In the 21st century we are already more than familiar with computers. Many homes already had one when some of you were born. Others did not take long to put their hand on one. And despite the fact that mobile phones are the ones that are taking over the world today, computers are not going to cease to exist because of it.
It’s okay, you have a computer and you know how it works. But have you ever wondered how it is built? What are the parts of a computer? The PC is much more than just that box in which you press a button to turn it on. Or the laptop you have on your desk but have never seen beyond the keyboard and mousepad.
Do you want to know what is inside it? Pay attention because this is everything that makes up a computer and allows you to use it to do what you love the most.
- Internal parts of the computer
- Microprocessor (CPU)
- RAM memories
- Hard drives and SSDs
- Power supply
- Graphic card
- External hardware or peripherals
Internal parts of the computer
When we talk about the parts of a computer we find “what we see, and what we don’t see”. The components that we do not see are those that are inside the equipment. These are the computer processing unit, the graphics unit and other interesting elements.
A very common mistake is to call the computer CPU. However, the CPU (Computer Processing Unit) is the unit that is responsible for processing the information we see on the screen. This microprocessor handles most of the calculations the computer does so we can use it the way we do.
All, absolutely all components are connected to the motherboard . Also known as motherboard , it is responsible for managing the connections between the different components of the computer and transmitting the electrical current, which it receives from the power supply, to the other components.
They also include all the necessary ports to connect peripherals to the computer. From USB ports to sound, network and video output connections.
There is a wide variety of motherboards. Boards can be differentiated by their size (ATX, Mini ATX and Micro ATX). But you also have to take into account its parts when buying one. The boards are made up of different connections, a very important one is the SoC, which is the connection for the microprocessor and must be compatible with the CPU that is going to be used.
Random Access Memory , or ‘Random Access Memory’. That is the name of RAM memories, one of the components that is responsible for managing computer information.
These memories are the ones that receive and transmit all the software information (operating system and programs). They load all the instructions executed by the CPU and other computer components, as well as contain the data of the programs that are being executed.
Hard drives and SSDs
The microprocessor is in charge of processing the information, the RAM memories of the access to it and of ‘storing’ data that the programs use at that moment. But where does everything we save on our computer go? To a storage unit . Until a few years ago only magnetic hard drives (HDD, ‘Hard Disk Drive’ ) were used. However, in recent years the use of ‘SSD’ ( Solid State Drive ) has become popular, another type of faster disk and with new technology.
These disks have the task of storing information. Through the computer’s operating system, said information on the hard drive can be written or read.
Essential like almost all parts of a computer (except some peripherals and readers). The power supply is responsible for feeding the equipment with electrical current. Without power supply nothing will work .
Choosing a good quality source, and one that has enough power, is very important. If this source does not have the necessary power to feed the components of the electrical power equipment, failures or poor performance may occur. For this reason, it is always necessary to know the consumption of the components of a team in order to have a sufficiently powerful source.
Power supplies can be sorted by power and quality. Since the 80 Plus standard appeared , they can be organized into Bronze, Silver and Gold categories , the latter being the one with the best efficiency and the best materials used.
A graphics card is a ‘board’ that can be added to your computer to improve its performance. This has a graphics processor called GPU that is responsible for processing only the information that will be used to display graphics on the computer monitor. Sometimes this card is not strictly necessary since many motherboards include a graphics processing unit.
ATI and Nvidia are the two best-known companies in the graphics card industry. They are in charge of developing the technology and creating the GPUs, although other companies (such as Gigabyte or ASUS) are in charge of assembling these units with their own technology for cooling and better unit performance.
One of the parts of a computer that is becoming less common. With the advent of every new PC – especially laptops – you see readers disappear.
It is no longer possible to see floppy disk drives , which were responsible for reading and writing information from floppy disks. Now CD and DVD readers/writers are also becoming less common. Although desktop computers continue to include them.
Basically, a ‘reader’ is a computer component that is responsible for reading some type of drive (in the case of CD/DVD readers, they read this class of discs) to be able to access their information or record on them in the case of that has this feature.
External hardware or peripherals
In addition to the internal hardware of computers, we also find other components that we can easily recognize. It’s about the peripherals .
A peripheral is any component that connects to the computer externally . That is, it is the monitor on which you see the image of your PC, the mouse that you use to control the pointer, and the keyboard that allows you to type. The printer is also a peripheral, and so on. Anything that you can connect via a cable to your computer is a peripheral and is also part of a computer.