Computer components

  • Created by: Harry
  • Created on: 24-04-19 15:23

Processors (CPU)

The CPU manages all the hardware activities required to receive instructions and data, and manages the storage devices of the computer as well as recording where all programs and instructions are located for future retrieval.

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This is the main circuit of a personal computer. Its printed circuits provide data or communications highways transfering data to different parts of the computer and has many of the computer components directly connected to it via sockets such as the CPU and RAM

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Primary Computer storage

Primary storage devices include: 

-Registers: These are small and used by the CPU to process data, store instructions and operating system requirements.

-Random Access Memory (RAM): This is fast but slower than the registers and larger in size, it is used to hold all data and instructions used by the computer for programs that are currently open on the computer.

-Read Only Memory (ROM): This contains permanent instructions such as the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) which checks that all devices are in place, are working and loads the operating system.

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Storage devices

Storage devices include:

Flash drives: These are small devices containg flash memory used to store small to medium sized data that can be transfered from computer to computer or from other devices such as cameras.

Cloud storage: This is where a computer saves data to a remote database that can be accessed anywhere as it is hosted by multiple servers and stored in multiple pools.

Solid state drive: Is a device in the computer that stores data persistently through integrated circuit assemblies, is generally faster than hard drives but has lower space and is more expensive

Optical hard drives: a hard drive is a device that reads from a disk and can store data on a disk, you can get fixed disks which stay in the computer for use as storage or you can get optical drives which you can insert a disk for the computer to read or store data on. This is slower than the SSD but has more storage and can be portable if using an optical drive.

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Computer ports

Different types of ports include: 

Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports: These enable the computer to connect with standalone devices through a USB cable such as printers, cameras, routers/modems or mobile devices. It also can be where a flash drive is connected.

Fire Wire: Similar to USB but allows different elements to communicate without being linked to a computer network, it is used for high speed transfer of large amounts of data.

Special Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA): This allows devices to connect to the computer on another port on the motherboard. For example, connecting a hard drive to the motherboard.

Network ports: These are physical ports that connect computers to modems,routers or local networks

Ethernet ports: Used for cable-based networks and most computers have at least one port which is directly linked to the computers network card.

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Power supply units (PSU's)

These recieve electricity from mains outlets (alternating currents or AC) and convert them to direct currents and supply it to the computer to power it. All units need a cooler for this which usually comes in form of a fan but large computers or expensive desktops can use liquid coolant systems. 

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