Nowadays, almost all daily activities involve computers such as gaming, doing homework, professional work, entertainment, browsing, and so on. So, knowing some activities require a set of computer hardware with certain specifications for each part of the computer hardware components. Therefore, before you further choosing the parts of computer hardware when it comes to upgrading your PC hardware or simply buying a new PC or laptop, it’s better to know the main parts of computer hardware and understand its function.
Perhaps you just want to recall your memory about the main parts of computer hardware or laymen and have no idea about what are the parts of computer hardware. So, the following are the list to discover briefly the main parts of computer hardware and its functions.
- Portable computer: like a laptop, tablet PC, and netbook.
- Desktop computer (PC)
Parts of Computer Hardware
Broadly speaking, there are two types of computers:
As people are more common to upgrade their desktop PC than portable computers, so, at this topic we are going to focus on the components of desktop computers. In which, desktop computers are not much different to the parts of the portable computers.
The house for most computer components is in the computer casing. Most of desktop PCs have casing boxes made of either plastic or metal. But for an AIO (all-in-one) PC, the case is designed to be compact and often directly integrates with the monitor screen.
One of the main functions of desktop computer casing is to protect the components of the computer from dust and other small objects.
Power Supply (PSU)
PSU is a part of a computer that converts AC electrical power into a low DC voltage. So, the main function of PSU is to provide power for all of the computer components.
One of the main components of a computer is Motherboard. It’s is an integrated circuit board with a function to connect all major components of the computer such as CPU, RAM, CD/DVD-ROM, hard drive/SSD, as well as various ports and expansion slots.
The Components of Computer on The Motherboard
CPU or Processor
The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is one of the most important parts of computer hardware that is also better known as Processor. The CPU is the brain of a computer. The function of CPU is to calculate every command that runs on the computer. To prevent overheating on a CPU, the CPU is usually equipped with heatsink and fan. Some CPUs are also equipped with water cooling system. Recently, various modern CPUs support GPU (Graphic Processing Unit).
The function of Chipset is a communication link between the CPU and other computer components, such as RAM, and other additional components (USB, PCI, IDE, AGP, etc).
The function of RAM (Random Access Memory) is to store data and various computing processes. So, the CPU or other computer componentsto can access the data and other processes very quickly. Ideally, the greater RAM capacity of a computer, the performance of the computer will be faster store data and other computing processes.
Video Card/GPU/VGA/Graphics card
Graphics Card or also known as VGA, GPU, or Video Card is a component of a computer that has a function to charge the graphics processing. Most of the common computer activities only require an internal GPU (integrated), but for gamers, animators, designers, and other graphical computer activities require a dedicated GPU that has a large capacity. A large GPU capacity can process heavy graphics.
Basically, ROM (Read-Only Memory) is where BIOS firmware is stored and its settings. However, most of the modern computer products are now mostly using UEFI but no longer using BIOS.
The function of CMOS battery is to provide power for the BIOS chip. So, the BIOS and date settings are not lost and still running even if the computer is turned off.
The function of a Bus of a computer is a slot that to connect various cards to the motherboard such as additional Graphic Card and Sound Card.
Almost all types of motherboards have an internal sound card for processing sound. However, you can also add an external sound card if you really need to.
Hard Drive (HDD) / SSD
The hard drive is a storage media with a function to store data, including the data of the operating system of the computer. Besides a conventional HDD (Hard Disk Drive), nowadays, SSD (Solid State Drive) is also widely used, especially in laptops, netbooks, or other portable PCs. If comparing between HDD and SSD, basically an SSD has a much higher read and write speed and is much more power-efficient as it uses mechanical components inside.
Optical Drive (CD / DVD-ROM)
Although Optical Drives such as CD or DVD-ROMs are still widely used, they are increasingly rare in modern computers, especially in portable PCs such as laptops and netbooks. The function of Optical Drives is to read and write data to the optical disc like CD and DVD.
The function of a computer keyboard is the main bridge of the communication between the user and the computer. Practically, you can type and enter various commands to the computer via the keyboard.
The function of a computer mouse is also a very important to communicatte the user with the computer. It’s the most actively used device to navigate when you are operating a computer. With the mouse, you can move the pointer and select various options on the computer screen.
When you run a computer, the monitor of the computer is working together with the Graphic Card. So, the function of a computer monitor displays the graphics of the computer. There are so many types of computer monitors. Currently, touchscreen monitors are increasingly used worldwide.