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Inside the Box

Inside the Box

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Inside the Box

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  1. Inside the Box • The Vital Pieces • Operating Systems • Printers New Canaan LibraryWinter 2002

  2. What we will look at: • CPU or Computer Chip • Main Memory RAM (Temporary Storage) • Hard Disk (Permanent Storage) • Drives (Portable Storage) • Video/Sound Cards • Ports • Monitors • Operating Systems (Software) • Printers

  3. CPU • CPU (Central Processing Unit) or Chip is the heart of the computer. • CPU processes instructions, performs calculations and manages the flow of information throughout the computer system.

  4. CPU • The CPU speed is a major (but not the only) factor in determining how fast a computer operates. • CPU speed is measured in megahertz (MHz), millions of cycles per second or gigahertz (GHz), billions of cycles per second.

  5. CPU Today there are several different types of CPUs with different speeds to choose from: • Intel Pentium Processor • Intel Celeron Processor • AMD Athlon Processor • AMD Duron Processor

  6. CPU Intel Pentium Processor • Pentium 4 is the latest generation, with a processing speed up to 2.0 GHz. • Pentium III’s are still common in new computers with speeds ranging from 700 MHz to 1.13 GHz

  7. CPU Intel Celeron Processor • An inexpensive CPU designed to meet the needs and budgets of most home computer users. • Similar to the Pentium, but have less built-in memory. • Available in speeds up to 900 MHz.

  8. CPU AMD Athlon Processor The AMD Athlon is a high-performance processor manufactured by AMD, suitable for businesses and home users who need a powerful processor.

  9. CPU AMD Duron Processor The AMD Duron is an inexpensive CPU designed to meet the needs of most computer users with speeds up to 900 MHz.

  10. CPU Recommended CPU: Celeron or Duron based computers for the more cost conscious. Pentium III, 4 or AMD Athlon for the power user.

  11. Memory (Temporary Storage) RAM (Random Access Memory) or Main Memory • The amount of RAM memory determines the number of programs a computer can run at once and how fast programs will operate. • Memory is measured in megabytes (MB). You should buy a computer with at least 128 MB of memory

  12. Memory • Think of RAM as “work space” • You can improve the performance of your computer by adding more memory. • RAM is temporary memory

  13. Memory Memory comes in different forms • DRAM (Dynamic RAM) is a type of memory chip that makes up the main memory in many computer systems • SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) is a faster type of memory chip found in most new computer systems. SDRAM transfers at a rate of 133 MHz

  14. Memory • RDRAM (Rambus DRAM) is a new type of memory chip often found in high-performance computers. It can transfer data at up to 600 MHz. • ECC (Error-correcting code memory) Includes a special circuitry for testing the accuracy of data as it passes in/out of memory

  15. Memory Recommended Memory: 128 MB - 256 MB for all new computers. Look for SDRAM or RDRAM with ECC.

  16. Hard Disk(Permanent Storage) With Hard disk, both size and speed matters. • Today the amount of information a hard disk can store is measured in Gigabytes (GB) • The speed at which the platter in the hard disk spins is measured inRevolutions Per Minute (RPM) • The speed at which a hard drive finds data is the “Average Access Time” or “ Seek Time.”

  17. Hard Disk • Average Access Time or “Seek Time” is measured in milliseconds (MS). One millisecond equals 1/1000 of a second. Seek time is important to the overall performance of the computer • Most hard drives have an average access time between 8 to 15 ms. • The lower the average access time, the faster the hard drive.

  18. Hard Disk Types of hard disk interfaces: • EIDI • SCSI • Firewire (SCSI and Firewire need a separate interface card, are more expensive but faster than EIDI)

  19. Hard Disk Types of EIDI drives: • Regular EIDI • DMA • Ultra ATA

  20. Hard Disk DMA and Ultra ATA hard drives runs faster faster than regular EIDI Speed DMA 5400 RPM ATA 7200 RPM

  21. Hard Disk Recommended Hard Disk: 20 - 40 GB Ultra ATA 7-9 ms seek time, 7200 RPM

  22. Video Card • The video cardis the interface between the CPU and the monitor. • A video card has its own memory chip which stores information before sending it to the monitor. • Most computers require at least 2 MB of video card memory (VRAM).

  23. Video Card • An Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) video card uses an AGP bus to communicate directly with the computer’s main memory. • This allows quicker display of complex images on the monitor. • AGP is specially designed to meet the high demands of displaying 3D images.

  24. Video Card Recommended Video Card: 2X - 4X AGP, 16-64 MB RAM, 3-D card with a good brand name. Some good brand names are: ATI, Creative and Voodoo

  25. Sound Card • The sound card is the interface that allows you to listen to sounds on your PC • The sampling rate of a sound card determines the quality of the sound produced. The higher the sampling rate, the better the sound quality • Look for a sampling rate of at least 44.1 KHz

  26. Sound Card Full-duplex • A full-duplex sound card lets you talk and listen at the same time. • When using a computer to have a conversation over the Internet, a full-duplex sound card lets people talk at the same time.

