• The motherboard is the main component inside the case. It is a large rectangular board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer including the CPU, the RAM, the disk drives (CD, DVD, hard disk, or any others) as well as any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots.
• Random access memory (RAM) is a form of computer data storage. Today, it takes the form of integrated circuits that allow stored data to be accessed in any order with a worst case performance of constant time. Strictly speaking, modern types of DRAM are therefore not random access, as data is read in bursts, although the name DRAM / RAM has stuck. However, many types of SRAM, ROM, OTP, and NOR flash are still random access even in a strict sense. RAM is often associated with volatile types of memory (such as DRAM memory modules), where its stored information is lost if the power is removed.
• The central processing unit (CPU) is the portion of a computer system that carries out the instructions of a computer program, to perform the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. The CPU plays a role somewhat analogous to the brain in the computer. The term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s. The form, design and implementation of CPUs have changed dramatically since the earliest examples, but their fundamental operation remains much the same.
• The BIOS software is built into the PC, and is the first code run by a PC when powered on (boot firmware). When the PC starts up, the first job for the BIOS is the power-on self-test, which initializes and identifies system devices such as the video display card, keyboard and mouse, hard disk drive, optical disc drive and other hardware. The BIOS then locates boot loader software held on a peripheral device (designated as a boot device), such as a hard disk or a CD/DVD, and loads and executes that software, giving it control of the PC. This process is known as booting, or booting up, which is short for bootstrapping.
• A chipset is usually designed to work with a specific family of microprocessors. Because it controls communications between the processor and external devices, the chipset plays a crucial role in determining system performance.• In computing, the term chipset is commonly used to refer to a set of specialized chips on a computers motherboard or an expansion card. In personal computers, the first chipset for the IBM PC AT was the NEAT chipset by Chips and Technologies for the Intel A Motherboard 80286 CPU. Chipset
• Read-only memory (ROM) is a class of storage medium used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be modified, or can be modified only slowly or with difficulty, so it is mainly used to distribute firmware (software that is very closely tied to specific hardware, and unlikely to need frequent updates).• In its strictest sense, ROM refers only to mask ROM (the oldest type of solid state ROM), which is fabricated with the desired data permanently stored in it, and thus can never be modified. Despite the simplicity, speed and economies of scale of mask ROM, field- programmability often make reprogrammable memories more flexible and inexpensive.
• A computer fan is any fan inside, or attached to, a computer case used for active cooling, and may refer to fans that draw cooler air into the case from the outside, expel warm air from inside, or move air across a heat sink to cool a particular component. As processors, graphics cards, RAM and other components in computers have increased in speed and power consumption, the amount of heat produced by these components as a side- effect of normal operation has also increased. These components need to be kept within a specified temperature range to prevent overheating, instability, malfunction and damage leading to a shortened component lifespan.
• A video card, display card, graphics card, or graphics adapter is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display. The graphics card is most commonly known as a GPU. Most video cards offer various functions such as accelerated rendering of 3D scenes and 2D graphics, MPEG-2/MPEG-4 decoding, TV output, or the ability to connect multiple monitors (multi-monitor).• Video hardware can be integrated into the motherboard but recently it has been integrated into the CPU, however all modern motherboards, and even motherboards from the 90s provide expansion ports to which a video card can be attached. In this configuration it is sometimes referred to as a video controller or graphics controller. Modern low-end to mid-range motherboards often include a graphics chipset manufactured by the developer of the Northbridge (i.e. an nForce chipset with NVidia graphics or an Intel chipset with Intel graphics) on the motherboard.
• A sound card (also known as an audio card) is an internal computer expansion card that facilitates the input and output of audio signals to and from a computer under control of computer programs. The term sound card is also applied to external audio interfaces that use software to generate sound, as opposed to using hardware inside the PC. Typical uses of sound cards include providing the audio component for multimedia applications such as music composition, editing video or audio, presentation, education and entertainment (games) and video projection. Many computers have sound capabilities built in, while others require additional expansion cards to provide for audio capability.
• A power supply is a device that supplies electrical energy to one or more electric loads. The term is most commonly applied to devices that convert one form of electrical energy to another, though it may also refer to devices that convert another form of energy (e.g., mechanical, chemical, solar) to electrical energy. A regulated power supply is one that controls the output voltage or current to a specific value; the controlled value is held nearly constant despite variations in either load current or the voltage supplied by the power supplys energy source.