Computer Components

The Physical Parts of a Computer System


Computer Systems

Computer systems generally fall into one of four categories:

  1. Obsolete (or, "Legacy")
  2. Low performance
  3. Middle-of-the-road
  4. High-end

Which of these categories a computer comes under depends on the quality, value and performance of its components. The components often have long names that are shortened to acronyms (see below). While it is not necessary to know the hundreds and hundreds of acronyms used to describe the particulars of computer science, it is helpful to know the main ones as they apply to the more common hardware components of a computer system.

Hardware Components

CPU Motherboard PSU RAM

(N.b. The difference between volatile and non-volatile memory is as follows: non-volatile memory is memory that does not require a connection to a power source to retain information, whereas volatile memory does)

Caches diagram

Figure 20: Diagram of split L1 cache/shared L2 cache

PCI PCIe AGP DIMM CD DVD Blu-Ray SSD HDD CPU Socket Types CMOS Battery LCD SATA USB Types of USB DVI HDMI SDRAM Northbridge and Southbridge
Northbridge and Southbridge

Figure 21: Northbridge, southbridge, and the components they respectively connect to

© 2016-2020 Leo Coroneos
Certificate IV in Information Technology
South Regional TAFE, Albany WA Australia