The most common type of personal computer is the desktop computer—a PC that
is designed to sit on (or under) a desk or table. These are the systems you sec all
around you, in schools, homes, and offices, and they are the main focus of this subject.
A desktop is intended to be used on a single location. The spare parts of a desktop computer are
readily available at relatively lower costs. Power consumption is not as critical as that in laptops
are widely popular for daily use in the workplace and households.
Today's desktop computers are far more powerful than those of just a few years ago, and are used for an amazing array of tasks. Not only do these machines enable people to do their jobs with greater ease and efficiency, but they can be used to communicate, produce music, edit photographs and videos, play sophisticated games, and much more. Used by everyone from preschoolers to nuclear physicists, desktop computers are indispensable for learning, work, and play.
Fig. 1: desktop computer
As its name implies, a desktop computer is a full-size computer that is too big
to be carried around. The main component of a desktop PC is the system unit,
which is the case that houses the computer's
critical parts, such as its processing and storage devices. There are two common
designs for desktop computers. The
more traditional desktop model features a horizontally oriented system
unit, which usually lies flat on the top
of the user's desk. Many users place
their monitor on top of the system unit (see Fig. 1
Vertically oriented tower models
have become the more popular style of desktop system (see Fig. 1
). This design allows the user
to place the system unit next to or
under the desk, if desired.
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