103b ai 2012f

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The Overview

  • On September 25, 2012, PC demonstration lab was held in CSC 103. Our task was to take apart the parts of the computer given to us and then figure out the locations and brief description for each parts.
  • The model of the computer to take apart was a Dell OptiPlex GX270.

Dell GX270

The Motherboard

The motherboard

  • It is sometimes known as the mainboard,system board, planar board or logic board. It contains all important parts of the system such as memory and processor. It can also connect to “other peripherals” (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 9 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard).

Wires on the motherboard

  • The lines on the motherboard are called wires or buses. The processor can gain data from specific hardware through the lines. The process gets faster when there are more lines in the motherboard (in About. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_does_a_motherboard_work).

  • The important components in the motherboard are
  1. Processor
  2. RAM
  3. Crystal
  4. Battery
When you open the Dell PC


The Processor
  1. Intel Pentium 4
  2. 2.80GHz
  3. It's located under a fan.

  • CPU is the brain of the computer. It enters all information in term of binary system. To operate the programs, various registers in the processor take actions. An accumulator register (AC) stores the results of arithmetic operations. A status register (PSW, Processor Status Word) holds system status indicators. An instruction register (RI) contains the current instruction. An ordinal counter (OC or PC for Program Counter) remembers the next instructions. A buffer register temporarily stores data from the memory. (in Kioskea. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.kioskea.net/contents/pc/processeur.php3).


  1. =Random Access Memory
  2. It's located next to the processor.
  3. 256MB (There was two of them.)
  4. made by Company M

  • To give extra information, there are two kinds of memory: RAM and ROM. RAM is colloquially synonymous with main memory, which is the memory available to programs. On the other hand, ROM (read-only memory) is a specific memory that stores booting programs. To tell the truth, they both are randomly accessible. The difference between them is that RAM can read and write while ROM only reads (in Webopedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RAM.html).


  1. They are plugged in the motherboard in many different spots.
  2. Batteries in computers have specific functions. They do provide energy supply to the computers for certain period of time when the power supply fails to work out. However, acting like the power supply is the only function that batteries have. The motherboards use batteries to operate the clock circuit and hold memory when the system is turned off. This kind of batteries called the CMOS battery (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup_battery#Computers).
  3. CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (in About. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://pcsupport.about.com/od/termsc/g/cmos.htm).



  • One crystal was next to the power supply; another one was next to batteries.

  1. A crystal functions as a stable clock signal. The crystal creates precious frequency by using resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material. Because of the frequency, the motherboard is able to check time. The quartz crystal is the most commonly used resonator in the circuits. The quartz crystal is used for wristwatches, clocks, radios, computers, and cellphones (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator).\
  2. Resonance in computer means that an electric circuit gives reinforcement of a possible response to an applied signal (in oxford dictionaries. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/resonance).
  3. A crystal is a solid that composes of atoms, molecules, or ions. There is no orbit. Instead, there is a regular and repeating pattern (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator#Operation).
  4. Piezoelectric” means a condition which a properly cut quart crystal results in distortion in an electric field. The quart “generates an electric field” after the field is eliminated, which generate a voltage as well (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator#Operation).


Power supply

  1. It's located next to the motherboard.
  2. 210W

Power supply
  • There are various types of power supplies
    • Battery
    • DC power supply
    • AC power supply
    • Linear regulated power supply
    • Switched-mode power supply
    • Programmable power supply
    • Uninterruptible power supply
    • High-voltage power supply
    • Voltage multipliers

(in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply).

Hard disk

  • It's located next to CD/DVD player or on the top of the power supply.
  • 40.0GB
  • Magnetic disk inside

The hard disk
Magnetic disk
Taking apart the hard disk

  • It is sometimes called as hard disk drive, hard drive, or disk drive.
  • This is a storage device made of magnetic disk.
  • Capacity: 1 terabyte (TB)
  • Its performance is measured by the amount of time of the head to find a file, average latency which is the time spent the file to move under the head, and speed of transmission of the file

(in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk).

CD/DVD player

  • In the computer, there are both CD and DVD drives.
  • It's located on the top of the motherboard.
We tried to take apart the CD and DVD player
CD and DVD player

CD player

  • It’s sometimes called a compact disc player
  • This is “an electronic device that plays audio Compact Discs.”
  • It is usually inside in home stereo systems, car audio systems, and personal computers.
  • Nowadays, it can play PCM in CDs, MP3, AAC and WMA files.

(in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cd_player)

DVD player


  • Cables connect to one component to another. They can be running side by side, bounded, twisted or braided. In electrical engineering, cables mean devices to carry electric currents (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cables).
  • The motherboard, the power supply, the hard disk, and CD and DVD players are connected by cables.


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard
  2. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_does_a_motherboard_work
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_processing_unit
  4. http://en.kioskea.net/contents/pc/processeur.php3
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory
  6. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RAM.html
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup_battery#Computers
  8. http://pcsupport.about.com/od/termsc/g/cmos.htm
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator
  10. http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/resonance
  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply
  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_load
  13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk
  14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_platters
  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cd_player
  16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvd_player
  17. http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,1237,t=DVD+player&i=56424,00.asp
  18. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cables