INTRODUCTION TO THE PC

BY K.P.SATHISHKUMAR

INTRODUCTION TO THE PC
• Hardware: physical portion of a computer
– Components: monitor, keyboard, memory, hard drive

• Software: instructions used to manipulate hardware
– Requirements: input, processing, storage, output

• All hardware operations are based on binary values • Binary number system consists of two digits: 0 and 1 • Fundamental groupings of binary numbers:
– Bit: binary digit that can take on values of 0 or 1 – Nibble: four bits – Byte: eight bits

 All communication, storage, and processing  of data inside a computer are in binary form  until presented as output to the user

• A PC is a data processor • PC's are small inexpensive. mass produced computers • They work on DOS. • Today. Windows. PC’s are as powerful as minicomputers and mainframes were in the past . or similar operating systems • They are used for standard applications.

• The PC came out in 1981 • The PC was introduced by IBM • It was built over an Intel processor (8088) and fitted to Microsoft's simple operating system MS-DOS • The PC had a standardized and open architecture • It was well-documented and had extensive expansion options • The PC was cheap. simple and robust .

• None of the components were patented • Other companies freely copied the important BIOS system software and the central ISA bus. & manufactured IBM compatible PC's and components for them • These machines were known as IBM clones .

PC Hardware Components • John Von Neumann broke computer hardware down into 5 primary parts • CPU • Input • Output • Working memory • Permanent memory .

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MOTHERBOARD .

• In the PC data is exchanged continuously between these components . which is one of the most important component in the PC • The system board is also known as the mother board or main board • The mother board is a printed circuit board. and other electronic components are mounted. ports (plug ins). on which multiple chips.• All data exchange is done on the system board.

Mother Board Components • ROM-chips with BIOS and other programs • CMOS. storing system setup data • The CPU • L2-cache • Chip sets with I/O controllers • RAM (Random Access Memory) mounted in SIMM or DIMM chips • Cards to connect with keyboard and mouse .

speaker. system bus speed. clock. CD-ROM etc. • Contacts to reset HD activity. etc. etc.• Connectors to disk drives and IDE drive (hard disk.) • Slots for expansion cards • Jumpers to adjust voltage. • The system board manual is an essential tool to set jumper switches & to know other technical aspects of the mother board .

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PC START-UP PROCESS

PC START-UP PROCESS
• During start-up it receives commands from the ROM chips • They contain the POST and BIOS instructions • Next, the operating system is read from the hard disk • This is called the boot process

which are specific for that particular system board • They will usually not be altered .The ROM Chips • ROM (Read Only Memory). • They contain system software • System software are instructions. which enable the PC to coordinate the functions of various computer components • The ROM chips contain instructions.

• There are different parts in the startup instructions • The ROM chips are supplied by specialty software manufacturers • The primary suppliers are: • Phoenix • AMI (American Megatrends) • Award .

which connect with the various hardware peripherals • The Boot instructions. and they are activated one by one during start-up .• POST (Power-On Self Test) • The Set-up instructions. which connect with the CMOS instructions • BIOS instructions. which calls the operating system (DOS or Windows) • All these instructions are in ROM chips.

POST • Power On Self Test is the first instruction executed during start-up • It checks the PC components to make sure that everything works • If POST detects errors in the system It will write error messages on the screen • If the monitor is not ready or if the error is in the video card. it will also sound a pattern of beeps .

which are found in CMOS .• Explanations for beeps can be found on the Award. AMI and Phoenix web sites • POST also reads the user instructions.

time.CMOS • CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is a small amount of memory in a special RAM chip • Its memory is maintained with electric power from a small battery • Certain system data are stored in this chip • There will be data regarding date. disk drives. etc .

The Setup program
• This is used to communicate with the BIOS programs and the CMOS memory • Press Delete key or F2 key immediately after you power up the PC to reach the setup program

The BIOS programs
• BIOS is abbreviation of Basic Input Output System • During start-up the BIOS programs are read from a ROM chip • This information is supplemented with the system data saved in CMOS • Furthermore, there is BIOS code on the expansion cards

• The modern system board has the BIOS instructions in flash-ROM, (also known as EEPROM) which can be updated • EEPROM – Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory • EFI – Extensible firmware interface

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CPU .

and the busses handle all data transfer • CPU stands for Central Processing Unit • The CPU is physically quite small • At its core is an electronic circuit (called a die) • The CPU is full of transistors • The die in a Pentium 4 CPU contains .CPU • The CPU does all the data processing.

