Hardware Components

Tower Computer SystemComputer Hardware

A computer is made up of many different components, all of which have their own special job.

Components that are found inside the computer casing include the following:

MotherboardMotherboard – This looks like a completed electronics switchboard that has all sorts of electronic circuits and areas to connect other computer components, such as the processor.

ProcessorProcessor – This is also called the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and coonects to the motherboard. The processor is the ‘brains’ of the computer and makes sure that every part of the computer works as it should.

RAM – This stands for Random Access Memory and is inserted into the motherboard. This is a special type of temporary computer memory that is used to store and run computer programs. Sometimes RAM is referred to as RAM chips.

PSU – This stands for Power Supply Unit and is attached to the motherboard to give power to the motherboard and to all of the devices and other hardware that is connected to the computer.


The picture below shows the key elements of a PC (including the motherboard, CPU, RAM and PSU (Power Supply Unit) as well as popular peripheral units (including speakers, monitor, scanner and printer).

The labelled items are:

1. Scanner 5. Power Supply Unit (PSU) 9. Speakers 13. Keyboard
2. CPU or Processor 6. CD-ROM/DVD Drive 10. Monitor 14. Mouse
3. RAM chips 7. Hard Disk Drive 11. Operating System (Folders) 15. External Hard Disk Drive
4. Interface Cards, i.e. Sound Card 8. Motherboard 12. Application Program (Game) 16. Printer

PC Exploded


Next: Operating Systems