Parts of a Computer

Network, sound, video cards and Optical drives

A computer is a device that accepts information (in the form of digitalized data) and manipulates it for some result based on a program or sequence of instructions on how the data is to be processed. (

to make a computer work, some of the important components are used such as a:

Network card

Sound card

Video card

and Optical drives

Network Cards

Network cards or Network Interface Cards (NIC) are used to connect the computer to the internet with an Ethernet cable it is used to send and receive data through the networks. On the network card there are two distinctive LED lights on the face of the card that faces out of the CPU tower, one light lights up green which shows that the card is receiving electricity the other light lights up Orange or red depending on the megabytes per second. and the orange or red light indicates the internet activity.

to transfer the data over the network the network card uses a transceiver which changes parallel data into serial data which is easier to upload on to the internet. Each card must have a unique address which is called a MAC Address which differentiates all the network cards in the world.

Network cards have settings that can be configured, some are the I/O address, and memory address DMA settings.

to use the network card you'd need the right cable (Ethernet) and the right bus architecture for it to work.

the light that lights up orange indicates 10 megabytes per second or red which indicates 100 megabytes per second. you can differentiate different network cards by the speed the network card can send data onto the computer and also the amount of connectors and also which interface is used and also if the card will wake up on LAN connectivity.

There are a lot different models for different people

The most efficient sound card model-

TP-LINK TF-3200 Network Adapter 10/ 100Mbps PCI 1 x RJ45 which is going for retail 6 dollars.

average model-

StarTech PEX1394A2V 2 Port 1394a PCI Express FireWire Card Up to 400Mbps FireWire 400 (1394a) 1 - PCI Express x1 2 - Firewire 400 (6 pin; IEEE 1394a)

High-end model-

Intel XL710QDA2BLK Ethernet Converged Network Adapters XL710 10/40 GbEPCIe 3.0, x8 Dual port

A Network card that has been fitted into a computer and as you can see there are more slots open where you can add more cards (Sound,video)

Sound Card

Sound cards let the user input a microphone or and auditory device into the computer either to input data or listen to output data from the computer. The sound card has a lot of ports like the headphone and microphone jacks. Many sound cards can come with headphone amplifier. this is important to a user because it there isn't any sound card installed there will be no audio playback and also no audio input that is registered into the computer. to attain great sound quality many consumers consider the more quantity of channels, easy to use interface and a SNR which ranges between 100 to 116 dB

Sound card Properties

The different interfaces that a card could have (is connected to the motherboard using PCI cables, PCI Express cables and USB cables)

The numerous amount of channels which can split to different speakers.

Signal-to-noise ratio which controls the level of sound coming out of the computer which which automatically changes to meet the noise around (desktop)

The most efficient sound card model-

StarTech ICUSBAUDIO 2 Channels USB Interface Audio Adapter $22.99

average model-

Asus Xonar U7 $94.00 (7.1 channels , 192 KHz/24 bit HD Sound quality, 114 dB SNR, integrated headphone amplifier, convenient microphone volume wheel)

High-end model-

HT | OMEGA Claro Halo 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card w/ a built-in HI-FI Headphone Amplifier

this man is fitting a new Sound card

Video/Graphics cards

Video cards also referred as graphics cards are one of the most important components of a computer, it helps maximize the frames and pixels needed to resolute the screen. Video cards are an essential because to have a smooth video playback and smooth gaming experience, a video card of some sort is needed. Video cards can come in different sizes but many of them are almost a forearms' size because they contain 1-2 or possibly 3 cooling fans and a processor of it's own behind of the fans. many popular games only run on the best of the best graphics card.

Graphics card properties

there are many properties to a video card since it is the meat and bones of a computer and needs all the power it can get.

the different interfaces the graphic card can run on (PCI, PCIX and AGP)

the quality of the stream processor. this helps to allocate more virtual RAM and space (VRAM) to certain applications

the amount of CUDA cores there are (basically they are cores for the individual graphic card)

the memory size and interface (so it can multi task many applications)

if it is equipped with the latest technologic ports (HDMI, DVI, D-SUB, TV-OUT and HDCP ready)

the graphics cards can differ in coolers/fans whether they have 1-2 or even none

The most efficient sound card model-

XFX HD545XCLH2 Radeon HD 5450 2GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 HDCP Ready Plug-in CardLow-profile Video Card $49.99

Average model-

EVGA 02G-P4-3753-KR G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 750 Ti Superclocked 2GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Video Card $179.99

High-end model-

MSI Gaming N760 TF 2GD5/OC G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card  $269.99

As you can see the Nvidia GEFORCE GTX 78TI is fitted inside the computer tower and is almost half of the tower's depth

Optical Drive

Optical drives let you input "portable drive" which can hold various amounts of data ranging from music to movies to notes. a component that resembles the CD is the Hard drive which is basically a disc that has much more space than a portable drive, the optical drive is basically the housing where the CD can be inspected to see what exactly is in there. this component can be very important if you have a specific movie or album that you would like to play. However in 2014 many laptops do not include the optical drive in the Netbooks since it adds significant weight and if unnecessary when there are smaller media technology (SD cards, iCloud, USB, portable Hard drives). But in terms, of desktops, the optical drive is one of the most avidly used component in the computer to all gamers and video editors and many more.

Properties of an optical drive include the following

the different CD forms (CDROM) that it can read

the amount of buttons or ports on the drives itself (USB)

the weight or length

disk reading speed

The most efficient sound card model-

StarTech SLMSOPTB Slimline CD/DVD Optical Drive Black SATA External Enclosure $34.99

Average model-

Pioneer 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BDR-209DBK $64.99

High-end model-

LG Black 16x Blu-Ray BDXL SATA Internal rewriter with 3D Playback, Model BH16NS40 $139.99


Finally, i have just scratched the surface of what the essential components of what a computer has inside its's metal casing. The Computer is one of the most complex inventions Human's have ever invented but over time the computer has evolved into something that even average people can build at the comfort of their home. using the main components i have described above you can create a great working computer.

Bibliography -Computer." What Is ? N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2014. Cards." Kioskea. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2014. "Sound Cards." , Sound Blaster Cards, Creative , Computer , Audigy , M Audio. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.