Motherboard, also referred to as a system board, is the main circuit board inside a computer. It connects input, processing and output devices. Some other important parts of a computer system are storage devices, ports and connections.
In order to transfer files from one computer to another one, you need smaller storage devices which you can carry easily from one place to another. These storage devices are used to store digital information. The commonly used storage devices are USB flash drive, hard disk, CD, DVD, etc., as shown in Figure 3.14. They mainly differ in their storage capacity (how much data they can store).
You may have heard of a computer with data storage capacity of 500 MB or 2GB. What does that mean? Data is stored in the form of bits and bytes. Bit (Binary Digit, represented by 0 or 1) is the smallest storage unit. Eight bits combined together form a byte, which in turn represents a character (numerals/letters/symbols).
- 8 bits make a byte and 1024 bytes make a kilobyte (KB).
- 1024 KB make 1 megabyte (MB)
- 1024 megabyte make 1 gigabyte (GB)
- 1024 gigabyte make 1 terabyte (TB)
More the number of bytes, the larger and more the number of files can be stored.
Ports and connections
How do you think we connect our keyboard or mouse to the CPU? We do it with the help of wires. Where do you think the wires go in the CPU? The slots or channels into which we connect the mouse/keyboard/external hard disk wires are called ports. Thus, ports help us connect input, output and storage devices in a computer system. There are several types of ports that you can use to connect a computer to external devices and networks. These are:
- Universal serial bus or the USB port which connects peripheral devices, such as a mouse or a keyboard or a printer to a computer using the cable.
- Display port which connects the monitor, or any display unit, to the computer using the cable. These can be of different types, like Video Graphics Array (VGA) and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), depending on the requirement.
- Audio ports help to connect microphone, speakers, and headphones to a computer system. Often, the speaker and headphone port is called the line out port, i.e., it is meant for sound output.
- Ethernet port is used for connecting the system to high speed Internet cable.
- Power port is used for connecting the computer system to the power supply.