Your Hardware Exposed! 22 PC Parts Bare All


You may know what the inside of a PC looks like, but what about the parts which make up your PC components? Over the past few years, we've dissected hard drives, keyboards, soundcards, and a plethora of other PC hardware, just to see what makes them tick. Here, we've picked out 22 of these autopsies to showcase. If you've ever wanted to see the guts of a netbook or the silicon that makes a network router work, read on!

Western Digital VelociRapter 3000BLS Hard Drive

Solid state drives are creeping toward affordability (and decent write speeds), but for all-around performance, there’s still no beating an old-school hard drive. The fastest one out there is the Western Digital VelociRaptor. Here’s what makes it tick.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card

It’s no longer in vogue to flash your bare chips to the world, so we cracked open a Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCI-E soundcard to see just what’s hiding inside this audio powerhouse.

12cm PC Case Fan

Without fans, our computers would be toasty inside. But how does this simplest of cooling devices actually work, and what’s the difference between a noisy fan and a quiet one? We delve into the inner workings of this miraculous device to unravel these mysteries.

Western Digital MyBook World Edition 1TB NAS

As hard drive capacity grows ever larger, home network–attached storage (NAS) is becoming more prevalent. Here’s a look inside a single-drive NAS from Western Digital.

Acer Aspire One ZG5 Netbook

The netbook (or mini-notebook) category burst out of nowhere in 2007, ushered in by Intel’s Atom platform and promising inexpensive, eminently portable computing to all. Here’s what you’ll find in a typical netbook.

Apple iPhone

We couldn’t find anyone willing to sacrifice a shiny new iPhone 3GS to the autopsy knife, so we put an OG iPhone under the blade, instead. Here’s what we found.

Amazon Kindle 2

While it’s easy to admire its E-Ink screen without cracking the Kindle 2’s case, we wanted to see what other hardware lies inside this tiny wonder.

PC Power and Cooling 1 KW-SR Power Supply

There’s an easy trick to telling the difference between a quality power supply and a cheap one—the heavier it is, the higher the quality. But just where the hell does that weight come from, and how does it aid operation? To find out, we cracked open a PC Power and Cooling 1KW-SR, which is about as heavy as they come.

Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard

Gaming keyboards come with all the bells and whistles: programmable macro keys, LED backlighting, even USB ports and custom profiles. Let’s take a closer look.

LG GBW-H20L Blu-ray Burner

Ever wonder about the gears and levers at work beneath the hood of a Blu-ray drive? We dismantle our favorite 6x burner, for an in-depth look.


Solid-state drives offer lightning-fast read speeds with no moving parts. Here’s what’s inside the OCZ Core 64GB drive. Hint: It’s pretty simple.

Belkin Vision N1 Router

One of the features we like about Belkin’s Vision N1 router is the large LCD that keeps you informed of your network’s status. Let’s see what goodies are inside.

Jabra BT5010 Bluetooth Headset

Ever wanted to rip one of these headsets out of an annoying chatterer’s ear and smash it into the ground? We did just that… to show you what’s inside!

Sonos ZonePlayer ZP120 Music Streamer

The newly updated streaming box adds 802.11n support to its original kick-ass chassis, but what else lies under the hood?

Zalman ZM-M220W 3D Monitor

Zalman’s monitor pushes the limits of stereoscopic technology by packing three dimensions into a single LCD panel. Here’s how it works!

SanDisk Sansa e200 MP3 Player

Even though it’s two years old, the e200 remains one of the most feature-rich MP3 players we’ve tested. We pop the top to see what powers this beast.

Guitar Hero X-Plorer Guitar

We didn’t bash it against a stage, but we are disassembling the standard controller for Aspyr’s Guitar Hero 3 PC game to see how plastic parts translate to onscreen shredding.

Magellan RoadMate GPS

The RoadMate 6000T is a bit hefty, but who can argue with its integrated traffic alerts, Bluetooth, and full text-to-speech capabilities? We crack open a unit to find out what’s in a GPS these days.

Vudu HD Movie Box

Based on its performance and price point (which has dropped from $400 to $300), we predicted we’d find a laptop motherboard with a low-power CPU and perhaps either an inexpensive GPU or integrated graphics when we peeled open this high-definition movie box. Man, were we off base.

X-Fi PCI Sound Card

The soundcard still rules the audio fidelity and performance roost. Here’s a look at what makes the popular and powerful X-Fi series tick.

D-Link DGS-2208 Gigabit Ethernet Switch

An Ethernet switch is the most vital component in your wired local area network (LAN), aside from your DSL cable modem. We took apart this D-Link DGS-2208 to see what’s inside.

NetGear Powerline Networking

Traditional Ethernet cable and reliable Wi-Fi signals simply can’t reach some locations. That’s where powerline networking adapters come in. Whether it’s a security camera in a Wi-Fi-free location or simply a streaming box in your basement, a relatively low-speed easy connection isn’t always a bad thing.

Around the web