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CUT6 2.3

Computers: Understanding Tech 6e 2.3

TermDefinition
system unit The main part of the computer that houses the major components used in processing data.
power supply The component that converts the 110-volt or 220-volt alternating current (AC) from your wall outlet to the much lower voltage direct current (DC) that computer components require.
motherboard The large circuit board that functions as the main controller board for a computer.
trace A conductive pathway on a circuit board.
chipset A controller chip (or set of chips) that controls and directs all the data traffic on a motherboard.
bus An electronic path along which data is transmitted.
bus width The number of bits a bus can transport simultaneously.
system bus The bus that connects the CPU to the main memory.
expansion bus A bus on a motherboard that provides communication between the CPU and a peripheral device.
expansion slot A narrow slot in the motherboard that allows the insertion of an expansion board.
expansion board A circuit board that adds some specific capability to a computer system, such as sound, networking, or extra ports for connecting external devices. Also called expansion card or adapter.
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus A popular standard for expansion slots in modern motherboards, available in several sizes including × 1, × 4, and × 16.
ExpressCard An expansion card, about the size of a stack of several credit cards, that adds capability to a notebook computer by connecting into an ExpressCard slot in the side of the computer.
port An external plug-in socket on a computing device, used to connect external devices such as printers, monitors, and speakers to a computer. Sometimes called interface.
universal serial bus (USB) port A general-purpose port used by many different devices, including input devices (such as keyboards and mice) and external storage devices (such as external hard drives, USB flash drives, and digital cameras).
FireWire port A general-purpose port often used to connect external drives and video cameras.
eSATA port An external version of the Serial ATA standard used for connecting internal hard drives.
S-video port A port used for video output for standard-definition TVs. Also known as i480.
High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port A port used for connecting to HDMI-capable input and output devices, such as to high-definition TVs.
digital visual interface (DVI) port The most common type of port for display monitors in modern computer systems; also used for some consumer electronics devices and game consoles.
video graphics adapter (VGA) port An older type of monitor port still used in many systems; on a PC, a 15-pin female D-sub connector (often abbreviated DB15F).
D-sub connector A connector consisting of a D-shaped ring with metal pins or holes inside it; described based on the number of pins and whether it’s male (having pins) or female (having holes), such as DB15F for a connector with 15 holes.
Ethernet port A port that enables a computer to connect to networking device using a network cable, typically a UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable with an RJ-45 connector on each end.
RJ-45 port The official name of the connector on an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) Ethernet cable. RJ stands for registered jack.
dial-up modem A device for connecting to the Internet or a remote network via a dial-up telephone connection.
audio port A small, circular hole into which a 3.5-millimeter connector is plugged for analog input devices (such as microphones), analog stereo equipment, and analog output devices (such as speakers and headphones).
legacy port A computer port that is still in use but has been largely replaced by a port with more functionality.
serial port A 9-pin male D-sub connector on the PC; a popular port for connecting external devices in the early days of computing but now obsolete. Also called COM port (short for communications port).
parallel port A 25-pin female D-sub connector on a PC, which matches up with a 25-pin male connector on a cable; a popular port for connecting printers in the early days of computing but now obsolete. Also called LPT port (short for line printer port).
PS/2 port A small, round port that was the standard for connecting keyboards and mice in the years before USB; named for a very old IBM computer, the PS/2, which was the first to use this connector type.
storage bay A space in the system unit where a storage device (such as a hard drive or a DVD drive) can be installed. Also called bay.
Created by: softcrylic