Basic Computer Hardware
Notes – Copy All
□ The Accelerated Graphics Port is a high speed
connection to the motherboard for video cards.
□ Faster than a PCI card and doesn’t use the system
The Basic Input/Output System controls the
computer’s basic operations and is responsible for
starting up the computer and hardware.
□ Short for Binary digit. It is the smallest unit of
information handled by a computer. One bit
expresses a 1 or a 0 in a binary numeral.
□ Or, it’s a true or false logical condition, and is
represented physically by an element such as a
high or low voltage at one point in a circuit or a
small spot on a disk magnetized one way or
□ A single bit conveys little information a human
would consider meaningful.
□ A group of 8 bits, however, makes up a byte,
which can be used to represent many types of
information, such as a letter of the alphabet, a
decimal digit, or other character.
Measured in MegaHertz (MHz) and determines how
fast the memory and CPU run.
The case holds, cools, and protects the computer; the
bigger the better.
CD-ROM and CD-ROM Burner (CD-R/CD-RW)
□ This device reads data, audio, and video files from
a CD-ROM disc.
□ A burner can also save and even re-save data to a
The Central Processing Unit is the computer’s control
center: the “brain”.
DVD-ROM (DVD and DVD+/-R/DVD+/-RW)
It reads the same as a CD-ROM but is a super
compressed format (MPEG) that can store full-length
□ Magnetic storage medium. Sealed in a hard plastic
shell, the actual magnetic disk is flexible plastic
coated with a layer of magnetic film.
□ Typical floppy disks hold 1.4 megabytes of data
and measure 3.5 inches in diameter.
□ Floppy disk drives connect to the motherboard via
a dedicated cable.
□ Old floppy disks were 5 1/4 in.
This stores all of the computer’s information and
retains the information when the computer is turned
Allows the entry of data and executes programs.
□ It is used to measure the amount of space on a hard
drive or on a memory stick.
□ Gigabytes (GB) are more frequently used now.
It is a high resolution TV-like tube that displays the
This transfers data between all of the computer’s
components: the human nervous system.
Allows the entry of data and executes programs the
easy way on screen and works well with graphics and
The “Peripheral Component Interconnect” is a highspeed connection to adding devices to a computer including SCSI cards, video, sound, modems, and
other PCI devices.
□ Converts power from a source into power the
computer can use.
□ 300 – 400 watt supply cases are best. Smaller
means more crashes.
□ Aids in the cooling of the computer.
It outputs data that is seen on the screen or from a
□ Random Access Memory holds recently accessed
data from the computer for the CPU to have quick
□ It is gone once the computer is shut off.
This device allows the reading of images and text.
□ The “skuzzy” stands for “Small Computer Systems
□ This interface is the fastest connection to the hard
drive and is usually associated with the hard
□ A connecting device used on Ethernet networks.
Each computer on the Local Area Network is
connected to the switch with a dedicated segment.
□ The switch uses the MAC or ISP address to
determine which segment to forward frames to.
□ A frame is only forwarded to the destination rather
than broadcast to all computers.
□ This increases both the security and the efficiency
of the network.
□ Contrast with a Hub simply forwards all data
through the network.
The Universal Serial Bus Port allows for the
connecting of many external devices to the computer.
It transfers data from the...
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