Desktop Computers don’t consist of a single unit. Rather, separate parts combine to constitute the whole. Each one has its own particular purpose and function.We can divide the roles of each part of a computer and take a look at the possible types of hardware that can fit into the category.
This approach will help you understand the part’s purpose better. So, let’s take this approach and try to talk about each one elaborately.
As the name suggests, it’s where all the data gets stored. There are different types of storage options available currently in the marketplace. Let’s talk about the basic three.
The hard drive or HDD is a pretty basic component that you’ll be seeing in most computers. It’s comparatively slower than SSDs, but it’s cheaper and offers more memory storage options.
These drives have different uses other than just basic home utility. Some use them as server storage and even surveillance data preservation.
There’s something you should know; these devices are pretty fragile and can’t take much external damage. They contain one or more platters that spin within the range of 5200 RPM to 1000 RPM. Both the read and write heads have spaces of 0.002 inches in between the platter.
Yeah, you guessed it, these drives are far too sensitive to be handled roughly. However, these are ideal if you need to store large amounts of data. An 8 TB hard drive can store all the data you could possibly need for your personal collection. If not, you can always attach another one.
SSDs or solid-state drives are great if you prefer fast operation. This makes them ideal for being used as boot devices. There are various types of SSDs, though. Let’s discuss.
SATA or Serial ATA is used to establish a data connection between these SSDs and the system. The best bit about these is that they can be used with older computers without any kind of compatibility issues. These have both SATA II and SATA III compatibility.
These are the speed grades that determine the maximum possible data transfer rate. SATA 3.0 is faster than its older variant, and the theoretical transfer rate is 6Gb/s or 750MB/s.
These SSDs connect to the system using a PCIe interface. These are technically faster than SATA SSDs and can transfer data with blazing fast speeds to servers and other storage devices.
Formerly known as NGFF or Next Generation Form Factor, the M.2 SSDs are basically small circuit boards that contain flash memory and controller chips. These look pretty similar to RAM. However, they are tinier and are often used in current-gen notebooks.
Motherboards nowadays have dedicated M.2 Slots, and you can even run the SSDs in RAID. The M.2 SSDs have NAND chips on both sides. The most common type among these is the M.2 Type-2280.
U.2 SSDs generally look like SATA HDDs. However, they utilize different connectors and pass data through fast PCIe interfaces. These SSDs are generally thicker than regular 2.5-inch deives.
As we’ve seen, different types of SSDs have different SSDS. As it’s named, NVMe SSDs use the NVMe interface. Otherwise known as the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller InterfaceSpecification (NVMHCIS).
When compared to previous logical device interfaces, NVM express reduces the I/O overhead and introduces various performance improvements.
These devices aren’t generally placed inside the PC case. They are connected through an external port. There are both portable hard drives and SSDs available in the market. You’ve probably seen USB flash drives as well. They all fall in the same category.
You can’t really operate a computer without some kind of display. Desktop computers use monitors for this purpose. There are five particular types of monitors in general. Let’s talk about them one by one.
LCD basically stands for liquid crystal display. This is probably the most common type of them all. These monitors generate less heat than the older CRT monitors. Both LCD and LED monitors are preferred for the minimal space that they consume.
On the usual case, they can be tilted, rotated. And changed to both landscape and portrait modes. The best-selling points of these monitors are the brighter and better graphics, along with minimal power consumption.
The LED or Light Emitting Diode monitors are currently competing against the LCD and Plasma monitors. These models use slightly curved or flat panels. Keep note, they don’t use CCFL for backlighting. LED displays are brighter in 4k resolutions and offer a better display in daylight.
This particular monitor type is popular with gamers who prefer high-resolution display outputs using dedicated graphics cards. The higher contrast and vivid colors produced are appreciated by many. Plus, they’re more long-lasting and durable compared to LCD and CRT monitors.
So, if you want a flicker-free, power efficient, and blight display, this is probably the best possible option.
OLED displays are made of organic materials like carbon, wood, plastic, and polymers. These materials are used to convert electricity into light. OLED practically means Organic Light Emitting Diode. This is mostly used in the modern displays of TVs, phones, PDAs, and gaming consoles as well.
OLED displays are remarked as the best display technology ever to exist. The contrast level, fast response, and viewing angles that they offer remain unmatched. However, they have shorter life expectancies than LCDs and LEDs.
