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Computer Anatomy

The Master Boot Record (MBR)
The Master Boot Record, created when you create the first partition on the hard disk, is probably the most important data structure on the disk. It is the first sector on every disk. The location is always track (cylinder) 0, side (head) 0, and sector 1. More ...

CPU Sockets Roundup
For current and upcoming motherboards, the PGA package is being replaced by the LGA (Land Grid Array) package. With a LGA the pins are on the socket and they make contact with gold-plated copper pads on the processor. More ...

Network Interface Card (NIC)
A Network Interface Card (NIC) is an expansion card that allows a PC to connect to a network. Though there are many different types of networks, PCs almost always use a NIC that interfaces to a wireless network or an Ethernet network. More ...

Understanding Your PC's CPU Clock Speed and Front Side Bus
The CPU or Central Processing Unit is the brains of any computer and the two major manufacturers are Intel and AMD or Advanced Micro Devices. For many years Intel CPUs were found in nearly all PCs. And now the Intel is found in most systems but the newer Athlon class CPU from AMD have taken a large chunk of the CPU market. More ...

Hard Drives - ATA versus SATA
with data rates hitting the 133MB/sec mark the parallel ATA standard is maxing out, thus industry leaders got together and came up with a new standard known as Serial ATA (SATA). More ...

Rambus DRAM (RDRAM)
Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) is a proprietary memory technology, designed by the Rambus Corporation, that is found in some Pentium III and Pentium 4 systems built between 2000 and 2002. When it was introduced it run at faster speed than conventional SDRAM. When DDR SDRAM was released, RDRAM became obsolete. More ...

Anatomy of a Hard Drive
A hard drive contains a spinning metal disk. The surfaces of the disk have a magnetizable coating. An actuator arm with a read/write head on its end is passed over the surface of the spinning disk. More ...

Motherboard Basics
A motherboard, also known as a main board, is the primary circuit board inside of a computer, and is where the central processing unit (CPU), memory, expansion slots, drives, and other peripheral devices are connected. More ...

How Does the CPU Cache Work?
CPU's however use a 2 level cache system. The principles are the same. The level 1 cache is the fastest and smallest memory, level 2 cache is larger and slightly slower but still smaller and faster than the main memory. More ...

Basic PC Anatomy Inkjet Printers
There are two main inkjet technologies, thermal and piezo-electric. Thermal technology uses silicon wafer heating elements, Epson uses a proprietary piezo electric technology. More ...

Intermediate PC Build-it-Yourself Guide
Before you get out your tool kit and put your anti-static mat on the floor, you have to consider a few factors before embarking on your computer-building odyssey? Now don't panic - it's not as complicated as it seems. More ...

General Overview Of Motherboards
Everyone hears the term motherboard and wonders exactly what it is? The motherboard will contain connection points for your CPU (Central Processing Unit), Hard drive, RAM (Random Access Memory), Video Card, and Power Supply. More ...