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Computer Hardware And Component Usage And Performance Issues

1445 words - 6 pages

IntroductionIn this paper I will discuss component usage and component performance issues relatedto computer hardware. First I will explain what the media storage devices on a computer are andwhat their appropriate uses are. Next, I will discuss the roles in defining the speed/performanceof the computer related to: RAM, clock speed of the CPU, retrieving data from the Hard Drive,retrieving data from a CD ROM and retrieving data from a floppy disk.Hard DisksTo many users the hard disk drive is the most important and yet the most mysterious part of a computer system. A hard disk drive is a sealed unit that a PC uses for nonvolatile data storage. Nonvolatile, or semi permanent, storage means that the storage device retains the data even when no power is supplied to the computer (Thompson, 2002, chap. 4). Because the hard disk drive is expected to retain data until deliberately erased or overwritten, the hard drive is used to store crucial programming and data. As a result, when the hard disk fails, the consequences are usually very serious.Floppy DisksFloppy Disks are somewhat slower than a hard disk and not used as much as they have been in the past. Floppy Disk drives are categorized as removable media or removable magnetic storage devices. These devices use media that can be swapped in and out of the drive. Floppy Disks are typically slower at accessing data than a Hard Disk drive is, sometimes much slower. Removable magnetic storage devices are useful because you can store an unlimited amount of data on additional cartridges, albeit with only a subset of the data available online at any one time (Thompson, 2002, chap. 6). Because media are separate items, you can transfer data between computers that are not networked, if those computers are equipped with a compatible drive. Removable media also allow storing data off-site as protection against fire, theft, or other catastrophes. The most appropriate uses of these drives are to provide supplemental working storage, to transfer large amounts of data between computers, and to make backups (Nickerson, 2001). They are much less suitable for archiving data long-term.RAMToday there are many types of RAM for personal and business computers. In fact, there are so many different types; a user must be careful to only use what is compatible with his system. The term 'RAM' is an acronym for Random Access Memory, this is the memory that your computer uses to run its operating system and any applications that you start (Thompson, 2002, chap. 5). The name means that the computer can access information held anywhere (i.e. at a random location) in RAM by addressing that part of the RAM directly (Thompson, 2002, chap. 5). Generally a system is best served by a mix of RAM and Drive storage. Your computer needs different amounts of RAM for different tasks and the more applications you open the more RAM is required.Compact Disk (CD-ROM)The Compact Disk - Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) drive has gone from pricey luxury to...

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