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Components of a Computer System


Hardware are the parts of the computer that make up the computer system (Parts that you can touch & see)
Hardware is split into the following groups: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Input devices get data into the computer e.g. Keyboard, Scanner CPU (central processing unit) runs programs and does calculations e.g. Pentium 4 Main store - stores data, programs for a short time for processing, eg. ROM, RAM Backing storage - stores data and programs e.g. Hard Disk Drive Output Devices - gets information from the computer. e.g. Monitor, Printer




BACKING STORAGE Typical Desktop Computer Monitor (Output) CDROM/RW (Storage) Speakers (Output) DVD/RW (Storage) Hard Disk (Storage) CPU (Processor) Keyboard (Input) RAM (Main Memory)
Clive Roberts 2008-2010 All rights reserved

Inside a Typical Desktop Computer

Central Processing Unit (CPU) The CPU (often called the brain of the computer) runs programs, performs calculations and processes raw data into information The CPU is made up of logic circuits carved onto a piece of silicon (silicon chip). Also sometimes called a microprocessor (tiny) Examples of CPU include Pentium 4, AMD Athlon etc. Getting smaller and faster. Main Memory (RAM & ROM) There are two types of Memory:

R.O.M. Read Only Memory R.A.M. Random Access Memory

Memory is used to hold the following: Programs operating system, or applications programs Input data put into memory before processing Working area stores data that is currently being processed Output data data ready to be output e.g. to printer

Data held in memory is instantly available to the computer

Clive Roberts 2008-2010 All rights reserved

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is an integrated circuit that holds programs & data temporarily while they are being processed Because data is temporarily stored on RAM it is lost when the power is switched off i.e. It is Volatile A PC would typically have 1Gb, 2Gb or more of RAM

Read Only Memory (ROM)

ROM is an integrated circuit programmed with specific data when it is manufactured Usually contains the instructions to load the operating system (boot program) Data is permanently stored on ROM when the power is switched off i.e. It is Non-Volatile ROM chips are used not only in computers, but in most other electronic items as well e.g Washing Machines, Microwave ovens etc. etc. . Software

Software are the programs that let the computer do a useful job. Programs are the instructions that tell the computer what to do
Without software the hardware would be useless 2 types of Software

1. Applications Software - Does a job for the user, e.g. Word processing, spreadsheets 2. Operating Systems - Control the hardware so that users can use it e.g. Windows XP User Interface A combination of menus, screen design, keyboard commands, command language and online help, which creates the way a user interacts with a computer. Graphical User Interface (GUI) - e.g. Windows XP, Mac OS Command Line User Interface e.g. MSDOS, UNIX
Clive Roberts 2008-2010 All rights reserved

Types of Computers There are several types of computer from the smallest PDA through to enormous Super Computers

PDAs & Pocket PCs

Personal Digital Assistants (PDA)- small pocket Pcs, becoming more powerful and popular also very sophisticated. Eg. HP, iPaq, Toshiba e750 Palmtop- high end PDAs include requests and infra-red communications links for network, internet and email communications. Eg. Palm IIIe.

Laptops and Notebooks

As powerful as desktop PCs Portable with battery power LCD/TFT displays (flat, use less power) Eg. Apple iBook, Sony Vaio, IBM Thinkpad, Toshiba Satellite.

Desk Top PCs

Most common PC (personal computer) found in homes and businesses Typical specification may include Pentium 4 CPU, 2Gb RAM, 500Gb Hard Disk, DVD/RW etc.

Mini Computers
Mini computers are typically used by medium to large sized businesses to run computer networks (between a powerful desk top PC and a Mainframe)

Mainframe Computers
Large, powerful computers able of supporting a large number (typically 500+) terminals Very fast - often 250+ MIPS (millions of instructions per second.) Used by banks, insurance companies, government organizations, utility companies (e.g. electrical)

Clive Roberts 2008-2010 All rights reserved