Overview of the Basic Computer Parts
. The parts of a computer that we are going to discuss are the essential hardware parts that a computer needs to operate. These components are mostly internal and external in the case of the necessary peripherals.
As we already saw in the previous post the basic computer parts are the following:
• Main Computer Memory (RAM)
• Video Card or Graphics Card
• Storage Devices (Hard Disk Drive & Optical Drive)
• Computer Power Supply Unit (PSU)
• Computer Display or Monitor
• Keyboard & Mouse
You need the above computer parts so to have an operational computer. You cannot skip anything except the video card only in case that your motherboard-CPU combo has integrated graphics hardware (An on-board graphics card integrated to motherboard). This means that a graphics card is present so there is no need to buy an extra card.
Let’s see now the importance and the role of the basic computer parts. List of computer parts from the higher to the lower importance.
1. Computer Power Supply Unit
Yes you see right. The computer power supply unit is the most important of the basic computer parts. Faulty computer Power Supply Unit can cause very nasty problems that are not easily to detect. The great majority of people ignores the importance of the quality of the power supply and just buys the cheapest Power Supply Unit that cover their computer’s watt needs.
The quality of the Power Supply Unit is something that you must absolutely pay attention to it. And have in mind that quality must be paid. It is better to cut from other parts of the computer than to buy a cheaper and lower quality Power Supply Unit. Choose the manufacturer and model of the Power Supply Unit wisely after an extensive market research. You can find nearly for every Power Supply Unit out there a website that has already tested it. Check it out before buying it. Something last: You buy Power Supply Unit last. Check here why.
The computer power supply is responsible to power up your computer and its parts. The computer parts, basic or not, may be internal or external. Some external elements have a separate power supply feed like some external hard disk drives and they do not use the computer’s power supply. Everything else that does not have a separate electric feed is powered by the Computer Power Supply Unit..
The Power Supply Unit transforms the AC to DC providing also different voltage lines. These lines are combined to Power Supply Unit’s connectors. Quality Power Supply Unit have minimal fluctuations in these voltage lines promoting the stability of the system under heavy load or overclocking. For more information about the Power Supply Unit please follow this link.
From all the basic computer parts the second more important is the Motherboard (mobo). Motherboard functions, quality and support determine the role of your computer. According to your motherboard you buy all the other components. The type of the motherboard is determined according to several factors such as the technology that it uses, its features, the CPU and Memory support, its expand-ability connectivity and more. Check on the motherboard diagrams for more about the motherboard and how its parts work. Also here is a guide on how to install a motherboard.
The motherboard’s role on the computer is to offer a “body” where the rest basic computer parts will connect. All the internal components fit onto the motherboard or connect to it through wires. The motherboard provides at the back an I/O panel where you connect peripheral and external devices like keyboard, mouse, speakers, USB devices, microphone, display monitor and more.
3. Computer Memory – RAM
Computer memory is the third of the most important basic computer parts. And this is because computer memory is a very sensitive hardware part. Be sure to buy computer memory of high quality by a trusted RAM manufacturer. Usually, a faulty computer memory crashes the whole system losing all of your work. Another very important issue before buying computer RAM is to check the compatibility between the RAM modules and your motherboard.
The Random Access Memory role in the computer is to store temporarily data for the CPU to process. Because the communication between CPU and RAM is many times faster than between CPU and Hard Drive, the data is loaded to the RAM and then is being accessed from the central processor.
The desktop computer memory plays an important role to the performance of the computer. The more RAM the computer has the more data can store in it and the faster the processing will be. Of course RAM modules can be differentiating to their speed, technology, capacity, timings and more. There are many desktop computer memory types. You can read more about computer memory types by following this link.
4. Central Processor
Well, if you plan not to play video games then the fourth most important of the parts of a computer is the central processor. There are only two major companies that manufacture computer processors for the home desktop computers. These manufacturers are Intel and AMD. They both manufacture quality products. So quality does not apply here.
The importance of the processor though relies on the intended use of the computer. For example, if you need to do audio or video editing then you need a multi-core, powerful processor. If you just want to run office applications, a simple dual-core processor will do the job. You buy computer processor always according to your needs.
The role of the CPU in the computer is to process data. Every running program is being processed by the CPU. So actually the result of this process is what you actually see on the computer display. The CPU is considered the brain of the computer.
5. Video Card
If you play games then video card is most important than the CPU. Gaming and graphics performance is mainly depended on the potential of the video card. It is not in the first triad though because the most important thing is to ensure computer stability, so it comes 4th in case that you intend to play games or to use graphics related professional programs.
The graphics card is the computer component that your computer display connects to. It is responsible to draw what you see on the monitor. It has a processor that is called GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and undertakes the processing of every video or graphics application. The faster the video card is the smoother the video, game or application will be.
6. Hard Disk Drive
The importance of the hard disk comes last as it is just storage medium. In case that your hard disk capacity is low you can just add a new hard disk and expand the overall storage capacity of your computer. Though, hard disk can play an important role to performance. Solid state hard drives are newer technology hard disks that perform much faster than the common SATA disks. They are also a lot more expensive.
Faults on hard drive may be critical. You may lose important files if a hard disk drive fails. That’s why you must always have more than one hard drives in your computer.
The role of the hard disk drive in the computer is to store data files. It is the main storage of your computer. It was also known as memory.
A hard disk is necessary because contains the installation directories and files of the operation system (Windows, Mac etc.) and the programs. The more space you have the more you can store. Also there are some techniques that we are going to see at a later time to increase performance or security if you have two or more hard drives. This is nothing else than implementing a RAID array. I am going to show you how to create a RAID array in a future article.
7. Peripherals: Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor
Peripherals are the least important basic computer parts because their functionality does not affect the stability or performance of the whole computer. For example if a mouse gets broken your computer will not be harmed or stop working. You just replace your mouse and everything returns back to normal. The same happens with the keyboard and display parts.
Their importance though is high because without these peripherals you cannot use the computer.
The Role of these basic computer parts is obvious. The mouse and keyboard are for interacting with the computer. Both, especially the keyboard, consist of the interface between the computer and the human. The computer display presents the results of this communication between you and the computer.
In this article we discussed the importance and the role of the basic computer parts. This classification is only based according to my experience with the computers all these years. I have come across many troubles. In my opinion the first thing a computer must ensure is stability and then performance. Minimizing the possibility of the “blue screens of death” is essential for every computer whatever its purpose is.