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Parts of Computer, Names, Functions, Diagram of Parts

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


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.


Hard Drive

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 graphics board, a powerful PCB (Printed Circuit Board) processes image and video information, then shifts those pixels to the computer monitor. Of note here, video cards, also known as Graphic Processing Units, have become so powerful that they now require their own active cooling systems. List of all the parts of the computer inside its case:

  • 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

The output from the computer appears as millions of color pixels inside a screen. Generally speaking, it’s a high-definition LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) device. Monitors are visually oriented devices. They communicate the GPU output directly to the human eye. Text appears on the display, plus images and video. Indeed, modern displays can render games and 3D video in crisp, clear detail. Anything a computer can process and output, a monitor can display in full color, complete with flicker-free motion. Modern displays are thin and light. They occupy little space. Older monitors use CRT technology (Cathode-Ray Tube), so they’re heavier and have a larger desktop profile.


The Keyboard

Barely halfway through this post, and readers can already see that modern computers are complex beasts. Just as a suggestion, use as your go-to computer service if computer problems are an issue. As providers of premier computer repair services, we’re here to help. Back to the list of computer parts and functions, text commands are entered on a keyboard. It’s a separate device that’s connected by a slender cable to the computer case. Newer keyboards cut out the cable. They use wireless technology to establish a direct link to the computer. Text instructions, multimedia keys and shortcut commands, they’re all contained on the keyboard, as are the arrow keys and a numeric keypad. Features to look out for on the device include backlit keys, wireless technology, and a solid mechanical response.

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.


Computers use Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). To move around the screen and interact with a GUI, a pointing device is connected to the computer. This wireless, or wired, keyboard companion interacts with the OS as an on-screen arrow. Trackballs and trackpads are alternative pointing devices. By the way, users can enhance their pointing devices by installing software applets. These tiny utilities offer additional features such as button reassigning and movement sensitivity.



Completes the multimedia experience. Speakers add sound to games and movies. Music playback is now possible, as is any other kind of audio-enhanced multimedia playback. From plain stereo speakers to immersive 5.1 audio systems with chunky subwoofers, the sound quality on a desktop computer can be every bit as good as an expensive commercial audio system.



Sends a hard copy of the screen output to sheets of paper via some type of printing mechanism. Laser and inkjet printers use software drivers to transfer drops of ink onto paper. Although basic printers only create lines of text, advanced models enable users to print images, too.



Converts physical image data into digital information. The data is then stored inside computer memory, where it can be further processed or transferred to another computer.



As the name implies, webcams are computer cameras. They capture video footage, just like a traditional video camera. A more likely application, though, is as an online video conferencing device. Video chats, Skype and Facebook calls, in fact most of today’s chat applications, they all take advantage of webcam technology.



The perfect companion for the web camera. Online chatting uses computer speakers, webcams, and microphones, too. The voice capturing device can also be used to dictate speech, which could then perhaps be fed to a speech recognition program. Online gamers also use microphone hook-ups. External hard drives, game controllers and so much more, the list goes on. The above list of computer parts and functions covers the bulk of the most used accessories, though. That means most desktops tend to incorporate at least a few of these peripherals. Headsets are also common. Just as a by-the-way, if gaming or video chatting, select one that has a decent built-in mic.


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.

Still curious about all the parts of the computer resting on your office/bedside table? Want to make sure all of these complex, and expensive, components are operating smoothly?

Contact 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.


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