Inside a computer

Have you ever looked inside a computer case, or seen images of the inside of one? The tiny parts may look complicated, but the inside of a computer instance isn't yes, really all the mysterious. This lesson will assist you master some that the basic terminology and understand a bit much more about what goes on within a computer.

You are watching: The part of the computer that contains the brain, or central processing unit, is also known as the

Watch the video below to learn around what's inside a desktop computer.


The motherboard is the computer's main circuit board. It's a slim plate that holds the CPU, memory, connectors for the tough drive and optical drives, expansion cards to regulate the video and audio, and connections to her computer's ports (such as USB ports). The motherboard connects directly or indirect to every part of the computer.


The main processing unit (CPU), likewise called a processor, is situated inside the computer case on the motherboard. It is sometimes dubbed the brain of the computer, and also its project is to bring out commands. At any time you push a key, click the mouse, or begin an application, you're sending instructions come the CPU.

The CPU is normally a two-inch ceramic square through a silicon chip located inside. The chip is usually about the dimension of a thumbnail. The CPU fits into the motherboard's CPU socket, i m sorry is extended by the heat sink, things that absorbs heat from the CPU.

A processor's speed is measure up in megahertz (MHz), or millions of instructions per second; and gigahertz (GHz), or billions of instructions per second. A quicker processor have the right to execute instructions much more quickly. However, the actual rate of the computer depends on the speed of plenty of different components—not simply the processor.

RAM (random access memory)

RAM is her system's short-term memory. Anytime your computer performs calculations, it temporarily shop the data in the RAM until it is needed.

This short-term storage disappears when the computer is turn off. If you're functioning on a document, spreadsheet, or other form of file, you'll should save it come avoid shedding it. When you conserve a file, the data is written to the hard drive, which acts together long-term storage.

RAM is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more RAM you have, the more things your computer can execute at the same time. If girlfriend don't have sufficient RAM, friend may an alert that your computer system is sluggish as soon as you have several programs open. Since of this, plenty of people add extra RAM to their computers to enhance performance.

Hard drive

The hard drive is wherein your software, documents, and also other files are stored. The tough drive is long-term storage, which way the data is quiet saved even if you turn the computer system off or unplug it.

When you run a regimen or open a file, the computer copies some of the data indigenous the hard drive top top the RAM. Once you save a file, the data is copied back to the hard drive. The much faster the hard drive, the faster your computer can start up and also load programs.

Power supply unit

The strength supply unit in a computer converts the power indigenous the wall surface outlet come the form of power needed by the computer. It sends out power with cables come the motherboard and other components.

If you decide to open up the computer case and also take a look, make sure to unplug the computer first. Prior to touching the within of the computer, you have to touch a grounded metal object—or a metal component of the computer system casing—to discharge any kind of static buildup. Static electricity can it is in transmitted v the computer system circuits, which have the right to seriously damages your machine.

Expansion cards

Most computer systems have expansion slots ~ above the motherboard that allow you to add various species of expansion cards. These are sometimes called PCI (peripheral ingredient interconnect) cards. You might never need to include any PCI cards since most motherboards have integrated video, sound, network, and other capabilities.

However, if you desire to boost the power of your computer or upgrade the capability of an older computer, you deserve to always add one or an ext cards. Listed below are several of the many common varieties of growth cards.

Video card

The video card is responsible because that what friend see top top the monitor. Most computer systems have a GPU (graphics handling unit) built into the motherboard rather of having actually a separate video card. If you favor playing graphics-intensive games, girlfriend can include a faster video card to one of the expansion slots to get far better performance.

Sound card

The sound card—also called an audio card—is responsible because that what girlfriend hear in the speakers or headphones. Many motherboards have incorporated sound, yet you have the right to upgrade to a committed sound card for higher-quality sound.

Network card

The network card enables your computer to connect over a network and accessibility the Internet. It have the right to either attach with an Ethernet cable or with a wireless connection (often called Wi-Fi). Countless motherboards have built-in network connections, and also a network map can likewise be included to an growth slot.

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Bluetooth map (or adapter)

Bluetooth is a modern technology for wireless communication over brief distances. It's frequently used in computers to interact with wireless keyboards, mice, and also printers. It's commonly developed into the motherboard or contained in a wireless network card. For computers that don't have actually Bluetooth, you have the right to purchase a USB adapter, often dubbed a dongle.