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Overview of Computer System Unit Parts

Updated on May 11, 2017
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Patrick is a dedicated technology writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

The Computer System Unit

The system unit is the box-like case that contains the electronic components of a computer. Many people erroneously refer to this as the CPU. Here you will find devices like the power supply, different drives, the fan, the connectors, and the motherboard. Note that in most cases, the monitor, keyboard, and mouse will not be found inside the system unit layout.

Other names for the system unit include the computer chassis, cabinet, box, tower, enclosure, housing, or simply case.

Parts of the Unit

These are some of the major components you are going to find inside your system unit. If you are thinking of checking some of these parts out, make sure your computer is powered off and disconnected from a power source. Be careful not to mess with your components if you are not very familiar with them. Before touching anything, be aware of the ESD precautions.

A Computer Base Unit

Computer System Unit
Computer System Unit | Source

The Motherboard

The motherboard is sometimes called the system board or main board. It is the main circuit board of a microcomputer. This component contains the connectors for attaching additional boards. All other parts connect in one way or another to the motherboard.

This part typically contains the CPU, BIOS, memory, mass storage interfaces, serial and parallel ports, expansion slots, and all the controllers required to control standard peripheral devices, such as the display screen, keyboard, mouse, and disk drive.

When you are reading about motherboards, you won't fail to come across the term motherboard form factors, which describes the general shape, the type of case, and the power supply it can use. It also describes the physical organization of the motherboard.

A Labeled Motherboard
A Labeled Motherboard | Source

Hard Disk Drive

A hard disk drive is a high capacity, non-volatile, magnetic data storage device with a volume (disk) that is usually non-removable.

Data is magnetically read and written on the platter by read/write heads that float on a cushion of air above the platters.

Hard Disk Drive
Hard Disk Drive | Source

Floppy Disk Drive

This is a disk drive that can read and write floppy disks, although they are obsolete nowadays.

These drives have been replaced by the USB flash disk drives in modern machines.

Diskette Drive
Diskette Drive | Source

Power Supply Unit

The power supply unit (PSU) is used to convert AC currents from the main supply to the different DC voltages required by various computer components.

Power supplies are quoted as having a certain power output specified in watts, A standard power supply would typically be able to deliver around 350 watts.

You will need more power from the power supply if your PC has more operating components.

Power Supply Unit
Power Supply Unit | Source

CD-ROM Drive

This is a high capacity optical data storage device with a removable disk. It writes data onto or reads data from a storage medium.

A CD-ROM drive may be connected to the computer via an IDE (ATA), SCSI, S-ATA, Firewire, or USB interface or a proprietary interface.

A CD Rom Drive
A CD Rom Drive | Source

How to Identify the Components Inside Your Computer

Your Opinion

Have you ever opened a desktop computer system unit?

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© 2010 Patrick Kamau

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    • Patkay profile image
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      Patrick Kamau 9 months ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thank you Ziel for the visit and comment. I am happy that you have found the content of this hub useful. Keep reading!

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      Patrick Kamau 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      eunice, you are welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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      eunice 5 years ago

      thaks for the knowledge

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      Patrick Kamau 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks Mohamed Dhidha. I like enlightening people about computers. There is a lot to learn from the computer world.

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      Mohamed Dhidha 5 years ago

      The information was presented in a very good format, very interesting and very helpful. Thank you so much.

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      Patrick Kamau 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      You are welcome chrysann Evans. It my pleasure to find that you are contented by what I am offering here.

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      chrysann Evans 5 years ago

      thanks for your help

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      Patrick Kamau 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks Abrabanj, for going through this useful information. There is a lot to learn in the computer world.

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      Abrabanj 5 years ago

      A nice and very good expression system unit

    • Patkay profile image
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      Patrick Kamau 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks AMUZU for reading and commenting.

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      AMUZU 5 years ago

      well done

    • Patkay profile image
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      Patrick Kamau 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thank you stasheen brown for dropping by, check more of my hubs for a lot of helpful information.

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      stasheen brown 5 years ago

      thank you for all the information. very helpful :)

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