You are on page 1of 4

Components of a Computer System

Hardware

Hardware are the parts of the computer that make up the computer system (Parts that you can touch & see)
Hardware is split into the following groups: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Input devices – get data into the computer e.g. Keyboard, Scanner CPU (central processing unit) – runs programs and does calculations e.g. Pentium 4 Main store - stores data, programs for a short time for processing, eg. ROM, RAM Backing storage - stores data and programs e.g. Hard Disk Drive Output Devices - gets information from the computer. e.g. Monitor, Printer

Simple Computer System MAIN STORE CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT

INPUT DEVICE

OUTPUT DEVICE

BACKING STORAGE Typical Desktop Computer Monitor (Output) CDROM/RW (Storage) Speakers (Output) DVD/RW (Storage) Hard Disk (Storage) CPU (Processor) Keyboard (Input) RAM (Main Memory)
© Clive Roberts 2008-2010 – All rights reserved

1

to printer Data held in memory is instantly available to the computer © Clive Roberts 2008-2010 – All rights reserved 2 .M. Also sometimes called a microprocessor (tiny) Examples of CPU include Pentium 4. or applications programs Input data – put into memory before processing Working area – stores data that is currently being processed Output data – data ready to be output e. Main Memory (RAM & ROM) There are two types of Memory: R.g. – Random Access Memory Memory is used to hold the following: • • • • Programs – operating system. AMD Athlon etc. performs calculations and processes raw data into information The CPU is made up of logic circuits carved onto a piece of silicon (silicon chip). Getting smaller and faster. – Read Only Memory R.Inside a Typical Desktop Computer Central Processing Unit (CPU) The CPU (often called the brain of the computer) runs programs.O.M.A.

keyboard commands. Operating Systems . Microwave ovens etc. Programs are the instructions that tell the computer what to do • • Without software the hardware would be useless 2 types of Software 1. but in most other electronic items as well e. Graphical User Interface (GUI) . Applications Software . etc. e. 2Gb or more of RAM Read Only Memory (ROM) ROM is an integrated circuit programmed with specific data when it is manufactured Usually contains the instructions to load the operating system (boot program) Data is permanently stored on ROM when the power is switched off – i.g Washing Machines. It is Non-Volatile ROM chips are used not only in computers.Does a job for the user. …. Mac OS Command Line User Interface – e.Random Access Memory (RAM) RAM is an integrated circuit that holds programs & data temporarily while they are being processed Because data is temporarily stored on RAM it is lost when the power is switched off – i. It is Volatile A PC would typically have 1Gb.g. Windows XP User Interface A combination of menus.g. spreadsheets 2.g. command language and online help. MSDOS.e. Software Software are the programs that let the computer do a useful job.g.e. Windows XP.e.Control the hardware so that users can use it e. Word processing. UNIX © Clive Roberts 2008-2010 – All rights reserved 3 . which creates the way a user interacts with a computer. screen design.

g. Toshiba Satellite. iPaq. Laptops and Notebooks As powerful as desktop PC’s Portable with battery power LCD/TFT displays (flat. Eg. becoming more powerful and popular also very sophisticated.) Used by banks. government organizations. electrical) © Clive Roberts 2008-2010 – All rights reserved 4 . use less power) Eg.often 250+ MIPS (millions of instructions per second. 2Gb RAM.small pocket Pc’s.Types of Computers There are several types of computer from the smallest PDA through to enormous Super Computers PDA’s & Pocket PC’s Personal Digital Assistants (PDA). utility companies (e. 500Gb Hard Disk. internet and email communications. DVD/RW etc. insurance companies.“high end” PDA’s include requests and infra-red communications links for network. HP. Desk Top PC’s Most common PC (personal computer) found in homes and businesses Typical specification may include Pentium 4 CPU. Palm IIIe. Mini Computers Mini computers are typically used by medium to large sized businesses to run computer networks (between a powerful desk top PC and a Mainframe) Mainframe Computers Large. powerful computers able of supporting a large number (typically 500+) terminals Very fast . Eg. Apple iBook. Sony Vaio. IBM Thinkpad. Toshiba e750 Palmtop.