DDR4 is the newest rendition. Home Components. Computer Cases. Power Supplies. Server Components. Sound Cards. Hard Drives. Computer Accessories. Power Protection. Featured Brands. Shop PC Components. Video Graphic Devices. Optical Drives. PC Cooling. Components Featured Items See All. Computer Cases House and Protect Computer Components There are three case size categories, though the computer cases themselves have varying dimensions.
The hard drive is long-term storage , which means the data is still saved even if you turn the computer off or unplug it. When you run a program or open a file, the computer copies some of the data from the hard drive onto the RAM. When you save a file, the data is copied back to the hard drive. The faster the hard drive, the faster your computer can start up and load programs. The power supply unit in a computer converts the power from the wall outlet to the type of power needed by the computer.
It sends power through cables to the motherboard and other components. If you decide to open the computer case and take a look, make sure to unplug the computer first. Before touching the inside of the computer, you should touch a grounded metal object —or a metal part of the computer casing —to discharge any static buildup. Static electricity can be transmitted through the computer circuits, which can seriously damage your machine.
Most computers have expansion slots on the motherboard that allow you to add various types of expansion cards. These are sometimes called PCI peripheral component interconnect cards. You may never need to add any PCI cards because most motherboards have built-in video, sound, network, and other capabilities. However, if you want to boost the performance of your computer or update the capabilities of an older computer, you can always add one or more cards.
Below are some of the most common types of expansion cards. The video card is responsible for what you see on the monitor. Most computers have a GPU graphics processing unit built into the motherboard instead of having a separate video card. If you like playing graphics-intensive games, you can add a faster video card to one of the expansion slots to get better performance.
The sound card —also called an audio card —is responsible for what you hear in the speakers or headphones. Most motherboards have integrated sound, but you can upgrade to a dedicated sound card for higher-quality sound. The network card allows your computer to communicate over a network and access the Internet. It can either connect with an Ethernet cable or through a wireless connection often called Wi-Fi. Many motherboards have built-in network connections, and a network card can also be added to an expansion slot.
Bluetooth is a technology for wireless communication over short distances. It's often used in computers to communicate with wireless keyboards , mice , and printers. It's commonly built into the motherboard or included in a wireless network card.
For computers that don't have Bluetooth, you can purchase a USB adapter, often called a dongle.
This box is where all the main computer components are housed — Motherboard, processor, memory, hard disks, power supply, and more. Computer casings come in all shapes and sizes, with the common ones being tower casings as above , and small form factors that are about the size of one hand. That is wrong and has always been a major confusion for a long time — The CPU is actually a chip inside the casing itself. Some monitors may even have built-in speakers, much like televisions. The older designs of computer monitors run off a technology called cathode ray tube CRT.
As you can guess, those bulky and power-hungry displays have been totally taken over by the slim and lightweight liquid crystal display LCD or LED light-emitting diode displays. Now that we are done with the basics, let us move on with the input devices — The devices that you use to provide data and instructions to the computer.
What you enter data, type words, numbers, and symbols with. Depending on where you are in the world, the layout of keyboards may be a little different. Because there are some science and design factors behind it — The keys on a keyboard are actually arranged to how common the alphabets are being used, thus the different layouts in the various regions. A pointing device that we use to move the cursor on the screen, the mouse buttons are used to interact with various on-screen elements.
A standard mouse these days will usually come with at least 3 buttons left, center, right and a scroll wheel. Although there are some mouse designs with a lot more buttons, and more meant for the purpose of gaming. Trackpads are an alternative to using the mouse. These are what you will normally see on laptops, where it is inconvenient to carry a mouse around. Not to be confused with the tablet computer, the graphics tablet is specifically used by digital artists to paint and do some… art stuff.
