Essential Computer Components

For anyone without a degree in computer science, or an intricate knowledge of the various elements that come together to form the modern computer, these invaluable machines can often seem beyond understanding. However, understanding how the various computer components work together as they perform their individual roles is something that every computer user can achieve, if given the proper introduction.

The first of the major computer components, and one which no computer can do without, is the motherboard. This is the basic unit which links together every other component of the system, and is often called the heart of the computer. The CPU (or central processing unit), on the other hand, is the brain. The CPU operates all of the applications on the computer, from booting the operating system to working in your word processor program.

The Random Access Memory (RAM) is one of the most important computer components for enabling speed of operation. RAM is the storage area where your computer sets data it is working with during the operation of any application. The amount of RAM available to a computer determines the speed with which it can perform any operation.

Other computer components without which your computer might just as well be a paperweight are the hard disk drive (HDD), which is the place where all long-term storage of data takes place, the video card, and the power supply unit. The video card enables the display of images on the computer monitor, with the better cards speeding up image rendering and presenting more detailed graphics. As for the power supply, it is needed to convert the high voltage A/C current into a lower voltage that can operate your computer safely.

Though there are other computer components and peripherals that are helpful for various tasks – such as DVD optical drives, printers, and network cards (without which you cannot access the internet), these particular components are the essential elements that enable your computer to operate and perform the functions for which it was intended.

Article was written by Jeffrey Frasco. Visit Computer Knowledge For You for information about Basic Computer Components. Computer Knowledge For You also offers information about computer hardware tips, and a tutorial about how to build your own computer.