• The electronic circuit is encapsulated in a much bigger plastic square • This is in order to make room for all the electrical contacts which are used to connect the CPU to the motherboard • The individual contacts are called pins • The companies Intel and AMD make most CPU’s • CPU’s are developed in series or generations • Each series is known by its name .

Close up view of a CPU circuit (die) .

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The underside of a Pentium 4 CPU .

A Celeron processor supplied in a box from Intel. with heat sink and fan .

The Pentium 4 socket on a motherboard .

A CPU without a cooling fan .

Pentium II processor .

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CLOCK FREQUENCY • All CPU’s have a working speed (working rate) known as clock frequency • The clock frequency is regulated by a tiny crystal • The crystal constantly vibrates at a very large number of “beats” per second • The crystal “oscillates” millions of times each second .

and each pulse can. in principle.• For each clock tick. cause the CPU to perform one (or more) actions . an impulse is sent to the CPU.

so we have started to use gigahertz (GHz) • The original PC from 1981 worked at a modest 4.77 MHz. whereas the clock frequency now is up to 3 GHz • Modern CPU’s are one thousand times .• Since the CPU’s crystal vibrates millions of times each second. the clock speed is measured in millions of oscillations (megahertz or MHz) • Modern CPU’s actually have clock speeds running into billions of ticks per second.

Socket for Pentium 4 .

• To view CPU details • My Computer – RC – Properties – General Tab .

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BUSSES & CHIPSETS .

16. etc. 32.• The PC’s data processing is done by the CPU • Data packets (of 8. 64 or more bits at a time) are constantly moved between the CPU and all the other components (RAM.) • These transfers are all done using busses • These busses are the data channels (or pathways) which connect all the PC’s components to each other . hard disk.

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others for large ones • Two busses with different capacities (bandwidth) is connected by a controller placed between them • Such a controller is often called a bridge • Bridges connect the various busses together • The entire bus system starts close to the CPU RAM has greater data traffic and is .• Some are designed for small transfers.

• It is called the front side bus (FSB) or the system bus (in older systems) .

• The busses connecting the motherboard to the PC’s peripheral devices are called I/O busses • They are managed by the controllers .

which together comprise the chip set • The chipset architecture consists of two chips. which sometimes is called a link channel .CHIP SET • The motherboard’s busses are regulated by a number of controllers • These controller functions are grouped together into a couple of large chips. usually called the north bridge and south bridge • The north bridge and south bridge are connected by a powerful bus.

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• The north bridge and south bridge share the work of managing the data traffic on the motherboard

THE NORTH BRIDGE
• The north bridge is a controller which controls the flow of data between the CPU and RAM and the AGP port • The north bridge has a heat sink attached to it • It gets hot because large amounts of data pass through it • AGP is actually an I/O port • It is used for the video card • PCI Express x16 port is the

THE SOUTH BRIDGE
• It looks after the transfer of data to and from the hard disk and all the other I/O devices • It passes this data into the link channel which connects to the north bridge • It is physically located close to the PCI slots, which are used for I/O devices

etc • It also determines which types of devices can be connected to the PC . nVidia. bus widths.Chipset Manufacturers • In the starting only Intel supplied chipsets to be used in motherboards • Now VIA produces chipsets for both AMD and Intel processors • Other companies like SiS. ATI and ALi also produce chipsets • The chipset determines the limits for clock frequencies.

AGP Video Card .

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RAM .

RAM consists of small . for without RAM there can be no data processing • RAM works in synchronization with the system bus • Physically.RAM • RAM stands for Random Access Memory • RAM is the storage area where all software is loaded and works from • RAM is a very central component in a PC.

and requires constant electric recharging to preserve its data contents • Without power. transistors make up the individual storage cells • The cells can each “remember” an amount of data. as long as the PC is switched on • Normal RAM is dynamic (called DRAM). all RAM cells are cleared • It is important to both have enough .• In RAM.

so they cannot be mixed • The notches in the sides are different & the bottom edges of the modules are also different . which are quite different • They normally cannot be used on the same motherboard – since they are not compatible • The modules are packaged differently.• There are several types of RAM.

