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51 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
System unit
Case that contains the electronic components of a computer that are used to process data.
Motherboard
Main circuit board of the system unit, which has some electronic components attached to it and others built into it.
chip
Small piece of semiconducting material, usually silicon, on which integrated circuits are etched.
CPU
Central Processing Unit-Electronic component on a computer's motherboard that interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate the computer
Multi-Core Processor
Single chip with two or more separate processor cores.
Control Unit
Component of a processor that directs and coordinates most of the operations in the computer.
ALU
Arithmetic Logic Unit-Component of a processor that performs arithmetic, comparison, and other operations.
System Clock
Small quartz crystal circuit that is used by the processor to control the timing of all computer operations.
Clock Speed
Pace of the system clock, measured by the number of ticks per second.
Gigahertz
GHz-One billion ticks of the system clock per second.
binary system
Number system used by computers that has just two unique digits, 0 and 1, called bits.
bit
The smallest unit of data a computer can process. Bit is short for binary digit
byte
Eight bits that are grouped together as a unit. A byte provides enough different combinations of 0s and 1s to represent 256 individual characters.
memory
Electronic components in a computer that store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, the data needed by those instructions, and the results of processing the data.
volatile memory
Type of memory that loses its contents when a computer's power is turned off.
nonvolatile memory
Type of memory that does not lose its contents when a computer's power is turned off.
RAM memory
Random Access Memory-Type of memory that can be read from and written to by the processor and other devices. Programs and data are loaded into random access memory from storage devices such as a hard disk and remain in random access memory as long as the computer has continuous power.
ROM memory
Read only memory-Type of nonvolatile memory that is used to store permanent data and instructions.
memory module
Small circuit board that houses RAM chips and is held in a memory slot on the motherboard.
memory slot
Slots on the motherboard that hold memory modules.
Cache
Area of memory that stores the contents of frequently used data or instructions.
L1 cache
A type of memory cache that is built directly into the processor chip, with a capacity of 8 KB to 16 KB.
L2 cache
A type of memory cache that is slightly slower than L1 cache, but has a much larger capacity, ranging from 64 KB to 16 MB.
ROM
Read only memory-Type of nonvolatile memory that is used to store permanent data and instructions.
Flash Memory
Type of nonvolatile memory that can be erased electronically and rewritten.
CMOS
complementary metal-oxide semi-conductor-provides high speeds and consumes little power
Access Time
Measurement of the amount of time it takes the process to read data, instructions, and information from memory.
Nanosecond
One billionth of a second.
expansion slot
Socket on a motherboard that can hold an adapter card.
adapter card
Circuit board that enhances functions of a component of a system unit and/or provides connections to peripherals.
Flash Memory
ROM chips that contain permanently written data, instructions, or information, recorded on the chips when they were manufactured.
peripheral
Device that connects to a system unit and is controlled by the processor in the computer.
video card
Adapter card that converts computer output to a video signal that travels through a cable to a monitor, which displays an image on the screen
sound card
Adapter card that enhances the sound generating capabilities of a personal computer by allowing sound to be input through a microphone and output through external speakers or headset.
hub
device that plugs into a USB port of a PC and contains multiple USB ports in which you plug in devices
graphics card
Adapter card that converts computer output into a video signal that travels through a cable to the monitor, which displays an image on the screen.
memory card
Removable flash memory device, usually no bigger than 1.5" in height or width, that you insert and remove from a slot in a personal computer, game console, mobile device, or card reader/writer.
port
Point at which a peripheral attaches to or communicates with a system unit so it can send data to or receive information from the computer.
USB port
Port that can connect up to 127 different peripherals with a single connector type.
FireWire Port
Port that can connect multiple types of devices that require faster data transmission speeds.
SCSI port
Special high-speed parallel port to which peripherals, such as disk drives and printers, can be attached.
port replicator
External device that attaches to a mobile computer to provide connections to peripherals through ports built into the replicator.
docking station
External device that attaches to a mobile computer or device and provides power connections to peripherals, along with memory cards, optical disc drives, and other devices.
bus
Electrical channel that transfers electronic bits internally within the circuitry of a computer, allowing the devices both inside and attached to the system unit to communicate with each other
system bus
Bus that is part of the motherboard and connects the processor to main memory. Also called the front side bus (FSB).
front side bus
Bus that is part of the motherboard and connects the processor to main memory. Also called the system bus.
backside bus
Bus that connects the processor to cache.
expansion bus
Bus that allows the processor to communicate with peripherals.
bay
Opening inside the system unit in which additional equipment can be installed.
drive bay
Rectangular opening in the system unit that typically holds disk drives.
power supply
Component of the system unit that converts wall outlet AC power to the DC power that is used by a computer.