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PC Demolition Lab

The PC Demolition Lab is part of the course CSC 103. Students upload the reports unto the main wiki page.


The computer taken apart is a Dell Optiplex GX280 DCNE.

Dell GX280

After we remove the cover, the following parts are visible:

  • Motherboard
  • Fans
  • Video and Audio Card
  • Power Supply
  • CD-Drive
  • Battery


According to Wikipedia, "A motherboard (sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, planar board or logic board) is a printed circuit board (PCB) found in all modern computers which holds many of the crucial components of the system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 08 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard). The four major components of the motherboard are:

  1. Processor
  2. RAM
  3. Crystal
  4. Battery


  • Pentium 4
  • Location: Under the fan
  • According to Wikipedia, "a microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output. It is an example of sequential digital logic, as it has internal memory. Microprocessors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary numeral system." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 08 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microprocessor).


  • 512 MB, made by Samsung
  • Location: Between the fan and the disk drive

According to the definition of RAM on Wikipedia, "Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer data storage. A random-access device allows stored data to be accessed in very nearly the same amount of time for any storage location, so data can be accessed quickly in any random order." (In Wikipedia. Retrieved on Oct. 08 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAM]



  • Function: stores the information and keeps track of time/date when the power supply is off

CD Drive

CD drive
  • Location: On the corner beside the fan
  • According to an article on website eHow, "A CD drive is considered an integral part of today's computer hardware. While the name has been shortened from CD-ROM drive, it serves the same function. The basic task of the CD drive is to install software onto the computer, but with available technology, they can be used for several other tasks as well." (Retrieved on Oct. 08 2012, from http://www.ehow.com/about_4613634_what-cd-drive.html)
  • Significance: "CD-Rom drives revolutionized the way people used computers. Now, instead of needing a dozen delicate floppy disks to install a program, a single compact disk could be used. Compact disks, while they could be easily scratched, proved to be more durable if kept in a case when not in use." (Retrieved on Oct. 08 2012, from http://www.ehow.com/about_4613634_what-cd-drive.html)

Power Supply

Power supply
  • At the lower right corner. Output: 280 W
  • According to the Wikipedia definition, the power supply in computers is called ppwer supply unit. "A power supply unit (PSU) converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use a switched-mode power supply. Some power supplies have a manual selector for input voltage, while others automatically adapt to the supply voltage." (In Wikipedia, retrieved on Oct. 08 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer))


  • Function: Connect all the hardware to the mother board and ensures power supply.

Hard Disk

Hard disk
The back of the hard disk
  • Under the CD drive
  • Holds 120 Gigabytes of data
  • Inside the hard disk, there is a magnetic hand that writes data on the disk.
  • According to Wikipedia, "A hard disk drive (HDD; also hard drive, hard disk, or disk drive)[2] is a non-volatile, random-access, digital, magnetic, data storage device. An HDD consists of one or more rigid ("hard") rapidly rotating discs (platters) coated with magnetic material. Magnetic heads arranged on a moving actuator arm read and write data to the surfaces. The read-write heads are supported on a thin layer of air inside the enclosed disk unit with only tiny gaps between the heads and the disk surface." (In Wikipedia, retrieved on Oct. 08 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk)