This article will explain the basic computer hardware parts and function. There are a lot of computer parts, but the computer parts stated below are the basic parts that a computer will need for basic functionality. As you customize your computer, there will be many other computer hardware that may come into play. However, we will not be covering them in this article. This article will be focusing on the basic computer hardware parts that a computer will need to function.
Here is a list of the basic computer hardware parts and function:
1) Computer Hardware parts and function of Motherboard
A motherboard is the central nervous system of your computer. It houses all the vital components of a PC, such as central processing unit (CPU), read-only memory (ROM), Random Access Memory Slot (RAM), expansion slots for your graphic card, soundcard, etc. The motherboard is the base of a basic computer, and it lets you connect to the internet, store your music, and use other devices like keyboards or mice. Everything that make a PC function must be connected to the motherboard in some form. It is called the motherboard for a reason.
Tips for choosing a motherboard includes:
-Processor (CPU) compatibility. The motherboard should match with the type of CPU you plan to use. Different CPU will require different chipset support from your motherboard. The easiest way is to determine which CPU you would like to rock for your PC and then choose the motherboard that supports it.
- Memory (RAM) slot compatibility. The motherboard should support the type of RAM you will want to use. RAM is used for storing data to make it faster for the CPU to find. RAM is volatile meaning when you turn off your computer the data will be lost. SRAM, DRAM, and Flash are three basic types of ram. There are also many other different types of memory but these are basic ones that are used in most basic computers.
- Expansion Slot compatibility. You can install or upgrade your graphic card, soundcard, etc. with the expansion slots available on the motherboard.
2)Computer Hardware parts and function of Power supply unit (PSU).
The power supply unit distributes electricity throughout the computer. It also regulates voltages within the system as well as provides. The power supply unit also provides the correct type of power to each component in a computer system. This is important for the computer to function correctly, otherwise, incorrect voltage could damage or even destroy your PC.
Computer power supply units usually come in different wattage ratings. The larger the wattage rating, the more components your computer can support. After choosing all your computer parts. It is important to calculate the total wattage requirement of your PC and then purchase the relevant Power Supply Unit.
Here is a power supply wattage calculator by Cooler Master that you can use to calculate your overall PC wattage requirement.
*We recommend choosing a power supply unit that supplies 25% more wattage than what was calculated by the wattage calculator.
PC Power Supply units also come in standard type and modular type. Standard type PSU comes with all power connector cables attached to the PSU while modular type allows the user to attach only the cables that he or she will be needing. So, if you are big in cable management for your upcoming computer, you can consider getting a modular PSU. If not, a standard type will do.
3) Computer Hardware parts and function of RAM
RAM or Random Access Memory is a form of temporary memory storage that is used in a computer for the basic operation of the computer. It is an integrated circuit component of a computer system. The RAM stores data and programs while they are being accessed by the processor.
PCs usually have dual in-line memory modules which are the slots in a computer where RAM is installed. One of these slots is empty while the other one has the RAM. The size of the RAM that is being used by a PC can vary from 256 MB to 8 GB or higher.
The most common type of RAM is Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). DRAM is the most basic form of memory that is used for basic computer operations. It has become the standard for manufacturing because it has faster access time, which makes it faster than SRAM; it also uses less power.
Generally, your motherboard manual will inform you what types of RAM can be used and you can work out how much RAM you want to install into your PC.
4) Computer Hardware parts and function of CPU or Central Processing Unit
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of any computer system. It consists of an arithmetic-logic unit (ALU), a control unit and instruction register with other components that process data quickly for it to be used efficiently in calculations or missions assigned by software programs.
Generally, in modern PC, CPU play a major part in the response and speed of your PC. However, do take note that CPU is still part of your computer system. So for a system to work to their expected performance, the other computer parts must also be able to match up to your CPU’s high performance.
5) Computer Hardware parts and function of Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
In a PC, the hard disk drive function as a computer storage media that can read and write data. It is used to store important files and programs permanently on the computer. The hard drive contains a spinning platter with a thin magnetic coating that has 0's and 1's. The "head" moves around the platter, writing 0's and 1's as tiny areas of magnetic North or South on the platter. To read the data back, the head goes to the same spot, notices the North and South spots flying by, and so deduces what is stored there.
A modern hard drive can store well over a trillion 0/1 bits per platter. HDDs are non-volatile, which means it can retain and keep its memory even after power supply has been turned off.
6) Computer Hardware parts and function of Video card / graphics card (GPU)
A graphics card seat in the PCI-e expansion slot of your motherboard. A graphics card is designed to remove the graphical processing tasks from the processor or RAM. It includes a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that helps it process graphical data quickly. A graphics card also has a heat sink to keep the heat out of the GPU. A graphics card enables the display of 3-D images, image rasterization, higher pixel ratio, a broader range of colours, and more. Moreover, a graphics card includes various expansion ports such as AGP, HDMI, TV, and multiple monitor connectivity. A graphics card can be integrated within the motherboard or be added on as an extension cord.
For some PC user, a graphic card is a must. For example, if you want to play high quality game with your PC, or you need your PC to run design software such as AutoCAD, Adobe Creative suite of software, and etc.
However, if you are not a gamer, you can consider getting a CPU that come with an integrated graphic card. It will still get the job done too, albeit not as effectively.
7) Computer Hardware parts and function of CD drive
CD drives are optical devices that allow users to read data from CDs and DVDs. The CD drive can also be replaced by DVD drives which work the same. CD Drive used to be a necessity for a computer.
However, the modern computers had evolved as the years goes by, and now, CD drives may not be a necessity for a computer.
8) Computer Hardware parts and function of Computer case
The computer case protects the internal components of your computer. It is also the place where you will mount your pc parts and contain it. Computer case usually come in the shape of a rectangle and their sizes may differ. When choosing a case, you will come across label such as ATX, ITX, and etc. This label refers to the type of motherboard size that the case are made for. A standard ATX sized case will normally be good enough for most computer. If unsure, check with your computer parts supplier.