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A beginners guide to computer hardware

Computers & Accessories

Hello, and welcome to my guide on computer hardware for beginners.

My name is Dahquan Hinds and I have always been fascinated by computers.

I wrote this guide to inform others on the basic hardware components of today's standard home P.C.s


This site is sill a working progress, being my first website, its not perfect. Please email any queries, tips, etc Alternitavely, you can contact me via MSN messenger using this address. Thank you


Central Programming Unit

the C.P.U. (or 'motherboard' as it is more commonly known) is the main part of hardware you need to know about. It is a large circuit that is made up of tiny microscopic wires and connections that pass data to different parts of the computer.

All computers have C.P.U.s

The C.P.U. has many plugs and slots for various other pieces of computer hardware such as R.A.M., a chip, cards, FDD disk drives, A.G.P. cards etc...

The C.P.U. looks quite complicated, but is in fact quite simple.

A C.P.U.'s speed is measured by the amount of busses it has. A Bus is a tiny microscopic electronic component that carries computer data. The more busses a cpu has, the more data can be carried at once, the faster it is. Most of today's modern C.P.U.s have over 700 busses.

An image of a typical CPU unit



The chip is, in a sense, the 'brain' of the computer. it plugs into a special slot in the the C.P.U. and processes all the computers data. The chip's speed is measured in Megahertz (mhz) the more mhz the chip has, the faster it is.

There are three main types of chips, Celeron, Pentium and A.M.D. There are no distinct differences between the three, just different brands, although, Pentium is the most widely known and is suported by most, if not all, software companies.

The chip has many pins on its under-face, these pins slot into the holes of the C.P.U.'s chip-slot so it can communicate with the C.P.U.

A Pentum chip


Random Access Memory

Random access memory, or R.A.M. is used by the computer to store files and data until the P.C. is shut down.

whenever you create a file, edit a document or make any similar changes, all this information is stored in your R.A.M. until you shut down, then it is transferred onto your HDD disk drive. Ofcourse a computer runs better if it has more R.A.M., the standard amout of R.A.M. for todays home P.C.s is about 512 mgb of R.A.M.

There are different types of R.A.M. which include EDO, SD and DDR. There is a new standard of R.A.M. beginning sale this year, it is known as DDR2 which holds more data than normal DDR R.A.M.

DDR3 is also expected to go on sale in early 2007 which will be able to hold even more data than DDR and DDR2.

A R.A.M. unit


HDD Disk Drive

HDD Disk Drives or 'Hard Drives' are where all the computers data is stored when the computer is off.

R.A.M. cannot keep data stored unless it has power, whereas hard drives can hold data even when no power is present. Hard drives come in a range of sizes, but the standard for today is about 80 gb.

Every Hard drive has a unique IP address. An IP address is used by the internet so the governmnet can keep track of you. That way if someone is doing something illegal, such as hacking, the government or police can identify this person by their IP address, simmilar to a cars liscence plate.

Some hackers however, have found ways to steal peoples IP address by using special virusses called trojan horses. Once the hacker has stolen someones IP address, they can use it while hacking to avoid being caught.

stealing IP addresses is illegal and I will not be explaining how to do it here.

A typical HDD Disk Drive