Computer hardware (HW) is the physical parts of a computer system that it needs to function. It’s distinct from software, which consists of written instructions that tell the computer how to operate.
The hardware inside your computer is what lets it take in data and do things like store it, display it, and execute commands. This includes the CPU, RAM, hard drive, and motherboard.
Motherboards are printed circuit boards that connect the computer’s CPU, memory, hard drives, optical drives, video cards, sound cards, and other devices to a power supply. They also include USB ports, ROMs, and expansion slots.
They are made of a multi-layer substrate with six to 14 layers of fiberglass, copper connecting traces and copper planes for signal isolation. In addition, motherboards may offer additional connectivity through a Southbridge chip that supports a wide range of interfaces including PCI, PCI Express (PCIe), SATA, Thunderbolt, and USB.
The central processing unit (CPU) is located on the CPU socket and covered by a heat sink. This is the brain of the computer and sends out commands to the rest of the hardware. It is usually about the size of a thumbnail and is the most expensive part of a computer.
The central processing unit (CPU) is a basic part of a computer, a chip that can process all sorts of instructions. It performs arithmetic and logical operations, as well as decision-making functions.
CPUs have many parts, but the most important is the control unit. It sends out control signals to the other units of the CPU to guide their actions.
This helps the CPU execute its instructions at a faster rate. The control unit also uses a clock circuit to synchronize all the other components of the CPU.
A CPU consists of 3 major parts: Memory or Storage unit, Control unit, and ALU(Arithmetic Logic Unit). All these components work together to allow processing and system control.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of computer hardware that stores data and instructions and makes them available to programs. It is faster to read and write to than other kinds of storage, including the hard drive, optical drive, or even a flash drive.
The most common kind of RAM is DRAM, which uses a capacitor to hold a bit of data as either 0 or 1. Its transistors act as switches and change the state of the capacitor.
A DRAM chip needs to be refreshed regularly because the capacitor loses its charge over time. This is why it’s called dynamic RAM.
Static RAM, on the other hand, uses a matrix of several transistors to retain one bit of data, but doesn’t use a capacitor. This means it uses less power and is slightly slower to access than DRAM, but it is cheaper.
The Hard Drive is a type of storage device found in computers. Data on a hard drive stays in memory even after the computer is turned off.
The hard drive consists of disks stacked together that spin in unison. Each of these disks contains a read/write head and an arm that magnetically accesses the data stored on the platters.
Each hard drive has a controller board that instructs the heads where to move. The controller also determines where files are stored.
All digital data is stored in the form of binary code – a series of ones and zeros that can represent any piece of information. The read/write heads of a hard drive input this data by magnetizing portions of the platter, which house bits that are either 1 or 0.
Optical drives allow your computer to read discs like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. They’re also used on some game consoles and car stereos.
Traditionally, optical disks are composed of laser beams that read data encoded on flat areas and hollows called pits on spinning plastic discs. The data is then converted by a photodiode sensor into electric 0’s and 1’s.
However, these devices have become outdated as better data management methods and storage technologies have taken over. Consequently, most new computers no longer come with built-in disc drives.
This may be especially true for older models, which generally don’t have enough space for an optical drive. For this reason, you may need to purchase an external optical drive that connects via USB. These external disc drives work just like internal ones, but can be much smaller.