It kind of works like as a trackpad as well, just better and pressure sensitive. This slug-like device is called a trackball, and another alternative to using the mouse. Instead of moving the mouse around, we spin a big ball around to move the cursor. Web cameras are used to take photos and videos. Most modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones come with a built-in camera. Allows us to record sounds. Again, most modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones already have one of these built-in.
It is just a matter of quality, that some people prefer to buy higher-end microphones for recording studio-quality sounds. Toys for the gamers. While the keyboard and mouse do provide good enough controls, some seasoned gamers still prefer to use specialized gaming controllers. Next, let us move on to the output devices. The computer is capable of processing a lot of digital data quickly, but sadly, poor humans are not able to directly understand electrical signals.
So, output devices are used to convert those electronic signals into human-understandable forms. Use a pair of headphones if you want more privacy with the sounds, or not to disturb the rest. A printer prints text, images, and whatever you want onto a piece of paper. These 2 used to be separate devices, but with the help of technology, we have all-in-one AIO printers these days that do both printing, scanning, and some even act as a fax machine.
Yep, we can almost print anything to the wildest imaginations with a 3D printer. Then use a projector and project it onto the wall. Good for movie nights and presentations. A fair word of warning though — Switch off the power, unplug the power cord, and ground the casing safely before you decide to open up a computer. Save yourself from nasty electrical shocks.
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External components are those components that are connected internally to a computer. These components are mounted on the motherboard inside the system unit. The system unit is a box that contains different electronic components of a computer system. It is also called the chassis. It protects the internal components from damage. The electronic circuits in the system unit are connected to a motherboard.
The CPU is also called a processor. It is also the brain of the computer. It evaluates and executes the commands on the computer. CPU is also called the processing unit of a computer. When anybody buys a computer, the first thing to look out for is the CPU.
It is difficult to decide between AMD and Intel, dual-core or quad-core, i3 and i7 due to lack of knowledge and their differences. The central processing unit CPU is also called the computer brain. There are different types of computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and TVs that have their own CPU. This is very small chip is small in shape of a square and is mounted on the motherboard of the device.
The motherboard is mounted within the system unit and all the vital components of a computer system are located directly attached to the motherboard. Other peripheral parts of the computer, such as hard disks, floppy disks, and ROM-CDs, are connected to the motherboard through cables.
The size of motherboards is getting smaller with the advancement in technology. In computing, a bus allows information to be transferred between different components of a computer. For example, it can be used to connect microprocessors to central memory, storage devices, or peripherals.
Each of these paths allows information to be presented in parallel. Therefore, their number affects the speed of data transfer between computer components. A hardware component that enables a user to enter data and instructions to a computer is called an input device. These devices are used to feed information or provide control signals to the computer. Keyboard, mouse, microphone, scanner, digital camera, and PC camera are the most common input devices. Keyboard : The user can use a keyboard to enter text.
It contains alphabetic, numeric, and other keys for entering a different type of data. Mouse: a mouse is a pointing device. It controls the pointer on the screen. The user also gives instructions to the computer through a mouse. It contains different buttons. Microphone: The user can use a microphone to enter input in the form of voice into the computer. Scanner : it read and scans the hardcopy and graphics and produces the results in digital form.
Digital Camera: we can use a digital camera to take and store pictures in digital form. A hardware component that is used to display the result of the processing to the user is called an output device. The major output devices are a monitor, printer, and speaker.
Modern technology is the base of these output devices. Monitor : a computer can also use a monitor to display text, graphics, and video output. Printer: if the user wants to get output in printed form on paper, then he can use a printer. Speakers: the speaker is also a hardware component that almost produces output in the form of sound, music, and voice. Memory: M emory is also an important component of a system unit. Memory is used in a computer to store data and instructions temporarily.
Furthermore, it loses all its information when the power is turned off. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system, although other systems exist with only hardware. The template for all modern computers is the Von Neumann architecture , detailed in a paper by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann.
