103b-am PC Lab
CSC103 PC Demolition Lab
Stacey A. Schmutz
February 7, 2011
Dell Optiplex GX620
What is Needed
Your hands and a screwdriver for most of the demolition, and a special tool to open the hard drive case.
- We removed the side of the computer tower to reveal the parts inside.
- We located the motherboard and the cpu.
- We removed the fan and the heatsink first, then we removed the cpu with just a flip of a locking hinge that was holding the cpu in place.
- We had to scratch off some heat protecting gunk on the cpu before we could read the make and model number.
- Next we removed the graphics card and RAM from the motherboard. These were easily pulled out.
- The hard disk came out next and a special tool was needed to open the case.
- The motherboard was the next to come out.
- The last items we removed were the CD/DVD drive and the power supply.
- After the tower was emptied out, we put everything back in it's place and closed it back up again --- good as new!
Questions and Answers
1. What is the make and model number of the computer you are taking apart?
- Dell Optiplex GX620
2. What are the parts visible when you remove the cover?
- Motherboard, video/graphics card, power supply, cpu, CD/DVD drive, hard drive, & fan.
3. Where is the processor? What brand and model number is it? Remove it from the motherboard!
- Looking at the computer, the processor is to the left side and middle of the motherboard, towards the front of the computer tower. It is an Intel 04 Pentium 4 340 GHz/2M/800/04A 3449A893 658 SL727 COSTA RICA
4. Where is the RAM (Random Access Memory)? How much RAM is in the PC you're taking apart? What company makes it?
- The RAM is made by Samsung and is located on the top of the motherboard. There are two RAMs @ 512mb for a total of 1024MB.
5. Where is the CD/DVD player/burner? Is it a CD or DVD drive?
- The CD/DVD drive is located at the top front of the tower. It is both a CD and DVD drive.
6. Where is the power supply? How many watts of power can it output?
- The power supply is located in the back of the tower at the top. It's output is 305watts.
7. What are all the cables for?
- The cables serve multiple purposes. They are used for connecting parts together and for transmitting information/power back and forth.
8. Where is the hard disk? How many Gigabytes of data does it hold?
- The hard disk is located at the front of the tower towards the bottom. It is made by Western Digital and holds 250GB.
9. What is inside the hard disk?
- There are 3 disks and an "arm" located in the hard drive.
10. Where is the motherboard? What are the lines you see on the board?
- The motherboard is located bottom right third of the tower (towards the back) when looking at it. The lines are wires / circuits used for transporting information.
11. On the motherboard is a crystal. Where is it? What is it for?
- The crystals are located on the motherboard. Crystals control speed and are also used for keeping the clock updated.
12. You may find a small battery on the motherboard. What is it for?
- Keeps the computer time updated and for the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) setting in memory.
Challenges, Surprises, & Discoveries
The screws securing the power supply to the tower were very tight, three of us tried to unscrew them and they would not budge. Finally Professor Thiebaut was able to loosen them for us.
Most parts came out easily enough, some more than others. We had a little trouble getting the fan out, but it finally popped free.
I was surprised at how much dust was inside the computer. Taking apart a computer is a dirty job.
On the other hand, the disks inside the hard drive were super clean and shiny. they looked like mirrors.
To watch a video describing computer hardware, click here
There are more resources on about.com such as this tutorial/slide show
What is inside a computer?