The Major Hardware Components

Hello everyone,

I love to repair computers, but what I really love is to teach others how to understand/repair computers. I attempt to simplify any kind of explanation so that even the novice can understand what I’m teaching. Here is how I teach/explain the seven major computer components:

1) Motherboard

The motherboard is the heart of the computer.

Every other computer part either sits on, or connects to, the motherboard in some way.

The motherboard is the rectangular colored board that sits at the bottom of the case.

2) CPU

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of the computer.

It runs the software and processes the data that you are working on.

The CPU sits on top of the motherboard and is covered up by a heat sink and cooling fan.

3) RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) holds or remembers the data of the software that you are currently running.

The RAM modules (“sticks”) are long and thin and look like a short ruler.

Each RAM module snaps into a corresponding slot on the motherboard.

4) Video Card

The video card creates the images that appear on the computer monitor.

Almost all modern day video cards attach to either the AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slot,

or to the PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) slot on the motherboard.

5) Power Supply

The power supply supplies the power that the computer needs.

All wires going from the power supply go either directly to the computer components or to the motherboard.

The power supply sits at the top of the case.

6) Hard Disk Drive

The Hard Drive holds all of your information (even when the computer power is off).

When you turn on the computer, the software and data load from the Hard Drive into the RAM.

The Hard Drive slides into the Hard Drive bay in your computer case.

7) Optical Drive

The optical drive uses a laser to read (play) or write (record, burn) CDs and DVDs.

The optical drive sits in the front bay of the computer.

It use the same connectors as internal hard disk.