RAM Type SD RAM Pins 168 Width 64 bit 16 bit Usage Older and slower type Advanced RAM. Only used for very few Pentium 4’s with certain Intel chipsets A faster version of SD RAM New version of DDR RAM with higher clock frequencies Rambus RAM 184 DDR RAM DDR2 RAM 184 240 64 bit 64 bit .

which in reality is double clocked A 512 MB DDR RAM module . which was used in the majority of PC’s • DDR RAM is a refinement of SDRAM.• SDRAM is an old and proven type.

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• On a module there are typically 8 RAM chips which are soldered in place • There can also be 16 chips if it is a double-sided module • The profile of the module makes it only possible to install it one way around and in the right socket • On the bottom edge of the module the copper coated tracks make electrical contact (the edge connector) with the motherboard socket .

• The notches in the sides of the module fit the brackets or “handles” which hold the module in place in the motherboard socket An SD RAM module .

For each type of RAM there are modules with various speeds Name PC700 PC800 PC1066 DDR 266 (PC2100) DDR 333 (PC2700) DDR 400  (PC3200) DDR2-400 DDR2-533 DDR2-667 Type 2x 356 MHz Rambus RAM 2x 400 MHz Rambus RAM 2 x 533 MHz Rambus RAM 2x 133 MHz DDR RAM 2x 166 MHz DDR RAM 2x 200 MHz DDR RAM 400 MHz DDR2 RAM 533 MHz DDR2 RAM 667 MHz DDR2 RAM .

loose RAM chips were installed directly in large banks on the motherboard • Later chips were combined in modules • These came in widths of 8 bits (with 30 pins) and 32 bits (with 72 pins) . DRAM was used • This was dynamic RAM.• In the 1980’s. which was relatively slow • It was replaced by FPM (Fast Page Mode) RAM which was also dynamic • Originally.

Older RAM Modules .

operates synchronously with the system bus • In SDRAM a small EEPROM chip called the Serial Presence Detect chip is mounted on the modules • It is a very small chip containing data on the modules speed. etc .• After FPM came EDO RAM (Extended Data Out) • Then SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) came in around 1997 • SDRAM. in contrast to the earlier types of RAM.

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compared to earlier RAM types • DDR RAM sends off two data packets for each clock pulse . the clock signal is used twice • Data is transferred both when the signal rises. and when it falls • This makes it possible to perform twice as many operations per clock pulse.• DDR RAM (Double Data Rate) • In DDR RAM.

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and later the i865 and i875 chip sets used DDR RAM • DDR2 is a new and better standardized version of DDR using less power • The DDR2 modules operate at higher clock speeds • The first chip sets to use DDR2 was Intel’s i915 and i925 . which used DDR RAM for the Pentium 4. the i845 chipset was released.• In 2001.

it begins to artificially increase the amount of RAM using a swap file • The swap file is stored on the hard .• Avoid mixing RAM from various suppliers and with various specifications in the same PC • The modules have to match the motherboard • The advantage of having enough RAM is that you avoid swapping • When Windows does not have any more free RAM.

• The three components which each have an upper limit to how much RAM they can address (access): • The operating system (Windows) • The chipset and motherboard • The processor • In Windows XP. the dialog box displaying Processes will provide information on RAM usage (how much RAM each program is using) .

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HARD DISK .

Winchester disk (a Winchester 3030 . IBM introduced the first “fixed disk storage” • This very early hard disk had a capacity of 5 MB • One of IBM’s models was called the 3030 • It was given the nickname.HARD DISK • A place to save our programs and data when the PC is switched off • In 1957.

removable disk packs were developed – a forerunner of the floppy disk • In 1964. the CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) algorithm was introduced • CRC provided greater security by checking and comparing data before and after it was written to the disk • In 1971.• The first computer with a hard disk was IBM’s RAMAC • In 1962. the first 8-inch diskettes came into the market .

Western Digital.• The leading manufacturers are Seagate. IBM/Hitachi and Toshiba . Samsung.

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• • • • The physical components of a disk The disk storage area is composed of one or more platters The platters rotate The head actuator arm moves the read/write heads as a unit radially The read/write heads read and write data on the magnetic surface on both sides of the platters .

