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desktop personal computers

electronic components and most storage devices are part of the system unit and other devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, and monitor, normally occupy space outside the system unit.


aka cases of system unit, made of metal or plastic and protects internal electronic components used to process data

system board

main circuit board of system unit

computer chip

small piece of semi-conducting material, usually silicon, on which integrated circuits are etched.

integrated circuit

is etched on a computer chip, contains many microscopic pathways capable of carrying electrical current

system unit

case that contains electronic components of the computer used to process data.


is contained on an integrated circuit, can act as an electronic switch that opens or closes the circuit for electrical charges


some comp and chip manufacturers use this term to refer to personal computer processor chip


interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer.

multi core processor

chip with 2 or more separate processors

control unit

component of the processor that directs and coordinates most of the operations in the computer.


component of the processor that performs arithmetic, comparison, and other operations.


process of obtaining a program instruction or data item from memory


the process of translating instructions into signals the computer can execute


process of carrying out commands

machine cycle

made up by 4 operations- fetching, decoding, executing and storing


processor begins fetching a second instruction before it completes the machine cycle for the first instruction

clock speed

pace of system clock is measured by number of ticks per second


small high speed storage locations in a processor that temporarily hold data and instructions

system clock

small quartz crystal circuit processor relies on to control timing of all comp operations

clock cycle

each tick of system clock equates ____

one gigahertz (GHz)

equals 1 billion ticks of system clock per second

the faster the clock speed

the more instructions the processor can execute per second


Most high-performance PCs use some type of processor in the Intel ____ family.


AMD is the leading manufacturer of ____-compatible processors, which have an internal design similar to Intel processors, perform the same functions, can be as powerful, but often are less expensive.

system on a chip

integrates the functions of a processor, memory, and a video card on a single chip.

heat sink

a small ceramic or metal component with fins on its surface that absorbs and disperses heat produced by electrical components such as a processor.

liquid cooling technology

uses a continuous flow of fluid(s), such as water and glycol, in a process that transfers the heated fluid away from the processor


consists of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those instructions, and the results of processed data (information).

stored program concept

role of memory to store both data and programs


most common type of volatile memory

memory module

small circuit board where RAM chips usually reside, being inserted into the motherboard.

memory slots on motherboard

hold the memory modules


a type of memory module where the pins on opposite sides of circuit board dont connect and thus form 2 sets of contacts

Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) chips

are synchronized to system clock

Double Data Rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM) chips are even faster than SDRAM chips because they

transfer data twice for each clock cycle

Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) chips are another type of DRAM chips that are much faster than SDRAM chips because they

use pipeline techniques

SIMM (single inline memory module)

has pins on opposite sides of the circuit board that connect together to form one set of contacts

RIMM (Rambus inline memory module)

houses RDRAM chips

8 GB and up

amount of RAM in basic application software such as word processing that home users use

L1 cache

built directly into a processor chip and usually has a very small capacity.

L2 cache

Current processors include advanced transfer cache, a type of ____ built directly on a processor chip

L3 cache

separate from the processor chip on motherboard


ROM chips that contain permanently written data, instructions, or information that is recorded when the chip is manufactured

microcode instructions

programmers use to program a PROM chip

flash memory

type of nonvolatile memory that can be erased electronically and reprogrammed, similar to EEPROM

adapter card

a circuit board that enhances functions of a component of the system unit and/or provides connections to peripherals

plug and play

supported by many of todays comps where the computer automatically can configure adapter cards like the one in the accompanying figure and other peripherals as users install them


such as a keyboard or printer, is a device that connects to the system unit and is controlled by the processor in the computer

video card

converts computer output into a video signal that travels through a cable to the monitor, which displays an image on the screen

ExpressCard slot

a special type of expansion slot that notebook and other mobile comps have at least one of

expresscard modules

next generation of PC cards. a removable flash memory device about one-half the size of a PC Card that adds memory, communications, and multimedia capabilities to mobile computers.

memory card

removable device that allows users to transfer data and information conveniently from mobile devices to their desktop computers

USB flash drive

flash memory device that plugs in a port like the one shown in the accompanying figure on a computer or portable device


A(n) ____ drive like that in the accompanying figure fits into a port that is itself an interface that can connect up to 127 different peripherals together with a single connector.

USB hub

device that plugs in a USB port on the system unit like the one in the accompanying figure and contains multiple USB ports in which users plug cables from USB devices.

gender changer

device that enables users to join two connectors that are both female or both male.

USB 2.0

aka Hi-Speed USB

FireWire port

formerly reffered to as IEEE 1394 port

firewire hub

device that plugs in a FireWire port on the system unit like the one in the accompanying figure and contains multiple FireWire ports in which users plug cables from FireWire devices.

blue tooth technology

an alternative to IrDA that uses radio waves to transmit data between two devices

MIDI port

A special type of serial port that connects the system unit to a musical instrument, such as an electronic keyboard


which can be a peripheral or a chip, creates sound from digital instructions.

SCSI port

a special high-speed parallel port that allows users to attach peripherals such as disk drives and printers

IrDa port

For a wireless device to transmit signals via infrared light waves, both the computer and the device must have one of these


Within the circuitry of a computer, each channel along which bits transfer, called a(n) ____, allows the various devices both inside and attached to the system unit to communicate with each other

bus width

aka size of bus determines number of bits that the comp can transmit at one time

Word size

the number of bits the processor can interpret and execute at a given time.

The wider the bus...

the fewer the number of transfer steps required and the faster the transfer of data

PCI bus

a high-speed expansion bus that connects higher speed devices

Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP)

a bus designed to improve the speed with which 3-D graphics and video transmit

USB (universal serial bus) and FireWire bus

buses that eliminate the need to install cards in expansion slots

hard disk drives

installed in internal bays

expansion bus for PC

PC Card bus


an opening inside the system unit in which additional equipment can be installed.

power supply

component of the system unit that converts the wall outlet AC power into the DC power a computer requires


Some external peripherals such as an external modem, speakers, or a tape drive have an AC ____, which is an external power supply

Preventive maintenance of your computer requires a few basic products, including

lint-free antistatic wipes and swabs, antistatic wristband, screen cleaning solution

first step in cleaning a computer

turn it off, unplug it, and unplug all cables from the ports

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