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Chapter 1: The Computer's Brain: Processors and Memory

Chapter 1

The Computer's Brain: Processors and Memory

In This Chapter

  • Processor performance
  • Processor types
  • History and evolution of Intel processors
  • Intel's competition—AMD, multiprocessor computers
  • Physical memory
  • Bus architecture and bus types

pro•cess v: to complete a series of actions

Every computer consists of a microprocessor and memory. Without the two, the computer would not function. The microprocessor, commonly referred to as the central processing unit (CPU), is the brain of the computer. Like the human brain, the CPU is responsible for managing the timing of each operation and carrying out the instructions or commands from an application or the operating system.

The CPU uses memory as a place to store or retrieve information. Memory comes in several forms, such as random access memory (RAM) and read-only memory (ROM). Memory provides a temporary location for storing information and contains more permanent system configuration information.


  

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