  27. Sound Cards Recommended Sound Card: Diamond MX 300, 400, 600 or the family of SoundBlaster Live Cards.

  28. Drives (Portable Storage) • Floppy • CD-ROM • CD-RW • DVD • DVD-R

  29. Drives Floppy Drive • A floppy drive is a storage device that magnetically stores data. • Floppy drives use 3.5 inch floppy disks. • A floppy disk can hold 1.44 MBs of information.

  30. Drives CD-ROM Drive • CD-ROM means Compact Disc-Read-Only-Memory. • Read-only means you cannot change the information stored on the disc • A single CD-ROM stores up to 650 MB of information (that’s over 400 floppy disks)

  31. Drives CD-ROM Applications • Install Programs • Play Multimedia CD-ROM Discs • Play Music CDs

  32. Drives CD-ROM Speed • How fast the CD-ROM disc spins determines its speed • The higher the speed, the faster information can transfer from the disk to the computer. • You should buy at least a 48X (7,200 KB/s) CD-ROM drive.

  33. Drives CD-RW Drives • A CD-RW means Compact Disc-ReWritable. • CD-RWs allow you to write, and re-write, data on CD-RW discs. • CD-R discs allow you to write BUT NOT re-write data to the disk.

  34. Drives CD-RW Applications • Store and Transfer Data (Up to 700 MB) • Record Music (Up to 74 minutes) • Play Music CDs • Play Multimedia CDs

  35. Drives CD-RW Speed CD-RW drives operate at several speeds. Example: Write 12X Rewrite 10X Read 32X

  36. Drives • Write speed refers to how fast a CD-RW can record data on a CD-R disc • Re-Write speed refers to how fast it can write to a CD-RW disc • Read refers to how fast data transfers from a disc to the computer

  37. Drives DVD-ROM Stands for Digital Versatile Disc-Read-Only Memory. You cannot change the information stored on a DVD-ROM. A DVD-ROM is similar in size and shape to a CD-ROM, but can store much more information (4.7 to 17 GB)

  38. Drives DVD-ROM Applications • Play DVD Video (w/MPEG2 decoder) • Play Music CDs • Play Multimedia DVDs or CDs

  39. Drives DVD-ROM Speed The speed of a DVD-ROM drive determines how quickly data can transfer from a disc to the computer. Current drives commonly have a speed of 6X

  40. Drives Recordable DVD Drives • A recordable DVD allows you to record data on rewritable DVD discs. • Recordable DVDs are also known as DVD-RAM and DVD-R. • DVD-Ram can play CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs music CDs and DVD Video.

  41. Ports USB and Firewire • USB and Firewire ports allow you to easily connect peripheral devices to your computer • USB and Firewire are very fast ports • USB/Firewall automatically detect and install the device

  42. Ports USB (Universal Serial Bus) • Current version of USB can transfer information at a speed of up to 12 megabits per second (Mbps). • USB 2.0 will be able to transfer information at a speed of 480 Mbps. • USB is often used to connect scanners, printers, keyboards, etc.

  43. Ports Firewire (a.k.a. IEEE 1394 or • A firewire port can transfer information at a speed of up to 400 Mbps. • Firewire is useful for connecting high-speed devices such as digital video cameras and external hard drives.

  44. Modem Modem • A modem lets computer exchange information over telephone lines • 56 Kbps (5,600 bits per second) is the highest speed dial-up. • V.92/V.44 is a new standard promising higher speed dial-up (300 Mbps), faster connection speed and the ability to take calls without disconnecting from the Internet

  45. Network Adapter Ethernet Card • Is an adapter that allows you to connect your computer to a network. • Needed for Broadband connections to the Internet (e.g. Cable, DSL)

  46. Monitors Monitor Size • Monitor size is measured diagonally across the screen. Common sizes are 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 inches. • Large monitors are more expensive and are good for working with graphics, video editing or large spreadsheets.

  47. Monitors Flat-panel • A flat-panel monitor uses Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). • Flat-panels are more expensive but are lighter, take up less desk space and use less electricity.

  48. Monitors Dot Pitch • The dot pitch is the distance between pixels on a screen. A pixel is the smallest element on a screen. • Dot pitch determines the sharpness of images and is measured in millimeters (mm) • The smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the image. Select a monitor with a dot pitch of 0.28mm or less.

  49. Monitors Refresh Rate • The refresh rate determines the speed that a monitor redraws, or updates, images. The higher the rate the less flicker on the screen. • Refresh is measured in hertz (Hz) and tells you the number of times per second the monitor redraws the entire screen. • Choose a monitor with a refresh rate of 72 Hz or more.

  50. Operating System • Windows 98 • Windows ME • Windows XP (Home Edition) Windows NT and 2000 are more commonly used for running business applications. They provide advanced networking and security features.