computer consists of a computer case and a separate monitor, keyboard, and
mouse. As the name suggests, this type of computer is typically placed on a
desk and is not very portable.
Let’s begin with the computer case. This is the metal
enclosure that contains many of the other hardware components. It comes in
various shapes and sizes, such as…
CPU or Central
Processing Unit is the brain of Computer that handles all the instructions and
performs arithmetic, logical and basic Input/output operations. It is the
processor that determines the speed of a computer system, with the higher the processor speed the performance gradually
increases. The speed of processor is measured in MHz (Mega Hertz) and GHz (Giga
Hertz) i.e. the number of instructions per second.
The CPU is
integrated into the system by connecting to the motherboard.
The Motherboard is
the body of the computer system. It contains a
socket to house the processor and links the majority of internal components
come in different sizes called ‘Form Factors’ which include, in order of size; ATX,
Micro ATX, Mini ITX, Nano ITX and Pico ITX
BIOS or basic
input/output system is firmware (firmware links hardware and software) built
into a computer system. The BIOS is used to ensure that a system boots up
correctly and all hardware components are configured to work effectively. It contains information about the
hardware components connected to the system
A power supply
or PSU (power supply unit) is used to power all the components in a computer
It converts the
ac (alternating current) into dc (direct current) and has its own in built fan.
Heat Sink & Fan
Heat sinks are
also used to keep systems cool. Heat sinks are made from materials that draw
heat away such as aluminium and copper. Often a heat sink is placed on top of a
processor to draw the heat away from it.
A fan will be
placed on top of the heat sink to continuously draw out the heat that the
processor produces. This heat is then drawn away from the systems by fans
placed on the casing. Sometimes water is used to cool systems such as gaming consoles.
airflow inside the case, sucking hot air out of the case to ensure that it does
not over heat.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
This is the
temporary storage device of the computer, used to hold data that the computer
is working on.
Hard Drive (HDD)
This is the
main storage device of the computer. It is where files, programmes, music,
video etc are stored.
This reads or
writes data onto optical discs (CD, DVD, Blue Ray)
These cards can
be added to the computer to increase functionality and performance. They can
include graphics cards, sound cards and network interface cards