Computer Hardware… What Makes a Computer?

May 5, 2012 under Computer Hardware Basics

Computers are complex machines, some of the more complex in the world. For the most part, however, all brands of computers have the same parts. They may have different cooling systems or versions of parts, but they are all used for the same purpose. Here is a list of parts that make up these amazing machines. Get to know these parts and you will be well on your way of having a good knowledge of computer hardware basics.

Computer Case Central Processing Unit Floppy/CD/DVD/BLU Drive Monitor
Power Supply Graphics Card Fan Network Card
Motherboard Sound Card Data/Power Cables Keyboard
Hard Drive CD/DVD/Bluray Drive Mouse RAM

As you can see from this list, there are a good number of parts, but nowhere near something like a car. the complexity comes in where there are many different brands and versions of these computer components. You cannot just buy a motherboard and some RAM, for example, and expect them to work together. Certain configurations are required for these parts to be able to communicate and work together. Below is a quick list of descriptions for what each part does.:

1 )Case – Protects internal components
2 )Monitor – Output device – allows programs to be visible to the eye.
3 )Mouse – Device that controls user input to the computer.
4 )Keyboard – Another device that controls user input to the computer.
5 )Power Supply - Accepts and converts electricity from an outlet to useable power for the computer.
6 )Motherboard – Frequently referred to as the backbone of the computer. Without it, there could not be a computer.
7 )CPU(Central Processing Unit) – The brain of the computer. Processes data and issues necessary commands.
8 )Hard Drive – Stores saved memory.
9 )RAM(Random Access Memory) – Stores memory needed for software to run.
10 )Graphics Card – Processes specific data to produce visual output on through a monitor.
11 )Sound Card - Processes specific data to produce audio output through speakers.
12 )Network Card – Converts network communication signals between computers
13 )Floppy Disk Drive - Accepts floppy disks that store saved data.
14 )CD/DVD/Bluray Drive – Accepts CDs/DVDs/Blurays for reading and writing data.
15 )Power/Data Cables – Provide power to components and data transfer between components, respectively.
16 )Fan – Cool down computer components with air circulation.

So there you have a simple breakdown of standard computer hardware. Future posts will feature more in depth information on their attributes and uses. Learning computer hardware basics is not a fast process. So for now, try to memorize these components and their simple descriptions.