What Are Computer Hardware Devices?

Computer hardware includes physical components such as monitors, keyboards, mice and printers that reside outside of the computer case and either provide instructions to its internal processor (input) or render results of its execution (output).

Internal computer hardware includes the central processing unit (CPU), memory and motherboard – the latter providing the basis for all other internal hardware devices.

1. Hard Drive

Hard disk drives are nonvolatile storage devices that preserve information even after power has been cut off, found in desktop computers, consumer electronics devices and enterprise storage arrays in data centers. They store your operating system, software programs and any files created or downloaded during usage.

Modern HDDs take advantage of constantly improving technologies and ever-shrinking platter sizes to compress more data onto their discs–known as areal density–at a lower cost per gigabyte than ever before. In addition, modern drives are equipped with power connectors to power their motor and interpret data being sent into and from them.

Internal hard drives typically connect via Serial ATA; higher-end systems may use SCSI or Fibre Channel instead. Individuals may also purchase external hard drives to increase storage space on their computer or as backup storage.

2. Memory

Memory is an integral component of computer systems that is responsible for storing both static data and dynamic information created by the CPU while the computer is running, as well as temporary files or information needed by a user for completion of tasks. Different tasks may require different-sized memory solutions.

Monitors are output devices for computers that display processed data directly to human users in the form of text, videos and images. A monitor consists of an LCD screen circuitry housed within an enclosure case that houses it; thus it is also known as visual display unit (VDU).

An internal hard disk is a non-volatile component which stores data magnetically on multiple stacked disks in its cabinet. As permanent storage space, this permanent solution performs faster operations than external cartridges which can be removed easily from the computer.

3. Graphics Card

A graphics card is responsible for providing computer users with visual information, including rasterizing images and adding lighting and texture. A GPU’s performance can be measured by how quickly it builds a wire frame image and fills its pixels (known as triangles per second).

GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) fit into an expansion slot on the motherboard and are commonly known as “video cards.” Modern versions are increasingly programmable and perform various tasks from graphics rendering to artificial intelligence.

Some computers employ integrated GPUs on the CPU rather than separate cards, resulting in a smaller package but restricting access to its memory, thus restricting its ability to deliver a high pixel fill rate.

4. Sound Card

A sound card converts digital audio files and other forms into the analog waves that run through your speakers, as well as translating digital signals from microphones or other input devices into analog output waves that travel along these waves.

Polyphony is an important measure of any computer, as it measures how many independent sounds it can play simultaneously. For example, when your computer plays both login melodies and notification sounds upon receiving emails simultaneously it is using two voices at the same time.

Sound cards of today are rectangular pieces of hardware designed to connect directly with motherboards via PCI slots, and contain various ports on their sides for connecting audio devices such as speakers. Some also provide USB connections so users can directly plug in headphones, microphones and other devices directly.

5. Motherboard

Motherboards serve as the central hubs of computers, connecting all its various parts and making communication between them possible. Motherboards often increase efficiency and power capabilities of an individual computer system.

A motherboard is a printed circuit board that connects all of the modular components of a general-purpose computer together. It distributes electricity and facilitates communication among its components while also housing its central processing unit (CPU) and random access memory (RAM).

Other computer components connect to the motherboard through slots and sockets, including video cards that render graphics and handle input and output, ports for floppy drive and hard disk drives, as well as expansion slots that may allow adding RAM, additional CPUs or other hardware.

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