PC : The evolution of hardware components

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PC : The evolution of hardware components


The PC or personnal computer has greatly evolved over the years. This tutorial aims to demonstrate this evolution over the the past 25 years.



The first monitors used the cathode ray tube technology

And then came the flat screen monitor (LCD and LED)




VGAVideo Graphics Array
DVIDigital Visual Interface
HDMIHigh-Definition Multimedia Interface


Mini tower

  • The advantage of the mini tower is that it takes up little space (compact).

Conventional towers


  • Server towers allows the proper cooling of your hardware.

Power Supply

  • Many people don't realize the importance of the power supply.
  • It supplies electricty to all the other component.
  • A poor power supply can damage your equipment!

To calculate the power required by your current hardware, read: http://ccm.net/faq/10480-calculate-the-power-of-a-power-supply



ATX 80+

Since 2004, a new series of power supplies are available on the market.
The "80+ Certified" means that it actually works at 80% of its characteristics.
Example: A 800W power supply will have a minimal floor of 640W.

Corsair AX1500i 80+ Titanium

The 80+ models work at 80%
The 80+ Bronze models work at 82%
The 80+ Silver models work at 85%
The 80+ Gold models work at 87%
The 80+ Platinum models work at 89%
The 80+ Titanium models work at 90%


The motherboard is a vital component of the PC.


During the ten last years, motherboard have been upgraded with:
  • The PCIexpress,
  • The SATA 1,2,3
  • New sockets
  • A greater number of ports
  • RAM DDR 1,2,3...)
  • USB 2.0,3.0

Here is an overview of the evolution of motherboards from 2000 to 2010:

Aopen AX4BS 2001MSI K8NM nForce 3 2004
Gigabyte GA-X58A 2007AsusP7F7-E WS 2010

Processor (CPU)



Cache L2, L3


Intel Pentium 120Mhz released in 1995

Pentium and Pentium MMX from 1993 to 1999

Intel Pentium 2 333Mhz SocketPPGA-B615Intel Pentium 3 733Mhz Socket Slot 1 / SC242Intel Pentium 3 800Mhz Socket 370

AMD Athlon 1.6Ghz Socket A

The Athlon Barton is a special version of the AMD processor (2003 -2004). It was the easy to overclock.

How to identify an Athlon Barton from other Athlon processors

The middle section the Athlon Barton is larger.

Graphic cards




Integrated to the Motherboard. Don't expect it to run the latest games.

The evolution of GPU

The evolution of GPUs over the last 10 years:

AGP (8X)

PCI express (1X)

PCI express (16X) Ati Radeon HD 4650 1Gb DDR3 launched in 2010

Hard disk (HDD)

There are several types of HDD
3,5' (PC Desktop) PATA (IDE)3,5' (PC Desktop) SATA
2,5' (PC Laptops) PATA (IDE)2,5' (PC Laptops) SATA

External (USB and E-sata)SSD

CD/DVD drives (CD, DVD, BR)


There are several variants of the CD
CD-R (700Mb)
CD+R (700Mb)
CD-RW (700Mb) (Rewritable)

DVD-R (4,7Gb)
DVD+R (4,7Gb)
DVD-RW (4,7Gb) (Rewritable)

The Blu-ray (100GB)
27 Gb (simple layer)
50 Gb (double layer)
100 Gb (triple layer)

The Aopen DVD released in 2007

The DVD SATA burner from 2008
The DVD PATA IDE burner from 2006


-The "MHz" of the RAM will determine the data capacity that can be stored in real time.
-The "CL"version of your RAM will determine the speed.

CIMM (Max 32Mb)


Minimal frequency 100Mhz
Maximal frequency 133Mhz

32Mb & 64Mb SDR 100Mhz

Minimal frequency 100Mhz
Maximal frequency

512Mb DDR 400Mhz CL3 cooled by a Cooler Master unit

TakeLS 1Gb DDR 400Mhz CL3
  • DDR2

AE 1Gb DDR2 555Mhz CL3

Kingston 1Gb DDR2 800Mhz CL6

RAM Laptop:
Samsung 2X 1Gb DDR2 555Mhz
Kingston 1Gb DDR2 667Mhz



  • Mono
  • Stereo
  • Home cinema 2.1
  • Home cinema 5.1
  • Home cinema 7.1


  • Jack
  • Optical Fiber
  • HDMI

Hardware components


Connect 2 pins


Seperates the motherboard from the chassis

Operating system (OS)

  • Windows 95

  • Windows 98

  • Windows 2000

  • Windows XP

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
Jean-François Pillou

CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jeff Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.

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