7 components of a computer


A computer is a machine that accepts information (data) as input and then processes and outputs the data based on a set of instructions. The 7 major components of a computer are:

  • Motherboard
  • Power Supply Unit (PSU)
  • Processor (CPU)
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Storage
  • Video card (Graphics)
  • Computer Case (Chassis)


A motherboard is the main circuit board in a computer. It holds many of the key components of a computer and provides a means for them to interact with one another. The motherboard includes the central processing unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), graphics card, northbridge, southbridge, and other essential components.

The motherboard is also responsible for providing power to the other components and allows for communication between them. It connects to the power supply unit (PSU) via a power connector and to the case or chassis via a number of screws or bolts.


What are the different types of motherboards?

There are three main types of motherboards: ATX, microATX, and mini-ITX.

ATX motherboards are the most common and are usually used in desktop computers. They measure 305mm by 244mm and have a number of different connectors, including a 24-pin power connector, four SATA connectors, an 8-pin CPU power connector, and a 6-pin PCIe power connector.

microATX motherboards are slightly smaller than ATX motherboards and are often used in small form factor (SFF) PCs. They measure 244mm by 244mm and have a number of different connectors, including a 24-pin power connector, two SATA connectors, an 8-pin CPU power connector, and a 4-pin PCIe power connector.

mini-ITX motherboards are the smallest type of motherboard and are often used in embedded systems. They measure 170mm by 170mm and have a number of different connectors, including a 20-pin power connector, one SATA connector, an 8-pin CPU power connector, and no PCIe connectors.

You can read our post about M-ATX vs ATX.

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

A power supply unit (PSU) is an electronic device that converts AC to DC power. It provides power to the motherboard, storage devices, and other components in a computer system.

There are two types of PSUs: ATX and mini-ITX.

ATX PSUs are the most common type and measure 150mm by 86mm. They have a number of different connectors, including a 24-pin power connector, four SATA connectors, and two PCIe power connectors. mini-ITX PSUs are slightly smaller than ATX motherboards and are often used in small form factor (SFF) PCs. They measure 244mm by 244mm and have a number of different connectors including a 24-pin power connector, four SATA connectors, and one PCIe power connector.

When choosing a PSU, you should consider the wattage rating and the number of connectors. The wattage rating is the maximum amount of power that the PSU can deliver. The number of connectors is important because it determines how many components you can power with the PSU. Most PSUs have a wattage rating of 500-600 watts, but there are a few high-end models that offer ratings up to 1,200 watts.

When buying a PSU, it’s important to make sure that it’s compatible with your motherboard and other components. The most common form factor is ATX, so make sure that the PSU you buy has an ATX form factor. You should also check the connector type. The most common connector types are the 24-pin connector and the 4+4-pin connector.


Processor (CPU)

A computer processor, also known as a CPU, is the main component in a computer. It performs all of the calculations and logical operations that allow your computer to function. CPUs are made up of millions of transistors and are typically packaged in a square or rectangular chip.

There are two main types of processors: Intel processors and AMD processors. AMD processors tend to be less expensive than Intel processors, but Intel processors tend to be faster. In recent years, however, AMD has begun to close the performance gap between its processors and Intel’s processors.

When choosing a processor, you’ll need to decide how much money you want to spend and how fast you want your computer to be. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, AMD processors are a good choice. If you’re looking for the best performance possible, Intel processors are the way to go.


Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM (Random Access Memory) is one of the most important components inside a computer. It’s a type of processor that helps your computer to run quickly and easily by providing a space for programs and data to function. When it comes to RAM, more is always better. If you’re running low on memory, your computer will start to slow down and you might even experience crashes. To keep your computer running at best, be sure to upgrade your RAM when necessary.

Computer RAM is usually measured in GBs, but it’s important to remember that more GBs does not mean better memory. This is because your computer’s operating system utilizes a portion of the RAM as well which reduces how much space you have for programs and files. Like most things, the best way to determine how much RAM you need depends entirely on what you use your computer for and how often you use it. If you’re someone who likes to play games or work with large video and audio files, we recommend upgrading your RAM as soon as possible. For those who simply browse the web or check email, 256GB should be enough to keep your machine running smoothly even years from now!

