Computers are complex machines that are made of multiple coordinating parts. Most people only really think of or know about the parts that they can see, such as the monitor, keyboard, and power cord. But what about the inside of the computer? What’s actually in there and how do these parts make your computer run? Well, here we will explain just that as plainly as possible:
1. The Motherboard: The motherboard is essentially the heart of the computer. Everything connects to it—including external connectors such as your mouse or USB drive—and without it, your computer would just be a useless pile of fancy-looking parts. Motherboards also store small amounts of information to help synchronize everything, such as the date and time.
2. The Power Supply: The power supply is exactly what it sounds like; it supplies power to the rest of the computer. It does so by connecting to either the battery or through a power cord that you plug into the wall through one side, then connects to the motherboard on the other.
3. The CPU (Central Processing Unit): If the motherboard is the heart of the computer, the CPU is the brain. It executes the calculations and instructions necessary to run a computer’s program(s). It does so in three steps: 1) The CPU gets the information needed to run the program from the computer’s memory. 2) The CPU breaks down the information into parts to form instructions that it can follow. 3) The CPU performs said instructions and runs the program(s). 4) Once executed, the CPU logs the process and stores it to the computer’s memory once again.
4. The RAM (Random Access Memory): RAM is what gives you the ability to run more than one program at once. It stores the information needed to maintain the program temporarily, then erases that memory as soon as you close the program. The more RAM you have the more programs you can run at the same time. This is something to keep in mind when purchasing a new computer, because depending on your needs, you may need more or less RAM than most people.
5. Storage Drive (SSD OR HDD): As the name implies, the storage drive is where all permanent memory rests. There are two types of storage drives: Solid State Drives (SSD) and Hard Disk Drives (HDD). Each has its own pros and cons. For instance, SSD’s are newer and therefore faster and more efficient. However, due to this, they are usually more expensive. HDD’s, on the other hand, are older and therefore slower, but can often hold more data and tend to have longer lifespans than SSD’s.
Knowing the parts of your computer and how they function can not only save you time and money, it can help you use your computer more efficiently. There are, of course, many more components that make up the internal hardware, but these 5 parts are found in every computer, no matter what fancy specifications or added parts they may have. If you are curious to learn about the rest, there are many guides online, but Salt IT Solutions customers who qualify for long-term tech help can always call or email their technician for more information. If you are not a current customer or are but have not purchased a tech support subscription package, call 1-866-784-9660 or contact us on our website to speak with an experienced technician and get yourself signed up today!