There are many hardware components that make up a computer and most are vital parts needed as without them the computer can’t function. The components of a computer are described below: Processor The processor is also known as the central processing unit (CPU) and is considered the brain of the computer because it fetches and executes instructions. It can carry out arithmetical, logical and input/output operations for the computer and perform them in sequence – known as the fetch-execute cycle. The CPU is directly connected to the motherboard, and often has a specific slot on the motherboard meaning that only certain processing units can be used. The back of the CPU is covered in small, gold-plated pins that slide into the motherboard; the top of the CPU is covered in a grey paste that acts as a thermal conductor between the heat sink and the processor. A fan sits on top of the heat sink and together they stop the processor from overheating when it is executing multiple instructions at once. Most processors now have multiple cores which increases performance and allows the processor to execute more instructions per second. This has numerous benefits such as enhanced performance and lower power consumption. Motherboard The motherboard is a printed circuit board that connects the components in a computer together and is the foundation of every computer, it can be considered the heart of a computer. Components such as the CPU, RAM, power supply and hard drive are connected to the motherboard. The motherboard can direct the power flow through each component of the computer and allows the components to communicate with each other. Like the CPU, each component within the computer has an allocated slot on the motherboard which connects the components to the computer system. Not all motherboards have the same layout or slots, therefore when building a computer the components must be the right type otherwise they cannot be connected to the motherboard. The motherboard is screwed into the side/bottom of the computer casing.