Chapter 3: Hardware: Input, Processing, and Output DevicesPresentation Transcript
Chapter 3: Hardware: Input, Processing, and Output Devices Most information in this presentation has been copied from the Dell.com web site
What is Hardware?
Hardware consists of any machinery (most of which use digital circuits) that assist in the input, processing, storage, and output activities of an information system.
What is a Computer System?
A computer system is a special subsystem of an organization’s overall information system used to input, process, store and output data and information.
Putting together a complete computer system is more than just connecting computer devices. Components must be selected and organized with an understanding of the tradeoff between overall system effectiveness and efficiency, and considerations of cost, control and complexity.
When selecting computer system devices, you must consider the current and future needs of the overall information system.
Computer System Hardware Components
Computer system hardware components include devices that perform the functions of input, processing, communication, data storage and output.
Part I: How to Buy a Computer Most information in this presentation has been copied from the Dell.com web site
DimensionTM XPS Gen 4: NEW! Extreme Performance with Expandability
The most advanced Dimension ever built @ $5,573 (configured system)
Your processor is the brain of your computer. It is also called the central processing unit (CPU). It interprets and executes instructions of computer programs or the operating system. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. The combination of processor clock speed, architecture, cache, and front side bus decides the performance of a processor.
Clock Speed: Speed of the processor's internal clock which dictates how fast the processor can process the data. Clock speed is usually measured in GHz (gigahertz, or billions of pulses per second).
Architecture: Basic design of a microprocessor. It may include processor technology and/or other architectural enhancements.
Cache: A temporary storage for frequently accessed or recently accessed data. Having certain data stored in a cache speeds up the operation of the computer. Cache size is measured in megabytes (MB) or kilobytes (KB). Level 1 Cache is a small, fast memory cache that is built in to the main chip and helps speed access to important and frequently-used data. Level 2 Cache is a collection of built-in memory chips, slower than the Level 1 Cache but faster than the main memory area. Level 2 (L2) Cache can help speed the operation of some applications.
Front Side Bus: The connecting path between the processor and other key components such as the memory controller hub. FSB speed is measured in GHz or MHz.
4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz (4x1GB)
Random Access Memory (RAM) is the workhorse behind the performance of your computer. RAM temporarily stores information from your operating system, applications, and data in current use. This gives your processor easy access to the critical information that makes your programs run. The amount of RAM you have determines how many programs can be executed at one time and how much data can be readily available to a program. It also determines how quickly your applications perform and how many applications you can easily toggle between at one time. Simply put, the more RAM you have, the more programs you can run smoothly and simultaneously.Upgrading your memory is truly one of the most cost-effective ways you have to boost system performance.
Tests show that increasing memory from 128MB to 256MB increases system performance up to 37%. Increasing memory from 128MB to 512MB improves system performance up to 50%.
DDR SDRAM: Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory is memory that provides higher bandwidth than ordinary SDRAM memory.
Frequency: The number of repetitions in a signal or waveform, measured in Mega-Hertz (MHz). A higher frequency improves system performance and speed.
Dual Channel: Memory technology that delivers twice the peak bandwidth of single channel memory.
400GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
The hard drive is the primary storage unit of the computer. It is where the operating system, applications, files and data are kept. If you use your computer for digital video, audio file storage or you like to work with intense applications, you should consider buying a larger size hard drive or RAID.
RAID hard drives combine the performance and security of multiple hard drives into one disk. RAID 0 (data striping) for maximum performance or RAID 1 (data mirroring) for data security. Performance users such as video editors often utilize RAID 0. Users to whom data integrity is vital often utilize RAID 1. With RAID 0 all capacity on both hard drives is usable. With RAID 1 only half the capacity is usable and the other half is devoted to back-up.
Storage Capacity: Why buy a higher capacity hard drive? - Higher capacity drives allow you to store larger amounts of data. This may prevent you from having to upgrade your system or hard drive in the future due to lack of storage space. If you download content or manage content on your system, you may want to buy a larger drive initially as well.
Rotational Speed: Why Buy a Higher RPM Drive? - Rotational speed is a major factor in hard drive selection as it determines how quickly data can be retrieved. Typical rotational speeds are 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM for desktops, and 4200 RPM or 5400 RPM for notebooks. The higher the RPM (revolutions per minute), the less time you'll spend waiting for your computer to access files.
Interface (Parallel or Serial): Is interface important? - The interface is the link between the hard drive and the computer used to transfer data. It is important because it regulates the speed of data throughput from the system to the hard drive. The new SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is the evolutionary follow-on to IDE. SATA is capable of higher data throughput than the UATA-100 interface.
256MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon™ X850 XT PE
A video card is the part of your computer that transforms video data into the visual display you see on your monitor. The video solution plugs into your computer's motherboard, and is responsible for decoding and processing the video signal. The quality of video you see on your monitor depends on both the video card and the monitor you choose. More video card memory and faster graphics processors can result in more stunning and enjoyable visual effects when running games and programs with detailed graphic design.
