Processor: the processor is also known as the
central processing unit (CPU for short) and it is labelled as the brain of the computer, without a processor you
cannot expect a PC to work. It works by fetching instructions and then
executing them in an arithmetical sequence. The processor is installed into the
motherboard in the holder made specifically for it, it will fit into place onto
the motherboard. When it is secured, thermal paste is spread onto one side of
the processor for the heatsink, the thermal paste is a conductor which reduces
the risk of the processor overheating.
Motherboard: a motherboard is often referred to as
the foundation of a computer, a PC needs a motherboard in order to build in the
rest of the components such as RAM. Many of the other components in a PC are
connected to the motherboard, this includes the PSU and the Hard Drive/Disk.
Each component has its own individual connector and connector cable on the
BIOS: this is built into every computer and
it controls how a system will boot up. It is the Basic Input/Output System, using BIOS will allow users to
choose what device to boot their OS from and what order each component should
be in, in order of importance. BIOS can be used for many different reasons but
the main reason is to install an OS onto a system but it is often used in
System Repairs. Using BIOS will allow a user to find a problem with the
components and solve them, one example of this is if the computer cannot find a
“Boot Device”, BIOS allows users to choose where to boot an OS from which is
normally on a CD or on the Hard Drive.
Power Supply: in order for anything to work on a computer it will need a power supply, you
can get a range of power supplies depending on what system a user has. A power
supply turns alternating currents into a direct current to supply a computers
component with constant power. The PSU plugs into the motherboard using a 4-pin
ATX connector and a 16-pin ATX connector, they come built with a fan inside to
ensure that no overheating will occur inside of the PSU.
Cooling System: for the safety of the components
inside of the computer it is important to have cooling systems such as a Heat
Sink and fans, some computers even have water cooling. The most common form of
cooling a computers component is through fans and this because they are fairly
cheap and easy to install. A heatsink will be placed on top of the CPU alongside thermal paste which is used as a
conductor, a fan will then be placed on top of the heat sink to cool down the
CPU. Other components such as RAM will not have fans but they can be installed
in the case to cool down the whole system. GPUs have built-in fans and this is because graphics cards are now put under
a lot of stress from new games and software.
Hard Drive Configuration
and Controllers: a hard drive is an IDE or Integrated
Drive Electronics which is situated in a PC and it is connected to the motherboard
using attachments. Hard drives inside of a computer are controlled using a
controller and there are two different types of these. The hard drive is
connected to the motherboard using the primary controller and the CD uses the
secondary controller. The hard drive and CD drive have to be configured to
either a master drive or slave drive.
SATA: this attachment device is primarily
used to connect drives to the motherboard in order for it to work, a SATA is a
very thin strip of cables combined together too.
A SATA cable is very important because, without
it, the hard drive would not be able to operate and therefore data would not be
sent around the computer.
PATA: It is quite similar to the SATA cable
but has a different purpose inside of a computer. The PATA cable is used for
transferring data around the computer, it connects from drives to the
motherboard and the motherboard sends data around the entire system.
Ports: a computer system can have quite a few
ports which are used for different things, many computers have USB ports,
Serial ports, and parallel ports.
USB: a USB port is the most popular port
used in today’s computers, lots of
accessories have been adapted to USB ports such as keyboards. A USB port can be
used for more than just adding a keyboard or mouse to the computer set up, USB
sticks are commonly used as a way to transfer data from system to system
Serial: before the USB port was added into
computers the serial port was the main port to use to connect hardware to the
computer, a serial port can have a 9 or 25 pin port which means keyboards and
mice would have to have a 9 or 25 pin connector cable.
Parallel: it is rare to find a parallel port
used in today’s computers due to the
invention of the USB port and circular cables. The parallel port used a cable
much similar to a SATA cable to connect hardware to a computer.
RAM: Random Access Memory or RAM is
responsible for how well a program runs on a computer, RAM is temporary storage
which is connected to the motherboard, it loads programs from the store
location to the CPU and the more RAM that a computer has the quicker this will
load which means the better a program will run. All of the temporary
information stored on the RAM is deleted when the computer is turned off.
ROM: Read Only Memory is not temporary
which means when the computer is turned off data is not deleted, another word
for this is Non-Volatile. You are able to change the contents of ROM but it can
potentially damage the computer and it is extremely difficult.
Network Card: a network card allows users to connect
to the network through an ethernet cable or through a wireless connection which
most users use now if computers did not
have a network card they would not be able to use
Graphics Card: graphics cards are responsible for
displaying an image on a monitor, the graphics card will receive a signal from
the processor telling it what to display. The better a graphics card will
determine the quality of the image displayed on the screen, one of the best
graphics cards now has a memory speed of 10 Gbps.