• Hard disks consist of one or more magnetic plates mounted in a metal box • Older disks used iron(III) oxide as the magnetic material, but current disks use a cobalt-based alloy • Inside the box, a number of glass or metal plates rotate around at, for example, 5400 or 7200 revolutions per minute – these are the two most common speeds • The read/write heads hover over the

The read/write heads can swing across the platters

• The read/write head is a tiny electromagnet • The magnet ends in a C-shaped head • The shape ensures that it virtually hovers above the magnetic plate • Under the read/write head are the disk tracks • These are thin rings packed with magnetic particles • The magnetic particles can be arranged in patterns of bits, which are translated into 0’s and 1’s

• When the disk moves under the read/ write head. so they represent new values • Thus data is written . the head will become magnetic • This magnetism will re-organize the tiny magnetic bits in the track. it can either read the existing data or write new data to the disk • If current is supplied to the coil.

which is thus read • The read/write heads are the most expensive part of the hard disk • When the disk is switched off. it will gather up the magnetic pattern from the disk • This magnetism will induce current in the coil.• If the head is moved over the track without any current applied. and this “current” contains the track’s data. the heads are parked in a special area. so .

The magnetic plates (diameter .platters .3½ inches) .

the disk’s smallest unit • A sector normally holds 512 bytes of data • The individual files are written across a number of disk sectors and this task is handled by the file system • The file system is part of the .TRACKS & SECTORS • Each hard disk plate is divided into tracks • Each track is subdivided into a number of sectors.

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each side of which is divided into a large number of tracks • Each track contains numerous sectors.• Hard disks are made of a number of disks. the smallest unit on a disk .

which functions as a buffer • The hard disk is managed by a controller built into the actual unit • The ATA interface is used for hard disks • The motherboard’s ATA controller is built into the chipset’s south bridge .• All hard disks have a certain amount of cache installed as 2 or 8 MB of fast RAM.

A controller which controls the hard disk .A cable between the two controllers . • It consists of: .A controller which connects the hard disk to the motherboard .• This controller works together with a similar controller linked to the PC’s I/ O bus (on the motherboard) • The interface’s job is to move data between the hard disk sectors and the I/O bus as fast as possible.

• Interfaces such as ST-506 and ESDI (Enhanced Small Disk Interface) were used earlier • The ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) interfaces are based on the IDE standard (Integrated Drive Electronics) • The IDE standard was not especially fast. and could not handle hard disks bigger than 528 MB • So the ATA standard came out in the mid 1990’s .

Hard disks. ATA (or parallel ATA) can be used for a number of different devices • The most common are: .) and tape units . etc.Other drives (such as Zip drives.• In principle. CD-ROM/DVD drives .

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and each can have two devices connected • They are called the primary and secondary channels • If two devices are connected to one . which is managed by a host controller • Up to four devices can be connected and the devices connect directly to the motherboard • In the ATA interface there are two channels.• The ATA interface can be seen as a bus.

The ATA system’s channels .

• Motherboards typically have connectors for two ATA cables. which can each connect two devices (master and slave) • These rectangular. male ATA connectors are used to connect the ribbon cables which fit hard disks and CD/DVD drives • Each ATA device has a small area containing jumpers which are used to set whether it is the master or slave device .

• This motherboard has an extra. so there are four ATA connectors in total   • Each one can handle two devices . built-in RAID controller.

• • • • Multitasking and protocol limitations The host controller has two main channels. while writing data to the other disk at the same time Both disks will operate independently . which operate independently of each other This means that the two channels can multitask For example. you can read data from one disk. if you have one hard disk on each channel.

but not both at the same time • It is therefore best to install two hard disks on separate channels if they have to work at the same time • The two main channels (primary and secondary ATA) can each run their own protocol. but the master/slave channels cannot do this .• Either the master is working. or the slave is working.

the slowest device will determine the speed for the whole channel • The optimal solution. for example. therefore.• If you install two devices which use different protocols on the same channel. is to connect the hard disk as the master on. without connecting a CD drive as a slave device • The CD drive should be on the secondary ATA channel (Secondary . the primary channel.

in addition to a CD/DVD drive or drives the two hard disks have to be placed on the same channel. all to themselves. since CD drives generally operate using a slower protocol • But this does not allow for the optimal utilization of the hard disks since they should ideally have their own channel.• To connect two hard disks. for multitasking • So motherboards with an extra builtin ATA RAID controller are much .

• With these you can install up to 8 ATA devices in the same PC • Without a RAID controller it is difficult to get the best performance using more than two parallel ATA drives .

