103b aw 2012

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What's Inside a Computer?

By Hester

This is what Vilma and I found when we first lifted the cover off our computer. I never opened a computer before. There are many different parts and each has a function. I will describe each of the parts and explain what they do. The computer is a complex machine that I use everyday but I never stop to think about what's inside. This lab helped me see computers in a new way. Csc103 aw.nocover.jpg


The motherboard is in the middle of the bottom cover. The lines represent wired connections between various components on the motherboard. Th motherboard serves as a connection to and from other parts of the computer.

The Power Supply

Csc103 aw.nocover.jpeg This is the heat sink. It is essential to keep the computer from overheating when it is working hard. Csc103 aw.heatsink.jpeg


This is the processor after I took it off of the motherboard. It was easy to remove when I pulled on the plastic handle.

The central processing unit (CPU) is the portion of a computer system that carries out the instructions of a computer program, to perform the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. The CPU plays a role somewhat analogous to the brain in the computer. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_processing_unit>
Csc103 aw.processor.jpeg

Random Access Memory aka RAM

Csc103 aw.ram.jpg These removable cards store data. This is a close up view of the power supply. Csc103 aw.powersupply.jpeg

This is the battery that keeps the clock going inside the computer. This is why the clock doesn't need to be reset each time the computer is shut off.
Csc103 aw.clockbattery.jpeg

Hard Disk

The hard disk is located in the top right side of the lid of the computer. We disconnected the wires to remove it and opened the case protecting it. It has a capacity of 40 GB of data. The hard-disk is a shiny plate connected to a small chip and plate that retrieves and records data. Csc103 aw.harddrive.jpeg

This is a photo of the mysterious LED we found inside the computer. Vilma and I couldn't figure out why there was an LED inside the computer where no one will be able to see it. Csc103 aw.ledcrystal.jpeg

The Optical Disk

Csc103 aw.cddrive.jpeg The disk drive of this computer is able to play CDs and DVDs. The CDs 1. data 2. music 3. programs


The frequency of the processor is controlled by the crystal.