How computers work
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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

Unit 1, Module 2:

PC Hardware Components - Part 1

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4 Functions of a Computer

  • Input

  • Processing

  • Output

  • Storage

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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

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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

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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.

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  • 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.

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Input/Output Device

  • Mouse ….. Input Device

    • Pointing Device

    • Uses rotating ball or an optical sensor

    • One – three buttons

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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

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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

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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


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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

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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

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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)

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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.

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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

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  • 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

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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

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  • The 4 functions of computer are Input, Output, processing, storage

  • The major parts of a computer consists of ports, motherboard, CPU, and Chip set.