A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for regular use at a single location on or near a desk or table due to its size and power requirements. The most common configuration has a case that houses the power supply, motherboard (a printed circuit board with a microprocessor as the central processing unit (CPU), memory, bus, and other electronic components), disk storage (usually one or more hard disk drives, solid state drives, optical disc drives, and in early models a floppy disk drive); a keyboard and mouse for input; and a computer monitor, speakers, and, often, a printer for output. The case may be oriented horizontally or vertically and placed either underneath, beside, or on top of a desk.
Desktop computers are designed to work at the table. Usually, they are bigger and more powerful than other types of personal computers. Desktop computers are made up of individual components. The main component is called the system unit - usually, it is a rectangular case that is on or under the table. Other components, such as the monitor, mouse and keyboard, are connected to the system unit.
As a rule, all additional external devices are connected to the PC system unit using special connectors. Their main part is located on its rear wall. Some, the most popular ones, are brought to the front, for example, USB connectors and audio outputs. The system unit itself consists of internal devices, called components.
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Main components of the desktop system unit:
- A CPU is the main information processing and computer control device.
- A video card is a device for processing two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics, as well as displaying an image on a monitor (screen).
- RAM - used for short-term storage of data during operation of the computer. When it is turned off, the information recorded in the RAM disappears.
- A storage device (hard disk) - used as the primary means for storing all user data and programs. Its capacity is much more than the amount of RAM, however, the speed of reading and writing information is less than when working with RAM.
- A motherboard is a complex device that combines all the components of a personal computer and ensures their well-coordinated work.
- An optical drive - a device for reading and writing information on optical CDs, DVDs and Blue-ray discs.
- A case - protects all components from harmful external influences (for example, moisture) and gives an aesthetic look to your computer.
- A power supply unit converts the alternating current of ordinary electric networks of high voltage (220 Volt) into direct current of low voltage (12 V, 5 V and 3 V), required for powering computer components.