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Basic Components of Computer Hardware

There are the basic components of a computer that collectively form a system. These parts are necessary for a computer to perform the basic functions.
  1. Motherboard - It is the main electronic division of the computer with the help of which other components or peripherals, that are also a part of the operating system, communicate with the other.
  2. Processor - it is the processing unit, popularly known as CPU (Central Processing Unit). It controls all the components attached to it.
  3. Primary Storage Memory - Primary memory is also known as volatile memory or RAM (Random Access Memory). When we process a data, a copy of that data is opened in the RAM of the computer for changes or calculation to be carried out and then those changes can be saved or left unsaved. The main feature of RAM is a temporary or volatile memory in which data persists only for the time when the power is switched on and is lost once the power is switched off. Another form of memory is ROM., Read Only Memory, which is used for holding programs.
  4. Secondary Storage Devices - Secondary storage devices are meant for storing the data permanently on the computer. The data is stored permanently and will stay on the device until the user erases it or the device is damaged by any means. The secondary storage device can be any of the following-
    1. Online storage media - it is that part of the computer on which the operating system is stored and is always present as an integral part of the computer for the storage of data, for example, hard disk.
    2. Near -line storage Device - it is the optional media, for example, magnetic tape device, that is not necessary part of the system. Usage of this depends on the requirement of the user.
    3. Offline storage media or distribution media - this media is primarily used for the distribution of data from one computer to another and so on. For example, pen drive, floppy and C.D.
  5. Keyboard - It is an input device that is used for input of text into the computer in the CUI (Character User Interest). Keys placed on the keyboard are in a special sequence, according to the make up and strength of the human hand.
  6. Second Card and Speakers - The present age is the age of multimedia. Therefore, at present, computers are also equipped with a sound card and speakers. With the help of these, music stored as digital data in the computer is converted into analog data of sound waves.
  7. Monitor and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Panel - This device is essentially an output device of a computer on which the user can see the work done.
  8. Printers - Printers are devices used for producing information as a hard copy i.e.., in a printed form. Printers are broadly of two types:
    1. Impact Printers - Printers in which the head of the printer touches the paper during printing are known as impact printers; for example, Dot Matrix Printers, Line Printers, Wheel Printers, Chain Printers and Drum Printers.
    2. Non Impact Printers - These are printers in which the head of the printer does not touch the paper during printing; for example, Laser Printers and Inkjet Printers.
Let us now discuss the kinds of computers-
  1. Standalone computers - Standalone computers are the computers that are used as a single unit., i.e., they are not attached to any other computer. This type of system is suitable where there is minimum need of sharing of data or files.
  2. Networked computers - Networked computers are computers which are connected to each other with the help of some communication media. Networking among the computers is required in organizations where data and other devices like printers and modems are shared.
For computer networking, we need at least two computers and a communication media, with the help of which the information is shared. The communication media can be wired (Co-Axial wires, UTP or Fiber Optics) or wireless. With the help of this communication media, data is transferred from one computer to another without the help of any external distribution media.

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