103b-ao 2012 PC Lab

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Lab: Take Apart a Computer!

103b ao team2.jpg

Abigail Tatarian, Team 2

Feb. 13, 2012

Computer: Windows XP Professional 1-2CPU Dell

Important links:

  1. http://cs.smith.edu/dftwiki/index.php/CSC103_2012
  2. http://cs.smith.edu/classwiki/index.php/CSC103_Page_2012

The picture to the right is Abby and Melissa, of Team 2!

Deconstructing the Computer

This picture will be a reference point for identifying the various computer parts I will talk about in the categories below.

103b ao opencomputer.jpg

The computer parts that will be identified on this page include:

  • Processor
  • Power Supply
  • Cables
  • RAM
  • Hard Disk
  • Silver Platters
  • CD/DVD Drive
  • Motherboard
  • Crystals
  • Battery
  • Daughterboards



103b ao processor1.jpg

The picture to the right shows the processor, located beneath a fan and vents at the lower left corner of the reference picture. It has 2.80 GHz and its model is Intel Pentium 4.

The picture below shows the underside of the processor:

103b ao processor2.jpg

103b ao processor3.jpg

The picture to the right shows how where the processor fits into the motherboard:

According to Wikipedia, the processor "is the portion of a computer system that carries out the instructions of a computer program, to perform the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. The CPU plays a role somewhat analogous to the brain in the computer. The term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s. The form, design and implementation of CPUs have changed dramatically since the earliest examples, but their fundamental operation remains much the same." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 February 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_processing_unit)

Random Access Memory

103b ao RAM1.jpg

These are cards of Random Access Memory (RAM). Two of them are made by Crucial Technology and each have 512 MB, while two are made by NNNIx and each have 256 MB. This is a total RAM of about 1.5 GB. The RAM cards are located in the upper left side of the motherboard.

According to Wikipedia, RAM "is a form of computer data storage. Today, it takes the form of integrated circuits that allow stored data to be accessed in any order with a worst case performance of constant time." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 February 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory).

Power Supply

103b ao powersupply1.jpg


Hard Disk

103b ao harddisk1.jpg

Inside of the Hard Disk

CD/DVD Drive

103b ao cddvddrive1.jpg

The CD/DVD Drive is located on the upper right of the reference picture, next to the hard drive. It is model SM-352. The picture to the right depicts the drive with its label.

According to wikipedia, the CD/DVD Drive "is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves near the light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from discs, but recent drives are commonly both readers and recorders, also called burners or writers. Compact discs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives. Optical drive is the generic name; drives are usually described as "CD" "DVD", or "Blu-Ray", followed by "drive", "writer", etc." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 February 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_disc_drive)


103b ao motherboard1.jpg

The motherboard is a large green board located on the bottom half of the reference picture.

According to Wikipedia, the motherboard "is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, providing connectors for other peripherals." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 February 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard)

The lines on the motherboard are logic circuits which transmit information by making calculations.

There are many components of and attached to the motherboard, including the crystal and the battery.

According to Wikipedia, the crystal "is an electronic oscillator circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a very precise frequency." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 February 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator#Electrical_oscillators). Basically, it regulates the frequency at which information is processed in the CPU.

There are two crystals on this motherboard. One crystal is located between the batter and the RAM (below to the left). The other crystal is located between the processor and the power supply (below to the right).

103b ao crystal2.jpg

103b ao crystal1.jpg

103b ao battery1.jpg

According to Wikipedia, the battery is a backup which "provides power to a system when the primary source of power is unavailable." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved 17 February 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup_battery).

The backup battery is located at the top of the motherboard in the reference picture, above the RAM. It is depicted in the picture to the right.

There are sometimes extensions of the motherboard attached called daughterboards. In this computer there is a daughterboard used for video data:

103b ao daughterbaord1.jpg