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BTEC First Diploma in Information and Creative Technology Learning aims A. Understand how the components of technology systems work together. B. Understand how data flows between internal components of a computer and is processed to provide information. C. Understand different types of software. Internal components of a computer A computer is made up of different components. These components can be internal, e.g. CPU, RAM or hard drive, or external, e.g. keyboard, mouse, webcam. At the heart of a technology system is at least one computer. Activity Feedback ideas to the board regarding the following: Create two lists with the following titles: 1. 2. External Components Internal Components Under each heading write down as many components as you can think of. Which of the internal components on your list have the greatest effect on the computer’s performance? Why do you think this is? Activity Main components of a computer, research activity. Type up the following table and explain what each component is. Where possible provide a diagram/ image to show what the component looks like. Activity – complete table Component: Motherboard Central processing unit (CPU) Arithmetic and logic unit Control unit Registers Memory Graphics card (or video card) Sound Heat dispersal Storage devices Optical drive Description: Image: How a computer works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QElVrqBwnk Processing digital data The hard drive is the computer’s storage device. It is used to load programs (apps) into RAM so the CPU can run. The storage device is also used for documents, these are copied into RAM when opened or to storage when saved https://www.yout ube.com/watch?v= Wksj3-Igzmw The CPU ALU (arithmetic logic unit) - does the math and key processing (For example, can tell if 4 > 3?) CU (Control Unit) - tells what instruction is executed next CPU (Central Processing Unit) - contains the ALU & CU - the heart of a computer! We measure the speed of a CPU by clock speed (GHz) which can be thought of as billions of instruction steps per second. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJjLFj6f8z8 The CPU A system accepts Input (data), Processes that data in the CPU (Computer Processing Unit) and Outputs Information. Below is a representation of this processing: https://www. youtube.com/ watch?v=jeS4 0KiM5yk GPU (graphical processing unit) The CPU and the GPU (which processes visual images) have a massive effect on a computer’s performance. These run all the instructions and complete the calculations. The speed at which instructions and calculations within the CPU and GPU occur, and the synchronisation of all the components within the processor are regulated by a clock. A micro processor requires a fixed number of clock cycles to execute each instruction. The clock speed is typically measured in MHz (megahertz) or GHz (gigahertz). In general, the faster the clock speed, the more instructions the processor can execute per second and the higher the performance of the computer. Processors often have multiple processing cores. Each core is able to run code independently, so more cores means more code is being processed at the same time. Therefore programs run faster and the user experience is improved. Cache Memory Cache memory is used between faster and slower devices to let them work more quickly together. The fast device writes or reads to/from the cache memory and the slower devices updates as quickly as it can. For example: The processor has cache memory to speed up access to the slower RAM, which means that the processor isn’t idle while it waits for RAM to respond to an instruction. Slower hard drives have a cache memory to speed up disk access between the RAM and the hard drive. The power supply unit (PSU) must produce enough power (watts) for all the components in the computer. Data buses A data bus is simply a circuit that connects one part of the motherboard to another. The more data a bus can handle at one time (capacity), the faster it allows information to travel between components and the better the performance of the computer. There are many types of bus that are used for transferring data within a computer (internal bus) and for transferring data between computers (external). Key terms Machine code- a computer programming language consisting of binary or hexadecimal instructions that a computer can respond to directly. RAM – stands for Random Access Memory CPU – the central processing unit, the part of the computer that controls the entire system and processes data. GPU – Graphical processing unit, a key component that supports the delivery and quality of graphics. Clock speed – how quickly a component works, the faster the better! Multiple processing core – where multiple cores (central processing units)read and execute instructions simultaneously. Cache memory – a fast memory that is used as a data buffer between the CPU and RAM. PSU – the power supply unit that plugs into the mains electricity socket. It converts mains electricity into low voltage electricity for the computer components. Every PSU produces the same voltage, but may produce a different amount of power (wattage). E.g. a 600W PSU is more powerful than a 400W PSU. Activity Enter these key terms into your table. Find an image where appropriate. Speed and Costs The components inside a computer have a huge impact on the performance and the cost. Processors are continually being developed, with new models regularly entering the market place that offer improved performance, often with very high price tags. AMD and Intel have been in competition for decades to produce the best processor products, typically found in PCs and laptops. Activity Visit and independent website that tests and reports on computer hardware, such as Tom’s Hardware. Use the link at the bottom of the home page to jump to the processor charts pages. Find one processor each from AMD and Intel with similar performance. Find out: 1. What is the price of each one? 2. Which is the more expensive and why do you think that might be? Activity Label the diagram Activity Check! 1. List the main components of a computer 2. What is machine code? 3. How is data processed?