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Components of a PC/Desktop

1. System Unit (within a Case / Cabinet)

  • SMPS (Switching Mode Power Supply)

  • Main Board (Mother Board)

    • Real Time Clock (RTC)

    • MicroProcessor (µP) or simply Processor

    • NorthBridge - connects µP and main memory

    • Main Memory

      • ROM (Read Only Memory) - Permanent and cannot be changed. Contains BIOS (Basic Input Output System) with POST (Power On Self Test).

      • RAM (Random Access Memory) - Volatile but rewritable memory.

    • Small battery to power RTC and keep user settings when PC is turned off.

    • SouthBridge - connects NorthBridge with I/O components.

    • Expansion Slots - for Add-On Cards

  • Secondary Storage

    • HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    • SD Card / Flash Drive

    • Optical Disk Drive

  • Speaker with weak magnets (for beeps)

  • Connectors/Ports

2. Input Device(s)

  • Keyboard

  • Mouse

  • Scanner

3. Output Device(s)

  • Display / Monitor / Screen

  • Printer

Now-a-days NorthBridge is usually within µP.

SouthBridge is now called [Platform] Controller Hub.

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