Getting to Know Your Computer Hardware

Hardware talk can be pretty boring, but it’s a necessary evil sometimes. For those of us who are kind of new to the world of computer hardware, a nice little mini lesson could come in handy to understand what a ROM and a RAM is. So in the best generic terms possible, we will run that down for you.

Your computer is basically made up of several components and to help you understand what each one does, how about be compare them to the human body? I know, this sounds weird, but if you bear with me, I think we can make this work on out for us.

First let’s start with the brain of the whole system; the processor. The processor, like the brain tells the rest of the system what to do. Without the processor, all the cool software and hardware you own is useless. The CPU or Central Processing Unit, is definitely the central part of your computer hardware body.

Next we have RAM, which stands for Random Access memory. These are the hands that carry out everything you have to do. Some would say that this is more like what you have learned, your physical memory. Indeed it could be called that, but the idea is that the more RAM you have the more processes you can have running at one time.

You CDROM, CDRW and DVDROM are all considered external drives. This is the cool coffee tray that came with your PC. You could consider this your feet. They will take you places your mind and hands can’t go and then away again. ROM stands for Read Only Memory, so it doesn’t reside on your hard drive.

Your hard drive is everything you have learned all stored in one spot for you to access whenever you need to. All kinds of functions are on this bad boy, from software you are aware of to “involuntary functions” you PC needs to continue to operate. These devices spin at different speed and can hold different amounts of information. How much information depends on the size of the hard drive. Obviously the larger the drive space, the more can be stored on it. This is a good thing to remember.

You power supply is exactly what the name says. This is what powers your computer. In some ways this is the heart of your system. It’s arteries are the power cables going throughout the inside of your tower providing lots and lots of power to your parts that need it. It powers all of your devices and keeps them running without bogging down. If your power supply stops working then your system is dead. A transplant will most likely be needed.

With any kind of luck, my simple explanation of the computer hardware will help you understand how your computer works. For the seriously technically minded, I apologize. For everyone else, well, let’s just keep this system between you and I, shall we?