A computer componenet holds all the informaition on a computer and every thing a computer does. Motherboard This is where the core components of your computer reside which are listed below. Also the support cards for video, sound, networking and more are mounted into this board.
- Microprocessor - This is the brain of your computer. It tells the instructions and controls the operation of the computer.
- Memory - The RAM in your computer is fixed on the motherboard. This is memory that must be powered on to retain its contents.
- Drive controllers - The drive controllers control the interface of your system to your hard drives. The controllers let your hard drives work by controlling them. On most systems, they are included on the motherboard, however you may add extra controllers for faster or other types of drives.
- The OS - The operating systems; the primary functions of the operating system are to manage the hardware resources (disk space, memory, CPU and so on) and provide facilities to manage and run programs.
- CPU (Central Processing Unit) - The Central Processing Unit that is usually attached directly to the motherboard. It is comprised of a chip with usually dozens of pins which are connected to the motherboard. They are usually obscured by a large heat sink (large metal components which divert heat away from chips).
- RAM (Random Access Memory) - Usually Dual-Inline Memory Modules (DIMMs), they are plugged directly into the motherboard as well. Some high-performance versions are cased in metal which help cool the chips on them. There are usually 8 chips on a stick of RAM (random access memory), sometimes there is a 9th "parity" chip, which helps check for errors within the memory.
- ROM (Read Only Memory), usually on a Hard drive - This is usually a large metallic rectangular prism-shaped device about 3.5 inches wide. It stores data onto metal discs within the device and have recently come out with capacities as large as 1 TB (Terabyte, or 1000 Gigabytes, 1,000,000 Megabytes etc). In the 'old days' these were cards, ticker tape, or magnetic discs labeled as A drive or B drive. Now most computers have C drive, which is the hard drive mentioned earlier.
- A Power Supply - Computers need specific power voltages for each component and always have a power supply which takes power from the wall and outputs power at specific voltages on specific cable formats within the computer