RAM Conceptualizing Your RAM Needs

When you’re purchasing RAM for your computer, it’s important to know what you’ll be using it for. It doesn’t have to just be about the number of gigs either. If you’re a hardcore gamer, you may want to look into finding a stick that supports both DDR3 and DDR4 chips or even two separate sticks that support one type each. This way, if the need ever arises where upgrading your graphics card would be beneficial, RAM won’t become obsolete as quickly since you wouldn’t have to replace everything again. For those who do a lot of video work or other memory-intensive tasks, getting a stick with more than 4GB of space is recommended so you don’t run out at an inopportune time.


Computer storage refers to the place your computer stores all of its information.

There are different types of storage that you can use with your computer, such as a hard drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD), and even USB flash drives. The type of drive best suited for each individual depends on their needs; those who want more space may want an HDD whereas those who trade out their laptop frequently or do a lot of video work may prefer an SSD. It also doesn’t have to just be about the numbers either – if you’re a hardcore gamer, you may want to look into finding a stick that supports both DDR3 and DDR4 chips or even two separate sticks that support one type each. This way, you’re maximizing your gaming potential.

When it comes to storage, there are three main things you need to take into account: capacity, speed, and type. You want to make sure that the drive you buy has enough space for all of your files, whether that’s music, photos, videos or documents. It’s also important to think about how quickly you’ll need to access those files. If you’re planning on doing a lot of work with large video files, then you’ll need a drive that can read and write data quickly. Finally, you’ll want to decide what type of storage is best for you. HDDs are larger and slower but more affordable, while SSDs are smaller and faster but more expensive.


SSDs vs HDDs

There are two main types of computer storage: hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). HDDs are the older, more traditional type of storage. They work by storing data on spinning disks, which can be accessed quickly. SSDs, on the other hand, store data on flash memory chips. This makes them faster than HDDs, but they’re also more expensive.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing between HDD and SSD storage is that not all programs are compatible with SSDs. If you’re planning on using your computer for gaming or video editing, you’ll need a drive that can handle those larger files. Programs like Photoshop and iTunes also work better with HDDs because they can access large files quickly.

Ultimately, the best type of storage for you depends on what you plan to use your computer for. If you need a lot of space and don’t mind slower speeds, go with an HDD. If you need faster speeds and don’t mind spending a bit more money, go with an SSD.

Video Card (Graphics)

A graphics card is also referred to as a video card, and its purpose is to create the images you see on your computer screen. Whether you’re playing games or just browsing the Internet, everything that appears on your monitor is generated by your graphics card. The graphics card can be found within the central processing unit (CPU) of your computer, and its capabilities are ranked according to its performance level. There are different types of graphics cards, which vary in specifications such as clock speed, memory size, bus width, rendering pipelines, shader cores/pipelines, etc. The faster and more powerful a graphics card is will determine the quality of the image it generates for your display.

Most laptops are already equipped with onboard graphics cards thanks to Intel HD Graphics, but if you want something with more power, you’ll need to purchase a dedicated GPU so your computer can handle those extra-demanding tasks.


What does a graphics card do?

A dedicated graphics card is able to process imagery much faster than an integrated one due to its larger processors and higher bandwidth (the speed at which data can enter or exit the processor). This is why gaming laptops have two graphics processors: one for general use and another specifically for gaming.

A graphics card also helps to handle multiple monitor setups. With a gaming laptop, you might want to use three or four monitors at a time in order to get the most out of your games. A graphics card with multiple ports can help split the image evenly across all of your displays, while still providing plenty of power to each one.

Most people don’t need more than an onboard graphics card, but if you’re doing some serious video editing, 3D rendering, or gaming, then you’ll definitely want to consider investing in a dedicated graphics card. It’ll make your computing experience that much smoother and more enjoyable.

Computer Case (Chassis)

For setting up a computer, you’ll also need to invest in a computer case. There are two main types of cases.

Mid Tower Cases

Smaller computers are typically fitted with mid-tower cases because they only have enough space for the motherboard, one or two drives (hard drive and optical drive), one or two graphics cards, and maybe an extra fan. These cases usually have the power supply built into them, but it’s still possible to buy external ones that can be slotted into your case.

Full Towers

Full towers have all those components as well as space for more hard drives and fans. This puts less strain on those delicate components like the graphics card and processor. Full tower cases also tend to have more room for cable management, meaning you can hide all those pesky cords and make your computer look a bit neater.

All in one PCs

In an all in one PC, all these components are jammed packed in the chassis. So because of this, from our experience, all in one PCs don’t last that long as there could be massive heat build up inside the unit. We have listed some of the pros and cons.


I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...