103b bf 2012

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Diane Rhim's Lab Report for CSC103

My group members were: Me (Diane Rhim), Jessica Lim, and Angeli Ylanan-Agarwala Our group was assigned to take apart a PC for this particular lab. We had a great time!

Overview (in order by assigned questions)

  • Question 1: The Model
  • Question 2: Visible Parts of the PC
  • Question 3: Processor
  • Question 4: RAM
  • Question 5: CD/DVD Player/Burner
  • Question 6: Power Supply
  • Question 7: Cables
  • Question 8: Hard Disk
  • Question 9: Inside the Hard Disk
  • Question 10: Motherboard
  • Question 11: Crystal
  • Question 12: Battery

Q1: The Model


  • The make and model of the computer:
    • DELL
    • DHS

Q2: Visible Parts of the PC


  • The parts visible when we removed the cover of the PC:
  1. fan
  2. motherboard
  3. cables
  4. converter
  5. circuits
  6. battery
  7. crystals
  8. cd/dvd player
  9. hard disk

...are the visible and identifiable parts of the PC when the cover is removed.

Q3: Processor

  • Where:
    • The processor is located underneath the fan and it is attached on top of the motherboard.
  • The brand and model # of the processor:
    • INTEL
    • PENTIUM ® 4
  • Speed:
    • The processor operates with a speed of 2.80 GHz
  • Background Information:
    • According to Kioskea.net, "the processor (CPU, for Central Processing Unit) is the computer's brain. It allows the processing of numeric data, meaning information entered in binary form, and the execution of instructions stored in memory...[the processor] is an electronic circuit that operates at the speed of an internal clock thanks to a quartz crystal that, when subjected to an electrical currant, send pulses, called 'peaks.' The clock speed (also called cycle), corresponds to the number of pulses per second, written in Hertz (Hz). Thus, a 200 MHz computer has a clock that sends 200,000,000 pulses per second. Clock frequency is generally a multiple of the system frequency (FSB, Front-Side Bus), meaning a multiple of the motherboard frequency." (in Kioskea.net. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://en.kioskea.net/contents/pc/processeur.php3).



RAM stands for Random Access Memory

  • Where:
    • The RAM is located on the motherboard.
  • How many?
    • In this PC we took apart, there are TWO RAMs.
  • Company?
    • NANYA is the name of the company that manufactured the RAM of the PC we took apart.
  • Capacity?
    • 512 Megabytes (MB), which is half a Gigabyte (GB))
  • Background Information:
    • According to SearchMobileComputing, a RAM is "the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's processor. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM. However, the data in RAM stays there only as long as your computer is running. When you turn the computer off, RAM loses its data. When you turn your computer on again, your operating system and other files are once again loaded into RAM, usually from your hard disk." (in SearchMobileComputing. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/RAM).


Cd dvd.jpg

  • Where:
    • The CD/DVD player/burner is located on the lid of the PC (inside/to the left).

  • It is BOTH a CD and DVD player!

Q6: Power Supply


  • Where:
    • The power supply is located where the plug is located, which is attached to the motherboard.

  • How much power?
    • It can output 210 WATTS of power.

Q7: Cables


  • What are the cables for?
    • There were many cables inside the PC. The cables are there to generate power or in other words, to DISTRIBUTE converted power within the PC.

Q8: Hard Disk


  • Where:
    • The hard disk is located on the lid of the PC (inside/to the right).
  • Capacity?
    • The hard disk can hold 40 Gigabytes (GB).
  • Background Information:
    • According to pantherproducts.co.uk, a hard disk "or sometimes called a Hard Drive, is the main storage space inside your PC. It is a permanent storage component unlike the RAM (Random Access Memory). It is possible for your computer to function without a hard disk, however it would be basically useless to you as you would not be able to use an Operating system or have any programs to use. Unless you had another form of mass storage device such as an SSD (Solid State Drive)." (in pantherproducts.co.uk. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://www.pantherproducts.co.uk/index.php?pageid=whatisharddisk).

Q9: Inside the Hard Disk


  • What is inside the hard disk?
    • Inside the hard disk, we found that there is a silver disk called the PLATTER.
    • Remember, the hard disk stores and retrieves digital information or computer data!
  • Background Information (about the PLATTER):
    • According to pantherproducts.co.uk, "Hard disks use circular hard platters to store data on. They are in pristine condition with a mirror like finish to them. These platters are locked away inside a steel casing as unclean air can easily ruin a hard disk. This is why you should never remove the casing from the hard disk, it is very unlikely you will be able to put it back together as a working component. Even a small amount of dust can render a hard disk platter useless." (in pantherproducts.co.uk. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://www.pantherproducts.co.uk/index.php?pageid=whatisharddisk).

Q10: Motherboard


  • Where:
    • The motherboard is located underneath the processor.
  • Background Information:
    • According to wiseGEEK, a motherboard is "the underlying circuit board of a computer. The central processing unit (CPU), Random Access Memory (RAM), hard drive(s), disk drives and optical drives are all plugged into interfaces on the motherboard. A video interface and sound card can be optionally built-in or added." (in wiseGEEK. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-motherboard.htm).

  • What are the lines on the motherboard?
    • The lines we see on the motherboard are the CIRCUITS.

Q11: Crystal


  • Where:
    • The crystal(s) is located on the motherboard.
    • On this particular PC we took apart, there are two crystals on the motherboard; one near the RAM and one near the fan).

  • What is it for?
    • The crystal is used to control the frequency of the processor (or in other words, the time).

  • Background Information:
    • According to karbosguide.com, the small crystal(s) "continually ticks to the CPU at a steady number of clock ticks per second. At each clock tick something happens in the CPU. Thus, the more ticks per second – the more data are processed per second." (in karbosguide.com. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://www.karbosguide.com/hardware/module3b1.htm).

Q12: Battery


  • Where:
    • The small battery is located on the motherboard.

  • What is it for?
    • The small battery is there to make sure that the system clock runs (to keep TIME).
  • Background Information:
    • According to HowStuffWorks, "most computers have a small battery. In many cases, the battery is soldered directly onto the motherboard, but the battery is usually in some sort of holder so it is easy to replace. Computers are not the only things that have a small battery like this -- camcorders and digital cameras often have them, too. Just about any gadget that keeps track of the time will have a battery. In your computer (as well as other gadgets), the battery powers a chip called the Real Time Clock (RTC) chip. The RTC is essentially a quartz watch that runs all the time, whether or not the computer has power. The battery powers this clock. When the computer boots up, part of the process is to query the RTC to get the correct time and date. A little quartz clock like this might run for five to seven years off of a small battery. Then it is time to replace the battery." (in HowStuffWorks. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question319.htm).


In the end, we put the PC back together again! :D


Guess What!


Guess what? We were one of the first groups to finish putting the PC back together, so we had a lot of time left. We have curious minds, so we decided to look inside a MacBook as well! It was really interesting to see how all the parts from the PC were in the MacBook, except everything seemed smaller or more compact than the PC.