Knowledge on computer hardware is the very basic thing that one needs to know if he or she has plans of starting up a personal computer (PC) from a scratch. This is because if one is knowledgeable on this, he or she would know how to choose the components needed and that person could also save up some money since he or she can opt for lesser known brands.
The most basic computer hardware includes the monitor, the keyboard, and the mouse. But, there are so many computer hardware components needed to make the computer perform its function. Aside from the physical components, you will also need operating system and a number of software. The following are some of the basic components of computer hardware and its specifications:
1. The Central Processing Unit (CPU). This is directly related to the “motherboard” which is the very body of the computer itself. For the CPU to perform its functions as the brain of the computer, it needs: a heat sink and fan; the chipset which is responsible for bridging the CPU to other components of the system; the memory or the RAM which is responsible for running processes and applications; the BIOS that includes power management and boot firmware; and the Basic Input Output System which handles the operating system drivers.
2. The power supply. Since computers depend on electricity as the power source, the power supply is needed to make sure that everything will work. Components of power supply include the power cord, the switch, and the cooling fan.
3. The video display controller. This is responsible for producing the output for the visual display unit and is usually built into the motherboard or sometimes attached in its own separate slot such as the PCI, the PCI-E, the PCI-E 2.0, or the AGP like a graphics card.
4. The removable media devices. This mainly refer to the computer storage. The most common removable media devices—which are suitable for data and music—in a personal computer include the Floppy disk which is considered as an outdated storage device; the Zip drive which has a higher capacity than Floppy disk, the compact disc (CD), the CD-ROM Drive to read data; the CD Writer to read and write data on the CD; Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) which is a higher type of CD; the DVD-ROM Drive; the DVD Writer; the DVD-RAM Drive for express reading and writing; the Blu-ray Disc for high-density data storage and high-definition videos; the BD-ROM Drive, the BD Writer; and the USB flash drive which is flash device used for memory data storage and has big capacity.