As far as computing is concerned, computer hardware (which is commonly referred to as “hardware” in the computing context) is the collection of physical elements that make up a computer system. In computing, computer hardware refers to the physical parts or components of a computer that can be touched or felt. Examples of computer hardware include the monitor, mouse, keyboard, computer data storage (hard disc drive (HDD), graphic cards, sound cards, memory, motherboard, and so on. Software, on the other hand, is a set of instructions that can be stored and executed by hardware.
Computer software is any collection of machine-readable instructions that instructs a computer’s processor on how to carry out specific tasks. A usable computing system is comprised of a combination of hardware and software components.
Personal computers, also known as PCs, are one of the most popular types of computers due to their versatility and low cost. They are also one of the most affordable. Laptops are generally very similar to desktop computers, though they may use components that are lower in power or smaller in size.
The computer case is an enclosure made of plastic or metal that houses the majority of the components. Computer monitors are typically small enough to fit under a desk, but in recent years more compact designs have become commonplace, such as the all-in-one designs from Apple, which include the iMac and the MacBook Pro. Despite the fact that a case can be either large or small, what is more important is which form factor of motherboard it is designed for. However, in recent years, deviations from this form factor have begun to emerge, such as laptops with detachable screens that can function as standalone tablet computers.
Availability of electrical power
A power supply unit (PSU) converts alternating current (AC) electric power into low-voltage direct current (DC) power that is used by the computer’s internal components. Laptops are capable of operating on their built-in batteries for an extended period of time, typically several hours.
An individual computer’s motherboard is the most important component of the computer. It is a large rectangular board with integrated circuitry that connects the other components of the computer, including the CPU, the RAM, the disc drives (CD, DVD, hard disc, or any other type), as well as any peripherals connected through the ports or expansion slots on the motherboard.
The following components are directly attached to or form a part of the motherboard:
- It is sometimes referred to as the computer’s “brain” because the CPU (Central Processing Unit) is responsible for the majority of the calculations that allow a computer to function properly. A heat sink and a fan are typically used to keep it cool. The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is integrated into the majority of newer CPUs (GPU).
The Chipset, which includes the north bridge, is responsible for mediating communication between the CPU and the rest of the system’s components, including the main memory.
- The CPU actively accesses the code and data stored in the Random-Access Memory (RAM), which is where the code and data are stored.
The BIOS is stored in the Read-Only Memory (ROM), which is activated when the computer is powered on or otherwise begins execution, a process known as Bootstrapping, also known as “booting up” or “booting up.” The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is comprised of two pieces of software: boot firmware and power management software. In place of the BIOS, newer motherboards employ the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).
- Buses are used to connect the CPU to various internal components, as well as to graphics and sound expansion cards.
The CMOS battery is also connected to the motherboard via a ribbon cable. Essentially, this battery is identical to a watch battery or a battery for a remote control for the central locking system of a car. The majority of batteries are CR2032, which are used to power the date and time memory in the BIOS chip.
Cards with additional features
In computing, an expansion card is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot on a computer motherboard or backplane to add functionality to a computer system through the use of the expansion bus (also known as the expansion port). Extension cards can be used to obtain or expand on features that are not available through the motherboard’s built-in capabilities.
Devices for storing information
Computer data storage, also known as storage or memory, refers to the components of computers and recording media that are used to store digital information. Data storage is a critical function and a fundamental component of all computers and electronic devices. Solid-state drives (SSDs), which store data on flash memory, have seen a significant decrease in price in recent years, making them a more affordable option than ever before for adding to a computer to speed up booting and file accessing speeds.
Media that is fixed in place
A computer can store data on a variety of different types of media. Hard disc drives are found in virtually all older computers because of their high capacity and low cost. Solid-state drives, on the other hand, are faster and more power efficient than hard disc drives, despite the fact that they are currently more expensive than hard disc drives. As a result, solid-state drives are often found in more expensive computers. Some systems may make use of a disc array controller in order to achieve higher levels of performance or reliability.
Media that can be removed
A USB flash drive or an optical disc can be used to transfer data between computers. Their usefulness is contingent on their ability to be read by other systems; the vast majority of computers are equipped with an optical disc drive, and virtually all have a USB port.
Peripheral input and output devices
A typical input and output device configuration is to have it housed externally to the main computer chassis. The items listed below are either standard or extremely common across a wide range of computer systems.
When a user uses an input device, he or she can either enter information into the system or control its operation. Most personal computers are equipped with a mouse and a keyboard, but laptop computers are typically equipped with a touchpad in place of a mouse. Webcams, microphones, joysticks, and image scanners are examples of additional input devices.
Device for generating output
The information displayed by output devices is in a format that is understandable to humans. Printers, speakers, monitors, and a Braille embosser are examples of assistive technology.