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Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC

SECTION 1 OF SYLLABUS: CHAPTER 2: Hardware Component of the Computer System

Activity # 2


Chapter 2: Hardware Component of a Computer System

Examination based short answer questions

INSTRUCTION: Answer all questions in your own words as accurately as possible.

1. What is Hardware? (1 mark)

Possible Solution
Refers to objects that you can actually touch, like disks, disk drives,
display, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips. In contrast, software is untouchable.
Software exists as ideas, concepts, and symbols, but it has no substance.

2. State the importance of computer Hardware. (2 marks)

a. List ANY FOUR types of hardware in your computer lab. (4 marks)

Possible Solution

Disk drives, monitors, keyboards, printers, boards, and chips

b. Explain ONE function of ANY TWO. (2 marks)

Possible Solution
A computer monitor is an electronic device that shows pictures. Monitors often look
similar to televisions. The main difference between a monitor and a television is that
a monitor does not have a television tuner to change channels. Monitors often have
higher display resolution than televisions.

3. What does the term firmware have to do with hardware? (1 mark)

Possible Solution
Firmware is a software program permanently etched (imprinted) into a hardware device
such as a keyboard, hard drive, BIOS, or video card.

4. What features must be considered before purchasing a RAM chip. (3 marks)

Possible Solution
Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC
SECTION 1 OF SYLLABUS: CHAPTER 2: Hardware Component of the Computer System

1) How many memory sockets are open? If there are none open, you will have to
replace your current RAM with higher capacity ones.
2) What type of memory sockets are open? SIMMs? DIMMs? The form factor is
important for choosing the right RAM. Also, putting SIMMs into a board that is
currently using DIMMs may result in speed compromises.
3) What kind of memory are you currently using? SDRAM does not mix with EDO
DRAM, and few other types don't mix at all.
4) How much money are you willing to spend? SIMMs/DIMMs come in several speed
grades, each at different price levels. It may be more cost effective to buy one large
chip instead of several small ones, or vice versa.
5) Determine whether you have Tin or Gold sockets.
6) Determine if you need to buy your RAM in pairs.
7) What maximum amounts of RAM/Cache does your motherboard support?

5. What is the advantage of having more memory in a computer system? (1 mark)

Possible Solution

More memory means more available space that the computer can use when doing
multiple task which increases performance

6. What does the acronym CPU stand for? (1 mark)

Possible Solution

CPU - Central Processing Unit

a. State the functions of the CPU (2 marks)

Possible Solution
CPU has to implement 4 basic functions during instruction cycle: fetch, decode, execute,

7. The CPU is divided into TWO main sub-units.

a. What are the differences between them? (4 marks)

Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC
SECTION 1 OF SYLLABUS: CHAPTER 2: Hardware Component of the Computer System

Possible Solution
Control Unit (CU):
The Control Unit (CU) extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes
them. The control unit directs and manages all activities taking place in the CPU.

It manages the transfer of information, manages program processed data, deduce

program instruction to the computer so that the computer may comprehend the

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU ) handles arithmetic and logical operations. The Arithmetic
Logic Unit deals with mathematical functions and logical operations.

In the event that the CPU contains information that includes mathematical operations,
the CU will send the information to the ALU for processing.

The ALU focuses on the following functions: addition, subtraction, division, less than,
greater than, equal to, and not equal to etc. To function properly, the CPU relies on the
system clock, memory, secondary storage, and data and address buses.

b. Which one extracts and decodes information from the main memory? (1 mark)

Possible Solution
Control Unit (CU)

8. You are watching a movie with your friends on a laptop with a particular program.
Which hardware component of the computer currently holds the program that is
playing the movie? (1 mark)

Possible Solution

9. Study the task that are listed below and state the type of storage device that is being
i. Starting a gamming program. (1 mark)
Possible Solution

Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC
SECTION 1 OF SYLLABUS: CHAPTER 2: Hardware Component of the Computer System

ii. Identifying by indicating the manufacturer’s properties of a Blue Ray.

(1 mark)
Possible Solution

iii. Holding data temporarily as it been used. (1 mark)

Possible Solution

iv. Stored data that is permanent for the computer to boot up. (1 mark)

Possible Solution

10. Define the term Main memory. (1 mark)

Possible Solution

a. Main memory is where programs and data are kept when the processor is
actively using them. When programs and data become active, they are copied
from secondary memory into main memory where the processor can interact
with them. A copy remains in secondary memory.

11. What is another name for Main memory? (1 mark)

Possible Solution

Another name for main memory is RAM

12. What is the memory in the CPU called? (1 mark)

Possible Solution
13. Some computers consist of dual core processors, what does this mean? (1 mark)

Possible Solution

Dual-core refers to a CPU that includes two complete execution cores per physical
processor. It has combined two processors and their caches and cache controllers onto
a single integrated circuit (silicon chip).

Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC
SECTION 1 OF SYLLABUS: CHAPTER 2: Hardware Component of the Computer System

14. State FOUR major components of a computer system. (4 marks)

Possible Solution

The four main components of a computer system are input devices, output devices,
processing devices and the storage devices used to store data within the computer
system. These are the hardware components of a computer system; software is a set of
digital instructions for the computer stored in the memory.

a. Explain ANY TWO. (2 marks)

Possible Solution

1) The input devices are used to enter data into the computer system. They include the
keyboard and mouse. Once data is entered, they convert it into an internal form that
can be processed by the central processing unit.

2) The output devices are used to present the processed information to the user. They
include the monitor and speakers.

3) The processing devices perform the actual processing of the data. The main
processing device is the processor.

4) The storage devices include the RAM and hard disks. They store information within
the computer system.

b. List an example of each. (2 marks)

Possible Solution
a. Keyboards, mice, scanners, digital cameras and joysticks, etc.
a. Printers, monitors, projects, speakers and webcams, etc.

Information Technology in FOCUS for CSEC
SECTION 1 OF SYLLABUS: CHAPTER 2: Hardware Component of the Computer System

a. pen drive, floppy disk, hard drive, external hard drive, magnetic tape and optical

15. What do the following abbreviations stand for GHz or MHz (2 marks)

Possible Solution

a. MegaHertz
b. GigaHertz

16. You are using your computer and suddenly the power went off. What would happen to
the data in the RAM? (1 mark)

17. Complete the following table:

Property Meaning Unit

Speed The number of operations that can be performed per second. MHz

Word Size The number of bits that a CPU can process at one time. Processors
with many different word sizes have existed through powers of two (8, Bit
16, 32, and 64)
Data Path The largest number of bits that can be transported into a chip in one Bit

Maximum The largest amount of memory that the CPU can address MB - GB
(7 marks)