An integral part of daily living, modern computers are incredibly fast data processing machines. More than this, they replicate many of the functions of the human brain, except they’re not intelligent, not self-aware.
Currently, the hardware inside a computer hardware blindly runs programs and games on top of a graphical user interface (GUI), before rendering the response on a monitor. As for the human factor, users sit at computers, enter their needs on a keyboard or a pointing device (a mouse), then read the processed response from the monitor. The parts of computers systems are invariably the same. They are as follows:
- The hardware components
- Software, including the operating system and programs/games
- The input and output devices
- Any other attached accessories
System Architecture: Inside The Computer Case
To construct a computer, hardware parts are mounted inside a hardened box. This box has cooling systems, exterior controls, and a power supply. It’s a powerful system, but it’s useless without some kind of human interface. For inputs, a keyboard and pointing device are attached to the computer case. The role of output device is typically taken on by a monitor, although a hard copy of this output can also be sent to a printer. The software component is every bit as important as the hardware. It allows the hardware to communicate, passes on user instructions to the processor, and forms the building blocks of computer programs/applications. Next, a list of computer parts and functions is written below.
The motherboard is mounted inside the case. It’s a massive circuit board, complete with a panel full of ports. Cables run from the board to the front of the computer case. They hook up to more ports, indicator lights, and the ON/OFF switch.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) performs as the computer’s brain. It’s unlikely that this large rectangular chip will be visible. CPUs run hot. A Heatsink and a powered fan crown the module as thermal dissipation devices.
The Random Access Memory modules slot directly into the motherboard. RAM provides temporary storage space for CPU instructions. It’s a solid-state, super-fast form of data storage, but the data stored in these slim modules is lost when the computer is powered down.
An HDD (Hard Disk Drive) is another storage device, one that’s about the size and shape of a small paperback book. Hard drives are classed as mechanical devices, so although capable of storing thousands of gigabytes of data, they’re relatively slow. Solid state drives (SDDs) are slowly replacing HDDs. Note: Today’s motherboards incorporate audio and graphics chipsets. Rarely as good as discrete PCBs, manufacturers and hobbyist system builders instead opt to install expansion boards.
Sound Board Expansion Card
Generates program and game audio. Sound cards produce multichannel audio, so there’s no need for users to limit their listening experience to stereo. Better than 2-channel listening, fully immersive 5.1 surround sound output is integrated into newer audio cards.
- The motherboard, upon which expansion boards are mounted
- The CPU. The core of the computer. This electronic brain carries out operating system and program instructions
- The RAM, also known as the system memory. Typically measured in GB (Gigabytes)
- The hard disk drive (HDD). Contains all software, including user data, the operating system, and installed programs
- Expansion boards take the form of a sound card and a GPU (Graphical Processing Unit). The latter acronym is another name for a graphics board
- A network card, another possible expansion board, allows users to access the World Wide Web
Determining The Input/Output Hardware Components
The Computer Monitor
Opening A World of Computing Accessories
A whole accessory ecosystem has built up around the conventional keyboard-to-computer-to monitor setup. Let’s start with the everyday mouse, a humble but essential pointing device.
What is the main body of a computer called?
The computer case or chassis.
Which three parts of the computer receive input?
The keyboard, the pointing device, and the microphone.
Which of the parts of a computer actually executes program instructions?
The CPU (Central Processing Unit)
How should computer parts be stored?
In a dry, cool place, preferably inside anti-static packaging
What is the most important part of a computer?
It depends on the application. For gamers, a fast CPU and GPU, plus plenty of RAM. For 3D designers and video editing, loads of RAM and a powerful CPU are both essential. A popular Operating System ties all of these hardware parts together. Windows and Mac OS X are the market leaders here, and for good reason. As such, they’re usually included with a newly purchased computer. Linux is another option. Although less popular, the various distros of Linux are mostly free, and they’re popular in less powerful machines.
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Contact Quickfixba.com for an expertly performed system repair and/or diagnosis. From annoying software glitches to productivity hindering-hardware failures, our top-notch, reliable team offers services that keep your computer parts ticking along in perfect harmony.