ICS 2OO Epresentation

SSD

An SSD, short for solid state drive, is a type of drive that uses non-volatile memory to access its memory, much like RAM. Although the first ever SSD was used way back in the 1970's in IBMs supercomputer, it is finally becoming widely accepted now because of the high cost of SSDs in the 1970's. An SSD does much of the same job as an HDD (hard drive). What they do is that they permanently store all you data while the system is off, booting up, etc. The reason why both SSDs and HDDs are important is because they allow for long term data storage, everything from operating systems to applications. However, what's the difference between traditional HDDs and SSDs? One of the main differences between hard drives and solid state drives is the fact that SSDs have no moving parts. A hard drive, in its simplest form is a series of spinning disks made out of metal, with an arm that hovers over them almost like a record player. Because of the vast amount of moving parts, hard drives tend to break a lot easier than solid state drives. Instead of using a disk to store all the data, an SSD uses network of flash memory chips that keep the data even when there is no power. These chips can be present on motherboards, like in some small laptops or ultra-books, PCI/PCIe ports, or most commonly, in a box that's shaped and wired for the SSD. It is important to not get flash memory chips mixed up with flash memory drives. Although those two are a completely different matter in its self, the difference between thetwo is that the ones used in SSDs (flash memory chips) are much fasterand reliable than the flash memory drives. SSDs are compared to each other by measuring Mb/s (megabytes per second) which refers to how fast they can read and write information. For example, one SSD may be able to read at 550MB/s and write at 530MB/s, while another may read the same, but write at 450 MB/s. If you are in the market for a fairly cheap SSD, you may be just better off with a mid-high end HDD. I say this because SSDs are still very expensive, costing up to 75 cents per gigabyte. But, if you are in dire need for one, I would recommend the Kingston digital 120 GBV300 SATA, available from Amazon for $67.99. If you are looking for something a little more high-end, I would recommend the Samsung electronics 840 EVO series 250 GB for $159.41. That is a pretty penny, so I would also recommend cutting the gigabyte count to 120 GB, which may decrease the price to 100-120 dollars. However, if money is no problem, you should try Crucial's M550 1 TB SSD for $449.99 at Amazon. This drive is very fast, but it also offers a huge amount of disk space. Other high performing SSDs to mention are Crucial's MX100 512 GB, Samsung's 840 PRO, and the Seagate 600.

BIOS

BIO (basic input/output system) is a program in the computer, which a microprocessor uses to get the computer system started, when you first turn it on. Additionally, BIOS is also used to manage the data exchange between the computers OS, and the computers attached devices such as the hard drive, keyboard, etc. The BIOS is a very important part of your computer, as all your applications are relieved from the task of having to ever understand exact details about the computers input/output devices, such as the hardware address. Additionally, if any details about the device are changed, only the BIOS needs to be changed, and not the entire operating system. When BIOS first starts your computer, it will check to see that all the attachments of the computer are in place, and functional, and it will proceed to load the computers operating system into the ram from your hard disk. However BIOS can arrange for quicker data flow from devices (example: Video cards) right to the memory. Although, buying options for BIOS chips are limited, after going through the web for more time than I should have, I came up with a few sellers on eBay selling BIOS EFI firmware chips for Macs. If you wish to upgrade your BIOS, you can switch to UEFI (unified extendable firmware interface), which is a much more advanced version of the blue screen BIOS. UEFI offers a more sophisticated approach to system management, and are now being more widely accepted. BIOS can also be measured on the amount of things they let you change.

