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How Computers Work. Unit 1, Module 2: PC Hardware Components - Part 1. 4 Functions of a Computer. Input Processing Output Storage. PC Hardware Components. Input and output devices : outside computer case Processing and storage components : inside the case

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how computers work

How Computers Work

Unit 1, Module 2:

PC Hardware Components - Part 1

4 functions of a computer
4 Functions of a Computer
  • Input
  • Processing
  • Output
  • Storage
pc hardware components
PC Hardware Components
  • Input and output devices: outside computer case
  • Processing and storage components: inside the case
  • Hardware devices require three elements to operate:
    • Method for CPU to communicate with it
    • Software to instruct and control it
    • Electricity to power it
hardware used for input and output
Hardware Used for Input and Output
  • Ports
    • Physical connector either on the back or sometimes on the front of the computer case
    • The device uses a cable to connect to the port to send data to the computer

Input/Output Device

  • Keyboard ….. Input or Output Device?
  • Keyboard ….. Input Device
    • Primary Input Device
    • Enhanced Keyboards….102 Keys
    • Ergonomic Keyboards…to help prevent against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


  • Some keyboards come with mouse port directly attached to the keyboard
  • Electricity for the keyboard comes from the inside the computer case provided by the wires in the keyboard.

Input/Output Device

  • Mouse ….. Input Device
    • Pointing Device
    • Uses rotating ball or an optical sensor
    • One – three buttons

Output devices

  • Monitor (Most Common)
    • Visual device that displays the primary output of the computer
    • Has separate power supply
    • How are monitors Rated by manufactures?
  • Size
  • DPI
  • Resolution

Output devices

  • Printers
    • Produces output onto paper called hard copy.
    • Has a separate power supply
    • What are three most popular printers today.
  • Dot matrix
  • Ink Jet
  • Laser
hardware inside the case
Hardware Inside the Case
  • Motherboard (contains CPU, memory, etc.)
  • A floppy drive, hard drive, and CD-ROM drive (permanent storage)
  • Power supply with cords supplying electricity to all devices inside the case
  • Cables connecting devices to circuit boards and the motherboard



Peripheral Devices

  • Peripheral Devices….devices that the CPU communicates with that are not located directly on the motherboard
    • These include…power supply, hard drive, CD-ROM, Floppy Drive
  • Expansion Cards….a peripheral device that is a circuit board connected to a expansion slot on the motherboard
the motherboard
The Motherboard
  • Largest, most important circuit board in the computer
  • Contains the CPU
  • All communications between CPU and other devices must pass through the motherboard
  • Also called the main board or system board

Ports on the Motherboard

  • Ports that appear outside the case:
    • Serial port: data is transferred serially (one bit at a time followed by the next bit)
      • Examples: serial mouse or external modem (9 Pin Male)
    • Parallel: transmits data in parallel, standard parallel ports allow data flow in one direction
      • Examples: often used by printer or scanner (25 Pin Female)

Ports on the Motherboard

  • Ports that appear outside the case:
    • Universal serial bus (USB): used by input and output devices such as keyboard, printers, scanners and mice. Much easier to manage and eliminated the need to manually resolve resource conflicts.
major components on all motherboards
For processing:


Chip set that supports the CPU

For temporary storage:


Cache memory

Electrical system:

Power supply connections

For CPU communication with other devices:


Expansion slots

System clock

Programming and setup data:

Flash ROM

CMOS setup chip

Major Components on All Motherboards
the cpu
  • Central Processing Unit (The microprocessor)
  • Performs most of actual data processing
  • CPU stores instructions and performs calculations
  • Each device needs method to communicate with the CPU
    • CPU might need to control it or pass data to it
    • The device might need a way to request a service of the CPU
  • CPU needs to access to software which tells it how control a device
the chip set
The Chip Set
  • A group of microchips on the motherboard that control the flow of data and instructions from the CPU
  • Relieves CPU of some processing
  • Provides careful timing of activities to increase overall speed
  • The 4 functions of computer are Input, Output, processing, storage
  • The major parts of a computer consists of ports, motherboard, CPU, and Chip set.