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Hardware Components: The Building Blocks Of A PC

My computer is not turning on. A statement uttered by nearly all the members of the technology family, albeit a very large family.

The blue screen of death or an encrypted error message is all too common. However, with the help of Google, typing the error number could help to ascertain what the possible problem could be in the whisk of a minute.  The next step now depends on how computer literate the “Googler” is as to whether or not the problem can be fixed.

computer parts

Problems like this are prevalent in all type of computers including laptops and often come down to the hardware being out of place or faulty. However the problem with laptops is that it is going to be harder to fix any hardware issues. This is where there is much bigger advantage in having a customised personal computer which aids replacing certain hardware components – the biggest advantage behind a PC.

Now building a PC from scratch is slightly easier than putting the various pieces together. What people have to be weary of is that hardware components can sometimes have a mind of their own which causes them to be disruptive with one another.

Before we go into how a PC is put together it is sensible to go over what components make up a personal computer.

Crucial parts of a PC include:

  • A motherboard
  • A hard drive
  • A CPU
  • A graphics card
  • A sound card
  • A monitor
  • A keyboard
  • A Mouse
  • Computer cables

On the other hand, the not so important parts of a PC inlcude:

  • A Headset
  • External hard drive
  • Computer Fans

The starting point for building a PC is a motherboard, this is the component that knits everything together and forms as the hub of the computer. Now the most important thing to consider is the type of CPU the motherboard can nestle. All motherboards come with a specification so the starting point should be the motherboard and then to see what CPU’s are compatible with that particular motherboard.

Before fixing the motherboard inside a computer case it is advisable that the motherboard is laid down on a static free surface. The CPU should be the very first element that is fitted The CPU comes in the form of a square and very thin piece of metal which only fits one way onto the motherboard. When installing a CPU it maybe a good idea to keep some insulation as well which is to ensure the top of the CPU (after it is fitted) is applied to the top which will help to keep the CPU insulated when the fan  is installed. So it is imperative that the CPU fan is installed correctly.

After the CPU is firmly in place you would need to fit the RAM on a motherboard in the RAM connector slots.

This is the intermittent hardware component which provides the required speed for a computer. The more RAM a computer has generally the better it is so try to aim for 4 GB at least.

The next step would be to fit the motherboard inside the case. Remember to always keep yourself static free, it is probably a good idea to touch a piece of metal every few minutes to ensure the PC components are not damaged.

Once the motherboard is firmly fitted against the PC case it is the time to fit everything together in a timely manner. The motherboard needs power and all PC cases come with a built in power supply which needs to be connected to the motherboard. After this is installed the hard drive and DVD players need to be hooked . These connections will look like the image below:

The disk drives and DVD player (if required) are fitted onto the case so before connecting the wires ensure the drives are firmly secured. Your custom built PC will soon be complete as all the main components are fitted in. But do go over the manual of your motherboard to ascertain where all the fans are connected to as this varies on each motherboard but the main components are all covered.

Once the basics are covered you can go and evaluate ways to further improve the machine which is one of the biggest advantages a Personal Computer has over having a laptop. So you can now build your own PC knowing that each component has a purpose so you know which parts of the jigsaw can be replaced to enhance a machine.

Written By

Rehan likes to write about the way technology can enhance your efficiency. He is interested in the advantages that a custom built PC has and attempts to teach people how to build your own PC.



  1. Rohit

    March 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    very nice article rehan,
    in my opinion the most important part of any computer is its microprocessor (i.e CPU), it decides the computational speed of the computer. and other devices are just the peripherals.
    according to von newman’s architecture of the computer, the most importan parts of computer sre
    1. CPU
    2. memory and
    3. i/O devices.
    very informative article rehan… 🙂

  2. Jerry

    April 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Understanding the basic block of the pc sure will help troubleshooting the computer…
    Thanks for putting it together.

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