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What You Should Know About Computer Hardware

The physical elements that make up a computer system are referred to as computer hardware.

A computer may accommodate a wide variety of hardware that can be installed inside and connected to the outside.

Sometimes, the term “computer hardware” is shortened to “computer hw.”


List of Computer Hardware

Here are a few typical pieces of individual computer hardware that you might frequently find inside a modern computer. You won’t be able to view these components unless you open the computer, as they are often placed inside the computer case:

  • Motherboard
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Power Supply Unit (PSU)
  • Video card
  • Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
  • Solid-State Drive (SSD)
  • Optical disk drive (e.g., BD/DVD/CD drive)
  • Card reader (SD/SDHC, CF, etc.)

Although many tablets, laptops, and netbooks incorporate some of these components into their housings, common hardware that you could find connected to the outside of a computer includes the following:

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • Flash drive
  • Printer
  • Speakers
  • External hard drive
  • Pen tablet

Less common standalone pieces of computer hardware, either because they are now frequently incorporated into larger systems or because they have been replaced by more recent models:

  • Sound card
  • Network Interface Card (NIC)
  • Expansion card (FireWire, USB, etc.)
  • Hard drive controller card
  • Analog modem
  • Scanner
  • Projector
  • Floppy disk drive
  • Joystick
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Tape drive
  • Zip drive

Network hardware includes the following items, and different parts of a home or office network frequently include them:

  • Digital modem (e.g., cable modem, DSL modem, etc.)
  • Router
  • Network switch
  • Access point
  • Repeater
  • Bridge
  • Print server
  • Firewall

In comparison to some other forms of computer hardware, network hardware is less precisely defined. For instance, many home routers frequently serve as a router, switch, and firewall all at once.

Aside from everything mentioned above, auxiliary hardware is additional computer hardware that a computer may or may not include, depending on the type:

  • Fan (CPU, GPU, Case, etc.)
  • Heat sink
  • Data cable
  • Power cable
  • CMOS battery
  • Daughterboard

Peripheral devices are some of the things mentioned above. A hardware component (internal or external) that isn’t directly related to the computer’s primary task is referred to as a peripheral device. A mouse, video card, disc drive, and monitor are among examples.

Hardware vs. Software

A computer system isn’t complete unless there’s also software, which is different than hardware. The software is data that’s stored electronically, like an operating system or a video editing tool, which runs on the hardware.

Hardware gets its name due to the fact that it’s strict when it comes to modifications, whereas software is more flexible (i.e., you can easily upgrade or change software).

Firmware is closely related to hardware and software, too. Firmware is used to tie the two together so that a software program knows how to interface with a piece of hardware.


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