does memory work in my computer? You can find out what processor you have using the System Properties window. though each system has a limit on how much RAM it can hold. • The CPU performance can be measured and recorded using the CPU usage graph of the Resource Monitor. Be aware of how much video memory is installed and what kind of GPU is used on the card. Publishing as Prentice Hall 74 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • CPU benchmarks help you compare the overall performance of different CPUs. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. Inc. Inc. • With only one card. How do I evaluate my storage devices? • • • The Properties dialog box in Windows Explorer displays information on the amount of storage available in your system. decode. Publishing as Prentice Hall • RAM is used to hold instructions and data because the CPU can access RAM much faster than it can access the hard drive. How do I evaluate how much memory I need? 5. and how you will configure them. and how can I evaluate its performance? Chapter 6 Summary Questions 3. the number of cores the have. Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall Chapter 6 Summary Questions 6. What are the computer’s storage devices? • The System Properties window shows how much physical memory you have installed. • Memory modules are small circuit boards that hold a series of RAM chips in your system. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • Some users install multiple video cards for high-end graphics performance. Inc.

mechanical. Inc. and use the Task Scheduler to automate these tasks. electronic. What components affect my computer’s sound quality? • • The sound card and speakers control the sound quality in your system. Use the Problem Steps Recorder to capture problems as they happen and report them to the manufacturer. photocopying. Publishing as Prentice Hall 79 Chapter 6 Summary Questions 10. Publishing as Prentice Hall 80 All rights reserved. check that your have enough RAM. Publishing as Prentice Hall 14 . or otherwise. recording. Publishing as Prentice Hall 78 Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • If you want surround sound. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. you may want to invest in a new sound card and additional speakers. run antivirus software. Inc. If you see long refresh times.ELE 107-Week 7: Understanding and Assessing Hardware Chapter 6 Summary Questions Chapter 6 Summary Questions 8. run spywareand adware-removal programs. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. • Keep your software updated. clear out unnecessary files. or transmitted. stored in a retrieval system. The software that comes with the card can run performance testing to give you specific data on how the card is doing. No part of this publication may be reproduced. How do I know if I need better video performance? 9. without the prior written permission of the publisher. in any form or by any means. How can I improve the reliability of my system? • To make sure your system stays reliable. Inc. Inc. Then consider doing a system refresh or even a full system restore. Copyright © 2014 Pearson Education. run the Disk Defragmenter on mechanical hard drives. • If your system is crashing often. you may want an upgraded video card.