14 Basic Desktop Parts for a Functional Computing Experience
Desktop computers have not turned extinct in the age of luxury and portable laptops. Still, tech enthusiasts like to build custom desktop computers for seamless gaming, editing, and other critical activities. If you are thinking about building a tough PC, then you should be aware of the necessary desktop parts.
Assembling a fully-functioning desktop PC is an enthralling experience. You need to plan the overall architecture after learning about those computer basics. Only after then can you find compatible matches according to hardware and software requirements.
Putting everything together without the right knowledge might be a threat. Additionally, your PC might collapse within a few days. Hence, let’s start by knowing desktop parts and functions before you proceed to assemble the desktop computer.
Your desktop computer will show outputs and anything on the display screen or monitor. This is also called an output device. Basically, the monitor is one of the desktop parts through which the computer can convey to the users about processes and results.
Any monitor works with a video card or GPU, and you can see texts and images on the monitor. All the latest monitors acquire LED or LCD technology. However, older monitors used to be based on Cathode-Ray Tube or CRT technology. They were a tad bigger and heavier compared to today’s streamlined monitors.
You can opt for a built-in CPU case where you will get the motherboard, RAM, CPU, GPU, and other components intact. However, if you want to customise your desktop to a whole new level, then you might want powerful components, and they don’t come in a compact package.
In that case, you need to invest in a sturdy and durable computer case or housing. After all, you can’t keep those motherboards, CPUs, RAM, optical drives, and others exposed. Being on the desktop parts list, computer cases can vary in size and shape. For example, a tower case can sit next to the monitor, and it contains a motherboard, optical drive, and more.
On the other hand, you can invest in a desktop case that you can lie on your desk. You can even place your desktop monitor on this desktop case. The choice is yours, and you can select the most suitable one according to your hardware requirements.
The motherboard of any computer is the main communication point for all components. This is basically a circuit board.
Apart from connections and connectors, you can install other desktop parts on the motherboard, such as:
- Memory chips or RAM
- The ROM
In addition, you can notice USB ports, PCI slots, and much more on the motherboard. It also contains controllers for different hard drives and DVD drives. You need to plug input and output devices (such as a keyboard, mouse, speaker, etc.) into the motherboard to establish a proper connection.
CPU or Central Processing Unit
Your computer will be incomplete without its most functional part or brain, which is the CPU. A Central Processing Unit of any desktop computer directly connects to the motherboard component. The main job of a CPU is to process all the instructions it receives from the computer.
On the other hand, this desktop part helps the computer run its operating system. It also gets input and other instructions from hardware and software equipment. After that, the CPU processes the data and sends the output to the monitor, printer, or storage devices as per instructions.
Every CPU comes powered with a chip which is responsible for all the activities. If you want a fast CPU, then you need to check its clocked frequency for better performance. Some CPUs can be overclocked to achieve the desired performance. However, you should take preventive temperature management because the CPU can overheat when overclocked.
Otherwise, it might affect desktop parts and functions. CPUs from AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel are top choices. Make sure that you connect the CPU to a functional power supply with the help of compatible connecting cables.
RAM or Random Access Memory
RAM or primary memory of any computer indicates how much memory open application software can use. The more RAM a computer acquires, the faster it will acquire while processing computer data. However, RAM offers volatile memory, and it works with open applications and tabs.
Once you shut down the computer, all data on RAM vanishes. This is why you should save your data before turning off the computer. However, RAMs are available in chip modules. You need to install compatible RAM chips on your computer’s motherboard. Place them into the dedicated slots of the motherboard.
It’s better to insert at least 8GB RAM for your desktop computer. You can stretch it up to 32GB or more according to your desktop parts compatibility and technical requirements.
Your computer can’t run without the required power. Undoubtedly, a compatible power supply is required to send power to every electrical desktop part of your computer. This hardware component will power your computer for necessary functions.
The power supply will turn the AC or alternating current to DC or direct current for your computer. So plug a power supply into your computer’s motherboard and other needed components to start your computer.
UPS or Uninterrupted Power Supply
Purchase a UPS or Uninterrupted Power Supply unit to supply power to your computer under emergency conditions. The UPS also saves your computer from power surges and outages. The computer won’t shut down immediately even though there’s a power outage.
Thus, you get enough time to save your data to your computer storage. Moreover, this desktop part protects your computer hardware from electrical spikes and damage.
GPU or Graphics Processing Unit
Another important part of any computing device is the GPU or video card. This is a piece of hardware that renders graphics such as photos and videos on computers. Apart from rendering graphics, a GPU also processes graphics tasks like 2D and 3D calculations.
If you are building a gaming-efficient computer, then you must incorporate a powerful GPU. Otherwise, you can get lower-end GPUs embedded in your computer’s motherboard. You can get high-quality graphics for gaming, video editing, and other productivity tasks with dedicated GPUs. Indeed, you need to install the video card on the motherboard according to the given instructions.
Now, your desktop computer can heat up if you run it for a long stretch. Overheating can damage computer peripherals and, overall, your investment. Hence, you should protect your computer, especially its processors, motherboards, RAMs, etc., from overheating.
A computer fan is a necessity in the desktop parts list. As a user, you have to connect a compatible fan to your motherboard.
Here are different types of fans that you can consider for your desktop PC:
- CPU fan
- Video card fan
- Power supply fan
- Case fan
SSD or Mechanical Hard Disk (Storage)
You already know RAM stores volatile memory. Thus, your desktop computer requires something to hold the data even though you turn off your computer. Hard disks or storage devices help your computer store data.
They can store the following kinds of data on your desktop computer:
- Application software
- Operating system software
- Files and folders
You need to check out the capacity of the hard disk before you get one for your desktop computer. The more storage capacity the disk will have, the more your computer can store. Previously, mechanical Hard Disks were popular options. However, you can now select SSD or Solid State Drives for faster storage and less vulnerable results.
Coming back to input devices, a keyboard is one of the main communicating counterparts. Connect the keyboard to your computer, and you can type emails, documents, print documents, and more. Mostly, keyboards have been designed according to the QWERTY layout.
Moreover, most keyboards contain function keys, numeric keys, special shortcut keys, and more.
You can grab any of the following types of a keyboard as a desktop part, such as:
- Membrane, and more
This is another input device for your desktop computer, and it’s identical to a mouse, especially because of its tail-like cable. You can connect a mouse with the help of its connected wire or wireless means. For a wired mouse, you need to connect the mouse to the USB port on your computer.
However, a wireless mouse has no physical connection to the computer. A mouse has 2 or more buttons to click or select items. Additionally, you might find a scroll wheel on your mouse. The mouse moves as an arrow on your computer monitor.
An optical drive is an optional hardware for most laptops nowadays. However, you can include an optical drive on your desktop computer. An optical drive is a desktop part whose laser reads and writes data on optical disks.
Hence, you can read and write on CDs or DVDs. You can insert a CD or DVD into the optical drive if you need to watch something on your computer. Or, you can save any data on any optical disk.
If you wish to get high-quality audio output from your computer, then you can install a sound card on your computer motherboard. You can use any of the following slots to place a sound card on your desktop motherboard:
- USB port
- PCI Express slot
- PCI slot
You can connect the sound card’s IO cable just like a USB cable to your desktop computer. Check out the best sound card according to your computer hardware requirements.
Miscellaneous Desktop Parts You can include in Your Computer
Apart from these primary desktop parts, you can add a Wi-Fi card, printer, speakers, and scanners. These will turn your computer into a powerful device, and you will be ready for any challenge.
However, it’s complicated to build a computer even though everything is supplied. Read user manuals thoroughly or seek expert advice in case you face any difficulties.