Computer Parts and Functions – The Various Parts of a Computer and Their Functions

Do you know the Computer parts to a great deal and also the functions that they perform? If you don’t, then here is your chance.

Computer Parts and Functions

Computer Parts and Functions

There was a time when owning a computer or a computing device was a luxury. But now, you can now find at least one computer unit in the homes of everyone. In this post, however, I will be making a list of the essential computer parts you know and also the functions they play on the computer.

Going over the parts of a computer, in general, will help you to understand all the vital parts and components that make up a computer. If you wish to learn about a computer, this is a great place to start things from. Not only that it is a great place to kick things off, but it is also something good to know for knowledge and curiosity’s sake.

The Various Parts of a Computer and Their Functions

The first on the list is;

The Computer Case

This is the part of the computer that holds all of the internal components to make up the computer itself. It is usually developed in such a manner to make fitting a motherboard, wiring, and drives as easy and simple as possible. Some are greatly designed so well that it is easy to make everything look tidy and well presentable too.

Cases of a computer come in different sizes and shapes in order to accommodate various types of computer components and to also satisfy the needs of a computer. Design elements can vary from plain designs to being extremely elaborate. You also can get a plain grey case or one that has colored lighting everywhere just to make it looks spectacular and colorful.

Cases, like most things, also vary in quality. You can get them made from cheap and easily gotten metals or good quality materials that provide you with a sturdy and great design.


The motherboard as it is is the main board that is screwed directly inside the computer case as you should have noticed. All other cards and everything else involved with a computer plugs directly into the motherboard, and that’s the reason for its name.

The CPU, RAM, drives, power supply, and others, all get connected to it. Its function is to accommodate and connect all the components so they can communicate and operate with each other.

A good motherboard offers a wide amount of options when it comes to connectivity. One more thing you should know is it also has the least amount of bottlenecks possible. And this allows all the components to easily operate efficiently and to fulfill their maximum potential as they were designed to do. As the physical size of a motherboard is reduced it begins to also limit the connectivity options and its functionality.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The CPU basically is more like the brain of a computer and I know that you have heard about this so many times already. The CPU process all the information on a computer on a computational level. This part of the computer takes information from the RAM and then processes it to perform the tasks required from the computer.

The CPU normally and usually is seated in a socket that uses a lever or a latch with a hinged plate with a cut out into the center in order to secure it into the motherboard. It has many copper pads that are underneath it for the socket contacts to push up against then in order to make electrical contact.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is a data storage device that can provide fast read and write access very easily. RAM is also volatile, and do you know what this means? This means that it loses all the stored data when power is lost. The RAM always keeps data ready for the CPU to process. You should also know that the speed of the RAM is a big contributor to the overall speed of a computer.

The random access memory plugs directly into a long slot that has contacts on either side of the slot. It also has a clock speed, just like a processor. With this, it can also be overclocked to deliver increased performance beyond the intended specification.

Certain RAM modules are always sold with a heat spreader. This helps to dissipate the heat from the individual memory ICs and, in the process keeps them cooler. RAM has evolved like any other component in the computer. RAM used on the motherboard often uses DDR (Double Data Rate) and SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) type memory.

Graphics Card

graphics card simply processes the data from the motherboard and then sends the appropriate information to the monitor to be displayed. It can do so using an HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, or a VGA connector. A graphics card can also be referred to in most cases as a video card or a display card.

This component takes the burden of all the video processing from the main CPU. And this gives a computer a big boost in performance. Due to the large processing requirements for a gaming graphics card, fans are almost a given.

A graphics card plugs directly into a PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) slot on the motherboard. It is a serial expansion bus slot that is capable of a high amount of bandwidth in two directions.

A graphics card also has a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). This is the main component that requires cooling. A GPU is usually slower than a CPU, but it is designed to deal with the mathematical operations that are required for video rendering. The amount of memory on the graphics card varies depending on the design of the manufacturer.

Graphics cards also use GDDR (Graphics Double Data Rate) SDRAM. This is specially designed to optimize the performance of graphics. GDDR is built to handle a higher bandwidth when compared to plain DDR ram.


At most times, the sound chip built into the motherboard is used for audio output. But, if on the other hand you are a sound enthusiast or prefer higher detailed audio while playing a game, you just might be inclined to use a sound card.

Sound cards plug directly into a computer in many ways. It can be done through USB, PCI slot, or PCI Express x 1 slot. External DACs have gained a lot more popularity and help deliver clearer and more defined audio.

Hard Drive

The hard drive normally is found in most computers. It’s usually a mechanical drive or device that stores all the data on a computer. Apart from storing data, the hard drive can also be used as a boot drive to run the operating system from it.

An operating system normally is a software program that makes a computer to be useable just like Microsoft Windows, for instance. The biggest vulnerability of a mechanical drive is that it is physically fragile in nature.

You should know that just one bump the wrong way can destroy a whole drive. Also, a mechanical hard drive contains one or more platters that spin anywhere between 5200 to 10000 RPM (revolutions per minute).

Solid Stated Drive (SSD)

An SSD is also a type of hard drive, you should know. It’s just that it doesn’t have any moving parts. This component of a computer is made up of a bank of flash memory that can hold a reasonable amount of data.

While SSDs are increasing in size at all times, they aren’t cost-effective in terms of storing large amounts of data. A mechanical drive generally has a cheaper gigabyte to dollar ratio. However, you should know that the SSD is a high-performance drive. It’s very fast and also cannot be as easily damaged by dropping it or taking a few knocks.

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

A power supply normally mounts inside of a computer case. This component converts the AC mines supply from the wall socket and supplies the correct DC voltages to all the other components inside of a computer.

You also get different wattage ratings for power supplies with the power supply unit. The higher the wattage, also the higher the electrical current that can be made available to all the parts that need it.

The higher you go in Watts, the more the power supply will cost. You should also know that a power supply also comes with its own cooling fan. This helps all the internal components of the computer to stay cool when the power supply is subjected to bigger loads.

The Monitor or the Visual Display Unit (VDU)

monitor normally is what you use to visualize the graphics data sent from the computer’s graphics card.

There are different types of monitors on the market right now and the most commonly used is a LED-backlit LCD monitor. There are also a variety of various sizes with different aspect ratios. The aspect ratio as you should know is simply the ratio between height and width.

For instance, a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor will have 16 parts wide to 9 parts in height. There are also curved monitors, but you should know that they are more expensive. Monitors also have a fast response time in keeping up with the high demands required eliminating the delays with user input when it comes to gaming.

The Keyboard

A keyboard generally is one of the ways to communicate with a computer. Typing a key from the keyboard sends a small portion of data immediately to tell the computer which key was pressed.

The computer can then use this information in various ways. A typical example could be a command or a character that can be used in a document.

There are two main different types of keyboards which are the Mechanical and membrane types.

The Mouse

A mouse as a computer component allows the user to move a pointer displayed on the monitor and experience a more intuitive interaction with the computer.

These days’ mice have more buttons than just the usually common three. However, the three main buttons allow the user to select, grab, scroll and access extra menus and options of a computer. A computer mouse can also be wired or wireless. The latter obviously requires batteries. The optical mice of today allow for very accurate precision and for smooth movement.


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