Plyojump - Computer History
Computer Hardware - Components of a modern computer
A modern personal computer, showing the main components
- Mainboard or System Board
- Central processing unit or CPU
- Connectors for hard disks and CD/DVD readers
- Electronic fast memory (RAM)
- Additional circuit boards plugged in to add functions (e.g. a high-performance video card)
- Power supply - fast computers use a LOT of electrical power
- CD/DVD reader and writer
- Internal hard drive
CRT (Cathode-Ray Tue) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) computer monitors
2. Mainboard or System Board or "Motherboard"
Examples of AMD and Intel mainboards (also called "system boards"). These boards may be purchased separately to build your own computer. The speed and capacity of the mainboard sets an upper limit on all components of a computer.
3. CPU (Central Processing Unit)
CPU (Central Processing Unit) by AMD and Intel, and associated cooling fan This contains the Arithmetic Logic Unit of the original von Neuman architecture.
CPUs use enormous amounts of electrical power relative to their size, which in turns requires that they be cooled by large fans or liquid cooling system. The fans are the source of noise when the computer is turned on - the operation of the chips is silent.
4. Hard Drive Connector, and 9 Hard Drive
Hard drive, inside and outside, and hard drive cooling fan
5. RAM (Random Access Memory)
Various kinds of RAM (Random-Access Memory)
Flash RAM MMC, SD, and "thumb drive" forms
6. Video Cards - an example of "plug-in" boards
Graphics-Processing Unit (GPU) or "videocard" using PCI-E connections. This high-memory (4Gb) model is for scientific computing.To the right, a lower-memory "gamer" card.
Older videocards, using the AGP port
Graphic card (GPU) and cooling systems
7. Power supply
8. CD or DVD reader
Putting it all together (again)
Assembly of hardware components into the mainboard.
Typical assembled configuration of a desktop PC.
Cables and Connectors
VGA-style monitor port
DVI/HDMI (Digital Video Interface) monitor cable, DVI and Mini-DVI pinouts
IDE cables for old-style hard drives , compared to SATA cables
PS-2 (keyboard and monitor cable on PC)
Serial (modem) connectors
Parallel printer port (falling out of use)
USB (Universal Serial Bus) port
S-video (top) and audio connectors (bottom)