Computer Fundamentals Tutorial

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Peripheral Devices

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Memory

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Computer Hardware

The computer hardware includes the physical parts or components of the computer, such as to monitor, keyboard, mouse, motherboard, etc. We need software for the instructions that can be stored and run by the hardware. The software is always required to execute any command or instruction.

List of Computer Hardware Components

The combination of hardware and software makes a computing system. It is “hard” or rigid to change or modify the hardware system of the computer. The software is easy or "soft" to update or change; that's why it is known as software.

1. Monitor

The computer monitor is an output device which can display the information in the pictorial form. The modern monitors use the thin film transistor liquid crystal display (LCD) with the LED backlighting, but the older monitors used the cathode ray tubes. The monitors are connected to the computer with the help of VGA, digital visual interface, HDMI, Display Port.

2. Motherboard

The motherboard is one of the necessary part or element of the computer system which holds together many components.  The CPU (Central Processing Unit), memory and connectors for input/output devices are the example of elements which exist in the motherboard.

The firm-sheet of non-conductive material is included in the base of the motherboard. Thin layers of copper or aluminum foil are printed on this firm sheet. The motherboard contains many numbers of sockets and slots to connect the other components or devices.

3. CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The Central Processing Unit is known as the brain of the computer system. The CPU contains a control unit, a logical unit, an arithmetic unit, and registers. It also has a small bit of memory known as a Cache. It can perform different types of functions and contains many processors such as graphics processor unit, etc. The modern central processing systems are the microprocessors where the CPU is included in the single metal oxide semiconductor integrated circuit chip.

4. Microprocessor

The microprocessors consist of the Central Processing Unit. The sound card and network cards are included in the microprocessor. It is made up of millions of transistors. The microprocessor is the primary unit which can execute and manage the logical and computational instructions. It is a basic unit or component in the computer system.

5. Main Memory

Random-access memory (RAM) is the main memory of the computer. The main memory is that part of the computer which can store the operating system software, software applications and other information for the CPU for fast and direct access.

The RAM is one of the fastest memory and can allow data or information to be read and written. There are two types of main memory:

DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)

SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)

The main memory is the memory where programs, data, or information are kept, so when the processor needs that data, the memory can access it easily. If those programs and data are in active mode, it can be copied from secondary memory into the main memory, where the processor can interact with that data. The main memory is connected to the processor; that's why instructions and data can move very fast inside and outside of the processor.

6. Expansion Card

The Expansion card is the electronic card or board that is used to add extra features or functionality in the computer system. This expansion card is inserted into the expansion slot on the motherboard of the computer. It contains the edge connectors that are used to create the link between the motherboard and expansion card.  

7. Power Supply Unit

The power supply unit converts the main AC to the low voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of the computer system. The modern personal computer system uses switch-mode power supplies. Some power supplies have a manual switch to select the input voltage while other supplies automatically adapt the main voltage.

8. Optical disk drive

The optical disk drive is the type of computer disk drive that can read and write data or information from the optical disk through the laser beam technology. It allows the user to retrieve, edit, and delete the data from the optical disk such as CDs, DVDs, and blue ray disks.

 The optical disk drive is an integral part of standalone appliances such as CD players, DVD players, Blue-ray disk players, DVD recorders, etc. It is mainly used as an input device, and its functionality depends on the optical disk.

9. Hard disk drive

The Hard disk drive is the non-volatile storage device of the computer system which contains magnetic disk or platters rotating at high speed. This is the secondary storage device which is used to store the data or information permanently.

The hard disk drive needs the read-only memory controller board to instruct the read and write heads. The read and write heads are controlled by the actuator, which can magnetically read from and write to the platters.

The read and write heads are floated on the film of air above the platters, and both sides of platters are used to store the data. Every side or surface of one disk is known as the head, and each head is divided into sectors and tracks.

10. Keyboard

The keyboard is the input device and the primary way for the user to communicate with the computer system. It is a typewriter-style device which uses the arrangement of buttons or keys.

The keyboard is mainly used to give commands to the operating system. Mostly the desktop computer keyboards connect to the computer system either by USB or Bluetooth to the wireless connection.

11. Mouse

The mouse is an input device and the handheld pointing device that detects two-dimensional motion relative to the surface. It can control the cursor in the GUI and move to select the text, icons, files, and folder on your computer system. The Douglas Engelbart invented the computer mouse in 1964. There are some mouse devices which have integrated features such as extra buttons that may be programmed and assigned with various programming system.



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