Computer Hardware





The touchable, electro-mechanical and replaceable part of computer is termed as hardware. The hardware installation is easier than program coding and software development.

The mother board, processor, graphics card, sound card, fan, pc-case etc are hardware of computer. These hardware’s are assembled in a proper ways to build computer.


(a) Mother board: The printed circuit is termed as mother board. It is a backbone of any electronic circuits because several components are soldered on this board for proper functionality. The processor, fan, memory and certain other components are directly mounted on the motherboard itself, while other boards and components are connected to and controlled by it.

Motherboard

Motherboard

The architecture of the motherboard determines the range and number of components that can be connected to it, with different designs needed for different types of processor.

 

(b) Processor: The processor is called microprocessor which is called brain of computer. Different CPUs are characterized by three main characteristics: the set of instructions they are able to execute, the bandwidth (which governs how much data can be processed by a single instruction), and the clock speed. This is measured in megahertz, and determines how many instructions the processor can execute per second.

 

(c) Graphics card: The graphics card is a special circuitry that controls and manages display capability of monitor. The card process data from the CPU and converts it into a monitor friendly format. The graphics card, or video card as it is sometimes known, is used to communicate the required images to the monitor. As such the display capabilities (such as resolution and color depth) are not only governed by the graphics card, but by the monitor as well. Modern cards include their own memory, so that the RAM on the motherboard is not taken up with display information.

 

(d) Sound card: A sound card is a piece of hardware, which enables a computer to play sounds. The soundcard is responsible for the facilities related to the recording and reproduction of sound. The sound signals can be inputted via a microphone or other external device, and are outputted through the speakers.

Sound card

Sound card

When we record music, the soundcard represents this sound on the disk with an electronic wave, the quality of which is determined by the sampling rate and the sampling resolution. It is common for more recent PCs to not actually have a separate soundcard, but instead have additional chips on the motherboard for this purpose. This is referred to as “on-board sound”.

 

(e) Fan: Many of the components that make up the modern personal computer are heat-critical, and malfunction if allowed to become too hot. With the amount of heat that is generated in certain areas, particularly by the CPU, it is therefore necessary to ensure that the inside of the unit has adequate ventilation. This is achieved mainly by the use of fans to draw cold air over the components in question. Heat sinks are also used to dissipate the heat over a larger area.

 

(f) Modem: A modem is used to connect the computer to an external network, via a telephone line, ADSL line or some other form of communications. Modems are most commonly used to allow the user to access the internet, and as such browse the World Wide Web and send e-mail.

Modem

Modem

Modems can either be internal (an additional board that is housed within the PC case), or external. Internal modems match external modems in terms of performance and robustness, but the machine needs to be rebooted, if it crashes. The performance of modem is highly dependent on the quality of telephone line.

 

(g) PC Case: The case is responsible for the housing and protection of the internal components of the PC, and is usually manufactured from metal or a similarly sturdy and resistant material. The external housing protects the components from dust, spillages and other potential sources of damage, and also enables easier integration of ventilation and other forms of cooling. It also houses and assists with the shielding of the central power supply, which powers the PC as a whole.

 

Hardware and Software

Sn.

Hardware

Software

1.

Hardware is a touchable, visible, replaceable electromechanical and electronic part of computer.

Software is a non-touchable, nonviable set of instructions coded in computer language.

2.

It provides shape and size and support software for proper functioning.

It is a vital part of computer, without it computer is nothing except piles of plastic, chips and wires.

3.

Example:

CPU, Memory, Register, Hard disk, Floppy, CD-ROM, Mouse, Plotter, Monitor, Printer etc.

Example:

Operating system

Compiler and interpreter

Application software utilities etc



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