103b aq 2012

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My Lab Report for CSC103

This is the report of the lab where my partner (Karyn Gee) and I took apart a PC. The assignment was to take some of the parts apart inside of the PC as well. We took notes of the part number, and or size of the various elements and also took pictures of different parts that are important elements of a computer.


  • The Model
  • Visible Parts of the PC
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • CD/DVD Player/Burner
  • Power Supply
  • Cables
  • Hard Disk
  • Inside the Hard Disk
  • Motherboard
  • Crystal
  • Battery

The Model

  • The make and model of this computer:
    • Dell, DHS

Visible Parts of the PC

  • The visible parts of the PC when opened:
103b arPhoto.jpg

  1. Motherboard
  2. Fan
  3. Power supply
  4. Battery
  5. RAM
  6. Cables
  7. Wires


103b arIMG 0105.jpg
  • The Processor:
    • It is located and attached to the motherboard, but is not immediately visible because it is under the fan.
    • The brand of the processor is an Intel, Pentium 4.
    • The speed of the processor is 2.80 GHz.
      • According to Wikipedia, the processor is similar to a human's brain because it similarly carries out instructions of a computer program. The job of the process if to perform basic logical, arithmetic, and input or output operations of the system. The processor is made up of two parts: the ALU which is short for "arithmetic logic unit" and the CU which is short for "control unit". The ALU implements arithmetic and logical operations. The control unit extracts instructions from memory, then decodes, and then then executes them, thus calling on the ALU when needed. The fundamental operation of processors is to execute a program, a sequence of stored instructions. There are four main steps that processors use in its operation. Those four being, fetch, decode, execute, and write back. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_processing_unit).


103b arRAM.jpg
  • RAM is short for Random Access Memory
    • The RAM is located on the motherboard, behind the processor.
    • There were 2 RAMs located on the motherboard for a total capacity of 512 MB.
    • The company that makes this RAM could not be clearly identified, but a logo was found. It was a capital M with a slanted ring around the top of it.
      • According to Wikipedia, random access memory also known as RAM is a form of storage for data. Ram is often in relation with volatile types of memory such as, DRAM memory modules, which is where if the power is removed, then stored information can be lost. Today, RAMs take the form of circuits that are integrated in order to allow data that is stored to be accessed in any order with a worst case performance of constant time. There are two main modern forms of RAM: Static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). In SRAM, a bit of data is stored using the state of a flip-flop and DRAMs store a bit of data using a transistor and capacitor pair. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAM).

CD/DVD player/Burner

103b arDvd.jpg

  • The CD/DVD player/Burner:
    • It is located inside and on the left side of the lid of the PC.
    • It was found that it is a DVD R/RW Drive, which means that it operates as both a CD and DVD drive.
      • According to Wikipedia a DVD R/RW drive is a drive that can play CD's as well as DVD's for one's use. It can also burn CD's. DVD R/RW drives are a crucial part to the computer because it is a method to install programs necessary so that the computer can be more useful. When CD's first came out it used to be able to hold more data than the hard drive, and now today, the reverse it true. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD_rom).

Power Supply

103b arpower.jpg

  • The Power Supply:
    • It is located to the right of the motherboard.
    • The watts of power that it can output is 210 watts max.
      • According to Wikipedia, a power supply unit (PSU) converts main AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the inside components of the computer. Most modern desktop personal computer power supplies conform to a certain form factor known as ATX. The ATX power supplies are switched on and off by the motherboard which sends a signal to do so. Modern day personal computers universally use a mode known as a switched-mode power supply. The power supply supplies power in order for the computer to do it's functionalities. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)).


103b arPhoto.jpg
  • Cables:
    • The cables distribute converted power throughout and into pieces inside of the PC.
      • All of the wires output 5 volts DC, similar to battery power.
      • The ribbon cable (large grey strips) is for data transfer.
        • According to Wikipedia, cables inside of computers are used to distribute power throughout the PC. There are mainly two types of cables that are used in computers: ribbon cables and SATA cables. The cables inside of the PC must also be organized in order to allow optimal airflow and cooling. It also makes it much easier to work inside of the computer for things such as repair, installation, and or removal. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_management.

Hard Disk

  • Hard Disk:
    • It is located on the inside and to the right of the lid of the PC.
    • This gigabytes of this hard drive inside of the PC that my partner and I took apart is unknown. It was not identified on this specific hard drive.

Inside of the Hard Disk

103b arhard.jpg
  • Inside of the hard disk:
    • There was a silver disk inside of the hard drive that is also known as the Platter.
      • The platter stores and retrieves digital information and/or computer data.
    • There was also a magnetic arm on top of the platter. It looked similar to a record player.
  • According to Wikipedia, a hard disk drive is a device for storing and retrieving digital information, that being mainly computer data. Hard drives were introduced by IBM in the mid' 1950's. Over the years, hard disk drives have decreased in physical size and cost, all while increasing in capacity and speed. The hard disk drive acts as the dominant device for secondary storage of data. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_drive.)


103b arPhoto.jpg
  • Motherboard:
    • The motherboard is located inside of the PC and on the bottom portion of this picture. (The large green area)
      • The lines on the motherboard are wires that lead to other pieces inside of the PC in order to send data and power.
  • According to Wikipedia, the motherboard is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers. This acts to hold many of the important and main components of the system. It also provides connectors for other peripherals. All in all the motherboard hosts other subsystems and devices of the internal part of computers in order to have the computer function successfully. An important part of a motherboard is the microprocessor's supporting chipset, which provides supporting interfaces between the CPU and the other buses as well as the external components. This chipset to a certain extent, determines the features and capability of the motherboard.(in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard.)


103b armother1.jpg
  • Crystal(s)
    • There were 2 crystals spotted on the motherboard.
      • One of them was diagonally right and up of the processor and the other one was diagonally right and down of the processor.
    • The crystals are there to control the frequency of the processor.
  • According to Wikipedia, the crystal is an electronic oscillator that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal to create electrical signals with a precise frequency, thus resulting in the ability to control the frequency of the processor. The frequencies within the processor can be used to do many things, but often it is used to help keep track of time. Many crystals are made every year and are used in many devices other than computers as well, such as, cellphones, clocks, radios, and wristwatches.(in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator.)


103b armother.jpg

  • Battery
    • It is located on the motherboard.
    • It is for keeping track of the time and date even when the computer is off.
  • According to Wikipedia, the battery that is attached to the motherboard is a standard lithium battery. It is commonly used in computers as a CMOS battery, which means a technology for making lower power integrated circuits. This battery is also used in common things such as toys, watches, clocks, scientific instruments, and etc. This type of battery is highly suitable for extreme temperature which is perfect for computers since they often heat up during use. This battery is used to keep track of time and date even when the computer is completely powered off, so that when it starts up again it will have the exact date and time ready.(in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CR2032_battery.)