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You Have $2,000.00 To Get The Best Computer System You Can Get For The Money. What System Will You Buy?

1735 words - 7 pages

When the word "technology" is mentioned, most people will think about computers. Virtually every facet of our lives is affected by some computerized components. The appliances in our homes, like our televisions, have microprocessors built into them. However, the computer that everyone thinks of first is typically the personal computer, better known as the PC.A PC is an information processing device. It can take information from a person, device or from the network and processes it. Once processed, the information is shown to the user on the monitor, output to the printer or stored on a device like a hard disk. The heart of the PC is the microprocessor with many other different parts that work together.Among all these parts that are working together, there are some components which are essential to running the PC. Without these components, the PC will fail to function. These components, the motherboard, microprocessor, memory and hard disk, will be discussed in the following paragraphs.The motherboard (also called mainboards) provides the infrastructure for the entire computer. It is the main circuit board that all other circuit boards such as the sound card and other internal components plug in. The choice of motherboard will determine the CPU type and RAM (these 2 components will be discussed in the later paragraphs) that is available to the user. The motherboard first premiered in 1982 on the original IBM PC. It was a large printed circuit board that contained the 8088 microprocessor, the Basic Input / Output System (BIOS), sockets for the CPU's RAM and slots that auxiliary cards could plug into. Since then, motherboards have shrunk in size but their functionality has skyrocketed.Another essential component is the microprocessor. It is more commonly known as a CPU (or central processing unit). It is a complete computation engine that is fabricated on a single chip. The first microprocessor was the Intel 4004 introduced in 1971. The first microprocessor to make it into a home computer was the Intel 8080 in 1974. Since then the microprocessor has progressed from the 8080 to the current Pentium 4 processors in 30 years. The Pentium 4 can execute any piece of code that ran on the original 8088 but does it 5000 times faster. The microprocessor does three basic things, namelya) using its ALU (arithmetic/ Logic Unit), a microprocessor can perform mathematical operations,b) move data from one memory location to another andc) make decisions and jumps to a new set of instructions based on those decisions.Memory is also an important component of the PC. There are 2 forms of computer memory: ROM and RAM. ROM stands for read-only memory. A ROM chip is programmed with a permanent collection of pre-set instructions. It is built into the motherboard and there is nothing that we can do about it. However, the best known form of computer memory is the RAM or Random Access Memory. RAM is considered "random access" as it allows the user to access any memory cell...

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