Understanding Your Computer’s Hardware

Computers represent some of the most incredible advances in technology in the past few decades. While many of us simply see a box set on our desktop, the reality of the situation is that the pieces inside that box are working together to allow you to complete a wide variety of complex tasks. You’ll want to know a little bit about the inner workings of your computer, especially if you ever find yourself in the position to need PC computer repair services.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU, otherwise known as the central processing unit, represents your computer’s brains or the nucleus of a cell. The primary function of the CPU is to calculate all of the mathematical formulas that allow your computer to transfer information from point to point on the motherboard.


If you were to open up your computer you, you would see a wide variety of removable parts. Beneath these lie the motherboard. Think of the motherboard as you would your spine. It is responsible for connecting all of the different parts of your computer together. Ever single piece of hardware, including the CPU, connects either directly or indirectly (via wire) to the motherboard. The technician from your home computer repair service will likely make sure everything is connected properly but usually won’t do much work (if any) on the motherboard at all.

Hard Drive

The hard drive, sometimes referred to as the hard disk, is where all of your computer’s programs and documents are stored. When you save a file, it is stored somewhere on this disk and is given a unique path so that you can find the file again after it is stored. The hard drive is your computer’s long term memory database. The hard drive is a moving part and if it is old or outdated can slow your computer’s speed significantly.


RAM, otherwise known as random access memory, is your computer’s short term memory system. This type of memory is used to store the information that your computer is currently attempting to access or process. The larger your random access memory module, the faster your computer programs will operate.

Video Card

All computers have some sort of video card. Without one, you would not be able to see anything on your computer’s monitor. A basic graphic card is great for simple computer use – for those who are simply word processing, sending emails, or browsing the web for information. Those who edit movies, store tons of images, or play complex computer games often need to upgrade to a more sophisticated graphics card to ensure they’re able to process 2D and 3D images properly. Ask your home computer repair services technician for more information about your own graphic card, especially if you are having trouble properly viewing your work.

Sound Card
Your computer also contains a sound card. You’ll plug your speakers into the sound card in order to hear the sounds, beeps, pings, dings, and bells associated with each of your computer programs. Many computers have separate sound cards while some of the newer models incorporate basic sound functions directly into the motherboard. Sound cards not only let you use speakers but allow you to use microphones as well.

These are just a handful of the main parts contained within your personal computer. Your PC computer repair technician can tell you more about each part as he troubleshoots your computer to determine the problem. Not sure what he’s talking about? Just ask. Most are more than happy to help you understand the inner workings of your PC!