Basic Computer Anatomy 101

Basic Computer Anatomy 101

       Computer technology has evolved at a breakneck pace over the course of the new century. Technology and communication that was viewed as science fiction less than half a century ago is now an integrated part of the average person’s daily life. Household names like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs laid the foundation of technological innovation for years to come through user-friendly machines designed to function autonomously with humans. Hardware and software continue to evolve at an exponential rate and show no signs of ever slowing down. We can all see the advancement of our technology through our user experience, but very few understand exactly how the different technologies come together to function with human interaction. There's a multitude of processes that simultaneously work to display the commands inputted into the computer. In this article, I’ll break down the main components of what comprises a computer.


CPU Processor- The central processing unit, or CPU, is the brain of the computer. The power of the CPU determines how fast the device can calculate commands. When you input a command on the keyboard or mouse, the CPU informs the other parts of the computer how to process your action.

RAM- RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and its function is exactly what it sounds like. This is the short-term memory of the computer. The amount of RAM is usually based in gigabytes and determines the device’s ability to recall recent events. The more RAM in your device, the better it will be at handling multiple functions at the same time. It is faster for your device to open something held in its recent memory than to boot it up from your hard drive’s long-term memory storage. For example, a computer with a high amount of RAM will be able to browse the internet, play music, and print all at the same time without bogging down.

Hard Drive- The hard drive holds the long-term memory of everything on your device. The C: drive in most computers is the internal disk that holds all of the data. The space available on hard drive continues to increase every year. Top of the line modern computers have hard drives that can store multiple terabytes (1 terabyte is 1000 gigabytes) of information. The hard drive stores all the operating system information to make your computer run. Anything you save on the computer is saved on your internal hard drive.

Motherboard: The motherboard is the computer equivalent to your body’s central nervous system.  It is responsible for communicating electronic signals to and from all components of the computer when commands are inputted. Inside your device, it is easily recognizable as a green circuit board covered in small electrical pathways used to transmit information. Every process of the computer has to go through the motherboard to properly initiate its function.

Graphics and sound: There’s a huge amount of customizability available for graphics and sound. Video and audio are powered through small cards that interact with the motherboard. These cards can be removed and exchanged to suit specific requirements. The power of graphics cards continues to grow every year, allowing users to experience more lifelike graphics and sound on their interface.

       I hope you gained some insight into your own technology. It’s great to know about the components that make up your device when choosing what to purchase. has a wide assortment of different computers for purchase. Check out our inventory at or visit our in-store location to see for yourself!

Daniel McLaurin / Digital Marketing & Media