Do you know what makes your computer tick?

 

The hardware components of the computer system are the parts of the computer that can be handled physically. They are the basic part upon which the computer software runs. Unlike the software which can be modified, created, or deleted, the hardware part of the computer are changed infrequently. Because they are physical, they are susceptible to damages. Hence, the reason they are changed.

Computer hardware does not just apply to our personal desktop or laptops as we see it. There are many other systems such as cars, DVD players, ovens, etc. that also use computer hardware. Here are 10 computer hardware and their importance.

The Motherboard
The name "Motherboard" is very suitable for this hardware. It is a circuit board – the computer's main circuit board that contains different components that are soldered and non-removable, as well as the removable ones with slots or sockets. It is the part of the computer that houses the CPU chips, and the ROM and RAM chips, etc.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU is like the computer's brain that takes instructions and works on them. It applies the program instructions to the input data then turns it into an output. There are two components of the CPU. These are the Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) and the Control Unit.

  • The Arithmetic and Logic Unit is the part of the CPU responsible for executing the instructions. It is able to convert data to diverse internal formats, as well as compare data, multiply and add numbers, etc.
  • The Control Unit is responsible for "housekeeping." It ensures the swift processing of the instructions in its proper sequence and only works on correct data

To put it in one sentence, the CPU is the life of the computer.

computer hardware

Monitor/ Display Screen
This is an essential part of the computer as it is the part that users relate to the most. It is an output device that works just the same as a TV and basically shows the users' activities on the screen. Monitors vary among different computers in both resolution and size. The screen size varies from sizes as small as 12 -14 inches to the bigger 40+ inches used for video conferences. The difference in the resolution also depends on different technical factors.

The Keyboard
This is an important input device on the computer system. It is one means by which information can enter the computer. This information is usually displayed first on the computer's monitor. The keyboard has a layout similar to the typewriter which was modeled after. While the QWERTY layout of the keyboard was designed to slow down the typewriter operator to prevent the keys from getting stuck it is now counter-productive on computers being able to process the input faster

The Mouse – Pointing Device
The mouse is another input device that is essential for moving and pointing on the monitor. The outer part is plastic molded and the bottom has a small bat. It is designed so that it fits right into the palm and can be moved easily by the hand. The small ball at the bottom rolls as the mouse is moved over a flat surface. This movement corresponds with the pointer or cursor which is seen on the monitor.

The mouse also has two buttons – the right and left buttons – which can be used for showing menu items, selecting icons, or tracing drawings on the monitor. The trackball in between the two mouse buttons also does the work of the mouse. It can be manipulated to move the cursor on the monitor without having to move the mouse around a surface.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
The RAM is made up of silicon microchips with millions of small transistors. It is very similar to the CPU chips in this regard and the technology is based on the Law of Moore. One chip of a RAM can hold up hundreds of Megabyte. These chips are pre-soldered on some memory circuit boards known as SIMMS or DIMMS (Single/Dual In-line Memory Modules).

There are two types of RAM: Cache memory which operates at the same speed with the CPU and Flash RAM which is made of RAM chips. It is not as volatile as the normal RAM and can hold content even in the absence of external power.

Read-only memory (ROM)
The ROM is also made of electronic microchips and is able to retain its content when power switches off. ROM is used for holding program instructions that can't be changed throughout the life of the computer because the content of ROM is impossible or very difficult to remove. For instance, ROM is used mainly for storing a boot program which is the instructions that the computer follows to perform self-diagnosis when it's switched on. This tells the computer how it will load the OS from secondary storage.

ROM has different forms which include PROM (Programmable Read-Only Memory), EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory,) and EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory).

Printers and plotters
These are output devices that are popular for producing computer output that is permanent and paper-based. There is a distinction which divides printers into two types: impact printers and non-impact printers. Impact printers use a needle or hammer hitting the inked ribbon so that it leaves the desired impression on the paper. But non-impact printers do not have many parts moving mechanically, so they are more reliable and also much quieter.

There are different types of printers that are in use currently. They are Dot-matrix printers, Laser printers, Thermal printers, Inkjet printers, plotters, chain, and line printers.

Power Supply
This is a device that takes power to the different components of the computer as its name suggests. The outer case has a voltage control, transformer, and a fan. It is responsible for supplying low-voltage DC power to the different internal components of the computer, which converts from 100-120 volts of AC power. This power supply is usually built in a way that conforms to the ATX form factor. With this, it is enabled to interchange with other components in the computer.

Power Supply
This is a device that takes power to the different components of the computer as its name suggests. The outer case has a voltage control, transformer, and a fan. It is responsible for supplying low-voltage DC power to the different internal components of the computer, which converts from 100-120 volts of AC power. This power supply is usually built in a way that conforms to the ATX form factor. With this, it is enabled to interchange with other components in the computer.

 

Author's Bio:
Michael Gorman is a highly skilled freelance writer and proofreader from the UK. He currently works at assignment help where he provides dissertation service and other writing services. Being interested in everyday development, he writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence every day.

 

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