103b-ak PC Lab

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Lab Report

103b ak teamPic.jpg

Kristina Fedorenko

Feb 7, 2011

Dream Team: Carletta & Kristina --->

Computer Model: OPTIPLEX GX 620

The Process

We were surprised by how easy it was to disassemble a computer. First we were determined to take out every part no matter how hard it would be, but very often all we had to do was to press on some plastic part. But we still got to have a lot of fun with the screwdriver :)

First we removed the left side plastic panel. It allowed us to see almost all of the major parts:

  • motherboard with attached RAM, processor (CPU and the graphics card,
  • Power Supply
  • Slots holding the CD/DVD player and the hard disk
  • Cooler

103b ak begin.jpg

Then we focused on taking the motherboard out. It took some time, because it was attached to a lot of wires and was screwed on to the right side. After we removed all the removable parts from the motherboard, we moved on to hard drive and cd/dvd player, which were very easily detached. But to disassemble the hard drive itself we had to use a special small screwdriver. The last thing we took out was the power supply.

Now to a more detailed description of the parts we discovered.

What We Found Inside


103b-ak Motherboard.jpg

We found the motherboard screwed flat onto the right panel. It had several wires connecting it to power supply. Tiny lines on the motherboard are connecting its components and are used to carry information.

On the motherboard we found the CPU, RAM, Graphics Card, a crystal and a battery. The crystal ticks with a certain frequency, controlling the speed of the CPU. The battery is needed for keeping track of time when the computer is turned off.

Processor (CPU)

CPU in its pocket
CPU itself

We found the processor on the motherboard. It resides in a small square metal pocket and has a gigantic cooling system attached to it. Because it is on the motherboard it has an easy access to RAM. The processor we had in our computer was Intel Pentium 4, 650 SL7Z7. It was very easy to remove, once we figured out how to open the metal pocket.

Here are the pictures of the processor in its pocket and of its cooling system

Cooling System

Random Access Memory (RAM)

The Random Access Memory is located in special slots on the motherboard, next to the CPU. It is also very easily removable. Our computer had two slots for RAM, each was 512 M (i.e. 1 Gb in total) and was manufactured by Samsung.

103b-ak RAM.jpg

CD/DVD player

CD/DVD player was located at the top front of the computer tower in a special metal holder. Ours was a DVD player. We didn't manage to disassemble it.

103b-ak DVDplayer.jpg 103b-ak DVDplayer2.jpg

Power Supply

Power Supply is situated in a back top of the computer tower, across the DVD player. It has a lot of wires going to different other parts of the computer to power them up. Our power supply can output 305 W max.

103b-ak powerSupply.jpg

But of course here is the actual power supply:


Hard Disk

Hard disk was located at the bottom front part of the computer tower. We noticed that there is an additional slot for a second hard disk.

103b-ak HD location.jpg

In our computer we had a 250.0 GB hard disk. Inside the disk there were a layered disk (three disks stacked on top of each other) and a moving reading layered head. There was also a thin transparent film connecting the head with the other part of the hard disk. Also there was a smaller moving arm.

103b-ak HD top.jpg 103b-ak HD side.jpg


This lab was a lot of fun!

103b-ak teamReflection.jpg