DIY Computers

The Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Optical Drive (DVD or CD Drive)
The Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
The Floppy Disk Drive (FDD)
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Cooling Fan
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Motherboard or Mainboard

Inside a Computer

The image above shows the components inside the case of a very basic computer. This machine would be most suited to an office or basic home computer. It uses a motherboard that has onboard video and sound, that is, the video and sound are built into the motherboard and seperate addon cards are not required. Onboard devices are inferior in video quality and sound quality to addon cards however most onboard network cards and other peripherals are on par with their addon equivalents. This computer could be turned into a low end gaming machine simply by adding video card of reasonable specifications.

On the image above you can place your mouse over the component to see its description. Click on the component or use the links below to go to a page that describes it in more detail.

Expansion or Addon cards (not pictured) allow you to increase the functionality of your machine.

The Power Supply or PSU converts mains power to the lower voltatages required by a computer to operate.

Optical Drives such as CD-ROMS or DVD burners allow the user to create, store and read data on optical storage media.

The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) provides non-volatile data storage for the machine for things such as saved work, your operating system and programs.

The Floppy Disk Drive (FDD) is an older form of portable data storage.

The Mainboard is the component of the computer that allows other components to interconnect with each other.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is a logic unit that performs instructions given to it in the form of programs.

Random Access Memory (RAM) provides temporary storage of data that is being processed by the CPU.