Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements which constitutes a system. Computer hardware is the physical parts or, Computer Components which are the monitor, keyboard, mouse, computer data storage, hard disk drive (HDD), system unit which includes graphic cards, sound cards, memory, motherboard and chips. All of these are physical objects. They can be touched and seen.
Software is instructions that can be stored and run by hardware. Software is machine-readable instructions which direct a computer’s processor to perform specific operations. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system.
Learn About Computer Components:
The following basic components consist of a computer.
The main Computer Components are-
- Power supply,
- Expansion card,
- Hard disk drive,
- Modem and
The power supply is in the case. The component is generally mentioned separately and there are various types of power supplies. A power supply unit can convert alternating current (AC) electric power to low- voltage DC power for the internal components of the computer. But laptops can run from a charged battery for a certain period.
The system unit is the heart of a computer system. Usually it’s a rectangular box. Inside the box there are many electronic components that can process information. The most important of these components is the central processing unit (CPU), or microprocessor. It acts as the “brain” of the computer. It can perform commands and instructions and control the operation of the computer.
Another component is Random Access Memory (RAM). It temporarily stores information. The CPU uses the information at the time of opening the computer. The information stored in RAM is automatically erased when the computer is turned off. So, the system unit is very important to the computer. The Read Only Memory (ROM) can store the BIOS when the computer is powered on.
The motherboard is the main component of a computer. It is a large rectangular board with integrated circuitry connecting the other parts of the computer including the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the RAM, disk drives that are CD, DVD, hard disk, or any others. The support cards for video, sound, networking and more are set into this board.
Almost every other part of your computer connects to the system unit using cables. The cables plug into specific ports (openings), typically, on the back of the system unit. Hardware is not part of the system unit. It can be called a peripheral device.
The Computer has one or more disk drives which are devices that can store information on a metal or plastic disk. The disk will preserve the information if your computer is turned off.
Hard Disk Drive
Your computer’s hard disk drive stores a lot of information on a hard disk, a rigid platter or stack of platters with a magnetic surface. Hard disks can store the information; Hold almost all programs and files. The hard disk drive is normally set inside the system unit.
CD and DVD Drives
All computers today come equipped with a CD or DVD drive. Usually it is placed on the front of the system unit. CD drives use lasers to read (retrieve) data from a CD; many CD drives can also write (record) data onto CDs. Having a recordable disk drive, you can store copies of your files on blank CDs. Using a CD drive, you can play music CDs on your computer.
DVD drives can do everything what CD drives can do and read DVDs. Using DVD drive you can watch movies on your computer. Many DVD drives can record information onto blank DVDs.
A floppy is a small disk storage device. Today typically it has about 1.4 Megabytes of memory capacity.
The drives are placed on the motherboard. However, you can add additional controllers too.
Computer Components – The Mouse
A mouse is a small device which is used to point to and select items on the computer screen. Mice come in different shapes. The typical mouse looks a bit like an actual mouse. It’s small, oblong, and connected to the system unit with a long wire that looks like a tail. But newer mice are wireless.
A mouse usually has two buttons: A primary button (usually called the left button) and a secondary button. Many mice also have a wheel between the two buttons that allows you to scroll smoothly through screens of information.
If you run the mouse with your hand, a pointer on your screen runs in the same direction. If you want to select an item, you will point to the item, and then click -press and release, the primary button. Pointing and clicking with your mouse is the main technique to interact with your computer. The mouse has many more functions.
A monitor can display information using text and graphics in visual form. The front part of the monitor that displays the information is called the screen. Like a television screen, a computer screen can show still or moving pictures.
There are two basic types of monitors: one is CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors and the newer LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors. Both types can produce sharp images, but LCD monitors have the advantage of being much thinner and lighter.
You can type text into computer through a keyboard. It has keys for letters and numbers but it also has special keys. On the top row, the function keys perform different functions. The numeric keypad is placed on the right side of most keyboards to enter numbers. The navigation keys- the arrow keys are used to move within the text. You can use keyboard performing many of the same tasks that you can perform with a mouse.
Modems connects a computer to the Internet. A modem is a device that can send and receive computer information through a telephone line or high-speed cable. Modems can be sometimes set into the system unit, but higher-speed modems are usually separate components.
Speakers are usually used to play sound. They can be connected with cables. Speakers produce music.
A printer can transfer information from a computer onto paper. You can print email, cards, invitations, announcements, own photos at home and other material. The two main types of printers are inkjet printers and laser printers. Inkjet printers are the most popular printers for the home. They can print in black and white or in full color, and can print high-quality photographs. Laser printers can work faster.
All these are the main Computer Components. Reading the article, you have now learnt the functions of different components of a computer, and hope you will be more knowledgeable for the experience.