Plasma monitors use the PDP panels. These displays are made with cells. The cells are filled with electrically charged ionized gas. These cells are called Plasma. These displays are flat and offer more slimness than the other variants. It reduces glare and image distortion too.
Plasma displays are heavier in size and have limited production. Also, they consume more electricity than the basic LCD monitor.
CRT monitors are pretty outdated. CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. These devices were used a few decades back as desktop computer displays and TVs. They were heavier in size and consumed more space. They consume a lot of electricity, and the production line offered 4:3 displays.
Audio outputs are very essential when it comes to using a computer. Be it gaming, music, notifications, or simple audio/video calls; you’ll need a dedicated device for it. Here are the categories.
These devices connect to the sound card of a computer to produce sound. The sound card can be a part of the motherboard or a separate unit entirely. Speakers can create sound by using an either digital or analog connections.
Headphones can be yet another option for experiencing audio outputs from your computer. Headphones, as they are, can be both wired and wireless. These generally have microphones attached to them. You can make calls and hear sounds within more of a personalized sphere through headphones.
This is mostly the core of any computer. The CPU or the central processing unit acts as the brain of the entirety of the operations executed by the computer as a whole. Be it to process data, control the actions of other devices or even to perform logical and mathematical operations, the processor does it all.
Keep note, the faster processor the computer has, the faster it’ll function and perform.
Processors can have different numbers of cores, threads, and frequencies. Each processor is generally dedicated to a particular type of socket. Keep in mind, some processors run really hot and require a dedicated CPU cooler.
Motherboards act as the bridge between all the components of the computer. The basic function of a motherboard is to connect various devices, components, and accessories and to transport data/ information to the respective destination.
Motherboards have different slots and ports that give users the option to connect their devices and components accordingly. High-end motherboards generally offer more options than the cheaper variants.
RAM stands for random access memory. This is considered as an operative memory for computers. RAM is different from normal storage devices as it’s used to run the system in real-time. RAM is used as a memory chip that runs software, games, apps, and other info in the CPU to execute quick action.
The current maximum capacity of RAM is 32 GB per unit. FYI, RAM is the fastest type of memory there is
Some often overlook the importance of this unit. The case or the computer chassis the thing that houses all the components in a computer. Starting from MOBOs, CPUs, fans, power supplies, and what not, everything stays well protected inside a case.
Can you run a PC without a case? Well, there are test benches that just lay out the components and run the computer functionally. But that can’t be a long-term solution. A computer case cools the components and stores them firmly in their designated positions.
It also protects the parts of the computer from dust, liquids, shock, and damage.
The power supply is also commonly known as the PSU. It converts the AC current from the wall socket and provides DC voltages to all the respective units inside the computer. There are power supplies of different wattage and power certifications.
The higher the wattage, the higher the price. Some power supplies are fully modular. Where others are non-modular or semi-modular. You’ll also find RGB lighting in modern power supplies.
A PSU has its own cooling fan. It keeps the inner components cool when the unit is subjected to bigger loads.
The mouse allows you to move a pointer that’s displayed on the monitor. This is commonly referred to as a cursor. This offers a more intuitive interaction with the PC in general. There are commonly three buttons in a mouse. But, with the introduction of gaming and other necessities, the numbers have increased.
The mouse allows you to scroll, grab, select and access extra menus and options. A computer mouse can be ergonomic, left-handed, right-handed, and ambidextrous. Wireless mice have become quite popular too. However, they require batteries and a dedicated USB wireless module.
Keyboards can be of different types, but the key layouts are very similar. The main difference lies in the switches and construction. The most commonly known variants are mechanical and membrane keyboards.
Keyboards serve the basic purpose of typing and sending various command inputs to the computer. The keyboard and the mouse are the primary peripherals that you’ll need to operate a computer. The keyboard consists of a large number of keys that can be used to game, write, and so on.
The Final Part
Each computer part has its own function, as I said before. Apart from the ones that I’ve talked about, there are also additional components like printers and scanners. But, I think I’ve covered the basic details about the essential ones.
I hope this write-up helped you out in getting a clear idea about the parts of computers. The purpose of this whole thing was to make you more aware of the components in particular and a computer as a whole.