Laptop Parts

A power supply for just about every electronic device on the market. Also called an "AC adapter" or a "charger" if used to recharge a battery, it plugs into the wall and converts AC current to a single DC voltage in most cases. There are also adapters that output a differentAC voltage. Laptops have both an external power adapter, also called a "power brick,"and an internal power supply. If an externalpower adapter is not used with an electronicproduct such as a desktop computer, the DC current is created in a power supply inside the unit.

A battery is a hardware component that supplies power to a device, enabling that device to work without a power cord.Batteries are often capable of powering a laptop computer for several hours depending on how much power it requires. Today, manyhigh-end devices such as computer laptops and cell phones use rechargeable batteries that allow a user to recharge the battery once depleted of energy. In the picture below, is an example ofwhat a laptop battery may look like when removed from the laptop with a close-up of the battery rating. There are three computer batteries types used with computers. First, is the backup battery, which iscommonlyreferred to as the CMOS battery that holds your computer's settings, such as the time and date. Without a CMOS battery you would have to reset the time,date, and other system settings each time the computer starts.Next, the bridge battery is only found in portablecomputers as a temporary backup for the main battery.A bridge battery allows you to remove the main batteryand replace it with a good battery without having to turn off the computer.Finally, the main battery in portable computersis an alternate source of energy for when thecomputer is not connected to a wall outlet.

A processor, or "microprocessor," is a small chip that resides in computers and other electronic devices.Its basic job is to receive input and provide theappropriate output. While this may seem like a simpletask, modern processors can handle trillions of calculations per second. The central processor of a computer is also knownas the CPU, or "central processing unit." Thisprocessor handles all the basic system instructions, such as processing mouse and keyboard input and running applications. Most desktop computers containa CPU developed by either Intel or AMD, both of which use the x86 processor architecture. Mobile devices, such as laptops and tablets may use Intel and AMD CPUs, but can also use specific mobile processors developed by companies like ARM or Apple. Modern CPUs often include multiple processing cores, which work together to process instructions. While these "cores" are contained in one physical unit, they are actually individual processors. In fact, if you view yourcomputer's performance with a system monitoring utility like Windows Task Manager (Windows) orActivity Monitor (Mac OS X), you will see separategraphs for each processor. Processors that include two cores are called dual-core processors, while those with four cores are called quad-core processors. Some high-end workstations contain multiple CPUs with multiplecores, allowing a single machine to have eight, twelve,or even more processing cores. Besides the central processing unit, most desktop and laptop computers also include a GPU.This processor is specifically designed for renderinggraphics that are output on a monitor. Desktop computers often have a video card that contains the GPU, while mobile devices usually contain agraphics chip that is integrated into the motherboard.By using separate processors for system and graphics processing, computers are able to handlegraphic-intensive applications more efficiently..
Alternatively referred to as optical media,optical storage, Optical disc drive (ODD),and optical disk, an optical disc is any media read using a laser assembly. The most common types of optical media are Blu-ray, CDs, and DVDs.Computers can read and write to CDs and DVDsusing a CD Writer or DVD Writer drive, and a Blu-ray is read with a Blu-ray drive.Drives such as a CD-R and DVD-R drive that can read and write information to discs areknown as magneto-optic (MO).There are three main types of optical media:CD, DVD, and Blu-ray disc. CDs can store up to 700 megabytes (MB) of data and DVDscan store up to 8.4 GB of data. Blu-ray discs, which are the newest type of opticalmedia, can store up to 50 GB of data. This storage capacity is a clear advantage over the floppy disk storage media (a magnetic media),which only has a capacity of 1.44 MB. Another advantage that optical media have over the floppy disk is that it can last up to 7 times longer, due to its improved durability.