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and the bandwidth is limited .SATA .Serial ATA • In the parallel ATA system the big ribbon cables take up too much room in the computer cabinet and they reduce the circulation of air • The PATA-system with master/slave channels is difficult to work with.

etc • All these interfaces use a serial technology • The data communication requires . USB.• The successor to the ATA system is called Serial ATA • Serial ATA interface uses cables with only 7 wires instead of the big 40/80 wired ribbon cables used in the Parallel ATA interface • Serial ATA is a high-speed serial interface in family with Ethernet.

The connectors on the SATA hard disk .

which is 128 GB • To use bigger hard disks. the operating system has to address the sectors directly .• The existing PATA system has a limit of 128 GB volume hard disks • This gave problems with the first 160 GB disks • The parallel system can only address (access) 228 sectors • Since each sector on the hard disk holds 512 bytes of data. we have 228 x 512 bytes data.

and it has caused some troubles to have it work • Using Serial ATA. there are no problems with bigger hard disks .• In Windows XP this function is called 48 bit LBA.

• • • • • • More about Serial ATA Initially 150 MB/sec. data transfer Later 300 and 600 MB/sec in new versions of SATA There is room for at least the next 5 years of development in the area of hard disk technology No jumpers for master/slave Cable size 8 mm In-expensive to manufacture and easy installation .

• The controlling logic of Serial ATA is much more sophisticated (and SCSIlike) than in the traditional ATA interface • Serial ATA can process several commands at the same time and rearrange them for better efficiency • SCSI – Small Computer System Interface .

Serial ATA cable .

• The small SATA connector is seen left to the bigger PATA-connector .

A SATA hard disk .

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THE CACHE .

L1 & L2 CACHE • The CPU works internally at very high clock frequencies (like 3200 MHz) • RAM cannot keep up with this high clock frequency • The most common RAM speeds are between 533 and 667 MHz • The heaviest data traffic is between the CPU and RAM • The fast device has to wait before it can deliver or receive its data .

.• There is great difference between the CPU which works at perhaps 3200 MHz. which works at one sixth of its speed • Then the CPU would be idle five sixths of the time • The solution is to insert small. and the busses which might only work at 333 MHz • The busses have to transfer data to and from the RAM • The CPU had to wait for data from a bus.

• These buffers (cache RAM) provide a much more efficient transfer between the fast CPU and the slow RAM • Cache RAM operates at higher clock frequencies than normal RAM • Data can be read more quickly from the cache • The cache delivers its data to the CPU registers • These are tiny storage units which are placed right inside the processor core. and they are the absolute fastest RAM .

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• Cache RAM is much faster than normal RAM • The cache RAM is a central bridge between the RAM and the registers which exchange data with the processor’s execution units • To make the CPU constantly work and fully utilize all clock ticks the registers have to always be able to fetch the data which the execution units require • In reality the CPU typically only utilizes 35% of its clock ticks .

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and always tries to read in precisely the data the CPU needs • When it is successful. this is called a .• A cache increases the CPU’s capacity to fetch the data from RAM • Every new generation of CPU brings improvements relating to the front side bus • The CPU’s cache can reduce the data traffic on the front side bus • The cache controller constantly monitors the CPU’s work.

• • • • • Two Levels of Cache The idea behind cache is that it should function as a “store” of fast RAM A store from which the CPU can always be supplied with data and instructions There are always at least two levels of cache They are called Level 1 cache. but these are only used for very special server applications . Level 2 cache. and (if applicable) Level 3 cache Some processors (like the Intel Itanium) have three levels of cache.

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32.• • • • • L1 Cache L1 cache first appeared in Intel’s 80486DX chip Level 1 cache is built into the processor core It is a piece of RAM. 16. which operates at the same clock frequency as the rest of the CPU Thus the L1 cache is part of the processor L1 cache is normally divided into two . 20. typically 8. 64 or 128 Kbytes.

or on a special module .L2 Cache • The level 2 cache is normally much bigger (and unified). 512 or 1024 KB • The purpose of the L2 cache is to constantly read in slightly larger quantities of data from RAM so that these are available to the L1 cache • In earlier processor generations. such as 256. either on the motherboard (as in the original Pentium processors) . the L2 cache was placed outside the processor.

An old Pentium II processor where the CPU is mounted on a rectangular printed circuit board. together with the L2 cache (the two chips) .

