What is in your computer

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

My current operating system is Microsoft Windows XP Professional. I was running a dual boot with Linux but I had too many problems. Windows XP is supposed to pretty much be the future of operating systems (until they come out with a newer and improved version.) Some of the features it offers include an Enhanced device driver verifier, dramatically reduced reboot scenarios, improved code protection, side-by-side DLL support; windows file protection, and a preemptive multitasking architecture. And that's just to name a few. One other feature I really like is that you can use the Windows 2000 classic interface, which makes it great if you had Windows 2000 before.

Overall, it was a big step up from older Windows versions, in terms of graphical appeal and performance. The interface looks current and modernized and it stands out. Windows XP also adapts to the way each individual works with a redesigned start menu that shows your most frequently used applications first.

Another feature that XP includes is, when you're working on multiple files in the same application, the minimized windows are consolidated into one single taskbar button, which makes it really convenient when you're working on a lot of applications at once. To put it all in perspective, Windows XP offers a lot of features that other operating systems don't.

While researching my motherboard, I discovered all the specifications and features it offers. I looked at numerous reviews on it also, and they all seemed to rate this board pretty high. My motherboard is an Intel 850 chipset and it offers some of the following features: it has a 400 MHz system bus, dual RDRAM capability with room for up to 2 GB's of RAM, dual USB controllers for four ports which doubles the bandwidth at 24 Mbps, and an AC'97 controller which makes for some really great sound with up to six channels for full surround-sound capability.

I also called Dell's customer support number and the guy there gave me some more information on my motherboard. He told me that it had: 8 DMA channels, a 100MHz system clock data rate, 5 PCI slots, a 64 bit data bus width, and a 32 bit address bus width. The guy also had nothing but good things to say about the Intel 850 chipset. He said it was a very popular board and that it just came out in the last couple of years. So, hopefully my motherboard won't get outdated for a while.

After discovering I didn't have a screwdriver anywhere in my house, I called up Dell's customer support in search of the manufacturer of my BIOS chip. After my typical thirty minutes on hold, I finally got through to someone. During the conversation, he told me that I had a Pheonix-A00 BIOS chip (referred to by them as a 1 page BIOS chip.) installed in my system. He also gave me the following information: He said it had an optional boot diagnostics menu and it was a flashable BIOS. This was definitely useful information, but it wasn't worth the 30 min wait. I think next time I'll get a screwdriver.

Moving on to the topic; it is estimated that more than 70 percent of all PCs sold this year will contain Phoenix BIOS chips. Phoenix is also, "the recognized industry leader in connectivity semiconductor software intellectual property (IP) cores for USB, IEEE 1394, Ethernet, PCI, AGP, Infrared and other connectivity standards." One interesting thing that I learned about my chip was, that it is sometimes called a one page BIOS, meaning that there is only one menu that you use to make selections, as opposed to other DOS programs, where you have to navigate through multiple menu's.

On my computer, I have 256 MB PC800 RDRAM. So I went and checked it out on the internet and I found out that PC800 RDRAM memory modules run on a data bus of 100MHz, while the new PC1066 RDRAM memory modules run on a data bus of 133 MHz. In the same article, that was comparing PC1066 RDRAM to DDR SDRAM; they said that up until now, RDRAM didn't do as well in comparison to the DDR SDRAM. However, the PC1066 RDRAM changed that, "using a far superior memory technology in contrast to DDR SDRAM." So, after having my computer for only two years there's already newer and improved memory out there. This goes to show you that the limits of technology are being pushed every day. The article also goes on to say, that RDRAM is much more expensive than SDRAM. And, that if you had the choice, go with the DDR RAM, because you get more "bang for your buck." But, I've had no problems with my PC800 RDRAM, except for the fact that there is already something better out.