Computer hardware is a term used to describe the mechanical and electronic elements of a computer. A computer cannot function appropriately without hardware.
The future of computer hardware is quite promising. Hard drives will feature more storage capacity, CPUs will get faster, and computers will become more powerful. These advancements will continue to revolutionize your world.
To learn more, this list contains 10 types of computer hardware that we will discuss in depth:
1. Optical Drives
Most notebook and desktop computers feature this computer hardware. An optical drive allows one to use CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray. This computer hardware derives its name from how data is read and written on the disc. It features lenses that project electromagnetic waves that are responsible for writing and reading the information on optical discs.
These types of computer hardware work by shining a laser light on the surface of a disc, then a sensor is used to measure how much light bounces back from a particular spot. In today’s market, some laptop computers don’t come with DVD capabilities. This is because you can easily play music or videos, and download and install software’s from a cloud, via the internet.
However, desktop computers still feature a DVD drive. Apart from being one of the more popular types of computer hardware, optical drives are an integral part of electronic devices such as VCD players, Blu-ray players, CD players, DVD players, and some video game consoles.
2. Hard Disk Drive
This computer hardware features platters with magnetic surfaces. It’s responsible for storing unprocessed information. Hard disk drives are non-volatile, meaning they permanently store data, and aren’t affected in case of a power failure. The operating system and the applications are installed from the hard drive. The capacity of a hard drive is measured in gigabytes (GB).
A typical hard drive has a capacity of 500 GB, or 1 terabyte (1000 GB), but there are some with even more storage space. Today, there are two main types of hard disk drives: the traditional mechanical type that uses metal platters with magnetic polarity to store data, and the newer type known as the SSHD (solid-state hard drive). The latter is quiet, faster and more reliable, but it’s more expensive.
RAM stands for random access memory. It processes and stores the information you’re working with. Compared to the hard disk, RAM is faster but volatile. It only stores data temporarily and loses all of it when power is switched off. When you experience RAM issues in you computer, these problems can usually be resolved by your managed IT provider by including more memory.
There are two types of RAM: DRAM and SRAM. The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) consists of the firmware. A digital video camera is connected to the computer using the firewire. The hard disk drives are connected to the computer using the SATA. The e-SATA is simply an external SATA.
4. Removable Drives
The term “removable drives” is used to describe the different types of storage devices that can be ejected from a computer while systems are still running. Removable drives include DVDs, CDs, Blu-Ray disks, USB drives and diskettes. This computer hardware makes the transfer of data or information from one computer to another easier for users. This is because these types of computer hardware are pocket-sized, light, and portable.
5. Graphics Card
The graphics card is responsible for rendering graphics in a computer and projecting information onto a screen. The monitor, which could be an LCD or CRT, displays videos and images in a computer by manipulating the pixels on a screen. A graphics card takes the processing strain off your computer’s central processor. In some cases, they also contain their own memory, which takes the pressure off the RAM as well.
6. Sound Card
These types of computer hardware are responsible for projecting sound onto the speakers or headphones, playing sound files, and receiving sound from a microphone. A sound card is also known as a soundboard, audio card, or an audio output device.
7. Power Supply
The power supply is responsible for powering up the computer. It gets power from an electrical outlet on the wall. The PC case can either be horizontal or vertical, and the wires and cables are considered part of its hardware.
8. Display Screen
Depending on the computer, the display screen can be a completely separate unit known as a monitor, or it can be built-in. Some displays have touchscreen capabilities, meaning you can control what is on the screen using your finger. The quality of a display is measured in resolutions, which is basically the number of pixels that make up the display when at its highest resolution.
9. Network Adapter
A network adapter is what allows a computer to communicate over a network with other computers. This computer hardware can be used over wireless or wired networks. The network adapter can be in-built, a device that you plug into a port, or it can be added via an expansion board.
CPU stands for the central processing unit. The performance and speed of a CPU determine how well your computer works. This computer hardware is a thin silicon wafer, which is very small and is enclosed in a ceramic chip that is usually mounted on the circuit board. The speed of a CPU is measured in GHz (gigahertz).