Inside a computer

Have you ever before looked inside a computer case, or seen images of the inside of one? The small parts might look complicated, but the within of a computer situation isn't yes, really all the mysterious. This great will assist you master some of the straightforward terminology and also understand a bit more about what go on inside a computer.

You are watching: What is the main circuit board of a computer called

Watch the video below to learn about what's within a desktop computer computer.


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The motherboard is the computer's main circuit board. It's a thin plate the holds the CPU, memory, connectors for the hard drive and optical drives, expansion cards to manage the video and audio, and connections to your computer's harbor (such together USB ports). The motherboard connects straight or indirectly to every part of the computer.

CPU/processor
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The central processing unit (CPU), likewise called a processor, is situated inside the computer case ~ above the motherboard. The is sometimes called the mind of the computer, and also its project is to carry out commands. Anytime you press a key, click the mouse, or start an application, you're sending instructions come the CPU.

The CPU is generally a two-inch ceramic square with a silicon chip located inside. The chip is usually around the size of a thumbnail. The CPU fits right into the motherboard's CPU socket, which is extended by the heat sink, an object that absorbs warm from the CPU.

A processor's speed is measure in megahertz (MHz), or millions of instructions every second; and also gigahertz (GHz), or billions that instructions every second. A quicker processor have the right to execute instructions much more quickly. However, the actual speed of the computer system depends on the rate of countless different components—not just the processor.

RAM (random accessibility memory)
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RAM is her system's short-term memory. At any time your computer system performs calculations, it temporarily stores the data in the RAM until it is needed.

This short-term memory disappears when the computer system is turned off. If you're functioning on a document, spreadsheet, or other form of file, you'll must save it come avoid losing it. As soon as you save a file, the data is written to the hard drive, i m sorry acts together long-term storage.

RAM is measure up in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more RAM you have, the much more things your computer system can do at the exact same time. If girlfriend don't have sufficient RAM, you may an alert that your computer is sluggish as soon as you have several programs open. Due to the fact that of this, plenty of people add extra RAM come their computers to boost performance.

Hard drive
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The hard drive is whereby your software, documents, and also other files are stored. The tough drive is long-term storage, which means the data is tho saved even if you revolve the computer off or unplug it.

When you operation a regimen or open up a file, the computer system copies few of the data native the hard drive onto the RAM. When you save a file, the data is copied earlier to the hard drive. The faster the difficult drive, the quicker your computer can start up and load programs.

Power it is provided unit
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The strength supply unit in a computer system converts the power native the wall outlet to the type of power required by the computer. It sends out power through cables to the motherboard and also other components.

If you decision to open the computer case and take a look, make certain to unplug the computer first. Prior to touching the within of the computer, you need to touch a grounded steel object—or a metal component of the computer system casing—to discharge any kind of static buildup. Static electricity can be transmitted v the computer circuits, which have the right to seriously damage your machine.

Expansion cards

Most computer systems have expansion slots ~ above the motherboard that enable you to include various types of expansion cards. These room sometimes dubbed PCI (peripheral ingredient interconnect) cards. You may never need to add any PCI cards due to the fact that most motherboards have integrated video, sound, network, and other capabilities.

However, if you desire to boost the power of your computer system or upgrade the ability of an enlarge computer, you have the right to always add one or an ext cards. Below are few of the most common species of development cards.

Video card

The video card is responsible because that what you see on the monitor. Most computers have a GPU (graphics processing unit) built into the motherboard rather of having a separate video card. If you like playing graphics-intensive games, girlfriend can add a faster video clip card to among the expansion slots to get far better performance.

Sound card

The sound card—also referred to as an audio card—is responsible for what girlfriend hear in the speaker or headphones. Most motherboards have incorporated sound, yet you deserve to upgrade come a committed sound map for higher-quality sound.

Network card

The network card enables your computer to connect over a network and accessibility the Internet. It can either attach with one Ethernet cable or v a wireless connection (often referred to as Wi-Fi). Many motherboards have integrated network connections, and a network map can likewise be included to an expansion slot.

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Bluetooth map (or adapter)

Bluetooth is a modern technology for wireless interaction over short distances. It's regularly used in computers to communicate with wireless keyboards, mice, and also printers. It's commonly constructed into the motherboard or consisted of in a wireless network card. For computers that don't have Bluetooth, you have the right to purchase a USB adapter, often referred to as a dongle.