Computer Hardware

Network administrator must be familiar with basic computer hardware operations. He should have adequate knowledge of computer hardware to perform day by day task. So in this article we would cover some basic computer hardware terms. This could also be helpful for interview.

What is a Computer?

  • An electronic machine
    • that can be programmed to
    • accept data (input), and
    • process it into
    • useful information (output).
  • Kept in secondary storage (storage) for safekeeping or later use.
  • The processing of input into output is directed by the software, but performed by the hardware.

The System Unit

The System Unit houses the central processing unit, memory modules, expansion slots, and electronic circuitry as well as expansion cards that are all attached to the motherboard; along with disk drives, a fan or fans to keep it cool, and the power supply.

All other devices (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., are linked either directly or indirectly into the system unit.)

The Motherboard

The motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer. It contains the central processing unit (CPU), the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), memory, mass storage interfaces, serial and parallel ports, expansion slots, and all the controllers for standard peripheral devices like the keyboard, disk drive and display screen.

The chipset is a critical part of any computer, because it plays a big role in determining what sorts of features the computer can support.

Hardware components

Input devices -

accept data or commands in a form useable by computers

Output devices

display the processed information - printers, monitors, speakers.

Processing devices

In system unit and are comprised of circuitry.

Storage devices -

Drives read from and write to storage media (the physical material that can store data and programs).

Communication devices

provide connections between computers and communication networks, allowing for exchange of information and data with other computers via transmission media such as cables, telephone lines, and satellites