103b ba 2012f

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PC Demolition Lab Report

For more information on the CSC 103 class click here

For more wiki reports on the PC demolition lab click here



We took apart a Dell OptiPlex GX270.

When we lifted the cover we saw the following parts:

  • Motherboard
  • Memory
  • Fan
  • Battery
  • Power Supply
  • Cables
  • Crystals
  • CD Drive
  • Hard Drive



The processor found in our computer was an Intel Pentium 4 model number: 3332A626.

It is connected to the motherboard and underneath a big fan near the back of the computer. The fan is used to keep the processor cool because it is running at such high speeds.

According to Wikipedia a processor "carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations for the system." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_processing_unit).



The RAM (Random Access Memory) is found near the center of this computer.

In this computer, we found 2 512MB chips of memory made by Micron Technology.

According to Wikipedia, RAM is a form of computer data storage that "allows stored data to be accessed in very nearly the same time for any storage location, so data can be quickly accessed in any random order." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory).

CD Drive


The CD drive in this computer is found in a slot in the front of the computer next to the slot holding the hard disk.

This computer only has a CD drive, not a DVD drive, so it can play and burn CDs.

According to Wikipedia an ODD (Optical Disc Drive) in this case more specifically a CD drive uses "laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical disc." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 10 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_disc_drive).

Power Supply


The power supply in this computer is found in the back.

It can output up to 210 Watts of power.

According to Wikipedia the power supply unit "converts main AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_%28computer%29).



There are two different kinds of cables found inside the computer:

  1. Data cables - These cables are used to transfer data to the motherboard
  2. Power cables - These cables are used to bring power from the power supply to necessary pieces, such as the motherboard and the CD drive

Hard Disk


The hard disk in this computer is found in a slot in the front of the computer next to a slot with the CD drive.

This hard disk holds 40BG of data.

Inside the hard disk, there is a rapidly rotating disk that has been coated with magnetic material and a magnetic head which reads and writes data on the surface of the disk.

According to Wikipedia the hard disk is a non-volatile, random-access, magnetic data storage device" and unlike RAM, it allows for permanent storage. (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Oct. 10 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive).



The motherboard is under everything in the computer and connects all the pieces together. The lines you can see on the motherboard are circuits, which allow information to flow between the motherboard and the memory.

The crystals on the motherboard are covered in metal and used to regulate the flow of the computer. They act like a metronome and tell the computer how quickly to work.

The small battery on the motherboard is used to keep track of things like the date and time when the power to the computer is off.