103b ad 2012

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CSC103 Lab Report: Demolition Lab

Disassembling The Computer

Maker/Brand: Dell

Model Number: X80

This is how our computer looks from the outside. It is not opened yet: Dellpc103bac.jpg

The parts that were visible when our computer was opened were the following:

  • Processor
  • Fan (over Processor)
  • RAM
  • Power Supply
  • Hard Disk
  • Motherboard
  • CD/DVD Player

A labelled picture showing the visible parts when the PC was opened:


1. The Processor

The processor was located beneath the fan, on a corner of the motherboard. As its name suggests, the processor is responsible for performing calculations and other types of data manipulation in the computer. The PC contained an Intel Pentium 4 processor of 2.8 GHz speed.

The Processor, showing its maker and speed:


2. The RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is located next to the processor on the motherboard. It comes in the form of a thin, 1"x4" memory stick that is inserted into the RAM slots. The computer contained two Samsung RAM cards, of 256MB each. This makes a total of 512MB of RAM in the computer.

Two RAM modules/sticks, showing the brand and the capacity:


3. The Power Supply

The power supply is located next to the motherboard, opposite to the processor. It is capable of outputting a maximum of 210 watts of power. The power supply's job is to convert the power provided from the electric outlet into useful power for various parts within the computer.

Extending from the side of the power supply unit are large groups of colored wires. They connect to the various components within the computer; several of these cables are plugged into the motherboard, whereas others are plugged into fans, hard drives, optical drives, sound cards, video cards, etc.

The opened computer, showing the power supply on the lower-right corner as well as most of the colored wires:


4. The Hard Disk

The hard disk is located adjacent to the CD/DVD player. It holds 40 Gigabytes (40GB) of data. The hard disk is the primary source of data storage in the computer; it is where all files, programs, etc. are stored.

A closed hard disk:


The hard disk consists of a metallic case, which contains a small, 2"-radius disc with a very reflective surface. This disc is protected by the case, which is rather difficult to remove due to concealed screws.

An open hard disk, showing the reflective disc:


5. The Motherboard

The motherboard is a large printed circuit board, which has lots of chips, connectors and other electronics mounted on it. It is located beneath the processor, the power supply, the RAM, and several groups of cables. The lines on the board are circuits, through which chips, connectors and other devices transfer electricity from one another.

The Motherboard:


On the motherboard, there is also a small crystal located close to the processor. It acts as a radio generator, or antenna, with the task of controlling the processor frequency.

A close-up view of the crystal on the motherboard:


Additionally, a small battery can be found on the motherboard. This battery keeps track of the time utility when the computer is turned off.

A close-up view of the battery on the motherboard:


6. CD/DVD Player

This computer contains a CD-RW/DVD-ROM driver; in other words, it has the capacity to read and reproduce files in a CD. It supports DVD format (Digital Video Disc format) and it can also be used as a disc burner, since CD-RW stands for Compact Disc-ReWritable. ROM stands for Read-Only Memory due to the fact that CDs are, of course, storage mediums for files and other data. The CD drive inside the computer is located next to the hard disk, as previously shown in the labelled diagram.

The CD Player, once it has been removed from the computer:


External Links

Main Class Page

Main Wiki Page


For more information on the previously listed parts of a computer, visit the following websites:

  1. Processor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012
  2. RAM - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012
  3. Power Supply - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012
  4. Hard Disk Drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012
  5. Motherboard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012
  6. CD-RW - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012
  7. DVD-RW - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Accessed February 19th, 2012