When it comes to pc hardware, there are many different types of components you can use to build your computer. Choosing the right one can make a huge difference in how fast your computer performs.
Pre-built pcs are often the easiest option to build because they require less set up time and come with all the components already in place. However, building your own can also be a great way to personalize your PC and customize it for your needs.
A motherboard connects all of the components of your PC and helps it run efficiently. It provides power to the system, controls all of the internal components, and carries out other important tasks such as communicating with peripheral devices and video cards.
The motherboard also has many expansion slots that are used to add other components to your computer. These slots are designed to accommodate add-ons such as graphics, sound, LAN, and SSD cards.
Motherboards are often made from different materials and come in several different form factors. Some of the most common form factors include ATX, mITX, and Extended ATX.
The CPU is a major component of your computer, as it controls all the other hardware. It processes information sent by your programs, as well as performs all the basic operations necessary for your device to work.
Basically, the CPU works on a cycle that involves fetching an instruction from program memory, decoding it into machine language and then executing it.
This involves using the processor registers to hold any static data or pointers to variable data, as well as the accumulator to store any results from execution. The CPU then increases the program counter (PC) value by the length of the previous instruction to indicate the address of the next instruction.
RAM, or random access memory, is where data and instructions are stored before they’re loaded into your CPU. The CPU uses this data to run your programs and open your files.
There are several types of RAM, but the most common is dynamic random access memory (DRAM). This type of RAM uses a capacitor to hold data in either a zero or one state.
DRAM cells must be constantly refreshed to prevent leakage and to maintain the data. This makes DRAM much slower than static random access memory (SRAM). Currently, the most advanced form of DRAM is double data rate SDRAM. It transfers data twice during each clock cycle, on the rising and falling edges.
Hard drives store your computer’s data for the long term. That means everything from your program files to documents, pictures and videos you’ve shared.
Typically, a hard drive is made of several disk platters that spin around a spindle inside a sealed chamber. Each disk platter has a read/write head that magnetically records information to and from tracks on the platters.
A motor spins the platters at up to 15,000 rotations per minute, and a second motor controls the position of the read/write heads. When the operating system needs to read or write data, it sends commands to the disk controller, which instructs the motor to move the read/write head.
The graphics card, also called the GPU (graphics processing unit), is the hardware that processes the images and other visual information that your computer sends to a monitor. It also takes care of things like resizing images, changing lighting, shading, and other effects.
A graphics card can be a standalone component or an integrated part of a motherboard. An integrated part usually comes standard in a laptop or desktop PC.
It needs to connect to a CPU and a display, or multiple displays. Modern graphics cards support a variety of different connections, including HDMI and DisplayPort.
The power supply is an important part of any PC, as it converts AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current). It is also a key component that can protect the rest of your PC hardware.
Generally, PSUs have two main characteristics: voltage rails and wattage rating. Voltage rails are different levels of voltage that a PSU provides for individual system components, such as PCI network cards and CPU fan motors.
Most power supplies have a single-rail model, though some have multi-rail models that provide an extra layer of protection in case something short-circuits or causes a failure. In addition, some models come with hard-wired cabling, which makes them easier to set up and remove as you need them.