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The Components of The System Unit by Mind Map: The Components of The System
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The Components of The System Unit

is a case that contains electronic components of the computer used to process data

The System Unit

Drive Bay(s)

Power supply

Sound card

Video card




The processor, also called the central processing unit (CPU)

Multi-core processor

Dual-core processor

Quad-core processor

The control unit is the component of the processor that directs and coordinates most of the operations in the computer

The arithmetic logic unit (ALU) performs arithmetic, comparison, and other operations

The processor contains registers, that temporarily hold data and instructions

The system clock controls the timing of all computer operations

A processor chip generates heat that could cause the chip to burn up

Require additional cooling

Heat sinks

Liquid cooling technology

Data Representation

Analog signals are continuous and vary in strength and quality

Digital signals are in one of two states: on or off

Most computers are digital

The binary system uses two unique digits (0 and 1), Bits and bytes

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is the most widely used coding scheme to represent data


Memory consists of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those instructions, and the results of processing the data

Stores three basic categories of items

The operating system and other system software

Application programs

Data being processed and the resulting information

Each location in memory has an address

Memory size is measured in kilobytes (KB or K), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), or terabytes (TB)

The system unit contains two types of memory

Volatile memory, Loses its contents when power is turned off, RAM, RAM chips usually reside on a memory module and are inserted into memory slots, Three basic types of RAM chips exist, Dynamic RAM (DRAM), Static RAM (SRAM), Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), The amount of RAM necessary in a computer often depends on the types of software you plan to use

Nonvolatile memory, Does not lose contents when power is removed, Flash memory can be erased electronically and rewritten, CMOS technology provides high speeds and consumes little power

Read-only memory (ROM) refers to memory chips storing permanent data and instructions


Memory cache speeds the processes of the computer because it stores frequently used instructions and data

A PROM (programmable read-only memory) chip is a blank ROM chip that can be written to permanently

EEPROM can be erased

Access time is the amount of time it takes the processor to read from memory

Measured in nanoseconds

Expansion Slots and Adapter Cards

An expansion slot is a socket on the motherboard that can hold an adapter card

An adapter card enhances functions of a component of the system unit and/or provides connections to peripherals

Sound card and video card

With Plug and Play, the computer automatically can configure adapter cards and other peripherals as you install them

Removable flash memory includes

Memory cards, USB flash drives, and PC Cards/ExpressCard modules

Ports and Connectors

A port is the point at which a peripheral attaches to or communicates with a system unit (sometimes referred to as a jack)

A connector joins a cable to a port

A USB port can connect up to 127 different peripherals together with a single connector

You can attach multiple peripherals using a single USB port with a USB hub

Other types of ports include

Firewire port

Bluetooth port

SCSI port

eSATA port

IrDA port

Serial port

MIDI port


A bus allows the various devices both inside and attached to the system unit to communicate with each other

Data bus

Address bus

Word size is the number of bits the processor can interpret and execute at a given time

Expansion slots connect to expansion buses

Common types of expansion buses include

PCI bus

PCI Express bus

Accelerated Graphics Port

USB and FireWire bus

PC Card bus


A bay is an opening inside the system unit in which you can install additional equipment

A drive bay typically holds disk drives

Power Supply

The power supply converts the wall outlet AC power into DC power

Some external peripherals have an AC adapter, which is an external power supply

Keeping Your Computer or Mobile Device Clean

Clean your computer or mobile device once or twice a year

Turn off and unplug your computer or mobile device before cleaning it

Use compressed air to blow away dust

Use an antistatic wipe to clean the exterior of the case and a cleaning solution and soft cloth to clean the screen

Putting It All Together


Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Celeron Dual Core or AMD Sempron

Minimum RAM: 2 GB

Small Office/ Home Office

Intel Core 2 Quad or Intel Core 2 Extreme or AMD Athlon FX or AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Code

Minimum RAM: 4 GB


Intel Core 2 Extreme or AMD Turion X2

Minimum RAM: 2 GB


Intel Itanium 2 or AMD Quad Core Opteron or Intel Quad Core Xeon or Sun UltraSPARC T2

Minimum RAM: 8 GB


Intel Core 2 Quad or Intel Core 2 Extreme or AMD Athlon FX or AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core

Minimum RAM: 4 GB