Computer Hardware Terminology

Unlike other electronic devices, computer is the sum of its parts. Nobody cares about the specifications and make of the picture tube of a particular brand of television. But in the case of computers, more than the brand name the specifications of its components like processor, motherboard, RAM, hard disk, and suchlike are the things that a knowledgeable consumer first asks about. Here is computer hardware terminology in a nutshell.Processor or microprocessor is a powerful IC chip on which a number of functions are incorporated. It is the heart and brain of the computer rolled into a chip. Its efficiency depends on its speed of processing, which is specified by its frequency and it is denoted using gigahertz. The higher the speed, the better will be its functioning. Also, there are several types of processors such as 32-bit processor and 64-bit processor. The bit rate is not actually a yardstick of speed. The larger bit rate means the processor will be able to efficiently do several computing processes at the same time.

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Another main item in computer hardware terminology is motherboard. In simple terms, it is the platform on which all the other components are electrically fitted in. Over the years, a number of additional functionalities such as sound card, graphics card, and networking card are slotted on to the motherboard. When selecting motherboard, one should make sure that the motherboard is compatible with other components such as processor, hard disk, and RAM.Hard disk and RAM are the next items in the hierarchy of computer hardware terminology. A computer has two types of memory. Permanent memory is stored magnetically on hard disk and it will be stored in the disk even after the computer is shut down. On the other hand, RAM or random access memory will be off once the computer is shut down. It is the kind of memory on which the functional information while running a computer, like running programs and unsaved data, are kept when computer is running. When you save a file, the data is stored to hard disk from RAM.

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Nowadays the memory capacity of hard disk is skyrocketing. It is all set to break the upper limits of gigabytes. Comparing to that, RAM was a slow starter. It is still ambling along the lower middle part of gigabytes. Lay users do not need a RAM with a large capacity. The price of RAM increases with the rise in memory capacity.Computer peripherals like keyboard, mouse, monitor, CD or DVD drives and writers, speaker, and webcams are all part of a large list called computer hardware terminology. There are other hardware items also such as graphics card, sound card and video card for sound recording and video editing facility, and internal and external modems for browsing the internet.

Computer Hardware

Computer hardware means the physical part of a computer and it is totally different from computer software or computer programs and data that are used within hardware. The hardware of a computer is rarely changed as compared with software and data, which are readily shaped, modified or erased on the computer. Normal users do not see most computer hardware as it is enclosed as embedded systems in automobiles, microwave ovens, compact disc players and many other household appliances.A typical personal computer consists of a case in desktop and other different parts. Motherboard or system board with slots for expansion cards and holding parts including Central processing unit (CPU) , Random Access Memory (RAM) for program execution and short-term data storage. It also consists of PCI bus, PCI-E or AGP bus, ISA bus, USB and power supply that holds a transformer, voltage control and fan.

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The storage controllers of IDE, SATA, SCSI or other type, that control hard disk, floppy disk, CD-ROM and other drives. Video display controller that produces the output for the computer display Computer bus controllers to connect the computer to external peripheral devices such as printers or scanners.Some type of a removable media writer includes CD, CD-ROM Drive, CD Writer, DVD, DVD-ROM Drive, DVD Writer, DVD-RAM Drive, Floppy disk, Zip drive, USB Flash Drive, Tape drive – mainly for backup and long-term storage, Internal storage that keeps data inside the computer for later use. Hard disk is used for medium-term storage of data. Sound card translates signals from the system board into analog voltage levels and has terminals to plug in speakers. Networking is used to connect the computer to the Internet and/or other computers and modem for dial-up connections.

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In addition, hardware can include external components of a computer system. Mainly the computer input devices includes keyboard, pointing devices, mouse, trackball, gaming devices, joystick, gamepad image, video input devices, image scanner, web cam, audio input devices and microphone.
Output devices consist of printer, monitor, audio output devices, speakers and headset.

Video Cards Booms the Computer Hardware Market

A video card, is commonly known as a graphics accelerator card or a display adapter. It is a hardware component whose function is to generate and output images to a display. It operated on similar principles as a sound card or other peripheral devices.Some Main Components Of Video CardA Graphical Processing UnitVideo MemoryRAMDAC (random access memory digital-analog converter)Video BIOSThe InterfaceMarket OverviewThe graphics card is one of the most fierce market in the computer hardware industry. The main leading graphics card producers in the market are AMD/ ATI, and NVIDIA which competes edge to edge and pour millions into developing a core to try and top the other.Graphics Cards or Onboard Graphics

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The graphic cards play important role for gamers, graphic designers and 3D animators who tend to require optimum displays for their work as well as faster rendering in order to efficiently tone up their work whereas integrated or on board graphics were capable of handling most day-to-day work and supports basic usage to run windows and it’s features.The concept of onboard graphics really came up when Intel integrated graphics with its 810-chipset based motherboards for the PIII processor. Intel didn’t leave an option for putting in an additional graphics card, forcing people to use only onboard graphics, which eliminated a lot of graphics cards from the market. Intel later came up with the provision to add graphics cards as well, and this changed the face of the graphics market.People didn’t feel the need to buy a separate graphics card, because the onboard card served the purpose well. Intel brought iterations of its onboard graphics, with the latest one being the Extreme Graphics 2 core for the P4 processor. Along the way, two major graphics manufacturers joined the race by introducing their motherboard chipsets with onboard graphics. These were NVIDIA with its Nforce and Nforce 2 chipsets, and ATI with its latest Radeon 9100 IGP (Integrated Graphics Port). So today, with graphics manufacturers in the race, onboard graphics have become quite powerful. You can play games, watch movies, or run high-end graphics applications. That brings us to the million-dollar question of why go for a separate graphics card.

