What's on the Inside of your Computer?
The main piece of hardware inside your computer is the motherboard. Every
device on your computer connects to the motherboard in some way, whether
it be a hard drive, a sound card, or even a mouse. Below is a photograph
of a typical motherboard (in this case, an Epox KHA+).
||These are the serial ports, PS/2 ports, etc... that you
see on the outside of the computer.
||This holds the brains of your computer--the
central processing unit. This chip executes every program you run
on your computer, and allows those programs to live in harmony without
destroying each other. Today, the two major processing manufacturers
are Intel and AMD.
Intel creates the Pentium and Celeron lines of processors, while AMD
creates the Duron and Athlon line. These processors are rated in hertz.
This value is how many times an internal clock "ticks" each second.
It is when this clock "ticks" that your computer actually does work.
||This chip is what allows all of the internal and external items
plugged into your computer to operate in harmony. It controls which data is sent to what and when.
||This is the volatile (primary) memory of your
computer. Every time your computer is turned off, everything in this
memory is lost. However, every program that is running on your computer
is stored here. Every file that is currently opened on your computer
is accessed through this memory. Memory is usually measure in MB,
and common amounts include 256 MB and 512 MB, although most modem
motherboards can support up to a full gigabyte, or more.
||AGP slots are used for one thing and one thing
only: video cards. AGP was a specification created by Intel to allow
the video card to have direct access to the computer's primary memory,
without it having to go through the computer's processor to load and
store data. This allowed video cards to do more, and to do it faster.
||PCI slots are used for every other internal peripheral on your computer.
Your sound cards, tv tuner cards, cards to give you additional ports (such as Firewire) all go into
||Floppy Drive Connector
||Up to two floppy drives may be connected to your computer through this connection
||Every internal drive (CD, DVD, Hard Drives)
with the exception of floppy drives connect to your computer through
these connectors. Most motherboards have two (a primary and a secondary).
And each one can hold two drives (a master and a slave). So, far example,
you can have a DVD drive, a CD-RW drive, and two hard drives, but
no more. You, however, can add more of these too you system through
cards that are inserted into the PCI slots.
You may be wondering what the computer looks like with all of these devices plugged
into the motherboard. To answer this question, take a look at the photo below.
Created by: Russell O'Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org)