Computer hardware is the collection of physical parts of a computer system. This includes the computer case, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It also includes all the parts inside the computer case, such as the hard disk drive, motherboard, video card, and many others. Computer hardware is what you can physically touch.


A computer system consists of two major elements: hardware and software. Computer hardware is the collection of all the parts you can physically touch. Computer software, on the other hand, is not something you can touch. Software is a set of instructions for a computer to perform specific operations. You need both hardware and software for a computer system to work.

Some hardware components are easy to recognize, such as the computer case, keyboard, and monitor. However, there are many different types of hardware components. In this lesson, you will learn how to recognize the different components and what they do.


Types of hardware

Types of hardware include the following:

  • Motherboard: The motherboard is the computer’s central communications backbone connectivity point through which all components and external peripherals connect. The motherboard is the main printed circuit board in a computer. Also called the mainboard, the motherboard holds important components, including the CPU, RAM, power supply, graphics card and sound card.
  • CPU: The CPU is responsible for processing most of the computer’s data, turning input into output.
  • RAM: The hardware in a computer where the OS, application programs and data that are being used are kept so the device’s processor can quickly reach them. As the main memory of a computer, RAM is much faster to read from and write to than other types of storage, including a hard disk drive HDD, solid-state drive SSD and optical drive. RAM is volatile, meaning that data remains in RAM if the computer is on, but it’s lost when the computer is turned off. The OS and other files are reloaded into RAM, usually from an SSD or HDD, when the computer is rebooted.
  • Display screen: A display screen may be an external monitor, or it may be built into the computer. A touchscreen display is sensitive to pressure. As such, a user interacts with the device by touching pictures or words on the screen.
  • HDD: A nonvolatile memory NVM hardware device, an HDD stores OS files, application problems, media and other documents. The HDD can store data permanently even in the event of a power failure.
  • SSD: A type of nonvolatile storage device that stores persistent data on solid-state FLASH MEMORY. An SSD consists of a flash controller and NAND FLASH MEMORY Unlike an HDD, an SSD doesn’t have any moving parts. SSDs use flash-based memory, which is significantly faster than traditional mechanical hard disks. Since they’re nonmechanical, SSDs use less power, which means longer battery life when they’re built into laptop computers.
  • Graphics card: Responsible for rendering graphics in a computer and projecting information onto a screen, a graphics card aims to remove the processing strain from the processor or RAM.
  • Removable drives: Any type of storage device that can be removed from a computer while the system is running, including USB cards and OPTICAL DISKS, such as compact discs (CDs), Blu-ray discs and digital versatile discs (DVDs).
  • Power supply: The power supply converts the power from the outlet into usable power for the other components inside the computer. Typically, more power is needed to run more complex systems. For example, a desktop computer with a high-end motherboard, a custom liquid cooling loop and dual GPUs will need a higher wattage computer power supply than a system that is not so complex.

Computer hardware components and specifications


PC hardware, such as a desktop computer, is the most common type of IT hardware purchased by a small business. The cost of hardware depends on its specification, which in turn is determined by some key components.

When you buy PC hardware, you need to decide what the specification of these key components should be.

Central processing unit

The processor is the driver of the computer. Processors are usually differentiated by speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz). The higher the GHz, the faster the computer will run. You should buy the fastest processor you can afford, but dual or quad-core processors running at speeds of 2 GHz or above will normally be enough for most business functions, eg word processing, spreadsheets and some multimedia. More CPU cores and higher speeds improve processing throughput and therefore the perceived speed of the computer.

Random access memory (RAM)

The processor uses memory to run programs. Generally, the more RAM you have, the better your computer will run when using several programs at once. Your computer should have enough memory to make the most of the processor speed. To use multiple modern software applications effectively, you should have at least 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and preferably 8 GB or above for more memory intense software applications, such as design, photography or video editing.

Hard disk

The hard disk stores the data you create in your business, as well as the programs you use. A typical office computer will have at least 500GB of hard disk space. Some new laptops and specialist performance computers come with solid state drives (SSD). These drives are silent because they have no moving parts and are five to eight times faster than the standard magnetic hard disk drives used in most desktop computers. Although SSD can offer significant performance advantages, the cost per GB of storage can be two or three times more expensive for the same storage capacity. Even with a price premium for a SSD, given the performance advantage vs the overall cost of a typical desktop or laptop, in most cases including a SSD is the best approach.

You can also use external plug-ins, such as USB memory sticks and portable external hard drives, to supplement your computer’s storage requirements.


