Computer Hardware



The average person who owns a computer does not fully understand what makes up the computer. The box is what houses the computer .  It is call the case.  It us usually mad of metal or even plastic.  It protects the computer and keeps the parts in place and keeps them from being damaged.  The case also has the power supply which s the box with lots of wires coming out of it. It takes the electricity that comes out of the wall outlet and converts it into electricity that each of the internal components can use. The next item that is in the case is the motherboard.  The motherboard is a big circuit board that is screwed into the case and connects all the internal components together. It gives the internal components a way to communicate with each other. It also provides some common functionality that is basic to all computers – audio, network, modem, video, and a few other things. These additional devices that come as part of the motherboard are called integrated devices. It also has slots that other device cards can plug into and provide extended functionality to the computer.

The more common cards are wireless cards, USB extension cards (provide additional USB ports), and even video cards. Memory is also installed on the motherboard and can be extended based on the capabilities of the motherboard. The central processing unit (CPU), also called a processor, is located on the motherboard. It is sometimes called the brain of the computer, and its job is to carry out commands. Whenever you press a key, click the mouse, or start an application, you’re sending instructions to the CPU. A processor’s speed is measured in megahertz (MHz), or millions of instructions per second; and gigahertz (GHz), or billions of instructions per second. A faster processor can execute instructions more quickly. However, the actual speed of the computer depends on the speed of many different components—not just the processor.

RAM is your system’s short-term memory. Whenever your computer performs calculations, it temporarily stores the data in the RAM until it is needed. This short-term memory disappears when the computer is turned off. If you’re working on a document, spreadsheet, or other type of file, you’ll need to save it to avoid losing it. When you save a file, the data is written to the hard drive, which acts as long-term storage. RAM is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more RAM you have, the more things your computer can do at the same time. If you don’t have enough RAM, you may notice that your computer is sluggish when you have several programs open. Because of this, many people add extra RAM to their computers to improve the performance.

The hard drive is where your software, documents, and other files are stored. The hard drive is long-term storage, which means the data is still saved even if you turn the computer off or unplug it. When you run a program or open a file, the computer copies some of the data from the hard drive onto the RAM. When you save a file, the data is copied back to the hard drive. The faster the hard drive, the faster your computer can start up and load programs.

CD/DVD Drives are also part of the case.  These are standard devices that read and sometimes write CDs and DVDs.

These are the basic components of a computer. Unless you are computer savvy, you can ask a computer specialist to explain your computer to you.




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