What Are Some Computer Vocabulary Terms?


Quick Answer

Central processing unit, graphics processing unit and format are three computer vocabulary terms. Whereas the first two refer to hardware components, format refers to a software process that affects devices that store data.

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Often abbreviated as CPU, the central processing unit is the central hardware of a component. In addition to handling most of the calculations that a user demands of the computer, the CPU sends instructions to other components. Consumer-grade CPUs are often square-shaped and contain hundreds of metallic connectors on the bottom to communicate with the motherboard. The clock speed and the numbers of core of a CPU are two factors that determine how powerful it is. Whereas a higher clock speed enables a processor to handle instructions at a higher pace, multiple cores make it possible for the CPU to handle multiple instructions at once.

Although it was originally intended for use in 3D applications such as video games, the graphics processor unit is also capable of financial modelling and scientific calculations. Abbreviated as GPU, the unit handles calculations related to lighting and shading effects in 3D applications to create the visuals that the system sends to the monitor. Unlike CPUs, GPUs may consist of hundreds of cores and can have hundreds of times the power of the CPU, depending on the exact task.

Formatting a storage device is the process of deleting all the data in it. After removing the existing data from the device, the process sets up a new file system. NTFS and FAT32 are two widely-used file systems that Windows is compatible with. Users can use the built-in Disk Management application or the Command Prompt to initiate a format.

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