What is computer hardware?

Computers are present in practically all spheres of our life. We can find them in companies, banks, universities and, of course, in homes, to help us perform different tasks in a simpler, more efficient and faster way. For these devices to work they need two basic elements: hardware and software, which complement each other.

What is computer hardware exactly?

Hardware is the physical elements that make up the computer ; that is, all the parts that we can see and touch. These are electrical, electronic, electromechanical and mechanical components that facilitate the operation of the computer, from the screen, the keyboard and the mouse to the internal components such as the hard disk or the motherboard.

Computer hardware and software: What is the main difference?

For a computer to function properly it needs both hardware and software. Software is the digital part of the computer, the set of computer instructions, programs and rules that the computer needs to function.

Basically, the software is in charge of carrying out the operations while the hardware guarantees the physical support through which these functions are carried out . Therefore, the hardware and software of a computer complement each other, so that without one of them the computer could not function.

The main difference between computer hardware and software is that hardware is made up of material elements that can be seen and touched, while software does not have a physical form, but responds to intangible digital elements , as is the case. operating system, word processors, video players or image editing programs.

What are the main hardware components of a computer?

The hardware components of a computer can be divided into internal and peripheral. The internal hardware is one that is within the computer as circuits, the central processing unit, RAM, graphics card and hard disk. Instead, the peripheral hardware is outside the computer, but maintains constant communication with it, such as the mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer or USB memory.

It is also common to refer to the basic hardware of a computer , which refers to the essential elements for the operation of the computer, such as the motherboard, the RAM memory or the monitor. On the other hand, the complementary hardware of the computer is one that only adds additional functions, such as printers or USB memories.

A more exhaustive classification of the hardware parts of a computer is:

  • Prosecution. They are the hardware elements of a computer that make up the hard core of the system whose main function is to process information and interpret and execute instructions , in such a way that they influence the mechanical capacity of the equipment to carry out the necessary operations. Such is the case with the CPU.
  • Storage. They are the hardware components of a computer that allow information to be saved and retrieved , whether it is internal or portable media. The RAM memory, for example, is in charge of the temporary storage of the information while the hard disk stores the data permanently.
  • Input peripherals. These devices, which can be integrated into the computer or be removable, allow information to be entered so that the equipment connects with the outside world. This is the case of the keyboard, mouse, webcam, microphone or CD player.
  • Output peripherals. These devices, which can also be integrated or removable, have the function of extracting or recovering information from the computer by transferring the data abroad . The display, printers, and speakers are examples of output hardware.
  • Mixed peripherals. These elements of the hardware of a computer interchangeably combine the input and output of information from the system, as is the case with network cards, modem or USB memory sticks.

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