What Is Actually Inside Your Computer Tower (CPU)?

These are the main parts/components of a computer cabinet/tower:

  • Processor
  • Motherboard
  • Hard drive
  • Power supply

These are the biggest, most obvious parts you see when you open the computer cabinet.

The very fact that you are reading this post probably means that you are familiar with computers. Take a look around, and you will almost instantly find a computer device in one form or another, be it a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer.

Computers are indeed getting smaller and smaller and smarter and faster in their functioning. Nevertheless, you can find many people desperately holding onto their desktop computers.

If you own a desktop computer, you know the elongated box that usually sits right next to the monitor very well. In everyday language, it’s called “tower,” “cabinet,” or “CPU” (the last one is technically incorrect).

But have you ever looked inside the cabinet? Do you know what’s actually in your computer cabinet?

Key parts of a cabinet

First of all, it is highly advisable to take the right precautions before opening the computer cabinet. If you are not sure how to do this, ask someone to help you.

inside a computer cabinet

This is what a cabinet looks like from the inside (Image Source: miketech.weebly.com)

Inside the cabinet, you can expect to see some machinery and a decent number of wires and plugs of various sizes crisscrossing all over.

However, don’t let that give you the impression that it’s something too complex to be understood; if broken down (figuratively, that is), a computer tower consists of five major components:

Processor

processor cpu

Credit: Volodymyr Krasyuk/Shutterstock

Also referred to as the CPU – Central Processing Unit, this is the most important part of the cabinet. This is where everything you do on your computer is processed.

However, you will not be able to see it at first glance when you open the cabinet, as normally, a fan and a heatsink are attached to the processor to ensure that it does not overheat.

processor fan

A dusty processor fan (Credit: thodonal88/Shutterstock)

Intel and AMD are two leading processor manufacturers, which bring new variants of existing processors to the market every few months.

Do the names Pentium, Core i5, and Athlon sound familiar?

Motherboard

This is a board that takes up most of the visible space inside the cabinet. It is also called a mainboard, mobo, MB, system board, etc., and forms the basis of every computer.

motherboard

Credit: Nicholas Greenaway/Shutterstock

The motherboard supplies power to the processor, RAM, hard disk, and other hardware components. It houses every wire and connector you can see inside the case. It also houses the famous RAM (Random Access Memory), also known as primary memory. The motherboard also houses other important components such as a graphics card, LAN card, etc.

Now you know why it’s known as the “parent body”… it takes care of everything!

As with processors, manufacturers bring out different variants of motherboards to accommodate different functionalities; a particular processor is only compatible with certain motherboards, and vice versa.

Hard Drive

hard disk

Credit: hadescom/Shutterstock

This is the part of the computer that holds all your childhood memories and your exclusive song list in the form of huge files. It is usually built into a slot above the motherboard. It typically measures between 2.5 “and 3.5” and weighs a few pounds.

Here, all the information is stored permanently and can be accessed, modified, or deleted if needed. A virus attack can negatively affect a hard drive.

Not surprisingly, people are absolutely obsessed with protecting their hard drives; it’s like a bank safe for your computer!

Power supply

smps

Image Source: www.sensorx.co.in

Also known as the SMPS – Switched Mode Power Supply, or PSU – Power Supply Unit, is the part of the enclosure that supplies power to every single component within the enclosure. It converts an alternating current of 220-230 V into a direct current that the computer can use. It is normally located in the upper corner of the enclosure and is equipped with a small fan to prevent overheating.

There are also other parts in the cabinet, such as a floppy drive into which you insert your CDs and DVDs, an expansion card, and many wires. Still, these five components are the most important you will find in any computer tower, and they are easily recognizable.

A word of caution

If you open your cabinet after a really long time, the first thing you might expect to lay your eyes on is a lot of dirt and cobwebs (probably).

Computer towers tend to attract dust particles due to the presence of fans. If they are not cleaned for a long time, their interior will become quite dusty.

Related Articles
Related Articles

Of course, it is a good idea to clean your computer tower regularly. Even if you are not sure how to open the cupboard, it is always better to ask more experienced people who can help you safely explore and clean the interior of your computer tower.

Help us make this article better
About the Author

Ashish is a Science graduate (Bachelor of Science) from Punjabi University (India). He spends a lot of time watching movies, and an awful lot more time discussing them. He likes Harry Potter and the Avengers, and obsesses over how thoroughly Science dictates every aspect of life… in this universe, at least.

.
Science ABC YouTube Videos

  1. Dark Matter Explained: What Exactly is Dark Matter? | A Beginner’s Guide to Dark MatterDark Matter Explained: What Exactly is Dark Matter? | A Beginner’s Guide to Dark Matter
  2. What Exactly is a Tesseract? (Hint: Not a Superhero Stone)What Exactly is a Tesseract? (Hint: Not a Superhero Stone)
  3. Respiratory System: From Inspiration to Expiration Explained in Simple WordsRespiratory System: From Inspiration to Expiration Explained in Simple Words
  4. What is the Fibonacci Sequence & the Golden Ratio? Simple Explanation and Examples in Everyday LifeWhat is the Fibonacci Sequence & the Golden Ratio? Simple Explanation and Examples in Everyday Life
  5. Digestive System: Ingestion to Egestion Explained in Simple WordsDigestive System: Ingestion to Egestion Explained in Simple Words
  6. What is Radioactivity and Is It Always Harmful: Explained in Really Simple WordsWhat is Radioactivity and Is It Always Harmful: Explained in Really Simple Words
  7. What is DNA and How Does it Work?What is DNA and How Does it Work?
  8. Grandfather Paradox: Explained in Simple WordsGrandfather Paradox: Explained in Simple Words