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The video card market is divided into three segments:Firstly, the high end cards, the ones pushing the limits of games and the limits of your pockets.Next, is the mid-range cards, the most profitable and demanding category of video cards. This classification occupies the maximum market share.Lastly, the low end cards, these are used as either integrated cards or cheap cards that will be used in situations where stress on graphic cards is at a minimum.The graphics card market and computer hardware industry is pretty full from top to bottom these days, but that doesn’t keep the big players in the video card industry from bringing out newer models for their customers!

Understanding Different Kinds of Computer Hardware

Different kinds of hardware have their different levels of importance, but before we delve into the types we need to first look at the term itself and understand what it means. Computer hardware simply put is the physical component of the computer. For you to be able to be reading this right now means that your computer has the physical components required for the software or programmes to work.We will discuss briefly some of the different kinds of hardware that you will most commonly encounter such as:o The Circuit Board or Mother Board: This is where the main processor of your computer is located and it is on this component that most other hardware feed off.o The Hard drive: This is your computer store house, so in other words this is where the data that helps your computer to function properly are kept. Data that you generate as you use your computer are also stored here.

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o The Cd/Dvd Drive: This is also another kind of storage facility that supports a different kind of data and storage type.o The Cooling fan: This is often times located on the top of your mother board/circuit board, and just as the name suggests serves as a coolant. When your computer is on it generates heat just like the engine of your car and it is this cooling fan that is tasked with making sure the computer does not get over heated.o The Memory Chip: This is yet again another part of your computer brain that handles information stores information needed for the proper functioning of your computer. This also supports the general speed of your computer…so a small memory means a slow computer.o Keyboard & Mouse: This is the component of your computer that helps you with the input of data (such as typing) and navigation. So in other words this is the means for communicating with your computer.Listed above are some of the different kinds of hardware that you are likely to encounter more often, but there are lots of other hardware that might not be directly a part of your computer but is used along side your computer and attached by means of an external source. So if you do not have proper computer hardware you will naturally find it impossible to install software or run a program on your computer.

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Optimum performance of your computer is dependent on the type of hardware you are using. These different kinds of hardware affect affects the computer in diverse ways, but the circuit board has the most influence on the speed of your computer…why? Because like I mentioned earlier the other components mostly feed off the circuit board so if the circuit is rubbish there is a tendency for your computer output to be rubbish.Most computer hardware can be upgraded as individual components, which means if for instance you notice that your storage space is getting smaller you can purchase an extra hard drive to back up the first one or you can completely change the hard drive for another.

Tips To Follow Before You Buy Computer Hardware

For a computer to perform as efficiently and effectively, good hardware configuration is a must. From the very basic functioning to running the most advanced softwares, the hardware set up holds the key. The component of a computer hardware usually includes keyboards, monitor, mouse, printers, scanners, Central Processing Unit (CPU), disk drives, digital flash drives, audio and video cards, motherboard, processor, graphic card, memory chips, RAM and cables. For proper programming and functioning of the computers, it is necessary that the above mentioned hardware is in proper functioning. However, while you are seeking to buy computer hardware, you need to recognize the several options you have at bay.Although there are traditional ways you can opt while you look to buy computer hardware, you must also explore the dimension that online domain has brought forth. Today, there are innumerous hardware shops which operates online and facilitate online buying and selling of hardware products. The growing trend of online shopping provides you an array of options of choosing a large number of hardware products that are available under different brands and series. So, you may visit a large number of products with scrolls and clicks of the mouse.

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If you favor visiting a hardware store to find out the suitable hardware product, then there are comprehensive benefits as well. Not only the fact that you can have a good look at the stuffs you are buying, there are technical staffs at your service who will intimate you with any of your latent queries.Regardless of the fact that whether you decide to buy computer hardware online or from a dealer, there are certain things that you ought to take care of. In the following paragraph, we will discuss some of the key points that are necessary for you to remember before finalizing a deal.1. Validation – Whether you are buying hardware articles from a retailer or via online, proper validation is an absolute necessity. This validation is in regards to whether a company selling computer hardware products is a registered one. There are few stores and websites which profess to deliver high grade products but in reality may ultimately fraud you by dumping the cheap computer hardware articles to you.2. Reputation – Before you decide on the final buy, make sure that you have gained knowledge about the history of the company. In this regard, you may take references of the customers these companies have served and verify the record of their services as well the quality of products.3. Reviews – It is a common fact that the online stores that sell computer peripherals and hardware accessories generally lists the impressive comments of the customers and upload them on the website. So, in order to derive the unbiased side of the story, you can rely on the reviews. These reviews which are written by professionals and experts uphold the unprejudiced views about a company, the services they render and also the customer’s comments. Thus, before you decide to purchase hardware or computer peripherals from a traditional store or via internet, make sure we have made a thorough glance over these reviews.

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4. Quotes – If you wish to avail hardware articles at budget friendly price, then always ask for quotes from the company. Almost all the online hardware shops have a separate page wherein you can request a quote and they will get back to you through e-mail. So, before closing a final deal, make sure that you have availed quotes from multiple companies. High prices seldom determine quality of a product, so devote time to avail something that will suit your budget as well as leave its mark in terms of quality. The same applies when you decide to buy hardware from regular computer stores. Make sure that you have visited such multiple shops and have acquired the approximate costs and then decide accordingly.While you wish to avail hardware products, at a low price, you need not necessarily have to compromise with quality. So while buying hardware, look around every possible niche, research every brand and finally make invest your resources to make sure that you get the best thing for your system.