Hardware is not software and is an integral part of any PC. Software on the other hand, is just programs and applications that run on a PC. The two types of hardware are analog and digital. Computer hardware consists of the hardware components of a computer, including the chassis, central processing unit, the motherboard, hard drive, random access memory (RAM), processor, video card, optical drive, a USB device, printer and audio card. Today, the most popular hardware in PCs is the desktop PC. Desktop computers have a screen, a keyboard and a mouse to help the user to manipulate the computer.
The CPU or central processing unit is the brain of the computer. It controls all other hardware and is called the main memory in computers. The other major hardware in PCs is the hard drive that stores files for the operating system driver and hardware such as the optical drive and the audio card. The random access memory or RAM is used for regular computer operation; however, some of the RAM slots can be configured to support more applications and data. The optical drive is used to store the documents and files that users may want to access frequently.
The central processing unit orCPU is the most vital component of any computer systems. It controls the operations of all other hardware. The operating system controls how the computer hardware works and is pre-installed on all new computers. Most operating systems are based on a Unix-like operating system.
In contrast to the computer hardware, the software refers to the applications that users interact with and use to operate the PC. There are two basic types of software applications: runtime software and desktop software. Runtime software programs that run in the PC such as the Windows operating system and the Java applications. They run in the PC instead of the user doing so. Examples of such applications are the Windows search engine, Skype and Sun Staroffice.
A hardware device refers to the physical components of the computer system that users install and use. Examples of physical components include motherboards, processors, hard disks, keyboards, optical drives, USB drives and other hardware devices. There are two types of hardware sources: plug in hardware and universal serial bus (Universal Serial Bus) hardware. Plug in hardware refers to the hardware that is already installed in the computer system and usually requires no extra installation from the user.
Universal serial bus hardware is an external hardware interface that is loaded with a Windows operating system through a USB or other port. Many modern PCs have both types of hardware. The most common type of hardware for PCs is motherboards. Motherboards not only provide the basis for the execution of the operating system but also control the installation of many other computer components.
For a PC to operate effectively, all of its physical elements must be functioning properly. All hardware components such as the motherboard and the processor must be performing properly. If any of these elements is malfunctioning, the PC will not work. To ensure proper operation of all hardware, regular maintenance tasks are performed by PC owners.
The hardware required by a PC is very expensive. Most PCs include at least one built-in hardware component, such as the central processing unit (CPU). However, additional hardware may be installed if the need arises. An external third party will usually perform this task, but manual tasks such as upgrading the memory or installing the components are often required by PC owners.
One of the most important aspects of any PC is its memory. This memory serves both the computer and the user. In order for a PC to function effectively, all of its external hardware components include enough memory to run at maximum capacity. If this memory is inadequate, the performance of the PC will be negatively affected. This is where memory virtualization can become very useful.
A computer’s RAM is the main component responsible for executing programs and commands into the CPU. If the RAM is not functioning properly, the performance of the CPU will be negatively affected. This is when the role of RAM as a hardware device becomes extremely important. In order to optimize the use of RAM, a PC can be partitioned into multiple sets of memory configurations. Each of these partitions will have its own operating system and each of the partitions will have a different level of available RAM.
One of the other important hardware tasks that any computer should perform is the input devices. These input devices refer to the keyboards, mouse, monitors, and any other devices that are used to manipulate the operation of the PC. Every piece of external hardware must connect to the corresponding internal hardware components in order for the PC to properly function. For example, a USB keyboard will need to be connected to a USB hub in order to become functional. Similarly, all of the various ports on the motherboard must connect to a computer with a USB port in order for it to properly operate.