Unit 11: Vocabulary

To pass this unit, please study the 15 vocabulary words below.
BIOS (basic input output system)
This is normally a ROM program that controls the base functionality of the computer such as video, hard drives, optical drives, and keyboard
The technician needed to upgrade the BIOS before installing a faster processor in the workstation.
a collection of integrated circuits on the motherboard designed to perform certain tasks such as control components and system buses
Speccing a low-end chipset is not a good way to save money when building a new PC.
Any computer processor or portion of the CPU which assists the main processor by performing a highly specialized task
Many older microprocessors included a coprocessor to speed up floating-point calculations.
graphics card
a component of a computer which is designed to convert a binary image stored in memory to a display medium
The latest and greatest games normally require the latest and greatest graphics cards.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
a specialized coprocessor designed to handle graphical calculations such as 3D modeling and games
Most computers come specced with a weak GPU embedded into the motherboard and designed for business applications and simple 2D games.
an electronic device constructed from microscopic transistors and other circuit elements on a single integrated circuit; popular manufactures of these devices include Intel, AMD, and IBM
The microprocessor is often thought to be the central brain of a computer because it performs most of the calculations.
The main printed circuit board in a computer that carries the system buses, sockets for processors, memory modules, etc
The processor, RAM, and PCI cards plug directly into the motherboard.
NIC (network interface card)
a wired or increasingly wireless PCI or USB device that connects a computer to a network
Almost every computer that ships today has some sort of NIC so it can attach to a network.
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)
a standard 32-bit bus running at 132 MB/s
The network card used a PCI bus connector which snapped into the motherboard.
PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)
a newer bus type used mainly for graphic cards and running at speeds up to 16,000 MB/s
The boy grinned ear-to-ear when he received a new PCIe graphics card for Christmas.
power supply
A separate unit or part of a circuit that supplies the correct amount of electrical current to a computer system.
Nick upgraded to a 600 watt power supply when he added a new graphics card and two more hard drives.
SATA (Serial ATA)
A widely used bus for connecting hard disk drives and similar devices to the motherboard and running at speeds up to 6 Gbit/s.
The SSD storage device came with a SATA connection running at 6 Gbit/s.
sound card
a component which allows a computer to play and record audio
The musician installed a dedicated sound card to replace the cheap one that came with his computer.
spec (specification)
a clear set of technical or quantitative requirements
The lead technician became angry when his assistant bought equipment outside the specification.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
A relatively fast and convenient computer technology allowing the connection of many peripherals such as digital cameras, scanners, external hard drives, etc; this is a much faster replacement for the old serial bus technology
USB technology is so fast and easy to use, it is hard to even remember what similar connection types existed before it.
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