Laptop cooler fans reduce the device's operating temperature which both limits heat exposure tothe hardware and makes the device itself more comfortable to use. Laptops include built-in coolingfans and can be placed on notebook cooler pads toreduce operating temperature. Prolonged heat exposureand component overheating can damage a computer'scomponents over time, whereas extreme overheating can actually break the system. Laptops have limited space to work with for cooling, which makes the coolingfans vital to the device's well-being. Internal laptop fans support faster speeds; however, the fans themselves don't make the computer faster. Laptops often employ an internal system fan that's connected to the Central Processing Unit and Graphics Processing Unitheat sink. The CPU and GPU are the two biggest heat producing components inside the laptop: they can produce enough heat without cooling tobreak themselves. Faster computer hardwaretends to produce more heat than slower computerhardware, but both tend to break around thesame temperature range. The internal fankeeps the CPU and GPU from damaging themselves.


A hard disk drive (sometimes abbreviated as Hard drive, HD, or HDD)is a device used to permanently store and also retrieve information.There are many variations, but their sizes are generally 3.5" and 2.5" for desktop and laptop computers respectively.A hard drive consists of one or more platters to which data is written using a magnetic head, all inside of an air-sealed casing. Internal hard disks reside in a drive bay, connect to the motherboard using an ATA, SCSI, or SATA cable, and are powered by a connection to the PSU (power supply unit). The images below show the components of a hard drive inside of both desktop and laptop computers. Data sent to and from the hard drive is interpreted by the disk controller, which tells the hard drive what to do and how to move the components within the drive. When the operating system needs to read or write information, it examines the hard drive's File Allocation Table (FAT) todetermine file location and available writeareas. Once they have been determined, the disk controller instructs the actuator to move the read/write arm and align theread/write head. Because files are oftenscattered throughout the platter, the head needs to move to different locations to access all information.All information stored on a traditional hard drive, like the above example, is done magnetically. After completing the above steps, if the computer needs to read information from the hard drive, it would read the magnetic polarities on the platter. One side of the magnetic polarity is 0, and the otheris 1. Reading this as binary data, the computer can understand what the data is on the platter. For thecomputer to write information to the platter, the read/write head aligns the magnetic polarities, writing 0's and 1's that can be read later.


External input device used to type data into some sort of computer system whether it be amobile device, a personal computer, or another electronic machine. A keyboard usually includes alphabetic, numerical,and common symbols used in everyday transcription.


A laptop motherboard is the primaryprinted circuit board (PCB) inside the laptop that contains the components that make the computer work. Most desktop computercases are of a similar size and use similarconfigurations, allowing them to use the sametypes of motherboards. Laptops, however, exist in many sizes and configurations, which means several different models of motherboards are required. A motherboard, sometimes called a system boardis included in all types of computers. Motherboards almost always contain sockets forchips, memory slots, firmware chips, and a power connector. Various electrical connectorsare etched on the motherboard to connect various components of the system. Severalkey components live on the motherboard, including the central processor unit (CPU), the chipset, the main random-access memory (RAM) area, and numerous other chips and connectors. Laptops, also called notebooks and netbooks, are designed to be mobile. A battery or a poweradapter provides the electrical power for a laptop.Significantly thinner and smaller than a desktop, the motherboard in a laptop must also be smaller. With a smaller motherboard, the components must be closer together, meaning the design of the laptop motherboard is extremely important. A poorly designed motherboard could cause problems with heat buildup or interferencebetween components. Laptop motherboards also might have an odd shape or several notches, allowing then to fit inside the thin laptop case, along with other necessary components. Desktop motherboards are primarily rectangular in shape with few notches.


Alternatively referred to as main memory, primary memory, or system memory, Random AccessMemory (RAM) is a hardware device that allows information to be stored and retrieved on a computer.RAM is usually associated with DRAM, which is a type of memory module. Because information is accessed randomly instead of sequentially like itis on a CD or hard drive, the computer can access the data much faster. However, unlike ROM or a the hard drive, RAM is a volatile memory and requires power to keep the data accessible; if power is lost all data contained in memory lost.As the computer boots, parts of the operatingsystem and drivers are loaded into memory, which allows the CPU to process the instructions faster and speedsup the boot process. After the operating system has loaded, each program you open,such as the browser you're using to view this page, is loaded into memory while it is running. If too many programs are open the computer will swap the data in the memory between the RAM and the hard disk drive.