How Do PCs Work: A Quick Guide for Beginners

How Do PCs Work: A Quick Guide for Beginners
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You may be a workaholic who constantly needs to take his laptop with you each time you leave the house. You may be a person who is so madly in love with gaming that you use your laptop even in the bathroom. You may be the type of guy or gal who prefers to check his email on the desktop PC as the first thing you do in the morning. In all these cases, you need a PC, obviously.

PCs are everywhere these days, and they will remain popular for a lot of time, regardless of how advanced and amazing smartphones will be. But even do we all use a PC for just anything we want, not all of us have any idea how these amazing inventions work. Is there any magic behind them? Were they invented by a super-intelligent alien species who also built the Egyptian Pyramids? Actually, no, PCs were built by humans here on Earth, as far as we know.

Let’s have a quick look at how a PC works in basic and simple terms:

CPU: The Super-Fast Decision Maker:

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) represents the brains behind your PC. This component is able to think incredibly fast and make decisions for the entire PC rig. When you want to open your favorite video game for killing zombies, for instance, whether it’s Zombie Army 4, Left 4 Dead, or some other game, or even if you just want to see a funny video with cats, the CPU is the component that needs to figure out what needs to happen for your PC to do its job.

RAM: The Quick Memory

RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory, is like the quick memory notebook of a wizard. When your PC needs to do something important, it will have to write it down in the notebook. But, similarly to when you write something on a piece of paper and you throw it away or burn it, RAM forgets everything when the computer takes a nap. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a RAM memory in our brain so that we could forget all the bad decisions we made in life, such as voting for the wrong politician or not marrying the person we wanted more?

Hard Drive (HDD or SSD):

The hard drive is like the secret treasure chest of a wizard. This component keeps all of your important files safe, whether we’re talking about games, videos, music, and so on. Each time you want to use those files or see them, the treasure chest will be available for you.

GPU:

GPU, which means Graphic Processing Unit, is like the paintbrush of an artist. This component is responsible for making everything on the computer look beautiful and colorful, especially when you wish to play video games.

Motherboard:

You can think about the motherboard as a dance floor where all the other components, meaning CPU, RAM, GPU, and others, come together to put up a great show. Those components collaborate with one another, making sure that everything works as expected. The motherboard is like the central meeting place where all the magic happens.

Power Supply:

You can’t do anything in life without energy, and that simple principle even applies to computers. The power supply has the role of giving enough energy to your PC to make it grant your wishes, regardless of how selfish or abhorrent they may be.

You got the main idea: PCs are powerful and complex machines, and we can all consider ourselves very lucky to have them nowadays. PCs started to become popular in the late ’70s and early ’80s. As for today, it seems impossible to imagine our lives without them.


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Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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