Computer Hardware Basics

Wondering what's inside your computer or some of the basics of how various types of computers and parts work? Get informed here.


Learn More / Page 2

How Netbooks Work

Netbooks are ultra-portable computers that are even smaller than traditional laptops. They're all the rage right now, but can they overcome their shortcomings to become a mainstay of the portable computer market?

Can my computer poison me?

Your computer's casing encloses some pretty toxic stuff. If you were to pick through its innards, you'd expose yourself to a whole bevy of chemicals. So how do you stay safe when you power up?

What's the difference between notebooks, netbooks and ultra-mobile PCs?

Portable computers are so popular that they now come in a variety of sizes. Is there any real difference in notebooks, netbooks and UMPCs? What are manufacturers going to come up with next?

10 Types of Computers

It may sound silly, but there really are different types of computers. There are super, wearable and, of course, personal computers. And that's just three to start.

What's inside my computer?

Ever wonder why your computer works the way it does? We did, too. So we took one apart to see what all of it does. So what's inside a computer?

Computer Hardware Pictures

Are you curious about what's inside your computer? Browse through these computer hardware pictures and take a tour of your PC, from RAM to hard drives and everything in between.

What happens to your discarded old computer?

After years of hard work and loyalty, some computers must finally retire. But since they can't take a pension and move to Florida, where do old computers end up?

Will the $100 laptop help save the developing world?

A nonprofit organization is developing a $100 laptop for children in developing countries. Well, OK -- a $188 laptop. What is this computer like?

How Motherboards Work

Nearly everything you use to run your computer or enhance its performance is either part of the motherboard or plugs into it. Trace the history of this essential computer component.

How can a totally logical machine like a computer generate a random number?

C programming can create a formula for a computer to generate a random number, but there are other ways to. Check out this explanation and diagram.

How Graphics Cards Work

The images you see on your monitor are made of tiny dots called pixels. At most resolution settings, a screen displays over a million pixels, and the computer has to decide what to do with every one in order to create an image.

How Sound Cards Work

Sound cards truly ushered PCs into the world of multimedia. Before the invention of the sound card, a PC could only beep! Learn how a sound card allows a computer to create and record high-quality sound.

How Laptops Work

Laptops are now as popular as desktops, and the price gap is closing. Learn about laptops, upgrading laptop memory, using a laptop, and read laptop reviews.

What are system resources, and why do I run out of them?

In many cases, an "out of memory" message is misleading, since your whole system really did not run out of memory. Instead, certain areas of memory used by Windows have run low on space.

What does Alt+F4 do?

Will this keyboard combination shut your computer down or render it inoperable? It's not likely, but it's always better to ask.

Is it better to turn my computer off or leave it on all the time?

Several factors determine whether you should leave your computer on or off overnight. Networking, economic factors, and stressed-out components all play a part.