Memory: Video cards have their own memory, which is reserved for storing graphical images. Video memory on a video card frees the computer's RAM, so the computer's memory does not have to store graphics. Video memory is available in standard sizes: 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, etc. Typically, a card with a higher memory capacity will be capable of more advanced rendering and support for 2-D and 3-D graphics. If you are planning on doing presentations, desktop publishing, gaming, or video editing, you should consider at least 128MB video memory. Processor: In addition to memory, video cards have their own graphics processor for creating images. A graphics processor is specially designed for computing graphical transformations, and it can achieve faster graphics results than the general-purpose CPU used by the computer. An integrated graphics solution uses the CPU of your computer to create graphics, so it typically will not render pictures as quickly as a video card with its own processor. It takes thousands of calculations to produce even basic images on your monitor. The video card processor is also known as the controller or graphics engine.
PCI Express: PCI Express (PCIe) is the latest interface specification designed to improve a system's graphic performance by increasing its bandwidth. It helps speed the communication flow between the CPU and the graphics controller. This enhancement allows texture maps of greater size, detail, and realism enabling 3D applications to run faster because of even higher bandwidth compared to AGP.
20 inch Ultrasharp™ 2001FP Digital Flat Panel
Size: Monitors are measured in inches and refer to the diagonal length from one corner of the monitor box to the other. The actual viewable area (or screen measurement) is the measurement in parentheses and labeled VIS (viewable image size). Monitors are usually listed as: 17-in (16.0 viewable). This is very important when comparing flat panels to CRT's. A flat panel usually has the same VIS as its size category; a 17" flat panel has a 17.0" VIS. However a 17" CRT may have a 16.0" VIS or less as the width of the CRT bezel is included in the monitor size measurement. Also keep in mind that most conventional CRT monitors are as deep as they are wide so if space is a limitation, you should consider purchasing a flat panel display.
Flat panel quality is determined by resolution. Resolution refers to the number of individual pixels contained on a display. The higher the resolution, the more pixels can fit onto the screen and so the sharper and more detailed images can be displayed. Resolution together with contrast ratios, brightness and viewing angles determine the overall quality of a flat panel.
CRT quality is measured in dot pitch or strip pitch. Dot pitch is the measure of space between a display's pixels; the smaller the pitch, the sharper the images. A measurement of .27mm is average for dot pitch. The monitor's viewable area, refresh rate and dot pitch all directly affect the maximum resolution a monitor can display.
Active Matrix TFT LCD technology displays sharp, brilliant images with resolutions from 1024 x 768 to 1600 x 1200 pixels, depending on display model.
A wide viewing angle allows viewing from various angles without compromising image quality allowing for viewing flexibility or multiple user viewing.
Digital DVI functionality provides seamless digital connection, helping to maintain image integrity.
The DVD+/-RW Burner is a great all-in-one drive, allowing you to read or burn DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW discs, as well as read CD-ROM and DVD-ROM.
What is Double Layer? The combination of a double layer DVD+/-RW drive and double layer capable media support writing up to 8.5GB of data or video to a double layer DVD+R or DVD-R.
16x is a measurement of CD or DVD drive speed. Each x translates to either 153,600 bytes of data per second, the data rate of the CD-audio or 1,250,000 bytes per second, the data rate of the DVD-video.
What is a CD-RW? A CD-RW will allow you to easily create your own custom music CDs and data CDs for data back-up or data transfer purposes. It will also allow you to store and share video files, large data files, digital photos, and other large files with other people that have access to a CD-ROM drive. This drive will also do anything your CD-ROM will do. It reads all your existing CD-ROMs, Audio CDs, and CDS that you create with your CD burner.
DVD+RW is a DVD-Rewritable disc, a DVD that can be written to erased many times (up to 1000).
1GB Compact Flash Card / Other Storage
Get extra memory to store important files and presentations for productivity on the go - or store your favorite MP3 music or eBooks for entertainment. This 1 GB CompactFlash® (CF) Card retains data even if the system's power supply is switched off, thus offering significant data protection. The CF card features an integrated controller which stores all IDE and ATA commands, making the CF card fully compatible with all operating systems, utilities and application programs that support industry-standard IDE disk drives. CompactFlash requires no special Flash File systems or drivers. It works in systems that support only 3.3 V or only 5 V. The non-volatile solid-state card uses no moving parts, thus maximizing battery power.
The USB Memory Key lends itself to a wide variety of innovative uses. The product is an active device with its own central processing unit (CPU) and is capable of supporting and running multiple applications directly from the product.
Floppy drives record up to 1.44 MB of data on a rugged 3.5" removable magnetic diskette. Floppy disk drives have been available in the industry for many years and are ideal for customers who want to easily and inexpensively transfer small files from one computer to another, backup small amounts of data, or create a boot disk(s).
Dell Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse
The keyboard is the primary tool used to interface with the computer. It is a necessary and often overlooked component to an enjoyable computer experience.
