PC Hardware Tutorials

Today, each and every one of us makes use of a computer for some reason or the other. Offices, homes, banks, government centers, coffee shops, hotels, travel agencies, airports... the list is endless. In the age where a majority of people make use of a computer more regularly than they make use of their brains, it is imperative that one has some fundamental knowledge about the basics of the underlying hardware structure of a computer. You don't need to be an expert, just having some general knowledge about the different PC hardware parts and a few computer hardware basics is more than enough
. On that note, let us begin with some PC hardware tutorials which will include some fundamental PC hardware information along with a PC hardware guide for beginners.

PC Hardware Tutorials for Beginners
Before we begin with any computer hardware tutorials, let us first have a look at what the underlying hardware structure comprises of, through the following computer parts list:
  • Hard drive
  • Random access memory (RAM)
  • Processor
  • Network card, video card, sound card
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Power supply
  • USB port
  • Motherboard
  • Monitor
  • Keyboard and mouse.
Now, we will have a look at each of these components individually along with their role in the overall functioning of a computer.

Hard Drive
It is that component of your computer on which your entire data is stored. In technical terms, a hard drive is often referred to as a secondary storage device. Seagate, WD, Samsung are a few popular hard drive manufacturers. Hard drives can be both internal as well as external, though an external hard drive mainly serves the purpose of being a portable storage device or a device for data backup.

Random Access Memory
Random access memory or RAM, in technical terms, is referred to as a primary storage device. Each and every software application, however large of small it may be, needs to be first loaded into the RAM before it can be actually executed, regardless of the fact that the software is actually stored in the hard drive. The contents of RAM are lost once the computer is powered off, hence it is volatile memory and not a permanent memory. RAM is present in the form of RAM chips which are fitted into designated RAM slots on the motherboard.

As the name suggests, it is that part of the computer that is responsible for performing all the computing and processing operations within the computer. Higher the quality and computing capacity of the processor, faster is the computer. The Pentium series of processors by Intel happen to be one of the most popular processors and are widely used all over the world.

Various cards such as network (LAN) cards, video adapter cards, sound cards, etc. are installed on the motherboard and each one has a specific role to play in the functioning of the computer. LAN or Ethernet cards are necessary for connecting the computer to a network, whereas video, sound and graphics cards are necessary for executing multimedia applications.

CD-ROM Drive
It is that component of the computer which is responsible for playing CDs. Today, CD-ROM drives come with an inbuilt feature of CD writing, in addition to plain reading. DVD-ROM drives have taken this advancement to an even higher level, wherein they are capable of not only playing CDs and DVDs but also burning data onto them.

Power Supply
As the name suggests, the power supply (also known as the SMPS unit) acts as the source of power for the motherboard and all the other hardware components that are housed within the computer cabinet. Cables originating from the SMPS unit are known as power cables, and are different from data cables.

USB Ports
USB ports are located on the motherboard and can be typically found on the rear of the computer cabinet. Certain computer cabinets have an additional feature of frontal USB ports for added user convenience. USB ports are used for connecting devices such as USB flash drives, MP3 players, digital cameras, mobile phones, etc. to your computer.

It is that component of the computer which houses the processor, the RAM, the sound card, the network card, the video card, the modem, the USB ports as well all the remaining electronic components. Computer motherboards produced by Intel and AMD are among the most preferred motherboards and are popular all over the world.

It is an output device and more importantly, is the display component of the computer. Modern computer monitors are available in flat screen designs as well as in box-type designs. Flat screen monitors are further available in two variants - LCD monitors and plasma monitors.

Keyboard and Mouse
These are input devices which are responsible for feeding data and user information into the desktop computer. They are connected to the computer through specially designated ports which are located at the rear of the computer cabinet. Modern devices such as wireless computer keyboards and mice are, well, wireless!

This was a short introduction to a few basic computer hardware components and their specific functions. Stay tuned for the next article as part of this series on PC hardware tutorials.

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