Computer hardware consists of the different components of a computer including the CPU or the Central Processing Unit, mouse, keyboard, monitor, hard disk, RAM or memory, drives such as the DVD, CD, optical, tape and so forth. All these components are essential for the proper functioning of a personal computer.
Understanding Computer Hardware in Detail
The whole computer is available with the above mentioned components but it is also possible to purchase these components individually from many of the online and offline stores. Some of the most important components include the following:
- Central Processing Unit or the CPU: the CPU refers to the processor of the computer. Although there are a wide number of companies that manufacture CPUs or processors for personal computers, the Pentium chip manufactured by Intel is widely and commonly used by most of the manufacturers.
- Keyboard: most important computer hardware includes the keyboard which is essential to enter commands and words. Every key in the keyboard is a representation of an alphabet, number, sign, function and so forth. There are keys which represent actions like Delete, Enter, Alt, Ctrl, Page Up, Page Down, Home, End and many more. Each different key has a specific function.
There are 101 keys in an ordinary standard keyboard. Keyboards which are ergonomically designed have special features to make typing easier. Each key has two characters which can be typed by pressing the Shift key. The Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys are known as the command keys.
- Mouse: Important computer hardware also includes the mouse. It is used for navigating on the computer’s screen, to click on options, to select objects and to access information. There are usually two buttons on the mouse- one on the left which is used for selection and one on the right which is used to access information. There are different types of mouse available today which include optical mouse, scroll mouse, laser mouse, ball mouse and so forth. The scroll mouse, or the wheel mouse, has a plastic wheel in between the left and right buttons on the mouse. This important computer hardware also includes the optical mouse which sends optical signals to the computer. The ball mouse includes a ball in the mouse casing which moves when the mouse is moved on the pad. This movement sends the required signal to the computer.
- Hard disk: computer hardware also includes hard disk which is a device used for permanent storage of data. The performance of a computer depends on the rotation speed of the hard disk. The higher the rotation speed, the higher the performance of the computer.
- RAM or the Random Access Memory: RAM is also a computer hardware that stores information temporarily. But however, while rebooting or turning off the computer, this information will be erased. The performance of the computer depends largely on the RAM and if the size of the RAM is larger, the computer will perform better and faster.
Computer hardware also includes components like sound cards, digital cameras, scanners and modems. Different types of components are available and it may differ according to the type of the computer.