Hardware

Components of a Computer

Contributors
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Christian Bien

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Computer Basics: Inside a Computer | GCFLearnFree.org

A short video that provides an overview of the main parts of a computer by GCFLearnFree.og.

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Central Processing Unit (CPU)
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The CPU is the brains of computer that processes and calculates information required by the operating system. The CPU is attached to the motherboard.

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Random Access Memory (RAM)
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RAM is the primary memory of a computer that stores short term information for applications that is currently in use and demanded by the operating system. RAM is attached to the motherboard.

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Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

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Secondary memory of a computer that stores long term information that is not in use by the operating system. Typically has a larger storage capacity than RAM but has a slower access speed. The HDD is connected to the motherboard but is soldered or attached to the motherboard.

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Motherboard
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The motherboard is the body of the computer that connects all external and internal computers together. The motherboard connects internal components such as RAM or the CPU and external components such as USBs. Most information of a computer passes through the motherboard. Think of motherboards as alike an airport, a centralised location connecting passengers (computer information) to various airplanes travelling to different destinations (components).

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Graphics Card
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The graphics card is the processing unit for graphics that converts information to colour outputs on a display. Graphic cards often include a video output such as HDMI, VGA or DVI to connect to an external display. Graphic cards are connected to the motherboard.

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Network Interface Card (NIC)
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The NIC provides a computer wired (ethernet) and/or wireless networking capabilities. The NIC is connected to a motherboard.

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