6 computer parts that you should know.

Have you ever wondered how a computer works, what parts it consists of and how those parts function or what importance they bring to a computer. You don’t really need to know all computer parts. As a regular user or someone who’s starting with computers, I think you should know these 6 computer parts.

What is a computer?

First let’s understand what is a computer, a computer is an electronic device that processes information. It retrieves data (input), stores, processes it, and then produces the outputs. To simplify the above statement all computers need to have the four basic building blocks which are input, output, storage and processing. Now you understand that not only your laptop or desktop is a computer. Your smart phone, smart watch etc. are all computers because they have 4 things in common: input, output, storage and processing.

So without wasting any time here are the 6 major parts of a computer that I think you should know and you’ll likely to change or upgrade them by yourself.

1. Motherboard

A motherboard is the main printed circuit board or main system board that allows communication or connection to all parts of the computer. So basically when you open your computer all the parts that you find are all connected to the motherboard. They are also arranged in an organised manner because of the motherboard.

Find the motherboard at amazon.

A mother board
Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

2. Power Supply

Like most of the other electronic devices they need power in order to function. So the purpose of the power supply is to converts the AC (Alternating Current) power from your home outlet into an appropriate DC (Direct Current) power that is rated by the computer manufacturer. You may be confused right now about what AC & DC has to do with power supply. Unfortunately this article does not focus on that subject but if you want to know more you can research about it. To give you a simple and short explanation at home you use AC and most electronics devices use DC. You’ll find a power supply at the back of your computer. It’s another part you’ll likely to check if your computer is not powering.

Find the power supply at amazon.

A Power Supply
Image by headup222 from Pixabay

3. CPU (Central Processing Unit)

This piece of component generally known as processor is the brain of all computers. It executes all the instructions it receives from the hardware and software. So everything that you do on your computer like playing music, games and etc. it’s all being processed by the processor. A simple scenario  will be when you look at the car,  your brain processes that information and interprets it to you that this is a car. Same goes with the CPU it processes information and outputs it there in a comprehensive way when it is needed.

Most people will confuse the CPU with the CPU Fan or heat sink. The CPU is located underneath the heat sink so that the heat is pulled by the heat sink into the fan because the CPU gets hotter as it processes data. So the CPU it’s also one of the main factors that determines performance and the speed. It’s usually measured in Gigahertz which means billions of cycles are processed per second.

Find the CPU at amazon.

A Central Processing Unit(CPU) or Processor
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

4. RAM (Random Access Memory)

This is a temporary data storage hardware also known as memory. It stores data in addresses for later usage. The CPU will retrieve the data in a specific address when it is required for processing. This data can be accessed in order or randomly hence it’s called random access memory. This is another hardware that you’ll likely upgrade for higher performance. As the CPU processes more data, it needs more temporary data to be stored on your RAM. One more thing this is a temporary data storage so that means when you shut down your computer all that data is lost. Modern RAM is measured in GB (Gigabytes) which 2GB should be enough for just playing music and watching movies.

Find the RAM at amazon.

A Random Access Memory(RAM) or memory - part of the 6 computer parts
Image by 272447 from Pixabay

5. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

This is a persistent data storage also known as hard drive, meaning it stores data permanently until you delete it. This is where your music, videos, movies, etc. are stored. The difference between HDD and the above storage (RAM) is  that the hard drive has much larger space , it stores data permanently and it’s slower than a RAM hence the CPU can’t really use it for data processing. This hardware you’ll likely upgrade it when you require more space for storing your movies, music, pictures, etc. It is measured in GB as well; this will depend on the amount of data you want to store. Sometimes you may need to upgrade to a more spacious one which is also available as external hard drives.

Find the HDD at amazon.

A Hard Disc Drive or Hard drive part of the 6 computer parts
Photo by Vincent Botta on Unsplash

6. Graphic Card

This component is what enables you to see what you see on your monitor. It’s capable of rendering data into what you see on your monitor. But what you should know is that it’s either you have an integrated graphic card normally known as an onboard graphic card which comes with your computer pre-installed. It’s efficient when performing simple programs like watching movies, playing music, surfing etc. But when you want to perform more graphical intense programs like gaming, you’ll need to upgrade to a dedicated graphic card which you’ll install by yourself on an available slot in your computer.

Find the dedicated graphic card at amazon.

A dedicated graphic card one of the 6 computer parts
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash


These are the 6 basic computer components that I think you should know as an average user or if you are building your own computer. These are the specs you’ll likely to see and consider before you purchase a computer. This article should give you a hints about the basic building blocks of computers.

If you need more clarification or didn’t understand some of the terms or you just have some technical troubles. Just feel free to contact me on the form and I’ll be happy to help in the best possible way that I can.

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