Presentation on theme: "Hardware specification. The “brain” The brain processes instructions, performs calculations, and manages the flow of information through the body The."— Presentation transcript:
The “brain” The brain processes instructions, performs calculations, and manages the flow of information through the body The processor (also called CPU, short for Central Processing Unit) is the “engine“ or the “brain” of a computer.
The processor It is the most important component in determining how fast or 'snappy' the system will operate across applications both now and in the near future. What would you bear in mind when choosing a processor?
Considerations A consideration is the fact that (important as the CPU is) the CPU you choose will be the same throughout the life of the system. Why is this important? A final consideration in choosing a CPU is the suggested or minimum requirements of either the programs that is planning on being run, or performance required for a particular tasks.
Examples Currently, the two largest manufacturers of CPUs in the world are Intel and Advanced Micro Devices or AMD. The following provides a short profile of the companies and the current state of their products.
Classes of processors Economy Mid-range High end
What affects processor performance? When determining processor performance there are four main areas to look at: Speed and access time Capacity Word size
Speed In computer language, there are what are known as cycles. Cycles are groupings of information. A cycle is "completed" when all of the instructions in the group have been processed. Processor speed is the number of cycles per second at which the central processing unit of a computer operates and is able to process information. Processor speed is measured in megahertz and is essential to the ability to run applications. Faster processor speeds are desired. Processor speed is also represented in gigahertz GHz
Access time The time a program or device takes to locate a single piece of information and make it available to the computer for processing
Capacity Storage capacity refers to how much disk space one or more storage devices provides. It measures how much data a computer system may contain. For an example, a computer with a 500GB hard drive has a storage capacity of 500 gigabytes. when checking your computer to see if it meets a program's system requirements, make sure you have enough free disk space to install the program.
Capacity - The amount of information that can be stored on the medium. UnitDescriptionApproximate Size 1 bit1 binary digit 1 nibble4 bits 1 byte8 bits1 character 1 kilobyte1,024 bytes 1/2 page, double spaced 1 megabyte1,048,576 bytes 500,000 pages 1 million bytes 1 gigabyte1,073,741,824 bytes 5 million pages 1 billion bytes 1 terabyte1 trillion bytes 5 billion pages
When it comes to processors, size matters. This is because the processor will become obsolete very quickly. Choosing a 3.6 GHz processor over a 2 GHz today can buy you several years of cheap computing time.
Random Access Memory This is the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's processor.
RAM stores the modules that are needed to make your applications work. RAM is also needed so that you can have multiple windows open and so that you can switch between them. if you have a lot of windows, documents and different applications running, you might find that your system starts to slow down. Most computers are typically sold with 1-2 Gb of RAM installed.
Cache CPUs also typically have two or three levels of cache. Cache is a type of fast memory which serves as a buffer between RAM and the processor. The processor's socket type determines which motherboard it can be installed on. If you're an extreme gamer or if you run intensive graphics programs, get the processor with the largest cache that fits your budget.
Word Size The number of bits that a CPU can process at one time. Processors with many different word sizes have existed though powers of two (8, 16, 32, 64) have predominated for many years.