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COMPUTER COMPONENTS

A computer system consists of a group of components that work in unison with one another.

Basic computer system components include:

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • System unit (the assembly of drives, processor, boards, etc built into a case)
  • Mouse (or other pointing devices)

SAFETY: Disconnect the power to the unit to protect yourself from electrical shock.  Be sure to ground yourself to computer case to prevent damage to unit.

Inside a typical computer case:

  • Power supply
    • Transforms 120 volt AC to the various DC voltages needed in the system.
      (typically 12 volt and 5 volt DC)
  • Motherboard  (mainboard)
    • Has slots where adapter cards are inserted to provide a variety of functionality in the computer.
      • Adapter cards can include:
        • Video card  (connectivity to a monitor)
        • Sound card (allows speakers to be used)
        • Modem      (connectivity to telecommunications)
    • Has a special slot or port where the processor is installed.
    • Contains the “bus” (multi-path connectivity for the components)
    • Contains a battery, which powers the clock and the CMOS. CMOS memory contains basic “boot” configuration information for the computer. Some of which you can access and you can change certain settings.
  • Memory units
    • Floppy drive        (3 ˝” with 1.44Mb capacity)
    • CD-Rom     (Optical drive with nearly 700Mb capacity)
    • Hard drive  (Capacity varies up to 80 Gigabyte
    • RAM          (A chip which contains volatile memory)

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