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Computer Anatomy

How Does the CPU Cache Work?
CPU's however use a 2 level cache system. The principles are the same. The level 1 cache is the fastest and smallest memory, level 2 cache is larger and slightly slower but still smaller and faster than the main memory. More ...

Understanding Your Motherboard
Understanding your motherboard is about pointing out what the bits of your motherboard actually do, if you are not used to building or upgrading your own machine you will want to know the ins and outs of the motherboard. More ...

VIA Chipsets
Via was founded in 1997. Via introduced the VP1 chipset to compete with Intel's 430 series. The VP1 offered support for EDO, BEDO and SDRAM as well as UltraDMA ahead of Intel. Today Via is one of the worlds largest chipset manufacturers. More ...

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Chipsets
Although most people think the microprocessor is the most important part on a computer's motherboard, the "chipset" is equally important. With the introduction of the Athlon processor, AMD gained the technilogical lead. AMD processors and chipsets have always held the advantage in value. More ...

Hard Drives - ATA versus SATA
with data rates hitting the 133MB/sec mark the parallel ATA standard is maxing out, thus industry leaders got together and came up with a new standard known as Serial ATA (SATA). More ...

How is Data Written, Stored On, and Erased From Hard Disks?
Inside your hard disk is a stack of one or more optically perfect platters where data is stored magnetically. When the drive is originally formatted, it is laid out in a pattern of concentric circles ("cylinders") and wedges (sectors). More ...

Understanding Graphic Cards
Dedicated graphics cards, which we will be discussing in this article, are needed if you want to do 3D gaming or watch high definition movies. The GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) is the most determinant feature of every graphics card when it comes to the overall performance and speed. More ...

How a laser Printer Works
Laser printers work by using a laser beam to transfer an image to an electrically charged, photo-sensitive drum. The charge on the drum attracts toner ink, which is transferred to the paper. The primary steps in the laser printing process are listed below. More ...

The RS-232 Serial Port
The RS-232 serial port was used to connect a mouse, modem, and/or printer. The RS-232 serial port is now totally obsolete. I would be very surprised if you ever run into a PC with an RS-232 serial port except possibly in a third-world country. However, I'll briefly describe the it in this article because you may run into a question about it in the CompTIA A+ Certification Exam. More ...

Why Does My Hard Drive Show Less Space Than the Specification?
Your hard drive may show less space than the published specifications due to a number of reasons. 1. The way size is calculated and displayed. Some computers have a non-DOS hard drive partition that is used for features such as Hibernation, or Recovery. More ...

Anatomy of a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
Color LCD displays have a sandwich-like structure. One layer of the sandwich has liquid crystal between two glass plates. One glass plate has a matrix of thin film transistors on it. Liquid crystals move depending upon the charge applied to a tiny capacitor by its related transistor. More ...

How to Build a Computer
Branded computers can offer both value and performance, yet parts are often short-spec in one place or another. Sadly you'll often get a performance "bottleneck" such as a slow graphics card, only a basic amount of memory, or a slimline motherboard with too few upgrade slots. Luckily, computers are surprisingly easy to build. More ...