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Hardware Information Group Name Created by Michael Marcus
What is Hardware? “Hardware components which are typically installed into or peripheral to a computer case to create a personal computer upon which system software is installed including a firmware interface such as a BIOS and an operating system supporting application software that performs the operator's desired functions”
What is every component and what does it do? Ever consider making your own computer? Desktop, Laptop, Gaming Computer, etc? Know what the specifications mean and how they effect the quality of that part and other parts?
Major Hardware Components CPU (Central Processing Unit) RAM (Random Access Memory) ROM (Read-Only Memory) HD (Hard Drive) SSD (Solid State Drive) Mother Board
CPU (Central Processing Unit) Performs most, if not all of the calculations done inside a computer. It is refereed as the “brain” of the computer. Two Major companies that make them are: Intel & AMD
CPU Specifications: Important Questions to ask Brand of the CPU (AMD or Intel) Processor type: Mobile, Desktop or Server Does it support 64 -bit software? Cache size? Frequency- (Measured in Hertz, speed in which the processor runs at) Type of Series? Usually defines amount of cores and type of cores. TPD- Power in Watts your processor will consume. Take heat into account too.
A few example's of CPU's
RAM (Random Access Memory) A special chip that stores and accesses memory while the computer is on. If the CPU needs information, it will be located on the hard drive and placed on the RAM for easier access.
RAM- More Information Is faster than an HD but is more expensive, reason why HD is used for data storage. It stores code and data that is accessible by the CPU. Most 32 -bit systems only can support 3 GB of RAM, where 64 -bit can support significantly more. Having more RAM allows you to access more programs, simultaneously, as well as, increase the speed and performance of the machine. Need to check your Mother Board to see if adding RAM is possible.
ROM (Read-Only Memory) Is used mainly for firmware and stores either BIOS (Basic Input Output System) or UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) information. Also, cannot be modified easily. Is activated the moment the computer is turned on and information is “nonvolatile” As the name implies, it can only read data, not write it. Often contains system start up info.
HD (Hard Drive) It is the main storage unit of the computer. Serves as a major component for processing information. It works both online and offline.
HD- More information Contains all computer files such as OS files, history, files, etc. It is electromechanical, meaning that every now and then it will fail, and will need to be replaced. Always check to see if it possible to add another HD. Keep an eye on the disc speed, important for processing information faster (Speed is measured in RPM) If you have more than one HD, try to set up RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) which can prevent data loss.
SSD (Solid State Drive) Similar to a HD, however, when compared to one an SSD is quieter, less susceptible to shock and it takes less time to access information. Although it may be faster and may improve performance, it is more expensive for the same amount of space. Also, can make your computer run faster and make installations of data quicker.
Mother Board Contains the actual CPU, is the “heart” of a computer due to all hardware components being connected to it. Make sure your CPU is compatible or else it'll be a waste.
Minor Hardware Components Keyboard (Input Device) Mouse (Input Device) Monitor (Output Device) Optical Disc Drive Expansion Cards (Audio/Video) Computer Case/Chassis Extra's (Web-cam, Mic, Speakers, etc)
Computer Case/Chassis Can make multiple tasks much easier, such as, having easily accessible USB ports and memory ports. Also, to be able to remove your HD without tools.
Keyboard- Input Device Come in many shapes and sizes, different for varying uses. Some Keyboards come with a built-in pointing device so a mouse isn't needed. Wireless Keyboards use either Radio-Frequency or Bluetooth technology to operate. Keep an eye out for Media Keys!
Mouse- Input Device Can get either a wireless or wired mouse, the preference is up to you. A Mouse operates on DPI or Dots Per Inch. A optical mouse can track between 400 -800 dpi. Where as a laser one can track up to 2000 dpi. Some Mice come with programmable buttons, making certain programs easier.
Speakers- Output Device Most speakers today operate on 7. 1 Channel audio. Plan on buying a subwoofer along with your new speaker set if you're looking for higher quality sound. Figure out what kind of setup do you want: Stereo, 2. 1 or Surround?
Computer Monitor- Output Device Display resolution is the number of pixels that can be displayed. Many modern Monitors have additional components in it, getting rid of the need for Speakers, Web-Cams, Mic, etc.
ODD (Optical Disc Drive) A disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves to read or write disks. Older drives can only read disks, where as, more modern one's can both read and write. They are known as burners. Format disk types generally known are Compact Disks, DVD's, CD's and Blue-Ray disks. Also, Software as it was created for this purpose.
Expansion Cards (Audio/Video) Make sure your Mother Board has a spare PCI or PCI-Express slot if you plan on buying a sound card. A sound card will improve sound quality, as well as, recording quality. Most video cards offer functions such as accelerated rendering of 3 D scenes and 2 D graphics.
Extra's (Web-Cam, Mic, etc) Most modern day computers already come pre-installed with both a web-cam and a mic. Some Web-cams today even come with a built in mic, mainly for convenience. Even other parts of a computer, like a mouse can have these installments included in them.
Building your own Computer! Research, Research! What are your needs? What kind of computer are you looking for? Be patient! Make sure to buy all your parts at the same time! Give yourself plenty of time!
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