Hardware is an umbrella term that encompasses various electronic or electrical components that are housed in a computer. Computer hardware includes all the internal components of a computer, including the main board, processor, hard disk, optical drive, video card, motherboard, input/output devices and ports. A computer also has a chassis, where the hardware is housed. The case of the computer is made of metal or plastic. A computer’s operating system, on the other hand, is software that runs on a CPU and helps a computer to function normally.
Computer hardware, in essence, is the components that make a computer system work. These are generally small components that are used to accomplish basic tasks. There are two kinds of hardware to consider when building a computer system: installed physical components and accessible non-installed physical components. Installed computer hardware refers to the installed processors, hard drives, keyboards, etc. Non-installed computer hardware is usually referred to as chips, motherboards, power supplies, etc.
Each component can be identified in terms of its function. The computer CPU, for example, is the central processing unit (CPU) of a PC. It is responsible for executing instructions stored in the PC memory. The computer’s operating system facilitates communication between hardware and software. It allows users to control and manage different types of hardware devices through input devices such as a mouse, keyboard or monitor.
Upgrading a PC may require physical modification at some point of time. However, sometimes, it is easier and recommended to replace or add new hardware to a computer than it is to upgrade RAM or the video card. In most cases, a complete hardware upgrade will yield improved performance, but it may also lead to reduced battery life. Therefore, a person should always consider all hardware components, including RAM and the video card before upgrading. Some older PCs cannot be upgraded to faster processor speeds without removing the existing motherboard.
Some older PCs can only be upgraded to a newer model by removing their motherboard and removing the old CPU slot. This has the advantage of upgrading the available peripheral devices, but it has the disadvantage of making the motherboard obsolete. PC manufacturers continue to produce chipsets for older motherboards by using a socket on the back of the motherboard for adding new circuits board. The new circuits board is usually smaller and more efficient than the old motherboard, which means that upgrading the motherboard itself will not be necessary. However, users are advised to upgrade RAM and the graphics card if they want the maximum performance from their PC.
Several online computer hardware stores offer the ability to edit the source code directly within Windows, allowing experienced coders to quickly and easily make changes to any part of the operating system without having to restart the entire machine. Some programs provide a GUI tool for creating these changes, while others must be executed from the command line. An advance option in some programs allows the user to disable extra hardware components that are not needed to execute the software. By disabling these components, the system performance can be greatly improved without having to change the basic hardware configuration.