Basic Parts of a Computer

By Jackie Pate

A computer is composed of hardware, not to be confused with software, which is installed on the hardware. The basic computer parts are the motherboard, processor, RAM, hard drive, video adapter and power supply. You have to have all these parts to build a basic computer.


The motherboard is the most important part of a computer. Every other computer part connects to the motherboard. If the motherboard does not work, none of the other parts will either.


The processor is the computer's brain. It is in charge of telling your computer what computer processes to do and when to do them.


RAM (Random Access Memory) is also known as computer memory, and it reads and writes data. RAM does not store information but can remember information while your computer is on. Once you turn off your computer, any information stored in the RAM is erased. The more RAM your computer has, the faster it can run.

Hard Drive

A hard drive stores your computer programs and files. Unlike RAM, a hard drive stores and remembers information.

Video Adapter

The video adapter allows your display device to display a picture from your computer. Video adapters are also referred to as agraphics card, video board, video controller, and video card.

Power Supply Unit

A power supply unit supplies power too all of the computer components. Without this you would not be able to turn your computer on.