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CSI 101

Differentiate among various styles Differentiate among the various

of system units types of memory

Identify chips, adapter cards, and other Describe the types of expansion slots and adapter
components of a motherboard cards

Describe the components of a processor and how Explain the differences among a serial port, a parallel port,
they complete a machine cycle a USB port, a FireWire port, and other ports

Identify characteristics of various personal Describe how buses contribute to a

computer processors on the market today computer’s processing speed

Define a bit and describe how a series of bits Identify components in mobile computers
represents data and mobile devices

Explain how programs transfer in Understand how to clean a system unit

and out of memory
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The System Unit

What is the system unit?
 Case that contains
electronic components
of the computer used
to process data
 Sometimes called
the chassis
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The System Unit

What are common components inside the system

 Processor
 Memory
 Adapter cards
 Sound card
 Video card
 Drive bays
 Power supply
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The System Unit

What is the motherboard?
 Main circuit board
of the system unit
 Contains expansion
slots, processor
chips, and memory
 Also called system
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The System Unit

What is a chip?
 Small piece of semi-conducting material on which
integrated circuits are etched
 Integrated circuits contain many microscopic pathways
capable of carrying electrical current
 Chips are packaged so they can be attached to a circuit
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What is the central Processor
Control Arithmetic
processing unit (CPU)? Unit Logic Unit (ALU)

Interprets and carries out

basic instructions that Data
operate a computer Information

 Control unit directs

Input Output
and coordinates Devices
Data Memory Information
operations in computer
 Arithmetic logic unit Instructions
(ALU) performs Data
arithmetic, comparison,
and logical operations
Also called the processor Devices
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What is a machine cycle?

 Four operations of the CPU comprise a machine cycle
Step 1. Fetch
Obtain program instruction or
data item from memory

Step 2.
Step 4. Store Decode
Write result to memory Translate
instruction into
Processor commands
ALU Control Unit
Step 3. Execute
Carry out command
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What is pipelining?
 Processor begins fetching second
instruction before completing
machine cycle for first
 Results in faster processing
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What is a register?
 Temporary high-speed storage area that holds
data and instructions
Stores location
from where instruction
was fetched
Stores Stores data
instruction while it is while ALU
being decoded computes it

Stores results
of calculation
CSI 101

What is the system clock?
 Controls timing of all computer operations
 Generates regular electronic pulses, or ticks, that set
operating pace of components of system unit

Pace of system
clock is clock speed
Processor speed can
Each tick Most clock speeds are
also be measured in
is a in the gigahertz (GHz)
millions of instructions
clock cycle range (1 GHz = one
per second (MIPS)
billion ticks of system
clock per second)
CSI 101

What are dual-core and multi-core processors?
 A dual-core processor is a single chip that contains two
separate processors
 A multi-core processor is a chip with two or more
separate processors
 Each processor on a dual-core/multi-core chip generally
runs at a slower clock speed, but increase overall performance
CSI 101
CSI 101

What are heat sinks, heat
pipes, and liquid
 Heat sink—component
with fins that cools
 Heat pipe—smaller

device for notebook

 Liquid cooling—uses a continuous
of fluids to transfer heat away
CSI 101

What is parallel Control Processor

 Using multiple
processors Processor 1 Processor 2 Processor 3 Processor 4

simultaneously to Memory Memory Memory Memory

execute a program
 Requires special
software to divide
problem and bring Results combined
results together
CSI 101

Data Representation
How do computers represent data?
 Most computers are digital

 Recognize only two

discrete states: on or off
 Use a binary system to
recognize two states
 Use Number system with
two unique digits: 0 and 1,
called bits (short for
binary digits)
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Data Representation
What is a byte?
 Eight bits grouped together as a unit
 Provides enough different combinations of 0s and 1s to
represent 256 individual characters
 Numbers
 Uppercase
and lowercase
 Punctuation
 Other
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Data Representation
What are three popular coding systems to represent
 ASCII—American Standard Code for Information Interchange
 EBCDIC—Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code
 Unicode—coding scheme capable of representing all
world’s languages
00110000 0 11110000
00110001 1 11110001
00110010 2 11110010
00110011 3 11110011
CSI 101

Data Representation
Step 1.
The user presses the Step 2.
capital letter T An electronic signal for the
(SHIFT+T key) on capital letter T is sent to the
the keyboard. system unit.