This describes a design architecture for an electronic digital computer with subdivisions of a processing unit consisting of an arithmetic logic unit and processor registers , a control unit containing an instruction register and program counter , a memory to store both data and instructions , external mass storage , and input and output mechanisms. This is referred to as the Von Neumann bottleneck and often limits the performance of the system. The personal computer is one of the most common types of computer due to its versatility and relatively low price.
Desktop personal computers have a monitor , a keyboard , a mouse , and a computer case. The computer case holds the motherboard , fixed or removable disk drives for data storage, the power supply, and may contain other peripheral devices such as modems or network interfaces. Some models of desktop computers integrated the monitor and keyboard into the same case as the processor and power supply. Separating the elements allows the user to arrange the components in a pleasing, comfortable array, at the cost of managing power and data cables between them.
Laptops are designed for portability but operate similarly to desktop PCs. The monitor in the folding upper cover of the case can be closed for transportation, to protect the screen and keyboard. Instead of a mouse, laptops may have a touchpad or pointing stick. Tablets are portable computer that uses a touch screen as the primary input device. Tablets generally weigh less and are smaller than laptops. Some tablets include fold-out keyboards, or offer connections to separate external keyboards.
Some models of laptop computers have a detachable keyboard, which allows the system to be configured as a touch-screen tablet. They are sometimes called "2-in-1 detachable laptops" or "tablet-laptop hybrids". The computer case encloses most of the components of the system.
It provides mechanical support and protection for internal elements such as the motherboard, disk drives, and power supplies, and controls and directs the flow of cooling air over internal components. The case is also part of the system to control electromagnetic interference radiated by the computer and protects internal parts from electrostatic discharge. Large tower cases provide space for multiple disk drives or other peripherals and usually stand on the floor, while desktop cases provide less expansion room.
All-in-one style designs include a video display built into the same case. Portable and laptop computers require cases that provide impact protection for the unit. Hobbyists may decorate the cases with colored lights, paint, or other features, in an activity called case modding. Laptops can run on built-in rechargeable battery.
The motherboard is the main component of a computer. It is a board with integrated circuitry that connects the other parts of the computer including the CPU , the RAM , the disk drives CD , DVD , hard disk , or any others as well as any peripherals connected via the ports or the expansion slots. An expansion card in computing is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot of a computer motherboard or backplane to add functionality to a computer system via the expansion bus.
Expansion cards can be used to obtain or expand on features not offered by the motherboard. A storage device is any computing hardware and digital media that is used for storing, porting and extracting data files and objects. It can hold and store information both temporarily and permanently and can be internal or external to a computer, server or any similar computing device.
Data storage is a core function and fundamental component of computers. Data is stored by a computer using a variety of media. Hard disk drives HDDs are found in virtually all older computers, due to their high capacity and low cost, but solid-state drives SSDs are faster and more power efficient, although currently more expensive than hard drives in terms of dollar per gigabyte,  so are often found in personal computers built post Some systems may use a disk array controller for greater performance or reliability.
Their usefulness depends on being readable by other systems; the majority of machines have an optical disk drive ODD , and virtually all have at least one Universal Serial Bus USB port. Additionally, USB sticks are typically pre-formatted with the FAT32 file system, which is widely supported across operating systems. Input and output devices are typically housed externally to the main computer chassis. The following are either standard or very common to many computer systems.
Input devices allow the user to enter information into the system, or control its operation. Most personal computers have a mouse and keyboard , but laptop systems typically use a touchpad instead of a mouse. Other input devices include webcams , microphones , joysticks , and image scanners.
Output devices are designed around the senses of human beings. For example, monitors display text that can be read, speakers produce sound that can be heard. A mainframe computer is a much larger computer that typically fills a room and may cost many hundreds or thousands of times as much as a personal computer.
They are designed to perform large numbers of calculations for governments and large enterprises. In the s and s, more and more departments started to use cheaper and dedicated systems for specific purposes like process control and laboratory automation.
