You may want to see the components that make up your PC console, the PC’s guts. For a peek inside a PC (without having to dissect your own), look no further. A PC’s insides are shown in this figure, which is a sideways view of a typical mini-tower PC — as though you removed the right side of the console and looked inside. (In the figure, the left side represents the front of the console.)

A peek inside the console.
A peek inside the console.

Missing from this figure are the myriad cables that festoon the console’s interior space; the typical PC’s console is a lot less roomy. And, if you’ve owned the computer for a while, some dust is in there too — maybe even cat hair!

The three main parts of the console’s tummy are

  • The disk drive cage: A contraption used to hold internal disk drives, an optical (DVD) drive, and a hard drive. The cage also has room for even more disk drives (the so-called “future expansion”).

  • The power supply: Feeds the console that all-important stuff called electricity.

  • The motherboard: The computer’s main circuitry board.

Everything inside the PC’s case is a modular component: Individual pieces can be replaced without having to toss out the entire console. Modularity is one of the keys to the PC’s success over the years.