Edit Devices, Continued
The motherboard or system board is the master printed circuit board that
holds the CPU chip, the Random Access Memory (RAM) chips, the Read
Only Memory (ROM) chips, a math co-processor, extra memory slots, and
the computer clock.
The CPU is a integrated circuit (IC) chip on the motherboard. It is a mass of
transistors that coordinate all activities of the computer. It accepts input,
interprets software, and provides output. The CPU chip also controls the
speed or processing power of the computer. The two types of CPUs are PCs
(personal computers that are IBM compatible or clones) and MACs
(Macintosh or Apple exclusives). The main difference between the two is
how the user interfaces with the system. You may find either type in your
work space. Users refer to their computer by the CPU chip numerical
generation, such as 386 or 486, inside the system unit.
Random Access Memory, or RAM memory chips, randomly store and
transmit information from memory or a disk. Sometimes referred to as
read/write memory, RAM memory chips determine what programs your
computer is capable of running and how much information you are able to
Ram memory is short term in nature; that is, you must save the
information or it will disappear when you turn the machine off. You enlarge
the memory of your computer by installing chips of a larger rated capacity.
Memory chips store bytes of information in kilobyte (KB), megabyte (MB),
or gigabyte (GB) increments. Word processing and graphics software require
a great deal of memory so be sure to coordinate or upgrade the memory
capacity of the computer when you select software packages.
Read Only Memory (ROM) is the memory required by the computer to read
a disk. ROM will remain in memory until it is removed. This memory does
not allow overwriting or modification. Generally, the operating system
instructions of the computer are in ROM circuitry.
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