Step 3.
Step 4. The system unit converts the scan
After processing, the binary code code for the capital letter T to its
for the capital letter T is converted ASCII binary code (01010100) and
to an image, and displayed on the stores it in memory for processing.
output device.

How is a letter converted to binary form and back?

CSI 101

What is memory?
 Electronic components that
store instructions, data, and
 Consists of one or
more chips on
motherboard or
other circuit board
 Each byte stored
in unique location
called an address,
similar to seats in a concert hall
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How is memory measured?

 By number of bytes available for storage

Term Abbreviation Approximate Size

Kilobyte KB or K 1 thousand bytes
Megabyte MB 1 million bytes
Gigabyte GB 1 billion bytes
Terabyte TB 1 trillion bytes
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Memory What is random access memory (RAM)?

Memory chips that can be

read from and written
to by processor

Most RAM is
Also called
volatile, it is lost
main memory
when computer’s
or primary
power is
turned off

The more RAM a

computer has, the
faster it responds
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Memory How do program instructions transfer in and out of RAM?

RAM Step 1. When you start the computer, certain
operating system files are loaded into RAM from
Operating system Operating system the hard disk. The operating system displays the
instructions interface user interface on the screen.

Step 2. When you start a Web browser, the

program’s instructions are loaded into RAM from
Web browser Web browser the hard disk. The Web browser window is
displayed on the screen.
instructions window

Step 3. When you start a paint program, the

program’s instructions are loaded into RAM from
the hard disk. The paint program, along with the
Paint program Web Browser and certain operating system
Paint program window
instructions instructions are in RAM. The paint program
window is displayed on the screen.

Step 4. When you quit a program, such as the
Web browser, its program instructions are removed
from RAM. The Web browser is no longer
displayed on the screen.

Web browser program Web browser window

instructions are removed is no longer displayed
from RAM on desktop
CSI 101

Video: The Leopard with a Time Machine
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Memory What are two basic types of RAM chips?

Do not have to
Most Static be re-energized
type RAM as often as

Faster and
Must be RAM more reliable
(DRAM) than DRAM

Newer Type: Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM)

CSI 101
dual inline memory module


Where does memory

 Resides on small circuit
board called memory module memory slot

 Memory slots on memory chip

motherboard hold memory

CSI 101

How much RAM does an application require?
 Depends on the types of
software you plan to use
 For optimal
performance, you
need more than
minimum specifications
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How much RAM do you need?
 Depends on type of applications you intend to run
on your computer
RAM 512 MB to 1 GB 1 GB to 2 GB 2 GB and up

Use • Home and business • Users requiring more advanced multimedia• Power users creating professional
users managing capabilities Web sites
personal finances • Running number-intensive • Running sophisticated
• Using standard accounting, financial, or CAD, 3D design, or
application software spreadsheet programs other graphics-intensive software
such as word processing • Using voice recognition
• Using educational • Working with videos, music, and
or entertainment digital imaging
CD-ROMs • Creating Web sites
• Communicating with others • Participating in video conferences
on the Web • Playing Internet games
CSI 101

What is cache?
 Helps speed computer processes by storing frequently used
instructions and data
 Also called memory cache
 L1 cache built into processor
 L2 cache slower but has larger capacity
 L2 advanced transfer cache is faster, built
directly on processor chip
 L3 cache is separate from processor chip
on motherboard (L3 is only
on computers that use L2 advanced
transfer cache)
CSI 101

Memory What is read-only memory (ROM)?

Memory chips that store Nonvolatile memory, it is not

permanent data lost when computer’s
and instructions power is turned off
Three types:

Firmware— (electrically
Manufactured with erasable programmable
permanently written read-only memory)—
data, instructions, Type of PROM
or information PROM containing microcode
(programmable programmer
read-only can erase
Blank ROM
chip onto which
a programmer
can write permanently
CSI 101

Memory What is flash memory?

