In This Chapter
Studying the console's insides
Examining the motherboard
Understanding the processor
Working with expansion cards
Setting the clock
Knowing about the chipset
Supplying the console with power
Some people have a certain fascination with wanting to know what makes things tick. They take stuff apart and look at the pieces and somehow glean understanding. Then, amazingly, they put everything back together and it all still works. I've tried that approach myself: taking apart various household items, understanding how they work, and putting them back together. The technique works well for appliances, less so for pets.
The computer console isn't something you want to completely take apart and put back together. It's just too important to risk such a thing, especially if you mistrust computers in the first place. Still, the console is the heart of your PC. Though opening it up may not be appropriate, it does help to know what goes on inside the box.
A lot of interesting doodads and goobers dwell safely inside the PC's bosom. You can't see them (well, unless the case is translucent), but they exist. Despite their concealment, those components play a key role in your computer system. As the master of the PC, you should know what those doodads and goobers are, what they do, and — most importantly — what their real names are and how to properly pronounce them.
If you dared to remove the cover from your PC, you would see ...