Computer hardware

This essay Computer hardware has a total of 1457 words and 8 pages.

Computer hardware

Computer hardware (usually simply called hardware when a computing context is implicit) is the collection of physical elements that constitutes a computer system. Computer hardware is the physical parts or components of a computer, such as the monitor, mouse,keyboard, computer data storage, hard disk drive (HDD), graphic cards, sound cards, memory, motherboard, and so on, all of which are physical objects that are tangible.[1] In contrast, software is instructions that can be stored and run by hardware.
Software is any set of machine-readable instructions that directs a computer's processor to perform specific operations. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system.
Von Neumann architecture.

Von Neumann architecture scheme.
The template for all modern computers is the Von Neumann architecture, detailed in a 1945 paper by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann. This describes a design architecture for an electronic digital computer with subdivisions of a processing unit consisting of anarithmetic logic unit and processor registers, a control unit containing an instruction register and program counter, a memory to store both data and instructions, external mass storage, and input and output mechanisms.[3] The meaning of the term has evolved to mean astored-program computer in which an instruction fetch and a data operation cannot occur at the same time because they share a commonbus. This is referred to as the Von Neumann bottleneck and often limits the performance of the system.[4]
Different systems.


There are a number of different types of computer system in use today.

Personal computer.

Hardware of a modern personal computer:
1. Monitor 2.Motherboard 3.CPU 4. RAM 5.Expansion cards6. Power supply 7.Optical disc drive8. Hard disk drive9. Keyboard 10.Mouse.

Inside a custom-built computer: power supply at the bottom has its own cooling fan.
The personal computer, also known as the PC, is one of the most common types of computer due to its versatility and relatively low price.Laptops are generally very similar, although may use lower-power or reduced size components.
Case.

The computer case is a plastic or metal enclosure that houses most of the components. Those found on desktop computers are usually small enough to fit under a desk, however in recent years more compact designs have become more common place, such as the all-in-one style designs from Apple, namely the iMac. Though a case can basically be big or small, what matters more is which form factor of motherboard it’s designed for.[6] Laptops are computers that usually come in a clamshell form factor, again however in more recent years deviations from this form factor have started to emerge such as laptops that have a detachable screen that become tablet computers in their own right.

Power supply.
A power supply unit (PSU) converts alternating current (AC) electric power to low-voltage DC power for the internal components of the computer. Laptops are capable of running from a built-in battery, normally for a period of hours.[7]

Mainboard.
The motherboard is the main component of a computer. It is a large rectangular board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer including the CPU, the RAM, the disk drives(CD, DVD, hard disk, or any others) as well as any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots.
Components directly attached to or part of the motherboard include:
• The CPU (Central Processing Unit) performs most of the calculations which enable a computer to function, and is sometimes referred to as the "brain" of the computer. It is usually cooled by a heat sink and fan. Most newer CPUs include an on-die Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).
• The Chipset, which includes the north bridge, mediates communication between the CPU and the other components of the system, including main memory.
• The Random-Access Memory (RAM) stores the code and data that are being actively accessed by the CPU.
• The Read-Only Memory (ROM) stores the BIOS that runs when the computer is powered on or otherwise begins execution, a process known as Bootstrapping, or "booting" or "booting up". The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) includes boot firmware and power management firmware. Newer motherboards use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of BIOS.
• Buses connect the CPU to various internal components and to expand cards for graphics and sound.
• The CMOS battery is also attached to the motherboard. This battery is the same as a watch battery or a battery for a remote to a car's central locking system.

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