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Inside a Desktop Computer
Transcript of Inside a Desktop Computer
The motherboard is the computer's main circuit board. It's a thin plate that holds the
connectors for the hard drive and optical drives, expansion cards to control the video and audio, as well as connections to your computer's ports (such as the USB ports). The motherboard connects directly or indirectly to every part of the computer.
Its job is to carry out commands.Whenever you press a key, click the mouse, or start an application, you're sending instructions to the
Power Supply Unit
The power supply unit in a computer converts the power from the wall outlet to the type of power needed by the computer. It sends power through the cables to the motherboard and other components.
(Random Access Memory)
RAM is your system's
. Whenever your computer performs calculations, it temporarily stores the data in the RAM until it is needed. This short-term memory
when the computer is turned off.
The hard drive is the data center of the computer. This is where the
software is installed
, and it's also where your
documents and other files are stored
The CPU fits into the motherboard's CPU socket, which is covered by the heat sink, an object that absorbs heat from the CPU.
A processor's speed is measured in
), or millions of instructions per second, and
*The most well-known ones are
the more things
your computer can do at the same time. If you don't have enough RAM, you may notice that your computer is sluggish when you have several programs open.
When you run a program or open a file,
the computer copies some of the data from the hard drive onto the RAM so that it can access the data more easily.
When you save a file, the data is copied back to the hard drive.
Most computers have expansion slots on the motherboard that allow you to add various types of expansion cards. These are sometimes called
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)
cards. You may never have to add any PCI cards, as most motherboards have built-in video, sound, network, and other capabilities. However, if you want to boost the performance of your computer or update the capabilities of an older computer, you can always add one or more cards
The video card is responsible for what you see on the monitor. Most computers have a
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
built into the motherboard, instead of having a separate video card. If you like playing graphics-intense games on the computer, you can add a faster video card to one of the expansion slots to get better performance.
, also called an audio card, is responsible for
what you hear
in the speakers or headphones. Most motherboards have integrated sound, but you can upgrade to a dedicated sound card for higher-quality sound.
allows your computer to communicate over a network and access the internet. It can either connect with an
cable or through a
). Many motherboards have built-in network connections, and a network card can also be added to an expansion slot.
An optical disc drive (ODD) is a disk drive that uses
laser light or electromagnetic waves
within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of
reading or writing data
to or from optical discs.
from discs, but recent drives are commonly both readers and recorders, also called
burners or writers.
ompact discs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs
are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives.