Section 5 - Components of a Computer System Flashcards Preview

GCSE Computer Science (AQA syllabus/curriculum) > Section 5 - Components of a Computer System > Flashcards

Flashcards in Section 5 - Components of a Computer System Deck (20):

Define what is meant by hardware.
Give one example.

The physical components that make up a computer system.
RAM stick


Define what is meant by software.
Give one example.

The programs or applications that a computer can run.
Word processor/Internet browser/File manager etc.


What is an embedded system?

A computer built into another device.


Give an example of an embedded system



Explain the difference between system software and application software.

Application software is run by the user to help perform particular tasks, while system software is run by the system to control or maintain the system.


Give two benefits of an embedded system over a non-embedded system.

• Embedded systems are usually smaller than non-embedded systems
• Embedded systems are cheaper to produce than non-embedded systems


Describe how the CPU uses the clock signal

The CPU uses the clock signal to synchronise components in the computer and to determine when to carry out instructions.


What is the name given to wires that transmit data between components in the CPU?



State two functions of the CU

• It controls the flow of data within the CPU
• It follows the fetch-decode-execute cycle


Describe the function of the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

The ALU carries out arithmetic operations, e.g. addition, subtraction and multiplication. It performs logic operations on binary data, such as AND, NOT, and OR


What is the purpose of CPU registers?

The registers are super fast memory that store tiny amounts of data instructions that the CPU can access extremely quickly.


Explain how cache memory is used by the CPU

Cache memory is extremely fast memory in the CPU. It stores regularly used data or instructions. The CPU can access data stored in the cache much faster than retrieving it from RAM


Describe the difference between volatile and non-volatility memory

Volatile memory is temporary while non-volatile is permanent


Explain the purpose of RAM in the computer system.

RAM holds any data that is currently in use. It allows the CPU to directly access data much faster than if the data was on secondary storage.


State two functions of the BIOS (Basic Input Output System)

• It loads the operating system
• It checks for hardware connected to the computer


Define the term clock speed

The number of clock cycles per second


What is secondary storage?

Secondary storage is non-volatile storage that isn't directly accessible by the CPU.


Give two differences between Level 1 cache and Level 3 cache memory.

Level 3 cache can hold more memory than Level 1 cache.
Level 1 cache tends to be quicker than Level 3 cache.


State three functions of an operating system

• The OS communicates with the I/O devices
• The OS provides a user interface
• The OS manages the CPU and processes


Define what is meant by utility software

Utility software is a software that helps to configure, optimise or maintain a computer.