An expansion card that enables a computer to produce sounds that are omnidirectional or three dimensional.
The time it takes a storage device to locate its stored data.
BD-ROM is defined as BluRay Disc Read Only Memory. BD-ROM is an optical disc storage media format for high-definition video and data storage.
A measurement used in comparing software and hardware performance. Benchmarks are created using software applications that are specifically designed to push the limits of computer performance.
The number of bits a video card uses to store data about each pixel on the monitor.
A method of optical storage for digital data, developed for storing high-definition media. It has the largest storage capacity of all optical storage options.
Small blocks of memory, located directly on and next to the central processing unit (CPU) chip, that act as holding places for recently or frequently used instructions or data that the CPU accesses the most. Retrieved more quickly than RAM.
The steady and constant pace at which a computer goes through machine cycles, measured in hertz (Hz).
A complete processing section from a CPU, embedded into one physical chip.
The percentage of time a central processing unit (CPU) is working.
data transfer rate (bandwidth)
The maximum speed at which data can be transmitted between two nodes on a network; usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
One of three competing technologies for rewritable DVDs.
DVD format in which data can only be read and not written.
One of two recognized DVD formats that enable you to read, record (R), and rewrite (RW) data on the disc.
One of two recognized DVD formats that enables you to both read, record (R), and rewrite (RW) data on the disc.
eSata / external SATA
A fast transfer port.
Allows you to read flash memory cards such as CompactFlash, Memory Sticks, and Secure Digital.
graphics processing unit (GPU)
A specialized logic chip that is dedicated to quickly displaying and calculating visual data such as shadows, textures, and luminosity.
A device that holds all permanently stored programs and data; can be located inside the system unit or attached to the system unit via a USB port.
Impact of read/write head against magnetic platter of the hard drive; often results in data loss.
A technology that permits quicker processing of information by enabling a new set of instructions to start executing before the previous set has finished.
The memory that the computer’s operating system uses.
The process that occurs after the read/write head of the hard drive locates the correct track, and then waits for the correct sector to spin to the read/write head.
local bus / front side bus (FSB)
Connects the processor (CPU) in your computer to the system memory and allows data to your processor at a faster speed.
memory module (memory card)
A small circuit board that holds a series of random access memory (RAM) chips.
A prediction, named after Gordon Moore, the cofounder of Intel; states that the number of transistors on a CPU chip will double every two years.
Permanent storage, as in read-only memory (ROM).
Portable storage devices, such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, that use a laser to read and write data.
The amount of random access memory (RAM) that is installed in a computer.
A thin, round, metallic storage plate stacked onto the hard drive spindle.
random access memory (RAM)
The computer’s temporary storage space or short-term memory. Capacity is measured in megabytes or gigabytes.
The mechanism that retrieves (reads) and records (writes) the magnetic data to and from a data disk. They move from the outer edge of the spinning platters to the center, up to 50 times per second.
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (Serial ATA)
A type of hard drive that uses much thinner cables, and can transfer data more quickly, than IDE drives.
A section of a hard drive platter, wedge-shaped from the center of the platter to the edge.
The time it takes for the hard drive’s read/write heads to move over the surface of the disk, between tracks, to the correct track.
solid state drive (SSD)
A drive that uses the same kind of memory that flash drives use, but can reach data in only a tenth of the time a flash drive requires.
An expansion card that attaches to the motherboard inside the system unit and that enables the computer to produce sounds by providing a connection for the speakers and microphone.
A type of audio processing that makes the listener experience sound as if it were coming from all directions.
The process of looking at a computer’s subsystems, what they do, and how they perform to determine whether the computer system has the right hardware components to do what the user ultimately wants it to do.
A concentric circle that serves as a storage area on a hard drive platter.
video card (video adapter)
An expansion card that is installed inside a system unit to translate binary data (the 1s and 0s the computer uses) into the images viewed on the monitor.
RAM that is included as part of a video card.
Temporary storage, such as in random access memory (RAM). When the power is off, the data in volatile storage is cleared out.