Ch 6: EVALUATING YOUR SYSTEM: UNDERSTANDING AND ASSESSING HARDWARE EVALUATING YOUR CPU AND RAM Cheat Sheet A. The CPU Subsystem 1. CPU Basics: The central processing unit (CPU) processes instructions, performs calculations, manages the flow of information through the computer, and processes the data you input into information. 2. CPU Speed and Location: Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). The percentage of time that the CPU is working is referred to as CPU usage. Three separate factors affect CPU performance: clock speed, the amount of cache memory, and the speed of the front side bus (FSB). B. The RAM Subsystem 1. RAM Basics: RAM (random access memory) is the computer’s temporary storage space. RAM remembers everything that the computer needs to process data, but only while the computer is on. This means that RAM is volatile storage. When the power is off, the data stored in RAM is cleared out. Memory modules are the circuit boards that hold RAM chips. They fit into slots on the motherboard. RAM capacity is measured in megabytes (MB)
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