Computer Parts-Chassis and Power Supply


The chassis consist of space for the motherboard, power supply, input/output connectors, expansion cards, expansion bays, switches and wires to connect them to the motherboard and indicator Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The motherboard in an ATX tower casing is screwed on to the right side panel of the chassis and the input/output connectors of the main protrude from the rear.

The expansion slots are on the bottom right side of the rare. The power supply is located on the top left side of the rear. While the power supply fan helps to cool the power supply, it also sucks out the hot air away from the CPU.

The chassis is usually made from steel, aluminum and/or plastic. Chassis come in various sizes defined using form factors. ATX is one of the most popular form factors, but according to the requirement different form factors may be used (e.g. tower, flatbed).

Form factors are a standard in motherboards. The form factor implies the dimensions where the screw holes, CPU, RAM, input/output connectors, expansion slots are located and the type of power connectors. Therefore it is clear that the chassis should have a certain standard. The type of motherboard it supports can be used to refer to the chassis, but there are some exceptions. Hence, a form factor for chassis has been developed according to their specific shape.

For example a chassis with an ATX motherboard and an ATX power supply may still take a chassis form factor like tower, flatbed.

The tower chassis can be further divided into mini-tower, mid-sized tower and full-size tower.

The flatbed chassis can be further divided into desktop and slim desktop.

The tower is taller and much more spacious, where as the flatbeds are morecompact and saves occupying space.

Power Supply

The power required by the computer system is supplied by the power supply. The power supply takes in 110 or 230 volts and converts it into voltages ranging from -12 to +12. The voltage selector lets the user select between 110 volts and 230 volts, which is based on the voltage of the main power source. In Sri Lanka it is 230 volts. If you select the wrong voltage it could cause permanent damage to your computer.

The main power is connected to the power supply through a power cable. The power required by the devices is supplied through the power connectors of the power supply. The power connectors come in different shapes and sizes. They also supply different voltages. To avoid the incorrect connection of the power connectors to the devices they usually have special shapes or keys.

Some of the power connectors are listed below.

* Mini plug - provides power to the floppy drive
* Molex power connector - provides power to hard drives, CD/DVD drives and SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) drives
* Motherboard power connector - These can defer according to the form factor of the motherboard, but their primary task is to provide power to the mother board.
* 12V ATX power connector - this is required to provide additional power to the Pentium 4 processor. This is plugged into the motherboard.
* SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) power connector - provides power to the SATA hard drive

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