103b ag 2012

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Lab Report for CSC103

Meghan McDonald

Lab Objective

  1. Take apart a PC
  2. Identify the important elements of the computer
  3. Take notes on each identified part
  4. Become familiar with the inner workings of a computer

Computer Parts

  • DELL X08-73060

The Guts

Csc103b agcomputerguts.jpg

When I first opened the computer the daughterboard, motherboard, hard disk, CD/DVD drive, and power supply were visible. The motherboard is located at the base of the computer, in the image it's located in the top right corner. The power supply is located next to the motherboard, top left corner. The CD/DVD drive and hard disk are located on the opposite panel. CD/DVD drive is on the lower right side of the picture and the hard disk is on the lower left side.


Csc103b agprocessor.jpg
  • Intel L339A991
  • 2.866 GHz
  • The processor is located under a fan on the motherboard

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the processor regulates and integrates the operations of the computer. It selects and retrieves instructions from the main memory in proper sequence and interprets them so as to activate the other functional elements of the system at the appropriate moment to perform their respective operations. All input data are transferred via the main memory to the arithmetic-logic unit for processing, which involves the four basic arithmetic functions (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and certain logic operations such as the comparing of data and the selection of the desired problem-solving procedure or a viable alternative based on predetermined decision criteria.


Csc103b agram.jpg
  • 512 MB
  • Located directly on the motherboard

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, RAM (random-access memory) is the computers main memory in which specific contents can be accessed directly by the CPU in a very short time regardless of the sequence in which they were recorded. Two types of memory are possible with random-access circuits, static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). A single memory chip is made up of several million memory cells. In a SRAM chip, each memory cell stores a binary digit (1 or 0) for as long as power is supplied. In a DRAM chip, the charge on individual memory cells must be refreshed periodically in order to retain data.

CD/DVD Drive

The CD/DVD drive is located across from the motherboard next to the hard disk. Reads and records both CDs and DVDs. Refer to first picture for an image.

Power Supply

Csc103b agpowersupply.jpg
  • 210 Watts
  • Located next to the motherboard under a silver box.

Supplies power to the whole computer by converting power from the outlet and sending it to the other parts through cables. There is a fan connected to the power supply in order to prevent overheating since some power is lost during conversion of power.

Hard Disk

Csc103b agharddisk.jpg
Csc103b aginsideharddisk.jpg

  • 40 GB
  • Located on the front panel of the computer next to the CD/DVD Drive

Hard disks are magnetic storage medium for a microcomputer. Inside the hard disk is a flat, circular plate made of aluminum or glass and coated with a magnetic material. Hard disks for personal computers can store up to several gigabytes (billions of bytes) of information. Data are stored on their surfaces in concentric tracks. A small electromagnet, called a magnetic head, writes a binary digit (1 or 0) by magnetizing tiny spots on the spinning disk in different directions and reads digits by detecting the magnetization direction of the spots.


Csc103b agmotherboard.jpg

The motherboard is the central unit that connects to other parts of the computer such as the RAM, crystal, and processor. Made up of a series of circuits. Located at the base of the computer next to the power supply.

On the motherboard is a crystal, which is covered in metal and acts as an antennae telling the processor how fast to go.

There is also a small battery connected to the motherboard which keeps the time and date for the computer.