8 Things happening inside your computer box
By Jeandre de Beer / Kim Komando
When your computer is working well, the parts inside work together to help you surf the Web, organize and edit photos, type documents and anything else you use it for.
Most of the times we do not think about the multiple different parts a computer has. When you do remember is when something goes wrong.
If your computer suddenly stops working and you need to purchase a new computer or upgrade your current one – That’s when you enter a world of numbers and acronyms: CPU, RAM, eSATA, Gigabit, 802.11 … the list is endless.
Once you get past the letters and numbers, understanding what these parts actually do isn’t too hard.
Let’s see how a computer actually works.
The central processing unit is the part of the computer that “computes.” Most people just call it a CPU or processor.
The processor does the heavy lifting. It takes in numbers, does some calculations and returns other numbers.
A modern processor can do billions of calculations in a very short time. It’s hard to overstate just how amazing modern processors are; billions and billions of switches – known as transistors – crammed in a space the size of a thick postage stamp.
Many CPUs today have multi-core processors which put two or more CPU “cores” – the part that does the work – in a single CPU package. That allows us to get more performance with slower processor cores.
The benefit of more cores is better multitasking. Several cores can be working on separate tasks simultaneously. A slower multi-core processor can often accomplish more than a fast single-core processor.
The two most common types of multi-core processors are dual-core and quad-core. Dual-core processors have two cores, while quad-core processors have four. However, there are processors with as many as eight or more.
There are two major processor manufacturers for computers: Intel and AMD. AMD was big back in the mid 2000s, Intel has dominated the market since.