When you pull the cover off your computer in Greenwood, IN, whether it’s a desktop or a laptop model, you’ll always find the same components. Some of them are more important than others, but it’s a good idea to understand how they all work if you want to replace parts, identify a problem, or build your own computer. Handling these jobs yourself can save you a lot of money, and a personal touch can get your computer up and running much faster.
The motherboard gets its name because it connects everything else together. Every component in your computer will connect to the motherboard either directly or indirectly, and so a good motherboard is one that can send signals between components as fast as possible and with no errors along the way. The motherboard also has your computer’s BIOS, or basic input/output system, the software that starts up your operating system. Modern computers are starting to skip the BIOS step, but there are still plenty of systems that use it.
The CPU, or central processing unit, controls the speed of your computer. Every calculation your computer makes, big or small, has to run through the CPU to change things like the words on a screen, whether an image is visible or not, and what kind of music and sounds reach your speakers. Modern CPUs have multiple cores, which makes them much better at handling several tasks at once. The CPU sits directly on your motherboard, and you probably can’t see it because it’s under a massive fan that keeps the CPU from melting.
3. Hard Drive
Your hard drive is where your computer stores all its permanent memory. When you save a file, create browser history, download music, or save while playing a video game, all that information goes onto your hard drive. There are two kinds of drive in use today in Greenwood, IN: regular hard drives that use magnets and discs to store information and solid-state drives that use flash memory and don’t need to spin any discs around. Solid-state drives are faster when you need to read memory, but magnetic drives are faster for storing files and cost less.
RAM stands for random access memory. RAM is for storing temporary memory, so when you’re writing a report it exists on the computer’s RAM until you hit the save button. Anything on the RAM disappears once you turn the power off, which is why saving frequently when you’re writing an important file is essential. RAM comes in long sticks that slot into the motherboard.
Your computer can also come with other features like video cards, optical drives that read CDs, tape drives that save information on magnetic tapes, and other expansion cards that let the computer connect to unusual devices. You’ll also have a power supply that adapts an AC charge into the DC power the computer can use. Understanding all these components is useful, but if something serious happens you should be ready to call Finchum’s Computer Service, the computer experts of Greenwood, IN.