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Home > The PC At A Glance > The Personal Computer At A Quick Glance - The Personal Computer At A Glance - Dissecting The Hardware Components

To fully understand the technicalities behind personal computing technology it is neccessary to understand what each component can do in that big box of metal you power on daily. The following image depicts a frontal view of a standard personal computer.

The Personal Computer at a glance.


Component Description
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

This item can be either a CD-ROM or DVD_ROM optical storage medium. It is capable of reading and writing data to and from optical medium. A CD-ROM drive can house approximately 650 megabytes of data whereas a DVD-ROM drive can house approximately 4.5 gigabytes of data
Monitor
- this is the part of the computer that displays useful information in the format of pictures, text, and motion-video. A good computer monitor enhances the overall computing experience.
Floppy Disk Drive - this is a fixed storage medium capable of reading and writing data onto removable media. A floppy disk can house 1.44 megabytes of data.
Hard Disk Drive L.E.D This item is a small light that flickers when data is being transferred to and from the internal hard disk drive.
Power L.E.D This item always remains lit when there is power running to the machine. When there is no power running the light will not show.
Front Panel Connectors Front panel connectors allow you to connect a variety of peripheral devices externally without having to crawl inside the back of your computer to make connections. Common uses of front panel connectors include audio, microphone, and line-in for use with multimedia programs on the computer. It's also common for front panel connectors to connect USB and Firewire devices such as hard disk drives, digital cameras, and input devices.
Ventialltion System Ventiallation systems are built into all hardware components to allow for excessive heat to be removed to lower the temperature of the entire computer.
Drive Bay A drive bay is an area in the computer where you can mount a hard disk drive or optical storage medium. On the desktop computer referenced here, there is only one free drive bay; the other drive bay is being occupied by the system's internal optical drive.
Case The case is the big box of metal that holds all the components together. Components are mounted with computer screws designed especially to be fitted within the holes soldered onto the case's design.

Backside Of A Personal Computer

A Closer Look Component Description
  On / Off Switch Part of the power supply unit needed to manually turn on and off power to the computer.
  Power Supply Outlet This is where the computer gets the "juice" it needs to run your programs.
  PS/2 Keyboard Port An interface used by computers to connect a PS/2 keyboard to the system unit.
  USB Port An interface used by computers to connect USB devices such as external hard drives, printers, and keyboards
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

About:

Dissecting The Personal Computer - a complete breakdown of each hardware component.

Data: The Foundation Of Communications

Identify what components make up the personal computer.

Learn how data is used and processed in a computer environment. environment.

Differentiate between external devices and internal devices.

Identify how to install peripheral devices including hard drives, modems, network cards, and more.

Get an overview of what system bus types are and how they are used in the P.C.

 
Hardware Spotlight:
Bios Network Cards
Card Readers Optical Drives
Chipsets Raid Controllers
Digital Cameras Routers & Switches
Enclosures Scanners
Gaming Devices SCSI Devices
Hard Disk Drives TV Tuners
Input Output Cards USB Devices
Keyboards Video Cards
Laptop Computers Webcams
Introduction Identifying Components The Computer Monitor At A Glance Overview Of Data Internal & External Hardware Components
Quick Installation Guides System Bus Types   System Bus Types  

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Article References:
1. Upgrading And Repairing PCs, 13 Edition, Chapter 21, Page 1104, Scott Mueller

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