Discover which items are located inside the console and how to visually identify them. Additionally, get an overview of the role of the various components inside a computer case.
- Exploration of peripherals starts with the most non-peripheral thing in the computer system, the console. Now, you might call it a box or the computer. Another common term is the CPU, though that's incorrect. The main part of a computer system is known as the console. In this movie, I explore the console and introduce you to its various and important parts, plus the roles they play in the overall computer system. In a modern computer system, the console is the location where all other items are attached.
Those other items connect to the console to complete the computer system. These are called peripherals, even when their presence is necessary, such as the keyboard and monitor. The traditional desktop computer console is a box, lies flat on the desk. A mini-tower is an upright desktop. It generally has more room for expansion. A larger size, or full tower PC, has lots of room for internal expansion. The all-in-one PC is a combination monitor and console, though it does have a separate keyboard.
A mini-desktop PC is a small form factor computer, about the size of a hard bound book. It offers no internal expansion. On a laptop or a 2-in-1 computer, the console and computer are pretty much the same gizmo. No matter what the shape, you'll find three important items inside the console, each of which is central to the entire computer system. That is, the motherboard, mass storage, and the power supply. The motherboard is the computer's main circuitry board.
It features many important elements in the computer system. First and foremost is the processor, also called CPU, for central processing unit. This is the computer's main chip. Though it's not the computer's brain, software is the brain. Also stored on the motherboard is the computer's chip set. What was once called the BIOS, or basic input output system, you can't see specifically where it is on this system, but it's on there, somewhere. Today's computers are capable of a lot, so the chip set handles a lot of basic operations, from networking, to video output, and many other duties.
The motherboard also plays host to the computer's memory, or RAM. Memory cards, also called SIMs or DIMs, are inserted directly into the motherboard. In another movie, I explain more about memory, including deciphering all the acronyms. Other slots on the motherboard provide for internal expansion. These cards, once known as daughterboards, aren't as common as they once were, but you'll frequently find display adapter card installed into one of the slots. Finally, the motherboard is festooned with various connectors.
These connectors attach other parts of the system, both internal and external. One of the connectors goes to a major item inside the console, the mass storage devices. The computer has a mass storage device, a hard drive, or a solid state drive called an SSD. The console could house many internal storage devices if a drive cage is available. Another mass storage option is an optical drive, though these drives aren't as popular as they once were. Finally, the console plays host to a power supply.
The power supply has two roles. The first is to supply power to the system. The power supply takes AC power from the wall and translates it into DC power for use inside the console. The power supply's second role is to keep the console cooled. It used a fan to perform this task. In fact, the CPU and the graphics card may also sport fans, which makes it kind of windy inside the console, but it's cool. The console plays host to various input, output, or IO panels.
These panels get used for input output devices that connect to the motherboard. They also connect to peripherals. The main IO panel is on the back of the PC. It provides the standard ports, USB, networking audio, plus perhaps a few legacy ports. A video port might be available on the IO panel, though you may find two, one from the motherboard's chip set video hardware, and a second one from a display adapter card. Another IO panel might be found on the front of the console, which makes it easier to attach some devices, such as a headset or a thumb drive.
Future movies in this course go into more details on each of these items. As you can imagine, with a computer system, details are always in abundance.
- Looking inside the computer
- Working with connectors and connections
- Exploring the motherboard
- Working with internal and external storage
- Adding expansion cards
- Configuring the graphics system
- Working with monitors and touch screens
- Accessing audio
- Connecting and configuring a printer
- Making network connections
- Setting up gateways
- Activating and deactivating Bluetooth