What Is Computer Hardware and Components?
A computer is an electronic device which can compute according to the provided input and software. Computer mainly consists of two main components named
Computer Hardware and
Computer Software. Computer Hardware provides physical facilities to run the computer software.
Before starting to describe the Computer hardware we have to learn computer types. Because the hardware can change according to the computer type. There is 3 main type of computer according to their hardware and use case.
Desktop Computeris used in desktops in a fixed way. Desktop computers provide daily usage or some special use cases like graphic design etc.
Laptopis used for mobility where it all hardware is integrated into a single part for mobility and efficiency.
Serveris used for business and enterprise applications for reliability, performance. Servers generally do not have a fixed monitor or advanced GPU in most cases.
Computer Hardware Parts
Computers are a complex system where it has a lot of different components and parts. Here will list most popular of them. We will explain them in detail in the following parts.
- Motherboard – Mainboard
- Hard Disk Drive (HDD) – SSD
- Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)
- Network Interface Card (NIC) – Ethernet Card, Wireless
- Optic Drives – CDROM/DVDROM
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Central Processing Unit or CPU is the heart of the computer where most of the data, control are done in the CPU. Software instructions run on CPU and this software controls other components of the computer hardware via CPU communication. There are two well-known CPU producers named Intel and AMD where most of the computer CPUs are manufactured by them. CPU has a connection to most of the computer hardware for communication and management purposes.
Motherboard – Mainboard
Mainboard or Motherboard is the main component of the computer where all other hardware is connected via different ways. First of all CPU, RAM, HDD is connected into the mainboard where monitor, keyboard, mouse and similar hardware is connected via different cables like USB, HDMI, VGA, etc.
Random Access Memory (RAM )
While running a PC the operations and data should be stored in a memory where it is fast. Random Access Memory or RAM is the memory where all actively used data is stored. RAM provides volatile memory where when the computer is turned off all its data is lost which is an advantage because this provides speed to the RAM. Higher memory or RAM means we can run multiple applications in the same time.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) – SSD
RAM is used for volatile memory to store data while running computer. We also need some persistent memory which will be stored even the computer turned off. Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is used store data permanently where it can be changed explicitly too. SSD is a new flash technology which provides faster data read and write performance for disks.
Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)
Video Card or with its new name Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) is used to calculate graphics and visual elements to the monitor. GPU provides performative parallel processing. 3D designs, games generally require strong GPU. Nvidia has a lot of powerfull GPU products where Intel provides entry-level less pricy integrated GPU.
Optic Drives – CDROM/DVDROM
Optic Drives or CDROM/DVDROM is used to store data in CD/DVD in optical ways. So transmitting and storing big data can be done very cheaply. But with the current advenements in USB Flash Drives and internet, CD and DVD has lost its popularity.
Network Interface Card (NIC) – Ethernet Card, Wireless
What makes a computer real computer is a connection to the internet or an intranet. In order to connect internet, we have to use some computer network and its resources. The connection is generally done with a Network Interface Card (NIC) which is generally an Ethernet Card or Wireless Card.
Monitor output hardware where the computer software interfaces and applications output are shown. Monitors connected to the GPU or Mainboard via VGA, HDMI, DVI connection and show the operating system, application GUI in a graphical manner.
The mouse is input hardware where the mouse in the operating system can be controlled. The mouse is used to click, select different functions, button, windows which can be seen from the monitor.
The keyboard is another important input hardware where we mainly provide commands, text, numeric data into the computer software like browser, word processor, etc. Keyboards are generally designed to the according to the user’s language and alphabet but generally will be compatible with the English language and letters.