Computing Essentials Chapter 5


System Unit (Chassis)

a container that houses most of the electronic components that make up a computer system, some are located in a separate case

Personal Computer (PC)

most widely used type of computer. It is the most affordable and designed to be operated directly by an end user. five most common types are desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and wearable computers


Computers that fit on or under our desks. Have a tower, monitor, keyboard and mouse. And sometimes have have a webcam, speakers, and printer as well. have their system unit in a separate case.

tower unit (computer)

Desktop system units that are placed vertically are sometimes referred to as a

all-in-one computer

Some desktop computers, like Apple's iMac, have their monitor and system unit housed together in the same case


portable and small, their system units are housed with selected secondary storage devices and input devices

two-in-one laptops

include a touch screen and the ability to fold flat like a tablet computer. These laptops offer the advantages of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet.

gaming laptops

include high-end graphics hardware and very fast processors

ultrabooks (ultraportables/mini notebooks)

lighter and thinner with longer battery life than most laptops. They accomplish these advantages by leaving out components such as optical drives and using energy-efficient microprocessors


the newest and one of the most popular types of computers. They are effectively a thin slab that is almost all monitor with the system unit located behind the monitor.

mini tablet

tablet with a smaller screen

system board/mainboard/motherboard

controls communications for the entire computer system


provide a connection point for small specialized electronic parts called chip


consist of tiny circuit boards etched onto squares of sandlike material called silicon. These circuit boards can be smaller than the tip of your finger

chip carriers

Integrated circuits must be mounted on _____, which are then plugged into the system board.


provide a connection point for specialized cards or circuit boards

bus lines

provide pathways that support communication among the various electronic components that are either located on the system board or attached to the system board.


is contained on a single chip called the microprocessor. The microprocessor is the "brains" of the computer system. It has two basic components: the control unit and the arithmetic-logic unit.

control unit

The part of the central processing unit that controls the flow of information through the processor.

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

performs two types of operations: arithmetic and logical

arithmetic operations

fundamental math operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

logical operations

consist of comparisons such as whether one item is equal to (=), less than (<), or greater than (>) the other


the number of bits (such as 16, 32, or 64) that can be accessed at one time by the CPU.

clock speed

The processing speed of a microprocessor related to the number of times the CPU can fetch and process data or instructions in a second.

multicore processor

provide two or more separate and independent CPUs

parallel processing

computers must understand how to divide tasks into parts that can be distributed across each core, Operating systems such as Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra support ___


specialty chips designed to improve specific computing operations

graphics coprocessor (GPU)

Designed to handle requirements related to displaying and manipulating 2-D and 3-D graphic images.


a holding area for data, instructions, and information which is contained on chips connected to the system board.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Temporary memory a computer uses to store information while it is processing.

cache memory

improves processing by acting as a temporary high-speed holding area between the memory and the CPU.

DIMM (dual inline memory module)

additional RAM can be added to a computer system by inserting an expansion module called a

virtual memory

a portion of a storage medium functioning as additional RAM

read-only memory (ROM)

Permanent storage; instructions are burned onto chips by the manufacturer.

flash memory

offers a combination of the features of RAM and ROM

BIOS (basic input/output system)

the start-up instructions for a computer

expansion slots

allow users to expand their systems

expansion cards

a circuit board that can be inserted in a computer to give extra facilities or memory.

graphic cards

provide high-quality 3D graphics and animation for games and simulations.

Network Interface Card (NIC)

A card that enables one computer to send and receive data to and from another computer.

wireless network cards

allow computers to be connected without cables.

SD cards

Secure Digital cards are one type of flash memory card which store up to 2GB of date.

bus line/bus

connects the parts of the CPU to each other, also link the CPU to various other components on the system board

bus width

The number of bits that can travel simultaneously down a bus is known as the

system buses

connects the CPU to memory on the system board

expansion buses

connects the CPU to other components on the system board, including expansion slots.

Universal Serial Bus (USB)

is widely used today. External USB devices are connected from one to another or to a common point or hub and then onto the USB bus. The USB bus then connects to the PCI bus on the system board. The current USB standard is USB 3.1.

firewire buses

similar to USB buses but are more specialized. They are used primarily to connect audio and video equipment to the system board.

PCI Express (PCIe)

widely used in many of today's most powerful computers. Unlike most other buses that share a single bus line or path with several devices, the PCIe bus provides a single dedicated path for each connected device.


socket for external devices to connect to the system unit.

HDMI ports (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

provide high-definition video and audio, making it possible to use a computer as a video jukebox or an HD video recorder.

thunderbolt port

first introduced in Apple's MacBook Pro computer, provide high-speed connections

ethernet port

allows you to connect multiple computers for sharing files, or to a DSL or cable modem for high-speed Internet access.

eSATA port

provide high-speed connections for external hard-disk drives, optical discs, and other large secondary storage devices.

MIDI port

port for connecting musical instruments like an electronic keyboard to a sound card

MiniDP port

ports typically used to connect large monitors. These ports are used with many Apple Macintosh computers.

VGA + DVI ports

provide connections to analog and digital monitors, respectively

FireWire port

provide high-speed connections to specialized FireWire devices such as camcorders and storage devices.


used to connect exterior devices to the system unit via the ports

power supply unit

converts the power from the wall outlet to the type of power needed by the computer

AC adapter

A device that converts AC to DC and can use regular house current to power a laptop computer.

wireless charging platform

Most tablets, mobile devices, and wearable computers can operate only using battery power


continuous, signals that vary to represent different tones, pitches, and volume.


typing directions for what we want so that the computer can understand the request

binary system

consists of only two digits´┐Ż0 and 1


Short for binary digit (0s and 1s), the only data that a CPU can process.


a group of 8 bits

Hexadecimal Number System

uses 16 digits to represent binary numbers

character encoding standards

assign a unique sequence of bits to each character