103b aa 2012

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Fani's Lab Report for Computer Science 103

On Monday February 13, 2012 our class took part in a demolition lab to learn more about how a computer works from the inside.

My partner for the project was Binh and we took apart PC number 8.

Pc8 103aa.jpg

Demolition Lab Questions

Question #1: PC

  • Make: DELL
  • Model: DHS

Question #2: Under the "Hood"


Parts immediately visible as soon as the cover was removed:

  1. motherboard
  2. cables
  3. RAM
  4. fan
  5. power supply
  6. CD/DVD player
  7. hard disk

Question #3: Processor

The processor is located underneath a fan that helps prevent it from overheating. It is an INTEL 2001 Pentium ® 4 model M342C45

According to Kioskea, the processor is the brain of the computer, also known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU). It "allows the processing of numeric data, meaning information entered in binary form, and the execution of instructions stored in memory...the processor is an electronic circuit that operates at the speed on an internal clock thanks to a quartz crystal that, when subjected to an electrical currant, send pulses, called "peeks." The clock speed (also called cycle), corresponds to the number of pulses per second, written in Hertz (Hz), [for example] a 200 MHz computer has a clock that sends 200,000,000 pulses per second."

Fun Fact: "The first microprocessor (Intel 4004) was made in 1971" (in Kisoskea, February 21, 2012, from http://en.kioskea.net/contents/pc/processeur.php3)

Processorside1 103aa.jpg Processorside2 103aa.jpg Each side of the processor

Processorcompartment 103aa.jpg Processorarea 103aa.jpg It's place on the motherboard

Question #4:Random Access Memory

The Random Access Memory (RAM) is located on the motherboard. There were two RAMs in this PC, totaling 512 Megabytes. The company that makes this RAM is NANYA.

According to Wikipedia "Random Access Memory (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. RAM is often associated with volatile types of memory. where its stored information is lost if the power is removed. Many other types of non-volatile memory are RAM as well, including most types of ROM and a type of flash memory called NOR-Flash. Synchronous Dynamic RAM modules, primarily used as main memory in personal computers, workstations, and servers."

Fun Fact: "The first RAM modules to come into the market were created in 1951 and were sold until the late 1960s and early 1970s."

(in Wikipedia, February 22, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory)

One of the RAM

RAM 103aa.jpg

Question #5: CD/DVD

The CD/DVD player/burner is located on the cover lid. It is a CD AND DVD drive. CDDVDplayer 103aa.jpg

Question #6: Power

The power supply is located next to the motherboard on the cover base, lined up with the outlet plug on the outside. It has cables connecting it to the motherboard, the CD/DVD player/burner, and the hard disk. It can output 210 Watts of energy. It also has a fan that helps keep it from overheating.

Power 103aa.jpg

Question #7: Cables

There are cables that connect from the power supply to to various units in the PC, like the CD/DVD player/burner and the hard disk. Those cables are converting the electricity from the wall socket gathered by the power supply and making it small enough to generate power to make them all run. There are also many ribbons connected from the motherboard to the hard disk and CD/DVD player/burner and other areas on the motherboard itself that flow bits of data (binary bits) to the motherboard.

Cables 103aa.jpg

Question #8/9: Hard Disk

The hard disk is located on cover lid next to the CD/DVD player/burner. It can hold 40 Gigabytes of information.

Inside the hard disk, you will find a small silver disk, like that of a cassette, that stores information that the motherboard would lose when the computer gets shut off.

According to Wikipedia "a hard disk drive is a device for storing and retrieving digital information, primarily computer data. It consists of one or more rigid (hence "hard") rapidly rotating discs (often referred to as platters), coated with magnetic material and with magnetic heads arranged to write data to the surfaces and read it from them. Hard drives are classified as non-volatile, random access, digital, magnetic, data storage devices."

Fun Fact: The were introduced by IBM in 1956, hard disk drives have decreased in cost and physical size over the years while dramatically increasing in capacity and speed."

(in Wikipedia, February 22, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive)

Harddisk 103aa.jpg

Question #10: Motherboard

The motherboard is on the cover base located next to the power supply. On the motherboard we also found the crystals, the processor, the place for the RAM, the fan for the processor, and the clock battery. The lines that are on the board carry binary bits of information across different sections of the motherboard.

According to Wikipedia "a 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. A typical desktop computer has its microprocessor, main memory, and other essential components connected to the motherboard. Other components such as external storage, controllers for video display and sound, and peripheral devices may be attached to the motherboard as plug-in cards or via cables, although in modern computers it is increasingly common to integrate some of these peripherals into the motherboard itself. An important component of a motherboard is the microprocessor's supporting chipset, which provides the supporting interfaces between the CPU and the various buses and external components. This chipset determines, to an extent, the features and capabilities of the motherboard."

(in Wikipedia, February 22, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard)

Motherboard 103aa.jpg From a distance

Question #11: Crystal

On the motherboard, we found two crystals. One was located next to the RAM and the other was located closer to the processor. The crystals control the frequency of power that goes into the processor. In other words, it regulates the amount of energy going into the processor making sure that it doesn't get too much and overheat.

Motherboard2 103aa.jpg Close up, you can find the crystals and the battery

Question #12: Battery

There is a small battery located on the motherboard that looks like the small batteries used for wristwatches and similarly, in the computer, it also helps keep track of time!


We took it apart and put it back together by the end of class!

Allovertheplace 103aa.jpg All the components on the table

Csc103 Partners.jpg We finished!


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