Hardware

HARDWARE

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components


There are two main computer parts which users have to be aware of and also which users have to be able to differentiate in order to become able to work properly with their computers. These two parts are the hardware and the software. Computer hardware is considered to be the most important parts because it includes components which are vital to be well functioning so that the computer system might operate. This is way it is very important for the users to become aware of the necessary information related to computer hardware components in order to be able to actually understand how their computer functions. There is a great amount of data to be understood by the users because there are many computer hardware components and they are all important because they all influence in one way or another the performance of the computer or the way in which the user works with the computer. This is way it is important for them to be logically explained to users who are interested in learning more about their computers so that they might be properly understood.



Another important aspect to be taken in account buy the users is the fact that many of the problems which they might encounter while using their computers might be caused by these computer hardware components. In this way, by having the necessary knowledge about these computer hardware components it ill be much easier for the users to actually be able to overcome thee problems when they encounter them and to be able to continue with their work. If they are not able to overcome these problems on their own, they will have to spend time asking for further assistance and this will mean a lot of time being wasted just because a few simple steps had not been familiar to the users





There are many computer hardware components which need to be analyzed when a person decides to learn as much as possible about the computer that he or she uses. It is also important to be mentioned that even if there are certain common computer hardware components within almost all the computers it is also true that every computer might be considered to contain something different. In this way, the users do not only have to become aware of the types of computer hardware components and their functions but also of the differences between different models of the same type of components because these differences can help them understand why one component might be better than another model of the same components or why one computer might be functioning better than another one due to the fact that it contains better computer hardware components..



There are many computer hardware components which users have to become familiar with nowadays if they want to become able to know how to deal with their computers even if they might encounter certain problems while working with it. This is because when someone considers himself to be very comfortable working with his computer this is also because that person has the necessary knowledge to deal with all sorts of situations which might occur while using their computer. Among the many types of computer hardware components very important to be mentioned are the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, the motherboard, the central processing unit, the random access memory, the disk drives such as the hard drive, the CD drive, the DVD drive, the chip set, the basic input output system, the internal buses, the PCI express, the SATA type of hard, the USB, the printers, the modem, the Firewire, the SCSI, the power supply, the video display controller, the removable type of media devices, the sound card, the raid array controller and other peripherals such as gaming devices: joystick, gamepad and game controller.


If it were necessary for us to decide which of these computer hardware components might be the most important one in influencing the performance of the computer it might be actually hard because they are all important in one way or another. If we were to take for example the motherboard it is very important to be mentioned the fact that although this component might not be considered to be of too important itself if we take in account the computer hardware components placed on it or connected to it we would realize that it is actually a vital computer hardware component. Without it and this means without the other components being connected to it the computer system could not operate and the user could not work with it anymore. If we were to take only an example of an important computer hardware components placed on or connected to the motherboard which would prove its importance within the computer the central processing unit would be the best example. It is considered to be the brain of the computer and without it the system will not be operable anymore.



This is the case for many other computer hardware components as well. All of them are vital or useful for the computer to function or to be improved and in this way to ease the way in which the users can work with it. It is also important to be taken in consideration the fact that many of the computer hardware components influence each other and in this way it is very important for all of them to function properly so that the computer system might function properly. In this respect, it is also important for the users to understand the way in which these components are linked with each other or how they might influence the performance of one another because in this way it will be much easier for them to discover the cause of certain problems that they might encounter while working with their computers. They will also be able to properly follow the necessary troubleshooting steps in overcoming these problems.

 


Control Unit(CU)



The Control Unit (CU) coordinates the activities of the various components of a computer. The Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) andControl Unit (CU) together comprise the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The CPUs are called Microprocessors. The speed of a computer depends of the clock frequency of the microprocessors (Execution speed of instructions per seconds).

In addition to the main processor (CPU), there are coprocessors to speed up the operations of the main processor of a computer (basically the chip-set used in the motherboard of a computer is the coprocessor). They perform activities like floating point operations, memory management, and input-output management .etc.


Memory



The information (instruction and data) required is stored in memory. The Computer’s memory is constructed out of semi-conducting material and stores information in binary form. Binary information is composed of two symbols ‘0’ and ‘1’ called binary digits (bits). The memory is organized into equal sized unit (usually a collection of 8bits, called a byte). These units are arranged in a sequence and are defined by numbers called address (memory address). The memory of a computer can be divided into distinct parts as below.


* Registers

Registers are locations within the microprocessor where data is stored temporarily during processing. These internal high speed registers are used in Arithmetic and Logic operations for holding data and operands. Some registers are accessible by the user through instructions. Others are reserved for the use of the CPU to perform its activities.

* Internal Cache

Cache is a small high speed memory that contains frequently used data. The use of cache avoids repeated reading of data from the slower main memory. Internal cache is located within the microprocessor (indicated as L1, L2 and L3 Cache).

* External Cache

External cache is used to supplement the internal cache. It is used when an internal cache is not available or not present. It is placed between the CPU and Main Memory (The size of the cache memory is indicated in the specification of the microprocessor). Cache size increases the performance of the microprocessor will also increases.

 

Main Memory



Main Memory stores the data and instructions required by the microprocessor. The main memory is also called RAM. Microprocessor instructions can directly access main memory locations. Main memory is fast but expensive. However, it is volatile; the contents stored will be lost when the power supply is cut off.

E.g.: SDRAM, DDR1 RAM, DDR2 RAM, DDR3 RAM (Main Memory types used in today’s Computer) .etc.

* Secondary Memory

All the data and programs required by the computer cannot be stored in the main memory because it is small in size and volatile. Secondary memory is needed to store data and programs which is not currently required by the microprocessor. Secondary memory is slower but less expensive than the main memory. It is also non-volatile and larger in size. The processor can access the various type of memory in the memory hierarchy up to the main memory. The microprocessor cannot access the secondary memory directly. Therefore, data from the secondary memory has to be brought to the main memory so that the processor can use it. Memory management techniques are required to transfer information between the main memory and secondary memory, and this function is performed by the operating system.

E.g.: Hard Disk Drives, CD/DVD ROMs, Floppy Disk .etc.

Output Unit (O/P)



Just as input devices are used to supply the computer with data, there should be some means for the computer to communicate with the user. The information generated by the computer is displayed using an output device.

E.g.: Printers, Monitors, Plotters .etc.

Input Unit (I/P)


The input unit is the device used to enter data and instructions into the computer. The data read from the input device is stored in the computer’s memory. E.g. Keyboard, Joystick, Mouse, Light Pen .etc.
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