CIS 1200 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Flash Memory, Hyper-Threading, Standard Raid Levels

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1. Chapter 6: Understanding and Assessing
Hardware
Moore’s Law: CPU capacity and speed will double every two years
1. Once your computer is two years old, it is already obsolete
System evaluation: a process to determine whether or not your current system is good
enough
Software: Evaluating the CPU
2. CPU: system’s processor; attached to the motherboard and makes sure all
computer instructions, calculation, flow of info all work seamlessly
3. The CPU goes through the machine cycle whenever it performs a program
instruction:
1. 1) Fetches the data or instruction from the RAM
2. 2) Decodes the instruction so the computer can read it
3. 3) Executes the instruction
4. 4) Stores the result to RAM before moving on
4. Located on the motherboard and consists of two units:
1. The control unit: coordinates the activities of all the other computer
components
2. Arithmetic logic unit (ALU): performs all arithmetic calculations and
makes logic and comparison decisions
1. Ex. Comparing items to determine if greater than, less than, equal to,
etc.
5. How good a CPU depends on three things:
1. Clock speed: the number of instructions that can be handled in one
second
2. Number of cores (single, double)
1. More cores = more efficient
2. Hyperthreading: provides quicker processing of info by starting new
instructions before the previous ones are finished
1. All Intel core processors have hyperthreading and multiple cores
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3. Amount of cache memory
1. There are three levels of cache:
2. 1) Level 1: a block of memory built on the CPU chip for storage of
commands that have just been used
3. 2) Level 2: still on the CPU chip but slightly farther
4. 3) Level 3: slower for CPU to reach but larger than Level 2
4. CPU benchmarks: measurements used to compare performances
6. Overclocking is when users push their hardware to perform faster
7. CPU usage: the percentage of time your CPU is working
8. CPU usage graph: records your CPU usage for the past minute
9. CPU affects the processing and NOT how quickly data moves
Evaluating the memory subsystem
10. The amount of RAM that your computer has
11. RAM appears on memory cards/memory modules
12. RAM in modules = your computer’s physical memory
13. RAM is lost the second you turn off your computer aka volatile storage
1. Not enough RAM = computer will be slow and freeze more often
2. Anything saved in RAM is not permanently saved and must be stored on
other devices
3. E.g. USB flash drives, CD and DVD drives
14. Windows can run SuperFetch to monitor the programs you use the most
so that they can be preloaded into the system memory for easy access
15. Hard drive is nonvolatile
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