The Main PC Components and What They Do | The PC has been in a constant state of development since the first devices were designed in the 1960s and that seems to be never-ending, with faster CPUs and graphic cards with gigabytes of RAM. If you are new to computing, it is important to have a basic understanding of the major components and what they actually do, so we thought we’d put together a breakdown of the major PC components.
- Central Processing Unit – The CPU is very much the heart of the computer, which sits in a special slot on the mainboard and is responsible for processing data and sending it where it needs to go. The latest versions of Intel’s core i9, for example, has multiple data avenues that work simultaneously, inbound and outbound, which really does speed things up. AMD and Intel are the two major CPU manufacturers and expect to pay top dollar for the latest models.
- Graphics Card – The graphics card is a critical piece of kit that sends data to the screen and speed is everything; high refresh rates and 4k gaming are possible with a top of the range GEFORCE card, which has special cooling. Bitcoin mining demands hi-end VGA cards and if you want the best, you need deep pockets!
- Random Access Memory –Known as RAM, this is memory that the computer can use for temporary storage and the more you have, the faster the performance. The top brand is Corsair RAM, which runs up to 16Gb, with 2x8Gb slots and is available from the online supplier. The average computer would have 4-8Gb of RAM and high-performance would run 16-32Gb, in DDR3 or DDR4 format. If a computer is slow, the solution could be to add some RAM, which takes seconds to slot into place, just make sure you buy the correct specs, as RAM chips differ.
- Solid State Drive – For many years, we were limited by the physical spin speeds of a hard drive, which peaked out at around 7,200rpm; enter the SSD, which allows for much faster data transfer speeds and that revolutionised the PC world. The drive stores all data and the OS would be running on SSD for optimum performance. Click here for ways to back up your data.
- Mainboard – Also known as the motherboard, this is a large circuit board that houses all the various components, much like a framework. This large component is screwed into the casing and the core components such as RAM, CPU, VGA card and drives are inserted into corresponding sockets. Compatibility is always an issue with mainboards; you can ask the online supplier for advice if you are building your own PC.
- Power Supply – This essential piece of kit delivers and manages the power supply and there are several sizes. Always opt for decent quality when looking at power supply units and you should have no issues.
- Screen – Of course, every computer requires a screen and there are levels from a basic unit to a gaming screen, which is curved. LED and LCD are the two main types and the screen plugs into the VGA card via a special cable.
- Keyboard & Mouse – These can be wireless, which is more expensive but eliminates those awkward cables. Older machines would have special plugs at the rear for keyboard and mouse peripherals, but if you are building a PC, go wireless and you won’t regret it.
Now that you have a ground level understanding of a computer, you can move forward and build your own gaming machine and as you gain more experience, you can upgrade. The Thai government takes IT seriously and have recently passed new laws concerning cyber crime. Always make sure that you have an antivirus program running when you are online.