Computer hardware is one of the most important components of any computer system. The term “hardware” refers to the non-volatile, non-intrusive components of a desktop or notebook computer system. Computer hardware also includes the integrated components of a computer, including the central processing unit (CPU), hard drive, random access memory (RAM), graphics chip, hard disk, processor and sound card. A computer may also include connected peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, card readers, USB drives, mobile phone processors, global positioning system units or keyboards. The hardware components of a PC can be made from a variety of technologies.
A typical PC configuration will include an operating system, a kernel, applications, and device drivers. The operating system serves as the main control interface for computing devices such as PCs and laptops. Kernel is the software part of a PC that controls the operation of the other hardware components.
Modern PCs are configured with various additional hardware devices. CD ROM drives, DVD drives, and CD-ROM drives are examples of additional hardware components. Network adapters and wireless cards are examples of computer peripheral hardware. A computer may also include built-in software components, such as a security suite, an operating system, and a database management system (DMS). Such components, in addition to being used to deliver PC functionality, also play an important role in the operation of peripherals.
Peripherals have physical components such as a circuit board and peripheral interface modules. Circuit boards are the basic units of hardware that are physically attached to a computer system. Component pins of a circuit board to connect hardware components with wires. A ribbon cable is a popular example of a component cable. Other types of hardware components are buses, microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital electronic circuitry, memory modules, and input and output devices. Peripherals can run on different operating systems.
The operating system software controls operations of the PC. A computer system with a touch screen is a good example of a hardware device. A hardware device refers to a peripheral that uses a PC input/output device for input and delivery of PC messages or signals. A hardware device also controls the PC through its connection to a central processing unit (CPU).
All modern PCs have several installed operating systems. The operating system, which is the software component of a PC, controls the operations of the hardware. While it was previously the case that only one type of hardware was present in a PC, more advanced multi-core processing units and motherboards enable a PC to simultaneously operate the input and output elements of all installed hardware components. Modern PCs also has several storage devices available, such as hard disk, solid state drive, optical disk, CD-ROM, DVD disk, and virtual disk.