Computer hardware is the physical component attached to your PC. Hardware components are not often replaced. These components are fixed in their respective ports and can only be replaced by computer hardware engineer/technician.
Computer hardware is entrenched inside a steel covering, therefore, it is not visible to the end users. There are different types of computer hardware that are designed by different manufacturers, to name a few Intel is well know brand for processors manufacturers, IBM etc. Let us take a brief look at the types of computer hardware that makes a computer work.
The computer has many components/hardware without which computers can not do what they are known to do. The basic hardware of the computer is a Motherboard, Processor, RAM, Wireless modem, Soundcard, and Storage device. A motherboard is a parent component on which each of these components are installed.
All latest motherboards come with preinstalled chip of wireless connectivity, sound card, and graphical card. The motherboard has ports on which peripherals are attached, these peripherals include a mouse (now mostly attached to a USB port), keyboard(USB), HDMI port, sound output, tv out port, and additional USB ports ( for other devices) etc.
Numerous other hardware, that are used for additional purposes that include Webcam which comes for desktop computers, and gaming joysticks etc. All such additional hardware usually gets connected through USB port.
Main Types of Computer Hardware
Computer hardware can be divided into two parts. The most important part which I’m explaining below are the ones without which a computer cannot function at all, I’m referring them as main types of computer hardware.
The most important types of hardware Motherboard, Processor, Ram, power supply, Video Display Card, Computer Bus and Hard Disk.
The motherboard is a central circuit, which is a complicated electronic board installed into a computer. As mentioned above, it is the main board that is a parent component. Every other hardware is installed and connected to it.
The next most important hardware is a Processor. Central processing unit seeks the software commands and interprets and process data. It is the main brain behind the computer. The speed of the computer to calculate and perform its functions is solely based on the power of a processor. Faster the processor more powerful a computer is.
The Random access memory ( Ram) is the another key component and it is considered a temporary storage. It stores the data of most frequently used software on the computer, bigger the ram, faster the computer response time is.
A Hard Disk is a permanent storage device. It stores entire files of operating system and software and other information on a magnetic surface of a hard disk.
A Power Supply is responsible for providing controlled electricity to all components of the computer.
A Graphics Card also is known as Video Display Controller helps in the logical conversion of the visual data in order to run a signal to be used by display medium.
A Computer bus is used to transfer the data within the components of the computers.
There are so many other components of a computer that are used for additional purposes, but over the time, they became very common and eventually became an important hardware of every household computer. I’ve mentioned them below in below with brief description
CD-Rom/Optical Drive is a peripheral device that reads data from CD. In earlier computers, Floppy drive was used to access additional storage. It had limited storage capacity. CD completely replaced a floppy drive over the time and I bet our new generation wouldn’t even know what it is if they get to see one.
Every desktop computer and laptop comes with a pre-installed optical drive. The fascinating feature of an optical drive is that you can re – write the data of CD Rom and erase the previous data.
USB Drive is an additional storage drive that replaced CD-ROM over time. It is used to transfer data from one computer to another. Its storage capacity has increased over time, and in a market even 1 TB USB is available. USB 3 is the latest drive that enables data transfer in GB’s.
Wireless Network card is responsible for connecting to wireless network or WiFi. Since WiFi has widely spread, therefore, each computer comes with a wireless network card. It enables us to connect our computer to home/office WiFi to access the internet. It is also used to connected to Local Area Network or Wide Area Network. Wireless network card comes as pre-installed electronic chip connected to a motherboard.
Gaming card or Graphic card commonly comes inbuilt with motherboards for both desktop/laptop computers. But if you wish to have a heavy graphic card for gaming, graphics or video animation purpose, you can install additional one on the motherboard. But you can have an additional graphic card on desktop computers only, laptops usually have a limitation of replacing hardware. Gaming laptops are available with heavy graphic cards for gaming purposes.
I’m sure, I don’t need to describe mouse and keyboards and what they are used for.
I’ve seen computer systems evolve over last two decades. Computers are getting powerful, cheaper and compact over the time. I believe, for most of us, Smartphones have literally replaced our use of computers. We may have it in our homes, but we prefer using our smartphones.
I wonder what future holds for these computers. Are they going to be completely replaced by our smartphones.?
I guess we will have to wait and see.!