1. Purpose of an Operating System
The purpose of having an OS is because it can interact with
internal components to allow the user to perform actions, without an operating
system installed on a computer, the system would just be a simple device used
which only has BIOS settings installed onto it. The way it works is it
translates commands into a language that the components inside of the computer
to understand and this is why it performs certain actions. An operating system
has to perform many different tasks and these include:
CPU Management: managing a CPUs performance is a
crucial part of an operating system, the most popular operating systems which
are Microsoft, Mac and Linux have some form of CPU management. The reasoning
behind this is because it dedicates more CPU power to a more CPU intensive
application. A good example of how more CPU is dedicated to certain
applications is when someone is rendering a big project from something like
Cinema 4D, the application will be demanding more CPU power to render the
project. If there was no CPU management lots of CPU power would go to waste on
applications such as Google Chrome, without the CPU being told how much CPU to
give to Google Chrome it may give more than it really needs and therefore it is
Memory Management: alongside CPU management, managing
memory is also very important, there are lots of very RAM intensive
applications out there, Google Chrome is an excellent example, a user who has
16GB of RAM has opened Chrome, on task manager Chrome is using 1GB of RAM.
Depending on what tabs are open this may vary but an OS is important because if
it were not for Memory Management, lots more Memory would be spent on this
I/O Management: an OS has to manage the I/O devices
that could be used in computer, some of these include a mouse, keyboard and USB
sticks. I/O management takes the I/O request and transfers it to the device
which then may send data back to the I/O manager.
Device Drivers: whenever external devices are
connected to a computer they may need drivers in order for them to work with
the computer, this external device could be a keyboard for example. When a user
plugs in a keyboard it may not work straight and this is dependent on the OS,
if a user has Windows 10, it will automatically install device drivers but if
the device is plugged into a Windows 7 computer the user will need to download
Hardware: an OS can also be used to change
settings to hardware, an example of something being used like this is fan
speed, you can download applications on your OS and change the speeds of which
your fans spin and cool down components. This is quite dangerous because if a
fan has been set to a certain speed and it goes over the limit it could break
and therefore not cool the components which will then cause them to get damage
from the heat being produced.
Applications: depending on what OS a user has will
determine what applications they can and can’t have, Linux is very restricted
to what programs they can have compared to Mac and Windows, for some time Linux
were not able to have Cinema 4D but Windows and Mac have always had the option
to install it. It is only quite recently that Linux has been able to have this
option to install this application.
Windows preinstalled security system, Windows
Defender, is good for protecting a computer which is not always being used
because it is able to detect common viruses and malicious content and
quarantine it. For further protection it may be recommended to download
anti-virus such as AVG.
Linux is UNIX based which means if the OS is
configured properly it will stop unwanted users from trying to enter the
system and attempt to attack. Any changes made to system requires a password
and also a password is needed for downloading files which will give time to
analyse the file that is being downloaded. This means that if any user who is
trying to alter system files will be locked out due to the password
When comparing Linux to Windows, Linux has a better
security feature from the start but over time Windows users will have
installed other anti-viruses which would then put them on the same level of
Windows is stable enough for users to do their
business and do it without any interruptions. If any bugs or glitches are
found there will most likely be an update within the next couple of hours or
days which shows that they want to keep improving their stability by bringing
out patches once a bug has been detected.
Before the Linux OS is distributed, it is said that
programmers will go over the code to check for any bugs or anything odd
inside of the code which limits the how unstable Linux can be. Although, if a
bug is detected it can be easily altered and then Linux will be working
Due Linux’s UNIX which provides great security there
is a very small chance that any bugs will affect it. On the other hand,
without any extra protection, Windows users may experience more bugs due to
third anti-viruses not detecting them and then Windows becomes unusable.
Windows 10, the newest release of Windows is
estimated to cost around £80-£100 which is not cheap for an OS but some
people are able to get their hands on free copies which are illegal.
If a user would just like to have an OS on their
computer then Linux is free, with extra coding and protection built into the
code it may cost around £20 which is a lot cheaper.
Linux is a lot cheaper when compared to Windows but
depending on what goes inside of the code will determine how much it is
really worth, for it to be configured properly it could cost more than
Windows offers a lot more support due to the number
of users with questions about some problems that may be occurring on their
computer, normally a Microsoft employee will be able to assist a user within
a couple of hours.
Due to the small Linux community there is not a lot
that would need assisting. Roughly 1% of users with a computer have Linux
which means there is a small group of users that use Linux.
Microsoft has a much larger community and sometimes
questions don’t have to be answered by an employee but there is always an
employee who can help with the problem but due to community size of Linux,
not much help is available to the users who use Linux.
Windows 10 offers a lot of customization, you are
able to change lots of different things such as your theme colour, lock
background, taskbar colour and lots more. You can save presets so you can
change it to what you want whenever you want.
Linux’s code can easily be recoded to change the
aesthetics of the OS, users can change the code until they find something
that they like and they keep with it.
Linux and Windows both have great options of
customization which allows users to choose what OS they want for good looks.
Windows may have more options to change around but everyone who owns a Linux
computer is different, their code is different.
Windows users can easily access their hardware panel
through the control panel to view what is inside of their computer and what
is plugged into their computer. It will them the CPU details and memory, GPU
details can easily be found by right clicking on the desktop and it will tell
the user, NVIDIA, AMD or Intel. You can also see how much CPU is being used
through the task manager.
Linux provides more detail on hardware such as the
motherboard that is inside of the computer. It is not necessary to know this
but it is good to know just in case any damage occurs to it and it needs to
Both Linux and Windows have good hardware management,
on both operating systems you will be clearly informed to what is inside of
your computer which is important for some people but for some users it is not
important because they may not know what any of it means.