Main Parts of a Personal Computer

Author: mety Nagm Labels:: , ,

The System Unit

It is the main PC box which houses the most elements which go together to make up the PC. For instance within the system unit is the computer system's motherboard, which contains all the main components, such as the CPU The system unit also houses items such as the hard disk, the floppy disk and CD-ROM drives etc

The System (Mother) Board

It is contained within your system unit and all the vital computer systems plug directly into the system board. The CPU is normally housed on your system board along with all the other electronic components. Other items such as the hard disk are attached to the system board, either directly or via cables. These boards are getting smaller and smaller as the components become more integrated

The CPU (Central Processing Unit)

It is normally an Intel Pentium and it is one of the most important components within your computer. It determines how fast your computer will run and is measured by its MHz or GHz speed. Thus, a 2 GHz Pentium is much faster than say a 1 GHz Pentium CPU. It is the CPU which performs all the calculations within the computer, when running programs such as word-processors, spreadsheets and databases.

Memory (RAM)

(Random Access Memory) within your computer is where the operating system is loaded to when you switch on your computer and also where your applications are copied to when you start an application the more RAM you have installed in your computer the better


Read Only Memory - Basic Input Output System) chip is a special chip held on your computer's system (mother) board. It contains software which is required to make your computer work with your operating system it is responsible for copying your operating system into RAM when you switch on your computer

Serial Port

It is a socket located at the back of your computer which enables you to connect items to the computer, such as a modem. They are commonly labelled as COM1 or COM2

Parallel Port

It is a socket located at the back of your computer which enables you to connect items to the computer, such as a printer. It is commonly labelled as LPT1 or LPT2

Universal Serial Bus (USB)

It is a relatively new item within the PC. You will see one or more USB sockets at the back of the system unit, allowing you to plug in devices designed for the USB. These devices include printers, scanners and digital cameras

Input devices

It is allow you to input information to the computer and include things such as the keyboard and mouse

Output devices

It is allow you to output information from the computer and include the printer and the monitor

Peripheral device

It is any device which you can attach to your computer. Thus, you could attach a scanner or modem

The Keyboard

An Input device the keyboard allows you to type information into the computer


Most computers are now supplied with a CD-ROM (Compact Disc - Read Only Memory) drive the benefit of a CD-ROM is that it can hold a vast amount of data (equivalent to the storage capacity of over 450 floppy disks) A CD-ROM can store 650 MB of data

DVD Drives

"Digital Versatile Disk" Similar to CD-ROM drives but allows you to use DVD disks, which contain vastly more information than a traditional CD-ROM disk. These also transfer the data from the disk to the computer far faster, allowing you to watch movies on your computer screen. A CD-ROM can store 650 MB of data, while a single-layer; single-sided DVD can store GB of data. The two-layer DVD standard allows a capacity of GB. A double-sided DVD increases the storage capacity to 17 GB (or over 25 times the data storage capacity of a CD-ROM)

Floppy disk

Also known as diskettes and hold relatively small amounts of data (1.44 Mbytes) Sometimes people will backup important data from their hard disk to floppy disks. However, as diskettes are notoriously unreliable this is not the best way of backing up important data

Zip Disc

A Zip disk is like a bigger version of the floppy disk, the main difference being that a single Zip disk can hold up to 250 Mbytes of data. They also offer increased speed compared to the old floppy disk

Hard (Fixed) Disk

Hard disks are the main, large data storage area within your computer. Hard disks are used to store your operating system, your application programs and your data. They are much faster than CD-ROMs and floppy disks and can also hold much more data. The picture shows the inside of a hard disk (which you would not normally see). Hard disks are installed within the system unit of your computer.

The Monitor

An output device the monitor is the TV type screen on which you view your programs. They are supplied in different sizes, common sizes range from 15" to 21" screens. You should be aware that poor quality or badly maintained monitors could harm your eyesight

Sound cards and speakers

Many computers are now supplied with sound cards and speakers which mean that when you run 'multi-media' programs, you can listen to sounds which are played back via your computer. If you have a microphone and suitable software, you can also record sounds. You can even purchase special software which will allow you to talk to your computer and get the computer to type the words you have spoken on your screen. In time, this type of software may replace the keyboard


A modem is a device which is used to attach your computer to the telephone system. The modem converts data into sound which is sent over the telephone line, the receiving modem turns the sounds back into data. If you wish to connect to the Internet, you will need a modem (or equivalent device). Modems used to be large boxes that you had to plug into the computer, but now modems boxes have become very small and in many cases the modem is actually inside the computer. If you are using ISDN or broadband then you will use another device similar to a modem


It is a device suitable to produce printed output on paper. There are a wide variety of printers; they differ in their speed, the size of the paper they can print on, and the process that they use for printing


Allow you to scan printed materials into your computer, which can then be stored within the computer. These pictures can then be altered, resized and printed as required

Recordable CDs

CD-ROMs are read-only devices, but increasingly people are purchasing a special type of CD drive unit which allows you to record data, music or video to your own CDs. These devices require the purchase of special CDs to which you can write, called CD-R (Compact Disc – Recordable)

Tape backup

A tape backup unit allows for regular backing up of your data. These tapes can store a vast amount of data at a low cost. DAT (Digital Audio Tape) devices are commonly used for backups. The DAT tapes which are used can backup enormous amounts of data (i.e. over 4 Bytes per tape). The devices are also fast and reliable

External hard drives

Magnetic storage devices that is capable of storing large amounts of data there are hard drives that can connect to the computer outside the computer housing



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I made these pages for me and my friends to help solving the problem we face regarding Computer & internet, if anyone wants me to answer a question or find out about some information please send me email and I will try to reply.*P.S. some of the article I wrote and the other I found on the internet I posted them in sprit of learning and shearing, please forgive me if you found something you don’t want to be in my blog, email me and I will delete them. Thank you for your interest in my pages.امل نجم Amal Nagm

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