Components inside the computer

Components inside the computer

Have you ever seen inside a computer and thought how complicated it looks? There are several components inside a computer, and here is a little information for you to have a better understanding of the computer.

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The Motherboard

The motherboard is the main circuit board of the computer. It connects to every component inside the computer and holds the processor, the memory, any graphics, audio or expansion cards.

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The Central processing unit, or known as the CPU or processor, is attached to the motherboard. The CPU is sometimes known as the brain of the computer and its job is to carry out commands. When the user, presses a key, moves the mouse, or starts a program, you are sending instructions to the processor.

The processor’s speed is measured in Ghz (Gigahertz) or billions of instructions per second. A faster processor, will process instructions faster, however, this is not the only component that runs the speed of the computer

As you can imagine, the CPU gets very hot, therefore, it has silicon, a heatsink and a fan to keep it cool. There are also other cooling systems for the CPU such as the water cooling system, which you find often in gaming machines.



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The RAM (Random Access Memory)

The RAM is your computer’s short-term memory, whenever your computer performs calculations, it is stored in the memory temporary until it is required. This information is lost once the computer is turned off, therefore, you need to save your data to the hard drive, which is the computers long term memory. Memory is measured in MB and GB (Megabytes and Gigabytes), the more memory your computer has the more the computer can multitask. If you are short on memory, then your computer may feel sluggish, by upgrading the amount of memory your computer has the better the performance of the machine

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The hard drive

The hard drive is where all your documents, pictures, music and files are saved to, as well as all the programs you use. It is the computers long term storage; your data is saved to the hard drive even if the computer is turned off.

When you open a file or run a program, the computer saves some of the information from the hard drive to the RAM. When you save a file, the data is copied to the hard drive. The faster the hard drive speed the faster your computer can load up. Hard drives are measured in GB and TB (Gigabytes and Terabytes) which is the amount of storage available to save to the hard drive

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Power Supply Unit

The power supply unit converts the power required from the wall socket to the amount of power required to the computer or individual components. It sends the power to the motherboard and other components through cables

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Video cards

The video or graphics card (Graphics processing unit GPU) is responsible for what you see on the screen. Most computers have the GPU built into the motherboard, however, some machines require better detailed graphics, such as gaming or photography machines. These usually have their own independent graphics card

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Audio card

The audio card is responsible for you hearing through your speakers or headphones, as well as using a microphone. Most motherboards have integrated sound, however some machines require higher quality sound, and therefore an audio card is added to the computer

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Network  card

The network card allows you to communicate and transmit data over a network and on the internet. It can connect via an ethernet cable or through a wireless connection (WIFI). Most motherboards have an integrated network port for ethernet cables. However, if WIFI is required a dedicated WIFI network card can be fitted

Optical drives

Optical drives are for the computer to read and write to DVD, CD or Blue ray. Most machines come with an optical drive, however, these are starting to become phased out with smaller laptops.

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