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Hardware Terms

Central processing unit (CPU) The chip located inside the system unit of a computer that performs the processing for a computer.
GHz – (gigahertz) speed of a processor counted by billions of ticks per second.
MHz – (megahertz) speed of a processor counted by millions of ticks per second.
System Unit The container that holds the motherboard and keeps components safe.
Motherboard The main circuit board of a computer to which all computer system components connect.
BIOS Basic Input/Output System Lowest level software in the computer that acts as an interface between the hardware of the operating system.
ROM Read Only Memory Contain permanently written data called firmware that loads the operating system when first powered on.
Cache small, high speed memory between the processor and system memory. Faster than RAM.
Hard disk drive A storage system consisting of one or more metal magnetic disks permanently sealed with an access mechanism inside its drive.
MB, Megabyte Storage measurement in millions of bytes.
GB, Gigabyte Storage measurement in billions of bytes.
TB, Terabyte Storage measurement in trillions of bytes.
Random access memory (RAM) provides a high speed, temporary location for the computer to hold data and program instructions.
Bit The smallest unit of computing, consists of either a 0 or 1 (on or off)
Byte 8 bits makes 1 byte.
Video Graphic Adapter Enables the connection of a monitor and may provide additional graphics capabilities.
3D Printer A 3D printer is a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) device that creates three-dimensional objects. Like a traditional printer, a 3D printer receives digital data from a computer as input.
Cable Modem A cable modem is a peripheral device used to connect to the Internet. It operates over coax cable TV lines and provides high-speed Internet access.
Tape Drive his is a removable storage device mainly used for backing up data. It is similar to a Zip Drive, but instead of Zip disks, it uses small tapes. The drive acts like a tape recorder, reading data from the computer and writing it onto the tape.
USB Stands for "Universal Serial Bus." USB is the most common type of computer port used in today's computers.
Card Reader "Card reader" is the generic term for an input device that reads flash memory cards.
Created by: jennifer55