What does the inside of a computer look like?
The inside of a desktop computer is not as complicated as you may think. Below is an example of what the inside of a computer looks like and pointers to each of the major components that make up a computer.
Parts of a computer
Information about each of the items pointed out in the picture above are found in the links below.
- Chassis (case)
- Data cable: (IDE, SATA)
- Disc drive: CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, or Blu-ray.
- Expansion card (ISA, PCI, AGP, and PCI Express).
- Fan (Heat sink)
- Floppy drive
- Hard drive: HDD, SSD
- Memory (RAM)
- Power cable (Molex)
- Power supply (PSU)
- Processor (CPU)
The expansion cards are often devices such as your video card, sound card, network card, etc. Click on any of the links below for additional information about each of these devices.
Note: It is common for a computer today to have these components built into the motherboard, also referred to as integrated components.
What parts are needed for a computer to work?
A computer does not need all of the components mentioned above. However, a computer cannot work without having at the very minimum the below parts.
- See our connections and definition for a listing of each of the type of connections found on the computer.
- How can I learn more about computers?
- Steps on installing new hardware into a computer.
- How does a computer work?
- Computer cleaning help.
- All computer learning and training related pages.
- See the chassis definition for further information and related links.
- Computer hardware help and support.