103b bi 2012

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Jessica Lim's Lab Report for CSC103

On February 13, 2012 our class participated in the PC demolition lab.

My group consisted of me (Jessica Lim), Diane Rhim and Angeli Ylanan-Agarwala, and our assignment was to take a PC apart and take pictures of the different parts that are important elements of a computer. Through this experiment we were given the chance to learn more about the various components within it, and thus learned more about the functions of a computer as well.

Worksheet Overview

I obviously wasn't ready for the picture...
  • 1: PC
    • make
    • model number
  • 2: Taking off the PC cover
    • visible parts
  • 3: Processor
    • brand
    • model number
  • 4: RAM (Random Access Memory)
    • amount
    • company
  • 5: CD/DVD drive
    • location
  • 6: Power supply
    • location
    • watts of power
  • 7: Cables
    • purpose
  • 8: Hard Disk
    • location
  • 9: Hard Disk components
  • 10: Motherboard
    • location
  • 11: Crystal
    • location
    • purpose
  • 12: Battery
    • purpose

PC (Personal Computer)


Make: Dell
Model: DHS
Serial #: 4Y2LL51
Manufacturing Date: 082904

When removing the PC cover, the visible parts include:
1. fan
2. motherboard
3. RAM
4. two crystals
5. CD/DVD drive
6. hard drive
7. power supply
8. cables


  • Location: The processor is located underneath the fan, attached to the motherboard.
  • Brand: Intel
  • Model #: Pentium L422B070
  • Operating speed: 2.80 GHz
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, a processor "incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit, (IC) or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output. It is an example of sequential digital logic, as it has internal memory. Microprocessors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary numeral system." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 19 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microprocessor)


  • Location: The two RAMs are located on the motherboard, near the fan.
  • Company: NANYA
  • Amount of both RAMs together: 512MB, or half a GB. One RAM has 256MB.
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, a Random-Access Memory (RAM) "is a form of computer data storage. Today, it takes the form of integrated circuits that allow stored data to be accessed in any order with a worst case performance of constant time." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory).

CD/DVD drive

  • Location: The CD/DVD player/burner is located on the side opposite to the motherboard. It is next to the hard disk drive.
  • CD or DVD: Ours was both a CD and DVD drive.
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, an Optical Disk Drive (ODD) "is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves near the light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from discs, but recent drives are commonly both readers and recorders, also called burners or writers. [...] Optical drive is the generic name; drives are usually described as "CD" "DVD", or "Blu-Ray", followed by "drive", "writer", etc." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 20 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_disc_drive).

Power supply

  • Location: The power supply is located near the plug underneath a metal box attached to the motherboard. It is very hard to miss after opening the cover of the PC.

Model #: NPS-210AB A

  • Amount of power: This particular power supply can output 5 volts, or 210 watts of power.
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, the power supply unit (PSU) "converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of the computer. Modern personal computers universally use a switched-mode power supply. Some power supplies have a manual selector for input voltage, while others automatically adapt to the supply voltage." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 21 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)).


  • Location: The numerous cables were located all throughout the PC.
  • Purpose: Cables are used to generate power, or in other words, distribute converted power throughout various parts of the computer.


  • Location: The fan is located above the processor on the side of the motherboard.
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, a computer fan is "any fan inside, or attached to, a computer case used for active cooling, and may refer to fans that draw cooler air into the case from the outside, expel warm air from inside, or move air across a heatsink to cool a particular component." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 21 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_fan).

Hard Disk

  • Location: The hard disk drive is located on the side opposite to the motherboard. It is next to the CD/DVD drive.
  • Size: This particular hard disk can hold up to 40 Gigabytes of data.
  • Components: The hard disk drive consists of the spindle, head, actuator arm, actuator axis, actuator, and a silver disk called the platter. This is where the storage and retrieval of digital information occurs.
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, a hard disk drive (HDD; also hard drive, hard disk, or disk drive) "is a device for storing and retrieving digital information, primarily computer data. It consists of one or more rigid (hence "hard") rapidly rotating discs (often referred to as platters), coated with magnetic material and with magnetic heads arranged to write data to the surfaces and read it from them." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 21 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive).


  • Location: The motherboard is located on the opposite side of the CD/DVD and hard disk drive. It is underneath the processor, and is basically the platform for the various components of the PC.
  • Lines: The multiple lines seen on the motherboard are circuits.
  • Purpose: According to Wikipedia, a motherboard is "the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, providing connectors for other peripherals. The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, or, on Apple computers, the logic board. It is also sometimes casually shortened to mobo." (in Wikipedia. Retrieved Feb. 21 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard).


  • Location: This PC had two crystals, and they were both located on the motherboard. Both crystals were near the two RAMs, but one was closer to the fan.
  • Purpose: The crystals are used to control the frequency of the processor.


  • Location: The battery is located directly on the motherboard and it is hard to miss.
  • Purpose: The purpose of the battery is to keep track of the time, even when the computer itself is off.


At the end of our lab, we had enough time to actually put our PC back together again. In doing so, we had the chance to take apart a Mac and see the differences between a Mac PC and a Dell PC. It was overall a very cool experience.


  • Link to go back to the main CSC103 page: [main page].
  • Link to go back to the main CSC103 wiki page: [main wiki page].