• As processor technology developed. it has been possible to integrate the L2 cache inside the actual processor chip • Thus the L2 cache has been integrated into the processor chip • This makes it to function much better in relation to the L1 cache and the processor core • The L2 cache is not as fast as the L1 cache • It is still much faster than normal .

in the CPU . K5. on the motherboard Internal. Athlon XP.CPU Pentium. Athlon Pentium III. K6 Pentium Pro Pentium II. in a module close to the CPU Internal. in the CPU External. Pentium 4 L2 Cache External.

• The L2 cache is connected to the front side bus • Through the front side bus it connects to the chipset’s north bridge and RAM .

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as millions of transistors are needed to make a large cache • The bus between the L1 and L2 cache is presumably the place in the processor architecture which has the greatest need for high bandwidth .• The Level 2 cache takes up a lot of the chip’s die.

• The way the processor uses the L1 and L2 cache is crucial for its utilization of the high clock frequencies • The better the cache – both L1 and L2 – the CPU will be more efficient and will have higher performance • In about 96-98% of cases. the processor can find the data and instructions it needs in the cache .

two reads L1 cache has less latency than L2. which means that a certain number of clock ticks (cycles) must pass between.• • • • LATENCY A very important aspect of all RAM – cache included – is latency Latency is the time taken by the CPU to receive the data from the memory All RAM storage has a certain latency. which is why it is so efficient . for example.

the latency is many times greater • When the processor core has to fetch data from the actual RAM (when both L1 and L2 have failed). the faster the processor will appear to be . it costs around 150 clock ticks • This situation is called stalling • Latency leads to wasted clock ticks. the fewer there are of these.• When the cache is bypassed to read directly from RAM.

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step-by-step procedure for solving a problem. often used for calculation and data processing. an explicit. generally secondary storage systems such as hard disks . • Logical block addressing (LBA) is a common scheme used for specifying the location of blocks of data stored on computer storage devices.• An algorithm is a finite sequence of instructions.

mouse and USB are mounted directly on the system board .ATX • The latest PC electronic standard is called ATX • The I/O connectors keyboard.

• • • • • • Two methods of data addressing CHS (Cylinder Head Sector) LBA (Logical Block Address) ECHS (Extended Cylinder Head Sector) Sector Transfer Mode Programmed Mode: The CPU is responsible for data transfer Interrupt Mode: The CPU does the data transfer but it is not responsible for checking if the device is read with a data byte DMA Mode: DMA controller is responsible .

Interrupt Request Line (IRQ) • It permits a hardware device to look inside the computer • When the device needs attention. IRQ makes a direct line to the microprocessor DMA Channel • Without CPU interference. the DMA controller transfers data from a drive to the computer’s memory .

• Sector Organization • Cluster: Grouping sectors into larger blocks are called clusters • Master Boot Record (MBR): The location of the master boot record is cylinder 0. and sector 1 • Boot Sector: The 2 tasks of boot sector is to load the operating system and to inform the user with information about the disk . head 0.

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the circuit board print tracks start acting as antennae and various forms of "radio noise" appears. It is rather simple to make data move very fast inside a chip where the print tracks are microscopic. Clock doubling in the CPU . other problems appear.• The problem with the high clock frequencies is to ensure that other electronic components keep up with the pace. But when we move outside the chip. When the frequency gets too high. The other components must be able to keep up with the pace.

• This is where the CPU exchanges data with RAM and the I/O units. which governs the pace of the CPU. • Clock doubling occurs inside the CPU .• The solution to this problem was to split the clock frequency in two: • A high internal clock frequency. • A lower external clock frequency. which governs the pace on the system bus.

temporary storage. a special RAM type called cache is used as a buffer .About CPU cache RAM • The CPU must deliver its data at a very high speed. • To get top performance from the CPU. • The regular RAM can not keep up with that speed. which can . the number of outgoing transactions must be minimized. • Therefore. • The more data transmissions.

the 486 was equipped with a built in mathematical co-processor. where internal clock frequency is much higher than external. • These two features help minimize the data flow in and out of the CPU. . Then the cache RAM enhances the "horsepower" of the CPU. • Cache RAM becomes especially important in clock doubled CPU's.• Therefore. by allowing faster receipt or delivery of data. floating point unit and 8 KB L1-cache RAM.

which are small SRAM chips on the system board. It is called L1 cache. • The next layer is the L2 cache.• The fastest cache RAM is inside the CPU. • See at the illustration below: .

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The two most popular output devices are the  monitor and the printer .

Inside the computer case .

Parallel ATA .

Serial ATA .

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