Bianca A's CSC231 2014 Page

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Bianca A's Lab Report

On 10/7/14 I took a PC apart. The lab instructions are [here]


The main goal for this lab is to get a better understanding of how a PC works. A great way to understand how a PC works is to get a hands on experience. We took apart the PC and identified each part that it consists of. Each part has an importance and it was significant for us to discuss each parts' role as we took the PC apart. An effective way to learn is to have a visual of what is being discussed in order to be able to identify it in the future.

The computer we took apart was a Dell OptiPlex 745 with a model number of DCNE.


Steps taken and discoveries:

  • This is the PC before it was opened and taken apart. The case maintains all of the different parts inside of it.
CSC231BA case.jpg

Opening the case was not difficult. We just had to pull the side of it. In the front of the computer was a CD-Rom and USB ports. Below is a picture of the inside of the case. The parts that are visible when the cover is removed are the power supply cables, RAM, CD drive, motherboard, heat sink, data and power supply cables. In our computer, the DVD drive was at the corners of the entire case. The DVD drive can process both Digital Versatile Disc (DVDs) and Compact Discs (CDs) files since there is a DVD burner in the computer.

CSC231BA inside.jpg

  • Motherboard

The motherboard is where the RAM, crystal, the processor, and a small battery for the clock are placed on. Each of the lines that are on the motherboard are pathways that transmit information to different places in the computer. The motherboard was removed by unscrewing the screws and then slowly sliding it out. We noticed that the power cables connected it to the power source and to the CD-Rom.

CSC231BA motherboard.jpg
  • The CD-Rom

The CD-Rom was connected to the motherboard with cables. We were able to access it from the front of the computer. It was on top of the Hard disk.

CSC231BA cdrom.jpg
  • Processor

The location of the processor is underneath the heat sink. The processor was unbuckled out of a protective metal casing. We found the model number of the processor by removing it from the thermal paste that covered it. The processor was made in Costa Rica by Intel. The processor was a dual core processor and the model number of the processor was 6600. It was a 2.40 GHz processor with 4 MB cache.

CSC231BA processor.jpg
  • RAM

The Random Access Memory's role is to be the temporary and easy access memory of the computer. Opened files are loaded to the RAM from the hard drive. There were two slots connected to the motherboard that held the RAM in place. In order to detach the RAM from the slots, we slid them out while holding down on the slots. Our RAM had two 1 GB which is a total of 2 GB that were manufactured by Samsung.

CSC231BA ram.jpg

  • Power Cables

The power cables are created to make sure the power is distributed to the power source to the computer.

CSC231BA powercables.jpg
  • Power Supply

The power supply was found right next to the CD Drive. The role of the power supply is supply the computer with electrical power. The power supply of our computer is able to output 280 Watts of power.

CSC231BA powersupply.jpg
  • Hard disk

The function of the hard disk, which was underneath the CD-drive, is to be the main memory for the computer. Our computer had a total of 2GB capacity.

CSC231BA harddisk.jpg
  • Crystal

The role of the crystal is to determine the speed that the computer processes. It is located very close to the processor.

CSC231BA crystal.jpg
  • Cooling system for the processor

Since the processor is doing so much work at a quick pace, it gets hot. The main function of the cooling system is to keep the processor cool to prevent overheating. The cooling system is located right above the processor.

CSC231BA processorfan.jpg
  • Data Cables

The data cables role is to transfer data between various devices that are connected to the motherboard.

CSC231BA data.jpg