Basics of Computer Hardware

Understanding Basic Working Principles of Computer and use of Computer Hardware

From an broader perspective, when you look at the Personal Computers or PCs, few basic hardware modules float before our eyes. Every student of computer should be well versed with these basic concept of hardware before he plunges into the deep sea of computer knowledge to swim into the high tides of noetic waves. The basic or fundamental components of Computer Hardware can be enumerated in brief as follows:-
Computer Hardware

1.  Cabinet 
2.  SMPS or Power Supply Unit 
3.  Motherboard with following components embedded on it.

  • Chipset
  • CPU or Central Processing Unit
  • Math Co-Processor
  • RAM/ ROM Bios
  • CGA/ VGA Adaptor Card/ Integrated Display Unit
  • USB/ Serial/ Parellel/ RS-232/ LAN/ Game ports
  • Bus or Expansion Slots

4.  FDD or Foppy Disc Drive (Almost Obsolete) 

5.  HDD or Hard Disc Drive 
6.  CD/DVD ROM/ Blueray Drive 
7.  Input Devices: Keyboard/ Mouse/ Scanner/ Webcam/ Mic 
8.  Output Devices: Monitor/ Printer/ Speakers/ Headphones

The Cabinet is the super cage or structure where all the Computer Hardware modules of the computer is installed. Inside the Cabinet one can identify 5-6 main units which are visible when the box is opened. These units mainly include the Motherboard, The Power Supply Unit, CPU, RAM, HDD and DVD Drive.

The motherboard, as the name signifies, is the main interconnecting board for different units of computer. Apart from joining various units of computing system, the motherboard facilitates the flow of required power supply for the different units and provides the required signal flow for data processing. How data is processed inside the CPU is entirely a different topic and I will deal with it separately in my following blogs, however for the basic understanding of a computer, we must concentrate upon the fundamentals.

On motherboard unit, we can find different sub-units embedded or installed on it which include the RAM modules required for meeting the memory needs for processing, the embedded ROM device, helps in providing the BIOS services, the CPU along with its Math Co-processor is used for data processing task, the integrated display chips or the VGA adapter etc are responsible for meeting the display requirements on the monitor and different port like USB/ Serial/ Parellel/ RS-232/ LAN/ Game ports help in connecting the input or output devices like pen drives, mouse, printer or internet cables etc.

The FDD, HDD, CD Rom drives etc are required for extra external memory needs of the computer, whereas Input and Output devices are needed for the smooth functioning of the computer for meeting its performance related task. 

These are the basics of a standalone computer. The detailed description of each and further components of Computer Hardware can be studied in depth by going through the specifics of each such modules.

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