Key factors when choosing the right keyboard include comfort, convenience and ease of use. For customers who wish to minimize the appearance of wires/cords on their desktop, a wireless keyboard and mouse solution is available.
Radio technology is used to communicate between the keyboard and the receiver
There are three general types of keyboard technology:
PS/2 - PS/2 technology is an older, stable and very reliable technology. PS/2 keyboards plug into the PS/2 connector ports located on the back of the computer.
USB - USB technology is newer than PS/2: It is generally more responsive to the touch than PS/2. USB keyboards plug into the USB connector ports located on the back of the computer.
Wireless - Wireless technology is fairly new in the marketplace: It was created to answer customer needs for a clutter free desktop. Wireless products consist of the actual keyboard as well as a receiver. The receiver communicates between the computer and the wireless keyboard using either radio or infrared technology. Some wireless solutions include both the wireless keyboard and the wireless mouse.
Great mouse performance! Optical technology records motion more precisely, glides more easily than a mouse ball, and has no moving parts to wear out or clean. The 400/800 DPI sensor has accurate response for applications such as gaming, photo editing, and graphic design. Programmable buttons provide easy access to functions used most often.
Dell 5650 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System with Subwoofer
Speakers are a good choice for improving the quality of multimedia presentations, online training / web casts, music listening, gaming, and DVD playback on your system.
Dell 5650 5.1 Surround Speakers: Total surround sound, great for listening to DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, or that 3D audio gaming experience. Center channel speaker features unique flat panel mountable capability.
Multi-Channel Audio: Many popular multimedia formats support multi-channel audio or surround sound. Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD movies and DirectSound3D games support multi-channel playback. In layman's terms, think of a channel as a satellite speaker and the ".1" as a subwoofer. If you want to enjoy 5.1 surround, your system or sound card must support 5.1 multi-channel audio. Stereo is two channel, meaning two speakers or two speakers plus a subwoofer.
IEEE 1394 Adapter
Purchase this adapter if you want to capture video from a digital camcorder or connect external hard drives to your computer. The IEEE 1394 adapter is a connection standard like the USB (Universal Serial Bus) and because of its ability to move data quickly (up to 400Mbits/sec) it is primarily used to capture video from digital camcorders or to connect external hard drives.
Part II: What We Missed in Part I?
Computer System Types
Personal Computers (PCs) are used by individual users (desktops, laptops, notebooks, sub-notebooks, Handheld (palmtop)
Network computers are cheaper versions of PCs and are primarily used to access the Internet and other networks
Workstations are high-end microcomputers and use RISC processors
Midrange computers (mini computers) are systems that accommodate several users at a time
Mainframe computers are large, powerful computers often shared by hundreds of concurrent users
Supercomputers are the most powerful computer systems used often in military and research organizations trying to solve complex problems.
A mainboard is the foundation of the computer.
Important mainboard components:
Microprocessor Socket houses the Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Memory Sockets are used to add memory to the computer.
Expansion slots house controller cards.
Buses transfer the data in the mainboard.
BIOS (basic input/output system) gives the first instructions to the computer (look for BIOS that supports Plug and Play).
Chip Sets control the memory I/O, the bus I/O, the interrupt requests (IRQs) and in many cases the hard disk controllers. If the CPU is the heart of the computer, chip sets are the pacemakers.
The processor or Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the heart of the computer because it ultimately controls all its functions. There are:
CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) and
RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) processors
Machine cycle time is the time in which a machine cycle occurs (instruction + execution phases). Machine cycle is usually measured in time intervals (i.e.microseconds) or MIPS (million instructions per second).
Wordlength is the number of bits the CPU can process at any one time. Wordlenght is measured in bits (i.e., 64 bits).
Bus line width is the number of bits a bus line can transfer from the CPU to other components and is also measured in bits (i.e., 64 bits).
Random Access Memory (RAM) is a volatile primary storage location that the processor uses to store our data during processing.
Read Only Memory (ROM) is a non volatile memory and as a result its content is permanent.
Cache memory (SRAM-Static RAM) is a very fast and expensive memory type that holds data frequently used by the CPU so the CPU does not have to rely only on slower RAM. When we talk about cache, we are usually talking about Level 2 cache (external to the processor). Many vendors will offer cache-less PCs at a lower price.
Controller cards are hardware devices that control the operations of hardware peripherals. Every component that is attached to the computer needs a controller card.
The monitor needs a monitor controller card to function
The hard drive and the floppy drives need a controller card
Speakers attached to the computer need a sound card
A CD-ROM needs a CD-ROM controller card
The controller card must be compatible with the peripheral and the mainboard (i.e., a VGA monitor needs a VGA controller card, a SCSI CD-ROM needs a SCSI controller card)
Ports are hardware devices used to connect the computer with other hardware components called peripherals. Ports are the attachment points of these peripherals to the computer.
Some peripheral hardware components are: the mouse, the printer and the CD-ROM drive