I want to know more about the electronic competent of the computer, but I don't know where to start.

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 16, 2017
I am a 24 young student at Camosun College located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Since I was young, I was curious about what is inside things such as phones, tv's, remotes...
My dad, he had an old computer that he doesn't use anymore, so I have decided to open it to check what is inside it. That day it was the first time I saw what is inside a CPU machine. I was amazed by everything, the motherboard, ram, CPU, hard disk...
So from that day, I have decided to study the hardware of computers. I really want to know how each component of the computer works such as CPU, Graphics card, ram, chipset. How they are designed, how they understand or interact with each other, and if it is possible to know how to design them.
I am studying a diploma in Electronics and computer engineering, So far we are at the beginning and we are studying about circuit analysis(DC, AC, Method of analysis, Transformers...) at the same time I am studying digital electronics(Integrated circuit, gates AND OR...)
Are there any advice how can I expand my knowledge and get beyond the college since I have so much project I want to do but I don't know where to start. Moreover, the school they don't teach that much, I spend hours reading my textbook so I can briefly understand the concept rather than explained in class



Joined Mar 30, 2015
Welcome to AAC!

Start by studying every element on this diagram:

Newer graphics cards are PCI-E or may be included with the CPU.


Joined Mar 6, 2017
Having learned about components at a hardware level and also learned about microcontroller programming it still amazes me how you go from a circuit built with discrete components into a machine that understands op-code or assembler!

For that reason, if you are already studying digital logic and logic gates you may want to take a look at FPGAs which are essentially chips built with combinations of logic gates. This may help you to understand how we go from discrete components into a larger system.


Joined Mar 31, 2012
A VERY good starting point is the project Nand2Tetris. Over the course of 12 projects you will build up a more-or-less complete computer starting with nothing but NAND gates and D-type flip flops. You will build (in simulation/emulation) everything from the other basic logic gates to the more complex logic gates to the arithmetic/logic unit to the memory to the data path and the instruction set architecture. Then you'll write an assembler and a stack-oriented virtual machine. Then a compiler for a high-level object-oriented language, and finally an operating system library. Along the way you will get a very decent understanding of how all the basic parts of a computer work together, which will give you a good foundation for understanding today's more complicated architectures.


Joined Jun 19, 2017
I do not know much about computer architecture but I would like to give one advice. You can learn computer architecture by using two method
  1. Top to down design method
  2. Bottom to top design method
Top to down design method : In this method you will divide the parts of the computer architecture into small pieces.
  • Processor
  • Primary Storage Devices RAM (Random Access Memory) ROM (Read Only Memory)
  • Secondary Storage Devices HDD (Hard Disk Drive) Optical Drives (CDROM, DVD, etc) Floppy Disk drive
  • SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply)
  • Input Devices
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse


Then study each part's and Make that part smaller. For example processor, study processor, find out what is use of processor in computer design . Then divide processor module in various small part


study the basic features of processor and find out their use in computer system
  • CPU
  • Memory
  • Program counter
  • ALU
  • registers
  • interrupt
ALU : find out use of ALU in computer system
  • airthmatic operation
  • logical operation
storage memory
  • RAM memory
  • ROM Memory
  • EPROM Memory

  • Memory address register
  • memory data register
Register : study the use of register in memory
  • flip flop
  • latch
Flip flop : study the use of flip flop in register
  • transistor
  • resistor
  • diode
  • capacitor
From above method You will not be able to make a computer but you will understand basic part of computer and why they are used in computer system

wait I will explain bottom to top design


Joined Jun 19, 2017
study the basic of electronics component
resistor capacitor diode inductor transistor

these are analog component you can think like computer system is made of these basic components

Study te basics of digital logic

Now you have knowledge of analog component so that you can make digital component or circuit
AND, OR , NOT, XOR XNOR basic gate

Now you have knowledge of clock and gate so that you can make flip flop
D flip flop , T flip flop, JK flip flop, SR flip

Now you have knowledge of gates so that you can make adder divider subtractor
Half adder , full adder ..etc

Now you have knowledge of flip flop so that you can make register and counter

Now You have knowledge of arithmatic unit and logic unit so that you can make your ALU

Now you have knowledge of register so that you can make your Storage memory (RAM , ROM)

Now You have ALU, Memory , Program counter and register so that you can make your CPU

just go for further step to implement other features like audio , video, blue tooth , wifi

Making a computer is not so easy. I am not expert but I think you can learn lot of things by doing this way.

I hope it will help you ....

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Joined Jan 6, 2014
I think it really depends on whether your going down to component level or the modular level, you can understand what each module does without needing to understand why it does it.

When you go down to component level, the subject really blends into general electronics, not computers.