103b as 2012

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Catherine Dowie's Lab Overview

This page will outline the lab completed as a part of CS103, whos website can be found here. The work of other students on this same lab can be located here here.

The purpose of this lab was to take older PCs apart to display and examine their inner components.

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Parts

Processor

The first piece we found (located under the fan mounted to a cooling apparatus) was the processor, specifically a microprocessor model number mPGA4778B. This piece functions as the brains of the computer, taking in information and using it to produce logical outputs to perform whatever task it has been assigned by the user.

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RAM

Attached to 2 slots on the motherboard were 2 sticks of Random Access Memory (Micron, model MT8VDDT3264AG), each with 256MBs of memory.

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CD/DVD Drive

On the top panel that we had flipped up and away from most of the circuitry, we located the CD/DVD Drive. This input device allowed users to either get data from or transfer data to a disk for future use or as a physical backup apart from the machine itself.

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Power Supply

Along the right side of the computer, complete with it's own cooling unit because of how hot it can run, we located the power supply. It had a max output of 210 watts. This piece, like the CD/DVD drive and a few other parts, was not wholly contained in the casing of the PC, but had ports for wires to connect it to a power source. There were also a series of color coded cables running to each and every other independent aspect of the machine to power it.

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Hard Disk

When most people think of memory in a computer, they are actually thinking of the Hard Drive and not the RAM. RAM allows for memory in processing, but the Hard Disk is what's going to store the documents, pictures, movies, etc. for most users. Inside the hard disk is a physical, spinning disk and a needle to read off of it. This particular hard drive holds 40 GBs of data.

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Motherboard

The motherboard is the skeleton of the computer, connecting all the various apparatus to each other and wiring them together to work in harmony. We found a FW82801EB motherboard by intel. The gold and silver lines you can see on the board itself are lines of conductivity, like wires, which connect parts of the computer and allow them to communicate with each other without the need for lots of bulky wires.

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Crystal

The crystal is the small silver oval shaped protrusion from the motherboard. It keeps the clock of the computer running so the processor can keep track of when to perform specific operations in a line of instruction. Our crystal was labeled D143E4H.


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Battery

The large watch battery that can be found on the motherboard, usually near the crystal, is to ensure that the main clock the crystal runs keeps in time regardless of weather or not the power supply is functioning or plugged in.

Conclusion

Save for the processor (which did not take kindly at all to being put back in at an imperfect angle) we got everything back together again and closed it up.

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Lab Questions

1. What is the make and model number of the computer you are taking apart? Dell HP-U2106F3

2. What are the parts visible when you remove the cover?

  • Motherbard
  • Fan
  • CD/DVD Drive
  • Power Supply
  • Hard Drive
  • RAM

3. Where is the processor? What brand and model number is it? mPGA4778B

4. Where is the RAM? How much RAM is in the PC you're taking apart? What company makes it? 512MB, Micron (model MT8VDDT3264AG)

5. Where is the CD/DVD player/burner? is it a CD or DVD Drive? CD/DVD combo drive

6. Where is the Power Supply? How many watts of power can it output? 210 watts

7. What are all the cables for? To supply power to the various parts of the computer

8. Where is the hard disk? How many Gigabytes of data does it hold? In the slot of the top of the computer next to the CD/DVD drive. 40GB

9. What is inside the hard disk? A disk and needle (see pictures)

10. Where is the motherboard? What are the lines you see on the board? The motherboard is the large green and gold sheet below and interconnected with the other pieces of the computer. The lines on the board are wires, connecting parts of the board together without the need for excess bulky wires the way we usually think of them

11. On the motherboard is a crystal. What is it for? The crystal is used to keep timing cycles for the computer. The crystal runs the clock

12. You may find a small battery on the motherboard. What is it for? To power certain elements of the computer (the clock on the crystal) while it's unplugged.