Computer Components

By Patrick O'Halloran

This information flyer will tell you everything you need to know, and what you don't need to know, about the computer components: the motherboard and CPU.

The Motherboard

The motherboard is a printed circuit board that is the foundation of a computer, located at the bottom of the computer case. It allocates power to the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components and allows them to communicate with one another. The motherboard is the most essential part of a computer, without it the other components would not be able to work. Everything in a computer is either connected to or a part of the motherboard.


The picture below details where and what is exactly connected to the motherboard:

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What is the CPU?

The computer CPU is responsible for handling all instructions it receives from hardware and software running on the computer.
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As can be seen by the above picture, the CPU chip is usually in the shape of a square or rectangle and has one notched corner to help place the chip into the computer properly. On the bottom of the chip are hundreds of connector pins that plug into each of the corresponding holes on the socket. The CPU is directly connected to the motherboard by a socket.


In the CPU, the primary components are the ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) that performs mathematical, logical, and decision operations and the CU(Control Unit) that directs all of the processors operations. Over the history of computer processors, the speed (clock speed) and capabilities of the processor have dramatically improved.


The picture below shows what the CPU is connected to:

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RAM

Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer data storage. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read and written in roughly the same amount of time regardless of the order in which data items are accessed.


Below is a picture of the RAM:

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Hard Drive

Alternatively referred to as a hard disk drive and abbreviated as HD or HDD, the hard drive is the computer's main storage media device that permanently stores all data on the computer. The hard drive was first introduced on September 13, 1956 and consists of one or more hard drive platters (hard disks) inside of an air sealed casing. Most computer hard drives are in an internal drive bay at the front of the computer and connect to the motherboard using either an ATA, SCSI, or SATA cable and power cable. Below is a picture of what the inside of a hard drive looks like for a desktop and laptop hard drive.


There is a labelled picture of the Hard Drive below that shows you where all the parts are placed on the Hard Drive:

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Inside your computer - Bettina Bair

Alan Turing

Alan Turing was an English mathematician, wartime code-breaker and pioneer of computer science. Alan Turing is responsible for creating the first functioning computer and was part of the famous team who broke the German code 'Enigma'.


During World War 2, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain's Code Breaking centre. For a time he led the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German codes, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma Machine. Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany. Turing's pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles. It has been estimated that Turing's work shortened the war in Europe by as many as two to four years.


Sadly Turing committed suicide at the young age of 42 after going through intense homosexual treatment as an alternative to jail. This is because gay people were not excepted in the society in Turing's time.


The knew film 'The Imitation Game' is about Turing's contribution to the war effort and ultimately breaking the Enigma code. Below is the trailer for the film:

The Imitation Game - NEW Official UK Trailer
For more information click the link below!