Hong Hao Tun Jee

Basic Components of a Desktop Computer

Posted on: November 16, 2012

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A desktop computer is a machine which is meant to be used at a single location. All the basic parts of desktop computers are considered hardware. The monitor, computer case, keyboard, mouse and power cord are considered the basic parts of a computer. The computer case is the plastic or metal box that contains the main components of the computer.

It comes in different shapes and sizes. It houses the motherboard, central processing unit and the power supply. The monitor is located outside the computer case and it works with a video card to display the text and images on the screen.

The power cord is the link between the power outlet and the power supply unit in the computer casing. If the power cord is not plugged in then the computer will not get on.

The next basic part is the keyboard which is a piece of hardware that resembles to a typewriter keyboard. It is one of the primary ways to enter data into the computer system.

The mouse is a peripheral that is also known as pointing device and helps one to point objects on the screen, click on them and move on. There are two types of mouse one is optical and other one is mechanical. A mechanical mouse uses a rolling ball to detect movement and is more difficult to clean. But it is less expensive and most of the desktop computers come with a mechanical mouse only.

Beyond these parts are the hardware items which are located inside the computer case and peripherals. These are optional pieces of hardware that makes the computer system more useful and enable one to accomplish additional tasks.

Inside the desktop computer is a central processing unit, which is often called the brain of the computer. Its job is to carry out the commands. Whenever one presses a key, click a mouse or starts an application, one is sending instructions to the CPU. This processor determines how fast a computer can execute the instructions. The speed of processor is determined in megahertz or gigahertz. The higher the hertz will be, the faster the computer will work and send instructions.

The CPU is generally of a two inch ceramic square with a silicon chip located inside. This chip is usually about the size of a thumbnail. The other part is RAM which is system’s short term memory. The data is temporarily stored here until one saves his work to the hard disk.

The computer’s work takes place in RAM. This is where programs run when one uses Word for creating a letter or Excel to produce a company spreadsheet. The RAM is also measured in megabytes or gigabytes. The other internal part is motherboard which is the computer’s main circuit board that holds the CPU, memory, connectors for the hard drives and optical drives as well as various external ports and peripherals.

Besides these some of the other internal parts are network card, power supply unit, hard disk drive and expansion card, video card and sound card.

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