What are Direct Memory Access (DMA) Channels

Before you start Objectives: Learn what is DMA, how many DMA channels are there, and why are they used. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: dma, devices, channels, chip, controller, system, assigned, cpu, directly, memory DMA Definition DMA channels are used by high speed devices and they allow them to communicate directly with the main memory (RAM) on our … Read more

What are Interrupt Requests (IRQ)

Before you start Objectives: Learn what are IRQs, why are they used, what are default IRQ assignments, and how are they configured. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: interrupt, device, pic, wire, cpu, irq, chip, time, assigned, default, method, controller Introduction to IRQ IRQ is the method which devices use to interrupt the CPU and request processing time. There … Read more

Random Access Memory Problems and Troubleshooting

Before you start Objectives: Learn about typical memory problems and how to diagnose them using memory testing tools. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: memory problem, installation, troubleshooting, diagnostics, memtest Hardware Problems When it comes to RAM, we can typically have a problem when a memory module goes bad, and another type can be related to installation or configuration … Read more

Heat Management

Before you start Objectives: learn why is cooling so important when dealing with modern PCs, and which components generate most heat. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: air, cooling, component, fan, cpu, heatsink, case, temperature, hard, hot, pc, memory, power, room, system, video, airflow Heat Detection CPUs, memory, hard disks, etc., generate large amount of heat. Most modern CPUs … Read more

Video Adapter

Before you start Objectives: learn what is video card and what should we consider when we buy new card. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: card, connector, memory, display, rate, tv, digital, directx, screen, color, dvi, hdmi, monitor, refresh, slot, analog, graphic, pci Compatibility: Video card must be compatible with our system’s expansion bus, which can be either AGP, … Read more

CMOS, BIOS and Boot Process

Before you start Objectives: Learn the difference between BIOS and CMOS. Also, learn how our PC starts. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: device, chip, cpu, memory, parameter, motherboard, battery, post, load, data, power, address, software, firmware ROM vs RAM To enable our CPU to communicate with other devices on our motherboard, we implement a special chip on the … Read more

Random Access Memory

Before you start Objectives: learn what is RAM, what is the difference between SRAM and DRAM, various types of DRAM and how to choose the correct RAM for your computer. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: memory, ddr, data, bus, frequency, module, speed, mhz, sdram, clock, bandwidth, dram, system, cycle, channel RAM RAM in a PC system is random, … Read more

Central Processing Unit

Before you start Objectives: learn what is CPU and all associated terms. Prerequisites: no prerequisites. Key terms: processor, cache, speed, cpu, performance, memory, virtualization, clock, multi-core, heat, instruction 32-bit Versus 64-bit Some CPUs contain a 32-bit architecture, some a 64-bit architecture. 64-bit processors can manage twice the data of a 32-bit processor, but 64-bit operating systems and 64-bit … Read more

Expansion Slots

Before you start Objectives: learn which slots (buses) are being used to add new features to personal computers. Prerequisites: you should know what is a Motherboard. Key terms: pci, slot, pcie, bus, agp, express, card, amr, isa, expansion, pci-x, connector ISA and EISA ISA bus was used on older computers. It was first developed in 1981, and was … Read more

Motherboard Components

Before you start Objectives: learn the different components which can be found on typical Motherboard. Prerequisites: you should be familiar with ports which can be found on typical computer. Key terms: motherboard, connector, cpu, port, power, expansion, memory, slot, card, bios, chipset Example Motherboard In our example we will work with Asus A8N SLI Motherboard.   Image 227.1 … Read more