Plyojump - Computer History

Computer Hardware - Components of a modern computer

Components 2

A modern personal computer, showing the main components


1. Monitor


CRT Monitor LCD monitor

CRT (Cathode-Ray Tue) and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) computer monitors


2. Mainboard or System Board or "Motherboard"

AMD system board Intel 64 bit mainboard

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)

AMD CPU Intel 64-bit cpu

CPU (Central Processing Unit) by AMD and Intel, and associated cooling fan This contains the Arithmetic Logic Unit of the original von Neuman architecture.

cooling fan liquid cooling system

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 hard drive inside hard drive cooling system

Hard drive, inside and outside, and hard drive cooling fan


5. RAM (Random Access Memory)


Various kinds of RAM (Random-Access Memory)

flash mmc memorySD flash ram thumbdrive

Flash RAM MMC, SD, and "thumb drive" forms


6. Video Cards - an example of "plug-in" boards

nvida quatroGEForce SLI

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

Graphics card cooler

Graphic card (GPU) and cooling systems


7. Power supply

power supply


8. CD or DVD reader


Putting it all together (again)


Assembly of hardware components into the mainboard.

Components assembled

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


Mini-DVI, withpinouts

IDE cables SATA hard drive cables

IDE cables for old-style hard drives , compared to SATA cables


PS-2 cableps2 ports

PS-2 (keyboard and monitor cable on PC)

serial cablers-232

Serial (modem) connectors

parallel port cableparallel port

Parallel printer port (falling out of use)


USB (Universal Serial Bus) port

Ethernet cables ethernet connectors

Ethernet cables

firewirefirewire connectors

Firewire cables


IRDA port

IRDA port



S-video (top) and audio connectors (bottom)

Wireless Connectors


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