Inside a computer

Have you ever before looked inside a computer case, or seen photos of the inside of one? The little parts might look complicated, however the within of a computer instance isn't really all the mysterious. This class will assist you master some the the simple terminology and also understand a bit much more about what goes on inside a computer.

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Watch the video clip below to learn about what's within a desktop computer computer.


The motherboard is the computer's main circuit board. It's a slim plate that holds the CPU, memory, connectors for the tough drive and also optical drives, development cards to control the video and audio, and also connections to her computer's ports (such as USB ports). The motherboard connects straight or indirectly to every part of the computer.


The central processing unit (CPU), likewise called a processor, is situated inside the computer case on the motherboard. It is sometimes dubbed the mind of the computer, and its job is to bring out commands. At any time you press a key, click the mouse, or start an application, you're sending instructions to the CPU.

The CPU is usually a two-inch ceramic square v a silicon chip located inside. The chip is usually about the size of a thumbnail. The CPU fits into the motherboard's CPU socket, which is spanned by the heat sink, things that absorbs warm from the CPU.

A processor's speed is measure up in megahertz (MHz), or countless instructions per second; and also gigahertz (GHz), or billions the instructions per second. A much faster processor can execute instructions much more quickly. However, the actual rate of the computer system depends top top the rate of plenty of different components—not simply the processor.

RAM (random accessibility memory)

RAM is your system's short-term memory. Whenever your computer system performs calculations, the temporarily stores the data in the RAM till it is needed.

This short-term memory disappears as soon as the computer is turned off. If you're working on a document, spreadsheet, or other form of file, you'll have to save it come avoid shedding it. As soon as you conserve a file, the data is created to the hard drive, i beg your pardon acts together long-term storage.

RAM is measure in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more RAM you have, the much more things your computer system can perform at the very same time. If girlfriend don't have sufficient RAM, you may notification that your computer is sluggish as soon as you have several programs open. Since of this, many people add extra RAM come their computer systems to boost performance.

Hard drive

The hard drive is where your software, documents, and other documents are stored. The hard drive is long-term storage, which method the data is still saved even if you revolve the computer system off or unplug it.

When you run a program or open a file, the computer copies some of the data indigenous the hard drive ~ above the RAM. When you save a file, the data is copied back to the hard drive. The quicker the tough drive, the faster your computer system can start up and also load programs.

Power supply unit

The strength supply unit in a computer converts the power native the wall outlet to the form of power needed by the computer. It sends out power through cables come the motherboard and other components.

If you decide to open up the computer case and also take a look, make certain to unplug the computer first. Prior to touching the inside of the computer, you need to touch a grounded steel object—or a metal component of the computer casing—to discharge any static buildup. Static electricity can be transmitted with the computer circuits, which have the right to seriously damages your machine.

Expansion cards

Most computers have expansion slots on the motherboard that permit you to add various species of expansion cards. These are sometimes referred to as PCI (peripheral ingredient interconnect) cards. You might never need to include any PCI cards due to the fact that most motherboards have integrated video, sound, network, and other capabilities.

However, if you desire to boost the performance of your computer system or upgrade the capability of an larger computer, you deserve to always add one or more cards. Below are several of the many common types of development cards.

Video card

The video card is responsible for what you see on the monitor. Most computers have a GPU (graphics processing unit) constructed into the motherboard instead of having a separate video card. If you favor playing graphics-intensive games, friend can include a faster video card to one of the expansion slots come get far better performance.

Sound card

The sound card—also called an audio card—is responsible because that what friend hear in the speakers or headphones. Most motherboards have incorporated sound, yet you have the right to upgrade come a devoted sound card for higher-quality sound.

Network card

The network card permits your computer system to connect over a network and accessibility the Internet. It deserve to either affix with one Ethernet cable or v a wireless connection (often referred to as Wi-Fi). Countless motherboards have built-in network connections, and also a network map can likewise be included to an growth slot.

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Bluetooth card (or adapter)

Bluetooth is a an innovation for wireless communication over brief distances. It's often used in computers to interact with wireless keyboards, mice, and also printers. It's commonly developed into the motherboard or had in a wireless network card. For computer systems that don't have actually Bluetooth, you deserve to purchase a USB adapter, often dubbed a dongle.