Component

Computers are made up of many different parts, such as a motherboard, CPU, RAM, and hard drive. Each of these parts are made up of smaller parts, called components.

For example, a motherboard includes electrical connectors, a printed circuit board (PCB), capacitors, resistors, and transformers. All these components work together to make the motherboard function with the other parts of the computer. The CPU includes components such as integrated circuits, switches, and extremely small transistors. These components process information and perform calculations.

Generally speaking, a component is a element of a larger group. Therefore, the larger parts of a computer, such as the CPU and hard drive, can also be referred to as computer components. Technically, however, the components are the smaller parts that make up these devices.

Component may also refer to component video, which is a type of high-quality video connection. A component connection sends the video signal through three separate cables — one for red, green, and blue. This provides better color accuracy than composite video (typically a yellow connector), which combines all the color signals into a single cable.

Updated 2006

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