The Central Processing UnitThe motherboard should be thought of as the computer’s centralnervous system, and the microprocessor chip as the brain.
So how do you choose theright motherboard? Size, or form factor The most popular motherboard form factor today is ATX. Almost all computers use this type. A chipset controls the flow of information in the motherboard. It cannot be upgraded without upgrading the whole board. NVidia and Via make chipsets for both AMD and Intel processors. AMD and Intel only make chipsets compatible with their own processors.
What are Microprocessors? Microprocessors consist of a system of transistors, which act as on/off switches (or 1/0 in binary language) to represent different kinds of data. The size of your processor is measured in 0s or 1s, called bits. 8 bits = 1 byte 1,000 bytes = 1 kilobyte (KB) 1,000,000 bytes = 1 megabyte (MB) …and so on.
PC Vs. Macintosh Microsoft Windows are designed to run on Intel processors, Apple computers use Motorola-type chips. • The PowerPC chip, by Apple, IBM, and Motorola, allowed for Macintosh computers to run PC software as well. • In 2005, Apple decided to convert solely to Intel processor chips by June 2007. • These means more compatibility options.
Moore’s Law In 1965, Gordon E. Moore published a paper that proposes: The number of transistors packed onto a chip doubles every 18 months, while the price remains the Moores law. (2008, September 22). In Wikipedia, The Free same. Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:22, September 25, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Moore%27s_law&oldid=24 0240004
Processor Speed Processor speed is measured by a system clock. The clock rate is measured in hertz. 1981 Today The original 2002 Up to tetra hertz, orIBM computer’s Intel Pentium 4 trillions of clock speed up to 3 GHz. cycles perwas at 4.7 MHz. second.
Thermal Design Power (TDP) Because of these high speeds, systems often become overheated. • Fans and modes of heat transfer have helped. • But much of today’s software require a high number of processes to occur rapidly, such as in large networks or in games.
Multi-Core Processors Divides the processing load over two or more processors to prevent sluggishness and overheating. This means improved multi-tasking performance. “Understanding Processor Performance” (2008). Alienware Corporation. Retrieved 23 September 2008 at http://www.alienware.com/intro_pages/processors_101.aspx
Short-Term MemoryWhat is it and why is it important toconsider when buying a computer?What amount of RAM isrecommended for a new system?
Holds the data before and after processing Critical for a system to run smoothly and its software to work well RAM size is usually measured in megabytes or gigabytes
B.K. Williams & S.C.Sawyer, (2007). Usinginformation Technology 128 megabytes for students At least 256 megabytes or possibly 512 megabytes if you want to handle graphics files As memory size required for additional software continues to grow, the library might want to buy for future
DDR-SDRAM is a more recent development and most often found in personal computers so the staff would probably want to make sure they bought a system with this type of memory
Michael J. Miller, (Nov.11, 2004) “Your Next PC.” PCMagazine Recommends 512 MB of RAM as an inexpensive item that will do more to improve how a computer works than a more powerful processor For games, 1 gigabyte of RAM
Kristopher Kubicki, . (March 19,2006) “Vista and the Quest forMore Memory.” Daily Tech. Noticed a drop in price for more RAM every time a new Windows operating system is launched Expects to see 2 gigabytes as the norm for new computer systems
Jason Cross, (Sept. 13, 2006)“The Best PC for the Money.”PC Magazine. Recommends 2 gigabytes of memory with newer operating systems, especially Vista You could get by with 1 but price makes this too good a bargain to pass up, especially with whatever technology comes next
Russell Hitchcock. (July17, 2007) "Memory andStorage: Part 2.“WindowsNetworking.com Discuss newer type of chip called Magneto- resistive Random Access Memory , or MRAM, which uses magnetic storage Expensive and not readily available
Schenone, Ron. (March29, 2007) “Vista – How MuchRam Is Really Enough?” TheBlade by Ron Schenone, MVP. Microsoft always low-balls the amount of RAM needed Found Microsoft XP ran fine with 1 gigabyte of RAM Vista ran faster and smoother with 2 gigabytes. No noticeable difference with 4 gigabytes
Jeff Tyson and DaveCoustan, (2008). “How RAMWorks,” How Stuff Works. RAM needs depend on system you are running Microsoft recommends 128 megabytes with Windows XP, 256 megabytes for optimal performance
Joel Santo Domingo, CiscoCheng, Laarni AlmendralaRagaza. (September 2008)“Best PCs on Campus”PC Magazine Some colleges require computers with 2 gigabytes of RAM Best new computers have 2 gigabytes, some 3 or 4.
Summary While books may provide a good introduction to what you might need for purchasing, technology changing so rapidly that information quickly obsolete Online articles and blogs and even print magazines seem a better source for the latest recommendations Standard now seems to be at least 1or 2 gigabytes, but probably won’t be long before 3 or 4 is the norm
Long-Term MemoryLong-term memory is traditionally known as Secondary Storage.
Two Things to Consider1. Raw Capacity – the amount of data that can be stored.2. Density – the amount of data that can be stored per unit of size.
Secondary Storage Methods Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Floppy Disk Zip Disk Optical Disk Compact Disk (CD) Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) Blu-Ray Disc Flash Memory