The bus size determines how many physical wires are constructed within the bus

The bus size determines how many physical wires are

This preview shows page 4 - 6 out of 10 pages.

The bus size determines how many physical wires are constructed within the bus The more wires that designers can incorporate within a bus, the larger the bus width becomes, meaning that the bus can carry more bits at one time Bus speed, which is measured in hertz (Hz), also affects computing performance Even if large bus widths can enable large number of bits to move between computer components in parallel, each bus line must also carry bits as quickly as possible Memory Size and Memory Access Speed : Computers need large amounts of memory for high performance and multitasking Because every program occupies some amount of space in RAM, a large amount of RAM is essential to operate with multiple programs Furthermore, RAM size significantly affects computer speed because information is frequently written to and erased from RAM If there is insufficient RAM space, the computer must frequently resort to using its hard disk, which results in diminished performance Other than RAM, the size of the cache memory (expressed in bytes) is also a consideration The more cache memory the CPU has, the better the CPU performs The speed at which RAM and cache memory contents are written and retrieved helps to determine performance The higher the read/write speed, the faster the computer is Typical RAM access speeds are on the order of nanoseconds (ns), or billionths of a second Processor Speed : The on and off switching of transistors within the integrated circuits of a computer is managed by a central digital electrical signal called a clock Computer clock speeds are measured in frequency units called hertz Just as multipliers are used in the IT world to express large numbers of bits, multipliers are used to express large - frequency values: 1 KHz = 1000Hz | 1 MHz = 1,000,000 Hz | 1 GHz = 1,000,000,000 Hz The higher the clock frequency, the faster the computer usually is Typical clock frequencies for modern computers range from hundreds of megahertz to a few gigahertz Instruction Set : A computer’s CPU is typically based on a complex instruction set computer ( CISC ) architecture or a reduced instruction set computer ( RISC ) architecture The difference between them is the number of clock cycles it takes to execute a single instruction
Image of page 4
Some computer architectures require more cycles to execute the same instruction than others Number of CPUs: Incorporating more than one microprocessor increases a computer’s processing power and speed because it can use more transistors and perform multitasking Some computers have dual core processors and dual-quad-core processors Besides multi-core computers , multiprocessor computers are also available Chip Set : The term chip set refers to a group of chips that support the microprocessor by controlling the flow of information between it and other components, such as the memory chips, graphics and sound cards disk drives and I/O cards, drives, devices Various manufacturers produce different types of chip sets, which can significantly affect computer performance,
Image of page 5
Image of page 6

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 10 pages?

  • Spring '10
  • K
  • main memory, bus width

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes