Basic Components of a Computer

The following can be commonly found inside the casing of most desktop computer systems.

CPU – The brain of your computer system, the Central Processing Unit is a very powerful microchip that runs the entire computer. Every task related to the operation of the computer has to pass through this to get executed.

RAM – This is the temporary space used by your computer to store data when it is performing calculations. Random Access Memory (RAM) is solid state hardware which means all data transfer happens at incredible speeds. This is why the more RAM you have, the faster your computer seems.

Hard Drive – This is the permanent storage space within your computer. It holds the operating system, applications, music, videos, documents, etc. It is called permanent storage because the data is not lost when the computer is shutdown.

Motherboard – It contains the highways through which information flows from all the components that are attached to the computer.

Video Card – This is a small circuit board which can be plugged into your motherboard, and which converts the data received from the motherboard into signals that can be interpreted by the Monitor.

Sound Card – This enables sound to become a feature of your computer. This is also a card that is plugged into the motherboard. However, Video and Sound Cards are increasingly being found integrated (as in-built) with the motherboard itself.

DVD player/burner – This allows for CD/DVD media to be accessed as well as created on your computer.

Ethernet Card – This allows you to connect to a network. If you possess a cable modem, it will allow you to connect to the internet. This is also found integrated with the motherboard.

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