tower case: interior view
Metal piece that disperses the heat generated by the processor’s circuits.
The wires and circuits allowing transmission of data, in the form of electric signals, between the computer’s components.
Central processing unit (CPU) that reads and executes programmed instructions.
Electric energy reserve used to power computer functions, which are still active when the computer is turned off.
primary hard disk drive
Device that reads and records data on the primary hard disk; it is the main storage medium for programs and data.
The integrated circuits (chips) welded to the motherboard, which coordinates the exchange of data between the computer’s various components.
random access memory (RAM) connector
Device accepting a RAM module.
random access memory (RAM) module
Module containing RAM chips, which temporarily store programs and data while they are being used or processed.
ISA expansion connector
Socket accepting an expansion card designed according to ISA standards (usually a modem card or sound card).
AGP expansion connector
Socket accepting a video board designed according to AGP standards; it is extremely fast and provides high-quality 3-D displays.
Integrated device used to generate sound.
PCI expansion connector
Socket accepting a PCI expansion card; it provides a higher transmission speed than an ISA conductor.
Plate covering an unused expansion connector.
Flexible electric cable that contains the conductors used to attach the power supply unit to the electric circuit.
Main circuit board that houses the components essential to the computer’s operations, including the processor, chipset and connectors.
PCI expansion card
Circuit board designed according to PCI standards that is used to add functions to the computer; it can act as a video board, network interface board or soundboard.
power supply unit
Device that converts the power system’s alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) to supply power to the personal computer’s internal components.
Playback device using a laser beam to read the data recorded on a compact disc (CD) or digital versatile disc (DVD).
secondary hard disk drive
Device used to play and record data on a secondary hard disk that complements the primary hard disk.
floppy disk drive
Device used to read or record data on a diskette.