 Nonvolatile memory that can be erased electronically and rewritten

 Used with PDAs, smart phones, printers, digital cameras, automotive

devices, audio players, digital voice recorders, and pagers
Step 3.
Step 1. Plug the headphones into the portable
Purchase and download music tracks from a Web media player, push a button on the
site. With one end of a special cable connected to flash memory chips portable media player, and listen to the
the system unit, connect the other end to the music through the headphones.
USB port in the portable media player.

USB port

Step 2.
Instruct the computer to copy the music tracks to the
MP3 Player
flash memory chip in the portable media player.
CSI 101

Memory What is CMOS?

Complementary Used in some

metal-oxide RAM chips, flash
semiconductor memory chips, and
memory other types of
memory chips

Uses battery Stores date,

power to retain time, and
information when computer’s
other power is startup
turned off information
CSI 101

Memory What is access time?

 Amount of time it takes processor
to read data from memory
 Measured in nanoseconds (ns),
one billionth of a second
 It takes 1/10 of a second to blink
your eye; a computer can perform
up to 10 million operations in same amount of time

Term Speed
Millisecond One-thousandth of a second
Microsecond One-millionth of a second
Nanosecond One-billionth of a second
Picosecond One-trillionth of a second
CSI 101

Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards

What is an adapter card?
 Enhances system unit or provides connections to
external devices called peripherals
 Also called an expansion card
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Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards

What is an expansion slot?
 An opening, or socket,
on the motherboard
that can hold an
adapter card
 With Plug and Play,
the computer
configures cards
and other devices
as you install them
CSI 101

Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards

What are flash memory cards, PC cards, and
ExpressCard modules?
 An ExpressCard module adds memory,
storage, sound, fax/modem,
communications, and other capabilities
to notebook computers
 A flash memory card allows users to
transfer data from mobile devices to
desktop computers
 USB Flash drive
 An PC card adds various capabilities
to computers
CSI 101

Ports and Connectors

What are ports and connectors?
 Port connects external devices to system unit
 Connector joins cable to peripheral
 Available in one of two genders: male and female
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Ports and Connectors

What are different types of connectors?
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Ports and Connectors

What is a serial port?
 Transmits one bit of data at a
 Connects slow-speed devices,
such as mouse, keyboard,
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Ports and Connectors

What is a parallel port?

 Connects devices that can
transfer more than one bit at a
time, such as a printer
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Ports and Connectors What are USB ports?

USB (universal serial bus) port can connect

up to 127 different peripherals together
with a single connector type

PCs typically have

Single USB port can Third USB
six to eight USB ports device connects
on front or back of be used to attach to second USB
the system unit multiple peripherals device, and so on
in a daisy chain
Second USB
device connects
to first USB
First USB device
device connects
USB 2.0 to USB port
on computer
CSI 101

Ports and Connectors

What are FireWire ports?

 Connects multiple types of devices that require
faster data transmission speeds
 Allows you to connect up to 63 devices together
CSI 101

Ports and Connectors

What are special-purpose ports?
 Allow users to attach specialized peripherals or transmit data to
wireless devices
 MIDI (Musical
Instrument Digital
Interface) port
 eSATA port
 SCSI port
 IrDA (Infrared Data
Association) port
 Bluetooth port
CSI 101

What is a bus?
 Channel that allows devices
inside computer to
communicate with each other
 System bus connects processor
and RAM
 Bus width determines number of
bits transmitted at one time
 Word size is the number of
bits processor can interpret
and execute at a given time
CSI 101

What is an expansion bus?
 Allows processor to communicate with peripherals

Bus Bus Bus Bus
CSI 101


What is a bay?
 Opening inside system
unit used to install
additional equipment
 Drive bays typically
hold disk drives
CSI 101

Power Supply What is a power supply?

