On the Inside
Let's take a look at the main components of a typical desktop computer.
Central processing unit (CPU) - The microprocessor "brain" of the computer system is called the central processing unit. Everything that a computer does is overseen by the CPU.
Memory - This is very fast storage used to hold data. It has to be fast because it connects directly to the microprocessor. There are several specific types of memory in a computer:
Random-access memory (RAM) - Used to temporarily store information that the computer is currently working with
Read-only memory (ROM) - A permanent type of memory storage used by the computer for important data that does not change
Basic input/output system (BIOS) - A type of ROM that is used by the computer to establish basic communication when the computer is first turned on
Caching - The storing of frequently used data in extremely fast RAM that connects directly to the CPU
Virtual memory - Space on a hard disk used to temporarily store data and swap it in and out of RAM as needed
Motherboard - This is the main circuit board that all of the other internal components connect to. The CPU and memory are usually on the motherboard. Other systems may be found directly on the motherboard or connected to it through a secondary connection. For example, a sound card can be... [continues]
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