What is computer hardware
Hardware means the various physical components which comprise a computer system, as opposed to die non-tangible software elements.
The processor or CPU:
The processor or Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the collection of circuitry and registers that performs the processing in a computer. The processor is sometimes described as the ‘brain’ of the computer.
Two important components of the CPU are:
• The arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) which p erforms arithmetic and logical operations
• The control unit, which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them The set of operations that the processor performs is known as the instruction set.
A motherboard is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, while pro viding connectors for other peripherals.
The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the main board, system board, or, on Apple computers, the logic board. It is also sometimes casually shortened to mobo.
Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer data storage.
Today, it takes the form of integrated circuits that allow stored data to be accessed in any order (i.e., at random). “Random” refers to the idea that any piece of data can be returned in a constant time, regardless of its physical location and whether or not it is related to the previous piece of data.
The word RAM is often associated with volatile types of memory (such as DRAM memory modules), where the information is lost after the power is switched off. Many other types of memory are RAM, too, including most types of ROM and a type of flash memory called NOR-Flash.
ROM (read-only memory) is a memory chip into which fixed data is written permanently at the time of its manufacture. New data cannot be written into the memory- the data on the memory chip can’t be changed.
ROM is ‘non-volatile’ memory, which means that its con tents do not disappear when the computer’s power source is switched off. A computer’s start-up program, known as a “boot strap 1 program, is always held in a form of a ROM. ‘Booting up’ means running this program.