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Monitor

A monitor is an external peripheral device which outputs the graphics information generated by the GPU. A monitor is one of the most important devices of a computer. It displays all the hard work that your computer does, and without it, having a computer would be virtually useless, as nothing would be outputted.There are two types of monitors; one is the much older CRT monitor (Cathode ray tube). These monitors are being replaced very fast, and are much more bulky, and less efficient than the LCD monitors. LCD (liquid crystal display) are slimmer, and sometimes referred to as flat screen display, are much more energy efficient, and slimmer. Monitors can be compared to one another in a number of ways, one of which is resolution. Resolution is the number of pixels, which are like individual dots that can be contained in a display. Resolution can be expressed by the number of pixels in the horizontal axis, and the number in the vertical axis. For example, a common display standard is XGA (Extended Graphics Array) is equal to 1024x768. The resolution can also be affected by the screen size, and also something called aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is usually measured on the ratio of the width of the display screen, to the height. In the past, monitors, like T.V's have had an aspect ratio of 4:3. However, widescreen LCD monitors tend to have an aspect ratio of 16:9. This is especially great for watching movies, displaying two windows side by side, and for gaming. It is also important to note that CRT and LCD monitors are measured differently. CRT monitors are measured diagonally from the outside edges of the display case. LCD monitors, however are measured diagonally from inside the display case. Screen size directly affects resolution because a resolution on a smaller screen will look sharper than the same resolution on a larger screen. This is because you have the same number of pixels spread out over a larger area. To display this information, you need a signal, which can be either in analog or digital format. CRT monitors usually need analog (VGA) connection, which are continuous electrical signals or waves, they typically use analog. Once the display information is converted into analog format through a video adapter, it is sent to the monitor through a VGA cable. Another connection type is DVI. This is mainly used by LCD monitors, which keeps the information in digital form (pulses, almost like binary digits). There are many different monitors on the market, and if you're on a budget, but still want a great 1080p display, I would recommend the BenQ GL2450. It offers a great 1920x1080 resolution, but it won't make you go broke, as it costs $144.44. If your budget is more flexible, try the Ben RL2455HM 24 inch LED monitor. It has a great 1080p resolution, and is great for gaming, all at a suitable cost of $190 from Amazon. It is also windows 7 and 8 certified. If you have the money for it, I would very much so recommend the Lenovo ThinkVision LT3053p. With a 1080p display, 2560x1600 resolutions, and a 16:10 aspect ratio, it is obvious that this is one of the best monitors on the market, but it doesn't come cheap, with a price tag of $900.

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GPU

The GPU (graphics processing unit), like a motherboard, contains a processing unit and RAM. It also has a BIOS chip (see above for what a BIOS chip is). The GPU is similar to the computers CPU; however the job of a GPU is to carry out the complex mathematical and geometric calculations for the all important job of rendering graphics. A GPU also produces a lot more heat than a CPU, and therefore, is kept under a heatsink, or fan. As images are created by the GPU, it also needs a place to store information. Therefore the card uses its RAM for this purpose. The RAM is connected to the digital to analog converter, which translates the image into a signal that the monitor (see monitor above) can use. The GPU is a very important component in a computer, as nothing would be able to be displayed without it. There are two big manufacturers of GPUs, Nvidia, and ATI. When comparing one card to another, there a lot of things to put into consideration. A good overall aspect of a GPU is the FPS (frames per second). This is the amount of images that the card can display per second. For example, fast action paced games usually require 60 FPS. FPS components include triangles or vertices per second and the pixel fill rate. Another factor or two to consider when picking a good GPU is the clock speed, which is measured in MHz (megahertz). Additionally, another important factor is the amount of available memory. Other factors to consider are:

Size of memory bus (bits) memory clock rate (MHz) memory bandwidth (GB/s) RAMDAC speed(MHz)

The GPU market is clustered with GPUs of all different shapes, sizes, prices, and capabilities. If you are only going to be web surfing, then there is no need to go out and trouble yourself with getting a new one. All PCs come with an integrated graphics chip, and that's enough for simple tasks. However, if you are a gamer, designer, or need it for some other reason, there is a wealth of graphics cards waiting. If you are on a budget, I'd recommend the Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 TI. It is a great entry level GPU by a reputable company, all for $140 on Amazon. If you are looking for something better, but won't cost you your life savings, the MSI R9 270 gaming edition. It may not be as good as the 270x, but it offers a core clock speed of 900 MHz, 1.4 GHz memory clock, 25 bit interface, adding up to a bandwidth of 179.2 GB/s, and comes with a healthy 2GtB of memory, all for $219.03 at retail. If you are a serious gamer, designer, or just want to brag about how great your rig is, then I would beg you to get the all powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 980. It is one of the worlds most fast and powerful GPUs, but also keeping it a quiet and cool environment. I warn you thou, the GPU comes at a cost of 700 dollars retail.

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