Converts Fan keeps

AC Power system unit
into components
DC Power cool

External peripherals
might use an AC
adapter, which is an
external power supply
CSI 101

Mobile Computers and Devices

What is a mobile computer?
 Notebook, weighing between
2.5 and 9 pounds, or mobile
device such as a PDA
CSI 101

Mobile Computers and Devices

What ports are on a notebook computer?
CSI 101

Mobile Computers and Devices

What ports and slots are

on a tablet PC?
CSI 101

Putting It All Together

What are suggested processor and RAM configurations
based on the needs of various types of users?
CSI 101

Keeping Your Computer Clean

Over time, the system unit collects dust – even in a
clean environment
 Preventative maintenance requires a few basic
CSI 101

Summary of the Components of the System Unit

Components of the system unit

Comparison of various personal computer
processors on the market today
How memory stores data, instructions,
and information
How to clean a system unit
Sequence of operations that occur when a
computer executes an instruction
CSI 101

Storage What is storage?

 Holds data, instructions, and information for future use
 Storage medium is physical material used for storage
 Also called secondary storage
CSI 101

Storage What is capacity?

 Number of bytes (characters) a storage medium can hold
Kilobyte (KB) 1 thousand
Megabyte (MB) 1 million
Gigabyte (GB) 1 billion
Terabyte (TB) 1 trillion
Petabyte (PB) 1 quadrillion
Exabyte (EB) 1 quintillion
Zettabyte (ZB) 1 sextillion
Yottabyte (YB) 1 septillion
CSI 101

Magnetic Disks
What are tracks and sectors?
Track Sector
is narrow
stores up to
recording band
that forms full 512 bytes
circle on disk of data

Formatting prepares disk for use and marks bad sectors as unusable
CSI 101

Magnetic Disks
hard disk installed
What is a hard disk? in system unit

 High-capacity storage
 Consists of several
inflexible, circular platters
that store items
 Components enclosed in
airtight, sealed case for
CSI 101

Magnetic Disks
What are characteristics of a hard disk?

Sample Hard Disk Characteristics

Advertised capacity 120 GB
Platters 3
Read/write heads 6
Cylinders 16,383
Bytes per second 512 Less
Sectors per track 63
Sectors per drive 234,441,648 actual
Revolutions per minute 7,200 capacity
Transfer rate 133 MB per second
Access time 8.9 ms
CSI 101

Magnetic Disks
What are external hard disks and removable hard disks?
 Used to back up or transfer files Removable hard disk—hard disk
that you insert and remove
from hard disk drive
External hard disk—freestanding
hard disk that connects to system unit
CSI 101

Magnetic Disks
What is online storage?
 Service on Web that provides storage for
minimal monthly fee
 Files can be accessed from
any computer with Web
 Large files can be downloaded
 Others can be authorized
to access your data
CSI 101

Optical Discs Push the button to

slide out the tray.

What are optical discs?

 Flat, round, portable
metal discs made of
metal, plastic, and Insert the disc,
lacquer label side up.
 Can be read only or
Push the
 Most PCs include an same button
optical disc drive to close the
CSI 101

Optical Discs How should you care

for an optical disc?
Do not expose
the disc to
heat or sunlight

Do store the
disc in a jewel
box when
Do not not in use
eat, smoke, or Do not stack discs
drink near
a disc

Do not touch
the underside
of the disc
Do hold a disc
by its edges
CSI 101

Optical Discs
What are CD-Rs and CD-RWs? Must have
CD recorder
or CD-R drive

CD-R (compact disc-recordable)

— disc you can write on once

Cannot erase
disc’s contents
CD-RW (compact disc-rewritable)
— erasable disc you can write on

multiple times
Must have
CD-RW software
and CD-RW drive
CSI 101

Optical Discs
What is a DVD-ROM (digital versatile
disc-ROM or digital video disc-

 High capacity disc capable of

storing 4.7 GB to 17 GB
 Must have DVD-ROM drive or
DVD player to read DVD-ROM
 Stores databases, music, complex
software, and movies
CSI 101

Miniature Mobile Storage Media

What is a USB Flash Drive?

 Plugs in a USB port on a
computer or mobile device
 Storage capacities up to 4 GB
 May eventually make the
floppy disk obsolete