The monitor is the computer’s display screen. Most modern monitors use some form of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology. Monitors are normally measured diagonally in inches – typically 22, 24 or 27 inches. Larger or ultra wide-screen monitors allow you to compare two documents on-screen. Which LCD technology you should use will depend on the cost of it, and whether you require true colour reproduction or high screen refresh rates.

The aspect ratio of a monitor is the proportion of image width to height. A common aspect ratio for monitors is 16:9 but other aspect ratios may be required for specialist purposes such as CCTV monitoring or movie editing.

The keyboard and mouse usually come as part of a bundle, but you may be able to select wireless devices that make desktops neater.

There are alternative computers to conventional desktop PCs available, such as Apple Macs. These have historically been used to support desktop publishing software but now also offer a comparable system for general office use.

Difference between Hardware and Software

Computer Hardware:
Hardware refers to the physical components of a computer. Computer Hardware is any part of the computer that we can touch these parts. These are the primary electronic devices used to build up the computer. Examples of hardware in a computer are the Processor, Memory Devices, Monitor, Printer, Keyboard, Mouse, and the Central Processing Unit.

Computer Software:
Software is a collection of instructions, procedures, documentation that performs different tasks on a computer system. we can say also Computer Software is a programming code executed on a computer processor. The code can be machine-level code or the code written for an operating system. Examples of software are Ms Word, Excel, Power Point, Google Chrome, Photoshop, MySQL etc.

Difference Between Hardware and Software:

Hardware is a physical parts computer that cause processing of data.Software is a set of instruction that tells a computer exactly what to do.
It is manufactured.It is developed and engineered.
Hardware can not perform any task without can not be executed without hardware.
As Hardware are physical electronic devices, we can see and touch hardware.We can see and also use the software but can’t actually touch them.
It has four main categories: input device, output devices, storage, and internal components.It is mainly divided into System software, Programming software and Application software.
Hardware is not affected by computer viruses.Software is affected by computer viruses.
It can not be transferred from one place to another electrically through network.But, it can be transferred.
If hardware is damaged, it is replaced with new one.If software is damaged, its backup copy can be reinstalled.
Ex: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Printer, CPU, Hard disk, RAM, ROM etc.Ex: Ms Word, Excel, Power Point, Photoshop, MySQL etc.


Keeping computers well-maintained can keep both viruses and malware away and keep your computer running in tip-top shape. Regular maintenance can also help you ensure your antivirus software is up-to-date and working properly. Nothing can be more frustrating than a computer that processes too slowly

The Following Are The Importance Of Computer Hardware Maintenance

Prevent Data Loss

Although data loss is uncommon, if it does happen, it can wreak havoc on your life. When your computer starts running slowly or begins having occasional hiccups, it can require a system reboot that can ultimately result in lost data. However, keeping your computer maintained will lessen the likelihood of these instances and keep your data safe and secure for when you need to access it.

Maximize your Software Efficiency

Another reason your computer may slow down over time is that your software package is getting old. Since this change happens gradually, your computer simply gets used to it and thinks that it is normal. But, having regularly scheduled maintenance on your computer will clean out any issues and have your software running perfectly again.

Speed up Your Computer

Nothing can be more frustrating than a computer that processes too slowly. But, as most of us can attest, over time our computers get clogged up with files and everything gets disorganized and fragmented. The result is slow processing times. Computer maintenance techs are experts at running speed and optimization checks that can pinpoint issues and keep your computer running at an optimal speed.

Prevention Against Viruses and Malware

It seems like no matter how often we sweep our computers or run virus checks on them, our computers are still vulnerable to harmful viruses. There are innumerable viruses and malware already out there just waiting to infect computers, and more are being created every day. Some are meant to be a daily annoyance and slow down the processing time of the computer or make pop-up messages appear, but others can infect entire operating systems. When this occurs either at home or a business, it can be costly to fix and can even cost a company money in other ways such as loss of productivity. But, keeping computers well-maintained can keep both viruses and malware away and keep your computer running in tip-top shape.  Regular maintenance can also help you ensure your antivirus software is up-to-date and working properly.

Early Detection of Issues

Computers can be temperamental, and we all know that small issues can become huge problems before we know it. But, having regular maintenance check done on your computer can eradicate small issues before they become big problems. Small issues can crop up at any time, even when your computer is new, nipping them in the bud during a regular maintenance session can save you a lot of headaches when the computer starts to age.

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