the components of a personal computer

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What makes up a desktop computer and how do all those parts work together? The presentation aims to find out.

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The Components of a Personal Computer:

The Components of a Personal Computer By: Nick Shuman ECOMP 7100 w/Mark Jackson Assignment #3

The Desktop P.C.:

The Desktop P.C.

Components:

Components CPU Tower Input Devices: Keyboard Mouse Output Devices: Monitor Printer Speakers Storage Devices: Disk Drive Hard Drive Optical Drive

Components - Cont’d:

Components - Cont’d Processing: CPU RAM Motherboard Media Ports: Video Audio Networking USB

CPU “Tower”:

CPU “Tower” The master relay of a PC, connecting all input and output devices together. Houses all of the components needed to mange incoming and outgoing data, storage devices and memory.

Input Device - Keyboard:

Input Device - Keyboard The keyboard is an input device that allows you to send command requests to the computer. The first computers didn’t have a mouse, so navigation was done exclusively via keyboard commands and shortcuts.

Input Device - Mouse:

Input Device - Mouse The mouse is another input device that allows you to send commands to the computer. Before the invention of the mouse, the arrow keys on the keyboard were the primary source of cursor navigation. Mice of yesterday used an internal “ball” to control the cursor. Today’s mice are based on optical sensor technology.

Output Device - Monitor:

Output Device - Monitor The monitor is an output device that displays data in a graphic-oriented format. CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors were big, heavy & put out a lot of heat. Today’s flatscreen and HD monitors are lighter, cooler and more energy-efficient.

Output Device - Printer:

Output Device - Printer The printer receives data and outputs it to paper. Yesterday’s printers communicated via parallel or serial port. Today’s printers communicated via USB, ethernet and even wirelessly.

Output Device - Speakers:

Output Device - Speakers Speakers receive data and output it as sound. Most PC’s come with a small, built-in speaker, but many users opt to add more powerful external speakers for game play, music and video.

Storage Device - Disk Drive:

Storage Device - Disk Drive A medium for reading and writing data to a portable storage device. As storage technology improved, so did the disk drive technology (8” floppy -> 5 1/4” -> 3 1/2” floppy). Has been made obsolete with the invention of flash drives, portable hard drives, network storage and cloud computing technology.

Storage Device - Hard Drive:

Storage Device - Hard Drive Consists of multiple layers of discs where data is magnetically stored. When data is needed, (e.g. start an application or open a file) the CPU retrieves the data from the HD and transfers it to the RAM. Newer “solid-state” hard drives have no moving parts, but cannot hold as much data. Hard drives can be both internal (inside the CPU tower) or external, connected via media port.

Storage Device - Optical Drive:

Storage Device - Optical Drive CD-ROM drives allow computers to read data from an optical disc. Later DVD-ROM drives were added due to programs becoming more complex and larger files. CD/DVD burner drives were introduced so users could actually store or “write” data to optical discs. CD = 700 MB DVD = 4.7 GB DVD-DL = 8.5 GB

Processing - CPU “Chip”:

Processing - CPU “Chip” CPU (Central Processing Unit) The brain of the PC. All data movement, transfers and processes that take place are managed by the CPU. CPU’s require their own private cooling fans to prevent burnout.

Processing - RAM:

Processing - RAM RAM (Random Access Memory) All “active” applications store their data here. The user’s workspace, where data is temporarily stored. When you save changes to a document or close an application, the CPU transfers the data from RAM to the Hard Drive.

Processing - Motherboard:

Processing - Motherboard A large circuit board with ports, slots and plugs. Acts as an internal web connecting all devices together.

Media Ports:

Media Ports Parallel “Printer” Port VGA “Video” Port Mouse / Keyboard Port (older, PS2 connection) Networking Port Audio Ports USB Ports

Media Ports - Video:

Media Ports - Video Processes video data and outputs it to the monitor Basic level computers have video processors built-in to the motherboard. Higher level computers have separate video “cards” with their own RAM and cooling fans for enhanced video output.

Media Ports - Audio:

Media Ports - Audio Processes input from a microphone. Processes output to speakers. As with video, basic computers have audio processing built-in to the motherboard. Higher level computers will have their own separate audio cards.

Media Ports - Networking:

Media Ports - Networking Allows a computer to send/receive data to other computers and connect to the Internet. Modem : send/receive data via phone line connection. Ethernet : send/receive data via DSL or broadband connection. Wireless : send/receive data via router or wireless access point (WAP). Most computers have network processing built-in to the motherboard, although separate network “cards” can also be installed for any choices listed above.

Media Ports - USB:

Media Ports - USB USB (Universal Serial Bus) Allows for the connection of many types of input/output devices to your computer. Yesterday’s computers might have two USB ports. Today’s desktop PC’s have on average 4-to-6, with the ability to add USB “hubs” to expand that number even more.

References:

References “Intel D945GCLF2D.” Skontorp, Karl-Martin. March 9, 2011. http://www.flickr.com/photos/picofarad-org/3785083764/ “Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 CPU” Hook, William. March 9, 2011. http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamhook/3201183945/