Understanding Computer Hardware and Components

Computer hardware is something that can be confusing enough. We have a rough understanding of what computers are and how they function; however, we do not understand much about the functions of computer hardware and why these are important for use. It is important to note that computer hardware and components are important for our system; the hardware parts are the central part of a computer that allows the machine to carry out the tasks efficiently.

It is known to us that the computer starts working when the hardware power is on. Computer hardware can be defined as plain magnetic or electronic or electric device that carries out various computing functions. Hardware is basically the physical component of computer like the motherboard, RAM, hard disk and microprocessor. There are some additional peripheral devices as well, such as the keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, printer etc. The programs running on computer, such as Photoshop, Windows etc are basically the software components that are equally important.

Computer hardware can also be defined in yet another way. Hardware components are basically devices that act as executors of commands that are being provided by some software applications. For instance, you might want to see what actually happens when you are clicking on the print button of browsing software. You will see that some commands are provided to computer process, which acts as the central part of your computer hardware. Processor would check for the device that is required to carry out the task and get the job done. There would be series of steps involved according to the requirement of the software application and the process through which the hardware has to function.

The microprocessor is the main source of keeping the computer hardware alive. The microprocessor functions exactly light the sun for the solar system. It is considered to be the major component and the mother of all components. It has been integrated into a chip with all the functions specifically incorporated in it. There are 2 specifications that would determine the efficiency of the microprocessor – the processing speed and the bit rate. The commonly available microprocessors are of 32 and 64 bit. Bit rate of microprocessors measures the efficiency of each processor for carrying out various operations simultaneously.

It is impossible to define computer hardware without talking about the memory types that are used for the same – permanent memory and random access memory or RAM is the two basic memory types that are used. The permanent memory is also called magnetic storage capacity of the hard disk, and is measured as gigabytes. The second one is RAM which can store data once the computer is powered. The memory loses all data once is computer is powered off.

Motherboard is the next most important computer hardware component that one cannot miss when defining the different parts that make a complete computer system. The motherboard is an electronic circuit designed in the form of a board. It is on this board that all computer components are parts are inserted for functioning. Sound cards, network card, data card, modem and video card are all inserted into the motherboard to complete the entire hardware spectrum.

Jez Walton is the author of this article on Computer Hardware And Components.

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