A minicomputer , or colloquially mini , is a class of smaller computers that was developed in the mids   and sold for much less than mainframe  and mid-size computers from IBM and its direct competitors. A supercomputer is superficially similar to a mainframe but is instead intended for extremely demanding computational tasks. The term supercomputer does not refer to a specific technology.
Rather it indicates the fastest computations available at any given time. Supercomputers are fast but extremely costly, so they are generally used by large organizations to execute computationally demanding tasks involving large data sets. Supercomputers typically run military and scientific applications. Although costly, they are also being used for commercial applications where huge amounts of data must be analyzed.
For example, large banks employ supercomputers to calculate the risks and returns of various investment strategies, and healthcare organizations use them to analyze giant databases of patient data to determine optimal treatments for various diseases and problems incurring to the country.
When using computer hardware, an upgrade means adding new or additional hardware to a computer that improves its performance, increases its capacity, or adds new features. For example, a user could perform a hardware upgrade to replace the hard drive with a faster one or a Solid State Drive SSD to get a boost in performance.
The user may also install more Random Access Memory RAM so the computer can store additional temporary data, or retrieve such data at a faster rate. The user may add a USB 3. Performing such hardware upgrades may be necessary for aged computers to meet a new, or updated program's system requirements.
Global revenue from computer hardware in reached billion Euros. Because computer parts contain hazardous materials, there is a growing movement to recycle old and outdated parts. According to the EPA these e-wastes have a harmful effect on the environment unless they are disposed of properly. Making hardware requires energy, and recycling parts will reduce air pollution , water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Legislation makes it mandatory to recycle computers through the government approved facilities. Recycling a computer can be made easier by taking out certain reusable parts. Many materials used in computer hardware can be recovered by recycling for use in future production. Reuse of tin , silicon , iron , aluminium , and a variety of plastics that are present in bulk in computers or other electronics can reduce the costs of constructing new systems.
Components frequently contain copper , gold , tantalum ,   silver , platinum , palladium , and lead as well as other valuable materials suitable for reclamation. The central processing unit contains many toxic materials. It contains lead and chromium in the metal plates. Resistors, semi-conductors, infrared detectors, stabilizers, cables, and wires contain cadmium. The circuit boards in a computer contain mercury, and chromium.
When e-waste byproducts leach into groundwater, are burned, or get mishandled during recycling, it causes harm. Health problems associated with such toxins include impaired mental development, cancer, and damage to the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Different companies have different techniques to recycle a wire. For example, first, each of the parts are taken apart then all of the inner parts get separated and placed into its own bin. Computer components contain many toxic substances, like dioxins , polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs , cadmium , chromium , radioactive isotopes and mercury.
A typical 15 inch 38 cm computer monitor may contain 1. Recycling of computer hardware is considered environmentally friendly because it prevents hazardous waste, including heavy metals and carcinogens, from entering the atmosphere, landfill or waterways. While electronics consist a small fraction of total waste generated, they are far more dangerous. There is stringent legislation designed to enforce and encourage the sustainable disposal of appliances, the most notable being the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive of the European Union and the United States National Computer Recycling Act.
As computer hardware contain a wide number of metals inside, the United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA encourages the collection and recycling of computer hardware. Generically, the term refers to the process of collecting, brokering, disassembling, repairing and recycling the components or metals contained in used or discarded electronic equipment, otherwise known as electronic waste e-waste.
Recycling a computer is made easier by a few of the national services, such as Dell and Apple. Both companies will take back the computer of their make or any other make. Otherwise a computer can be donated to Computer Aid International which is an organization that recycles and refurbishes old computers for hospitals, schools, universities, etc.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Physical components of a computer. Main articles: Von Neumann architecture and Stored-program computer. Main article: Computer case. Main article: Power supply unit. Main article: Motherboard. Main article: Expansion card. Main article: Computer data storage. Main article: Peripheral. Main article: Mainframe Computer. Main article: Minicomputer.