IntroductionIn this paper I will discuss component usage and component performance issues relatedto computer hardware. First I will explain what the media storage devices on a computer are andwhat their appropriate uses are. Next, I will discuss the roles in defining the speed/performanceof the computer related to: RAM, clock speed of the CPU, retrieving data from the Hard Drive,retrieving data from a CD ROM and retrieving data from a floppy disk.
Hard DisksTo many users the hard disk drive is the most important and yet the most mysterious part of a computer system. A hard disk drive is a sealed unit that a PC uses for nonvolatile data storage. Nonvolatile, or semi permanent, storage means that the storage device retains the data even when no power is supplied to the computer (Thompson, 2002, chap. 4). Because the hard disk drive is expected to retain data until deliberately erased or overwritten, the hard drive is used to store crucial programming and data.
As a result, when the hard disk fails, the consequences are usually very serious.
Floppy DisksFloppy Disks are somewhat slower than a hard disk and not used as much as they have been in the past. Floppy Disk drives are categorized as removable media or removable magnetic storage devices. These devices use media that can be swapped in and out of the drive. Floppy Disks are typically slower at accessing data than a Hard Disk drive is, sometimes much slower. Removable magnetic storage devices are useful because you can store an unlimited amount of data on additional cartridges, albeit with only a subset of the data available online at any one time (Thompson, 2002, chap. 6). Because media are separate items, you can transfer data between computers that are not networked, if those computers are equipped with a compatible...