A Peek inside a PC; Hardware Show 'n Tell

Tom Kelliher, CS 102

Apr. 20, 1998

Announcements: Web page and quiz grades, project discussion Wednesday.

From last time:

  1. Introduction to computer hardware; buying a PC.


  1. Computer hardware show 'n tell.

  2. Inside a PC.

  3. Self-explore.

Computer Hardware

  1. Computer chips: carrier, I/O pins, die.

  2. Hard disk
    1. Platters: coated with iron oxide. Magnetized to store data.

    2. Read/Write heads: fly over platters. Move back and forth to access tracks

    3. Cylinders, tracks, sectors.

  3. Other storage media: floppies (8'' 5.25'', 3.5''), ZIP disk, QIC tape, DDS tape.

  4. An expansion card: modem.

  5. Circuit boards.

  6. Motherboard: http://www.tyan.com/html/default_s1563s.html

A Peek inside a PC

  1. Case: desktop, tower.

  2. Cable connections. Future: Universal Serial Bus. Connections:
    1. Keyboard, mouse.

    2. Monitor.

    3. Network.

    4. Serial, parallel.

  3. Taking the cover off.

  4. Power supply, speaker, drive enclosures (internal, external).

  5. Expansion bus: ISA, PCI.

  6. Motherboard: CPU, memory (SIMMs), connectors (IDE, floppy), ROM BIOS.

  7. Drives: IDE, SCSI, CD-ROM, floppy.


Working in small groups, visit http://www.mkdata.dk/english/ , answer the following questions, and post your answers to the class bulletin board.

  1. Module 2e: How much RAM did a Commodore 64 have? What started the ``RAM race?'' What is SDRAM?

  2. Module 3a: How many transistors did the 1st generation PC CPUs have? How many transistors does the 6th generation Pentium II have? What is cache RAM and why do PCs have one? What was the code name for the Pentium II?

  3. Module 4b: What was the storage capacity of the first hard disk? What was its platter diameter? What is the most common platter diameter today? What is SCSI? What is the maximum capacity of SCSI disks today?

  4. Module 5a: What is an adapter? What is AGP? What is a PC card?

Thomas P. Kelliher
Sun Apr 19 16:18:48 EDT 1998
Tom Kelliher